When Professor Lamb was talking about Frank Moore in class on Wednesday, I was thinking about one Japanese writer, Hirotada Ototake, who was born without arms and legs. He is not an artist, but he has been contributing to visibility of disable people in Japanese society as a writer and TV personality. In Japan, the disabled used to be considered a shame to families until a few decades ago. I also heard that babies who were born with obvious disabilities were killed by midwives.
Mr. Ototake became famous after publishing his first book and became the first disabled reporter on Japanese TV. He launched himself into the media spotlight and showed people that he can do anything even without arms and legs. He carried the message to society that “having disabilities is inconvenient but not unfortunate”. His appearance in media definitely drew people’s attention to those with disabilities and encouraged them to overcome their disabilities.
Recently, more and more drag queens and transgender/transsexual identified persons are appearing on TV in Japan. The media uses those transgender/transsexual or disabled people like Ototake for the sake of entertaining audiences. This may be because they are different and new to see on television and other types of media. However, I think it is clever to take opportunities to share their experiences and acknowledge their differences.
Apparently Mr. Ototake’s first book has also been published in English. It is called “No One’s Perfect”. If you have a chance, take a look!