By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK World
March 24 2022
A blind man who heads an organization for people with disabilities in Japan has written a poem dedicated to “fellows with disabilities in Ukraine.”
Fujii Katsunori heads the Japan Council on Disability.
He wrote a poem that has been released on the Council’s website in Japanese, Ukrainian, Russian and English.
The poem starts by saying that war excludes people with disabilities, leaves them behind and “fuels the eugenic ideology.”
It says “Instead of killing each other, we must talk to each other,” and that “we” want ceasefire not invasion, and not just ceasefire but peace.
It says “Peace harmonizes the best with blue skies and goldish-yellow harvests.”
It says war robs persons with disabilities of their dignity and “blackens the tomorrow” of these people.
The poem says war must end “at this very moment” and that “we” want people with disabilities to survive no matter what.
The non-profit group says a Ukrainian organization for people with disabilities has thanked them for the poem, saying that the kindness and support from the people of Japan mean a lot to them.
Fujii says he can imagine that people with disabilities are living in very harsh conditions and are having difficulty escaping to safety.
He says he wrote the poem to express his ardent wish for them to survive. He says history shows that people with disabilities can only survive when there’s peace.
The poem is titled ‘”Solidarity and Prayer To Ukraine’s Disabled Brotherhood” and this is the English translation:
War excludes us, people with disabilities, from the way.
War leaves us, people with disabilities, behind.
War fuels the eugenic ideology.
The greatest evil which creates a huge number of disabilities –that is WAR.
Watching the first news every morning with dread and fear,
We find the siege of Kiev has narrowed further,
Churches and cultural monuments crashing down screaming.
The forbidden has been revoked, and fire breaks out from nuclear power plants.
Instead of killing each other, we must talk to each other.
Ceasefire we want, not invasion any more
Peace we want, not just ceasefire.
Peace harmonizes the best with blue skies and goldish-yellow harvests.
We pray for you,
Staring in the direction of the west-north-west,
May your hopes never be lost in your hearts.
We hope you will survive anyway.
War makes disability heavier in a short time.
War, without the slightest hint of guilt, robs persons with disabilities of their dignity.
War blackens the tomorrow of people with disabilities.
It must end soon, no, at this very moment.
Repeat once more.
We want you to survive anyway,
Even if you have to steal food,
Even if you have to beg for help from enemy soldiers.
No matter how far, far away we are, our spirits are close by, from Japan.