Tama Zenshoen Sanatorium

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National Sanatorium Tama Zenshōen
Location 4-1-1, Aobacho, Higashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan
Coordinates 35°45′55″N 139°29′37.6″E / 35.76528°N 139.493778°E / 35.76528; 139.493778
Care system HealthCare of those who had leprosy
Hospital type National hospital run by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan)
Founded 1909
Website http://www.nhds.go.jp/~zenshoen/
Lists Hospitals in Japan

Tama Zenshōen Sanatorium, or National Sanatorium Tama Zenshōen, is a sanatorium for leprosy or ex-leprosy patients situated in Higashimurayama-shi, Tokyo-to, Japan starting in 1909.



  • The Japanese Government promulgated the first leprosy prevention law on March 19, 1907, but it became effective on April 1, 1909 because of financial difficulties. Japan was divided into 5 areas, and the first area included Tokyo-fu, Kanagawa Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Ibaragi Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture. In this area, Tokyo was selected as the site of the sanatorium.
  • Two main reasons for the leprosy prevention law were, 1)foreigners who came into Japan after the Meiji Restoration(1868), were very much surprised to find wandering leprosy patients in Japan, and claimed that something should be done 2) the Japanese Government was worried about the considerable number of leprosy patients among those who were examined for the drafts at age 20.

Tama Zensho Hospital and Sanatorium[edit]

  • On September 28, 1909, Prefectural Tama Zensho Byoin(Hospital) was established.
  • On July 1, 1941, National Sanatorium Tama Zenshoen.
  • Jun 1919: Kensuke Mitsuda reported what became known as "Mitsuda reaction" later.
  • Sep 1919: Special money circulating only in the sanatorium (Enken) started.
  • Mar 1931: 81 patients went to National Sanatorium Nagashima Aiseien following Kensuke Mitsuda in order to make it an ideal sanatorium.
  • Feb 1936: Tamio Hojo's "The first night of life"[1] was published in Bungakukai, and became a milestone of leprosy literature by the recommendation of Yasunari Kawabata who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968.
  • Apr 1996: The 1953 Leprosy Prevention Law was abolished.
  • Jul 1998: The trial for compensation started.
  • May 11, 2001: The trial for compensation ruled that the previous Leprosy Prevention was unconstitutional.
  • May 25, 2001: The trial for compensation was confirmed. The compensation of 8,000,000 yen to 14,000,000 yen was given to patients depending on the duration of unconstitutional periods.


  • Apr 1909: Acting director: Tokutaro Ohno
  • Sep 1909: Chief doctor: Kensuke Mitsuda
  • Mar 1910: First director : Saijiro Ikeuchi
  • Feb 1914: Second director: Kensuke Mitsuda
  • May 1931: Third director: Yoshinobu Hayashi
  • Jul 1963: Fourth director: Ryoichi Yajima
  • Apr 1976: Fifth director: Masao Arai
  • Apr 1977: Sixth director: Kishio Ohnishi

Number of Patients at fiscal year end[edit]

The number of in-patients is the sum of patients which changed not only by the newly diagnosed hospitalized and those who died among in-patients, by other factors such as the number of patients who escaped or were discharged, depending on the condition of the times. Recently they were encouraged to be discharged, but the long period of the segregation policy causing leprosy stigma might influence the number of those who went into the society.[2]

Number of In-patients
Males Females Total
1909 165 63 228
1920 338 133 471
1930 762 291 1053
1940 805 403 1208
1950 733 411 1144
1960 771 407 1178
1970 660 375 1035
1978 640 360 1000
Number of In-patients
Number of
2003 447
2004 417
2005 371
2006 358
2007 334
2008 319


Leprosy Research Center[edit]

  • National Institute of Infectious Diseases:Leprosy Research Center is also situated in the neighboring place.


  1. ^ Hōjō Tamio translated and with an introduction by Kathryn M. Tanaka, “Life’s First Night” and the Treatment of Hansen's Disease in Japan, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 4, No. 1, January 19, 2015.
  2. ^ Kue Issho(1979) Zenshoen Kanja Jichikai p.276, Ikkou-Sha, Tokyo, in Japanese
  3. ^ Fukken Eno Jitsugetsu (2001), Zenkoku Hansenbyouryouyousho Nyushosha Kyougikai, Koyo Shuppan, Tokyo
  4. ^ http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~libell/4ryouyousyo.html2009.12.23


  • Kue Issho(1979), Tama Zenshoen Kanja Jichikai, Ikkousha, Tokyo
  • Leprosy in Japan