"The Sabita Honoo Problem and its Contemporary Significance"
last update: 20151223
The Sabita Honoo Problem and its Contemporary Significance
A mystery novel dealing with hemophilia, Sabita Honoo (Rusty Flame) aroused a strong protest
movement in 1977. The purposes of this article are firstly to examine the main points in the Sabita
Honoo debate, secondly to describe the social situation of hemophiliacs in 1970's Japan, and finally
to discuss how historically significant the protest movement by hemophiliacs was.
The protest informed the mass medias that the novel had medically misdescribed hemophilia. Its
biggest achievement was to obstruct the movie's telecast in 1981. But, the protest did not develop
widely or continuously beyond the hemophiliacs' proposal.
It is of historical significance that the protest movement was generated by hemophiliacs. Public
health coverage of medical treatment and home infusion was achieved in 1970's. Young hemophiliacs
aimed at the time to achieve affirmative social participation; therefore, it was necessary to make it
clear that hemophilia was not a fearful disease. The contemporary significance of this protest
movement is that it was a pioneering exercise by hemophiliacs themselves.
Keywords: Hemophilia, Protest movement, 1970's, Mass media