Read/Search this Article
A Leprosy Sanatorium, known as "Okinawa Airakuen" of Yagaji, Nago City was established in 1937 by AOKI Keisai, a former member of Anglican Church hospital named Kaisyun Hospital located in Kumamoto Prefecture. The formation of "Okinawa Airakuen", a leprosy sanatorium was not an easy task. AOKI encountered many problems in the process of establishing the sanatorium. One main problem was the ignorance about the disease of leprosy at that time; and the negative implications of leprosy in terms of social and religious point of view in Okinawa. In 1958, AOKI Keisai wrote a book entitled "The Chosen Island'. In this book, AOKI described his trials and tribulations in the founding of leprosy sanatorium, "Okinawa Airakuen". He also elaborated in his book, his own personal experience and belief about Buddhism and Christianity and leprosy. The Chosen Island was published in 1958 with 200 copies in circulation. It was not intended for sale. After a decade, and before AOKI died in 1968, he wished to Reverend WATANABE Nobuo of Tokyo Confession Church, and requested him to reprint the The Chosen Island indirectly. In 1972, Reverend WATANABE edited and published the first reprint of The Chosen Island; and to date it is now on its fifth printing. However, there was a discrepancy and difference between the original The Chosen Island and the reprint edition. And according to Reverend WATANABE in his commend he made in the book, that the 1972 version, is not the reprint of the first edition; and new ideas have been added for the purpose of attracting wider readers. Aside from this, few pages from the origin book of AOKI Keisai's, The Chosen Island have been deleted. The pages that have been deleted from the original book, made the reprinted edition different from the original The Chosen Island in content and substance. Whether it was a conscious or unconscious effort on the part of Reverend WATANABE to ignore the important points of The Chosen Island is part of this research.