国家的要注意人物 ─中世的障害者観─(A loose cannon in Medieval Japan)

  嘉吉元年(一四四一)五月十六日条 (『図書寮叢刊 看聞日記』6─280頁)














 It was sunny on May 16th. Well, I heard that a deformed nun came from the Tohoku region to Kyoto. She walked around the city for a while. It looks like she has only one eye. However, there is a large lump on one side of her face, hanging from the forehead to the chin. The other eye may be hidden by the lump. I do not understand clearly. One side of the face is a normal person. The other side of the face looks like Yokai, which is different from the appearance of a normal person. I heard that the general Ashikaga Yoshinori captured this nun and detained it in the residence of Ise Sadakuni (Steward of the office of administration of Muromachibakuhu).






 翻って、現代人はこうした相貌の異質性をどのように考えているのでしょうか。多くの場合、医学的な原因による奇形や障害だとみなすはずです。中世に比べれば、ずいぶんと科学的な思考をもてるように進歩したものだと感心しますが、「奇形」や「障害」という言葉に、差別的・侮蔑的意味を付加してしまうところに、まだまだ未熟さが見られるようです(「『奇形』を含む医学用語の置き換え提案   日本小児科学会から経過報告」日本医学会分科会用語委員会、http://jams.med.or.jp/dic/h30material_s5.pdf)。



 A nun who was different in appearance than a normal person was walking around. Only for that reason, the general captured her and detained in the residence of Ise Sadakuni. After all, why was she treated like this?

 The medieval people considered that karma in a previous life turned human beings into special appearances. Also, once, I wrote an article "Abandoned malformed child and weird phenomenon". And I pointed out that the medieval people considered the malformed child was a sign that bad events would occur. In the Middle Ages, it was thought that a special appearance would cause a disaster. That is why the general himself had ordered to capture her. It seems that medieval people were very afraid of heterogeneity that they could not understand.

 Well, how are modern people thinking of such heterogeneity? We often consider it to be malformation or injury due to medical causes. Compared to the Middle Ages, we admire that we have advanced so much that we can think things scientifically. However, it seems that we still have immaturity where we add discriminatory and insulting meanings to the words “deformation” and “disability” (“proposition to replace medical terms including“ deformation ” Progress report from the Japanese Association of Pediatrics, "Japanese Medical Association Subcommittee Terminology Committee, http://jams.med.or.jp/dic/h30material_s5.pdf). When can we overcome this immaturity? Or, as long as we use words (symbols), can we not escape from this defect forever?

 (I used Google Translate.)