×
188
Fashion Jobs
THE BANYAN HR CONSULTS
Merchandising Manager For a Seamless Garments Textile co at Coimbatore
Permanent · Coimbatore
OPERA CLOTHING PRIVATE LIMITED
Production Manager For Garment Manufacturing Factory
Permanent · Vapi
GOKALDAS EXPORTS LTD
sr. Manager - Technical - Garments Industry Background
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Lead Technical Product Manager, ed&a – Apla
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Senior Security Incident Responder – Cis
Permanent · Bengaluru
FAABIIANA
Executive For Online Product & Order Management
Permanent · NEW DELHI
FAABIIANA
Customer Sales Executive (Female)
Permanent · NEW DELHI
PEOPLE ALLIANCE WORKFORCE PRIVATE LIMITED
Category Manager/sr. Manager-Institutional Sales - Garments Industry
Permanent · Bhiwandi
NIKE
Senior Technical Product Manager, Inventory & Order – Apla
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Senior Technical Product Manager, Finance – Apla
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Senior Technical Product Manager, Core Erp – Apla
Permanent · Bengaluru
OMREELS BIOSCOPE PVT LTD
Senior Executive Ecommerce
Permanent · MUMBAI
NIKE
Senior Technical Program Manager, Marketing Tech – Dtpo
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Service Delivery Manager, Operations Center – Tech Ops
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Director, Security Solutions & Delivery – Cis
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
HR Manager - Nike India Technology Centre
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Financial Controller - India
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Software Engineering Manager, Finance & Procurement Technology – cf&c
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Service Delivery Manager, Sap & Omdl (Order Management & Delivery) – Tech Ops
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Service Delivery Manager, Batch & bi – Tech Ops
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Service Delivery Manager, HR/Finance & Payroll – Tech Ops
Permanent · Bengaluru
NIKE
Senior Cyber Security Analyst – Cis
Permanent · Bengaluru
By
AFP
Published
Oct 20, 2016
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Ex-leper takes to Tokyo runway to fight stigma

By
AFP
Published
Oct 20, 2016

At 83 Miyo Maki had never manicured her nails, thickened and deformed due to leprosy, a disease she was diagnosed with when she was just 10 years old.

But on Wednesday, as she marked her birthday, the former leprosy patient proudly displayed her shiny artificial nails, applied by a manicurist, ahead of a catwalk appearance at the ongoing Tokyo Fashion Week.


Ex-leper Miyo Maki (left) walks for Tenbo SS17 collection - Tokyo Fashion Week


Later that day, she walked down the runway, wearing a white lace dress and basking in the limelight long denied to her and other leprosy patients because of an overwhelming stigma against the disease.

"Ah, it was amazing," she said after the show, clutching a bouquet of flowers against her chest.

"I turned 83 today. This is the best birthday I've ever had.

"I think this show represents a step forward in the history of leprosy," she said.

Like thousands of other former patients relegated to leper colonies in Japan, Maki lived a cloistered life, battling stigma despite being cured.

Leprosy has long been a curable disease after a medicine called Promin was introduced as a successful treatment in the 1940s.

Although leprosy has been almost eradicated globally, the disease still affects 200,000 people a year.

Former lepers continue to face discrimination due to the mistaken belief that the disease remains contagious even after patients are cured.

The visible aftereffects of the disease, which can leave the face and limbs deformed, have also made it difficult to eradicate the prejudice.

At Tokyo Fashion Week, Maki appeared in a show by designer Takafumi Tsuruta under the banner of his "tenbo" brand, that sought to portray the indignities suffered by lepers.

Men dressed as officers -- one wearing a jacket printed with the words, "No Leprosy" -- swooped in to take away a model who was playing the role of a leper.

Tsuruta's runway presentations regularly feature a diverse line-up, and Wednesday's show was no exception, using models who were blind, in a wheelchair, or transgender, in addition to former patient Maki.

"Fashion is a tool to send messages in a harmless, approachable way," Tsuruta said after the show.

"Leprosy has been a universal issue, feared in the world for thousands of years.

"Even though it is now a curable disease, people still suffer from stigma and discrimination," he added.

- Forced seclusion -

In Japan, patients were pushed into seclusion and many were forced into abortions or infanticide because of policies that forbade them from having children.

A 2005 official probe found formalin-treated samples of 114 fetuses or babies at six state-run sanatoriums.

Japan only ended its policy of forced seclusions in 1996, 89 years after it was put into place. The national parliament issued an apology and offered compensation to patients in 2001.

The "tenbo" show featured a tribute to the babies who were terminated at the hands of sanatorium officials.

At one point during the presentation, Maki and other models sang a Japanese folk song about remembering home.

The experience brought back painful memories of Maki's early years at the Zenshoen sanatorium in western Tokyo, where she still lives.

She said she would venture out and climb up a hill to look over in the direction of home, where she was not allowed to return.

"On this runway... she is not just modelling but also fighting the stigma by taking each step," Tsuruta said.By Harumi OZAWA

Copyright © 2022 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.