Torajiro Imada

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Torajirō Imada
Born 1859
Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Died 1940
Nationality Japan
Occupation Marshal of police, Director of a leper hospital
Known for Between 1909 and 1926, the first director of a public leper hospital, Sotojima Hoyoen, in Osaka, Japan, and successful management

Torajirō Imada(今田虎次郎, 1859–1940) was a Japanese police chief who became the first director of leprosy sanatorium, Sotojima Hoyoen, Osaka, Japan from 1909 to 1926. He admitted the autonomy right of the patients' association. The Sotojima sanatorium was destroyed in Muroto Typhoon in 1934 and it was reconstructed as Oku-Komyo-En Sanatorium, Okayama Prefecture.

Personal history[edit]

He was born in Okayama Prefecture in 1859. After becoming the chief of several police stations in Osaka, he became the marshal of the most important Sonezaki Polic Station of Osaka. In 1909, he was appointed the director of the Sotojima Hoyōen Sanatorium, situated in Osaka Prefecture. He retired in April 1926 and lived in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. After 8 months, Masataka Murata became the second director of the sanatorium. He died around July 1940 in Sakai.

Sotojima Hoyōen Sanatorium (1909-1934)[edit]

At the start of the sanatorium, it was a lawless area with wandering vagabonds. However, order and safety were gradually established by his efforts. He used a free hand considerably admitted the director of the sanatorium. With the exception of Kyushu Sanatorium, Kumamoto, directors of leprosy sanatoriums came from police, since wandering leprosy patients included criminals. However, physicians took the parts of directors later in other santoriums. Imada exceptionally stayed long as the director of the sanatorium for 17 years. He appeared a well-built important person.

The first chief doctor of the hospital was Takekichi Sugai, who studied leprosy intensively, wrote many papers and guided other doctors. There were about 300 leprosy patients which was the capacity of the sanatorium in one and a half year. The problems of food, drinking water and clothing, first appeared very difficult, became later stabilized. A patient recreation organization was formed at his proposal. Those who could work were given money, and farms and gardens were made. A church was established. He was an able administrator and was loved by patients. In 1919, when the patient organization wanted to withdraw their autonomy right, Imada strongly inspired the spirit of autonomy.


  • The records of Sotojima Hoyoen, Sakurai H. (1)-(44), Kaede.1968-1971
    • A photograph of Torajiro Imada was in (3)(4).
  • History of leprosy in Japan. Shun-ichi Yamamoto, 1993. ISBN 4-13-066401-8 C3047