"The Shinsei na gimu Issue from the Perspective of Hemophiliacs"
last update: 20151224
The Shinsei na gimu Issue from the Perspective of Hemophiliacs
The purpose of this article is to describe the "Shinsei na Gimu" issue and the reactions of hemophiliacs and
their families to this important episode in the history of hemophiliacs in postwar Japan.
"Shinsei na Gimu" written by Shoichi Watanabe in 1980, is a controversial essay which advocates prenatal
diagnosis for disabilities. In the essay, Watanabe attacks, by name, Kyojin Onishi, a hemophiliac's father.
Onishi objected severely to the essay. In addition, Aoishiba, a group of people with cerebral paralysis, held a
long protest, because the essay advocated denying the existence of people with disabilities or diseases.
However, Watanabe's essay was not easily argued against by organizations for hemophiliacs and their
families, because it appeared in the magazine "ZENYU", of the "Japan Hemophilia Fraternal Association"
(ZENYU), as a description of prenatal diagnosis of hemophilia, and many hemophiliacs and their families
supported it, as they endorsed the use of the amniocentesis test and the hemophilia carrier diagnosis.
Therefore, hemophiliac's opinions on the "Shinsei na Gimu" issue were divided, so a systematic protest
movement did not develop. In fact, many hemophiliacs and their families tended to support the concept of
voluntary eugenics because of their experience with the suffering peculiar to hemophilia.
Keywords: Hemophilia, "Shinsei na Gimu", Prenatal Diagnosis, Voluntary Eugenics