Genri Kondo and Misako Kondo
2000winners contribution to society
Have opened their home to people with disabilities and spent time with them there on an ongoing basis for 38 years
Genri Kondo and Misako Kondo

Genri Kondo Born: 1931; from: Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Misako Kondo Born: 1929; from: Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Award summary

In 1962, Mr. and Mrs. Kondo opened their home to people with mental and other disabilities, establishing the Nazuna Garden as a communal living project. At any one time, 10 or so handicapped people would be in residence, helping on the farm and experiencing a normal family life. The Kondos carried on this work for 38 years, only closing the garden in August 2000 after the all the residents had found new homes. They now hope to build a house to care for the elderly on the same site.

Reasons for this award

The citation was by way of expressing appreciation to the Kondos who made their home available for 38 years to people in the area who wanted to experience a normal family life. In particular, they are to be commended for funding the project by themselves, without recourse to government support in any way.

Comments from the winner

We put into practice our belief that welfare should be about promoting self-reliance and helping disabled people to lead normal lives among the able-bodied, rather than isolating them in special facilities. From now on we would like to continue our activities in the form of a Nazuna Garden Disabled Persons' Educational Welfare Residential Study Center. Meanwhile, we are considering how to make use of the former Nazuna Garden site, and, although it may take time, we are keen to start a care facility for the elderly.