My Personal History
Network for Life and Heart Ehon no KAI AYA -Picturebook
I was born with Down's syndrome in Kagoshima city, Japan in 1973.
1993 graduated from Makizono Prefectural Senior High School in Kagoshima.
1998 March, graduated from Department of English Literature Kagoshima
(Now Shigakukan University).
May, took part in the"3rd Asia Pacific Down's syndrome Conference"
in Auckland, New
Zealand, and made a speech in English as a panelist.
1999 received librarian's licence.
Ｉ 'm giving speeches to enhance understanding for Down's Syndrome throughout
Japan various organizations and universities. For example, learned society,
a nursing vocational school, etc.
And now, I'm studying French and English conversation as an auditor
at Shigakukan University.
A member of Japan Down's Syndrome Association(JDS)
My Personal History Book
Aya lwamoto from Japan 1998.5.9
Hello Everybody! My name is Aya lwamoto, I'm from Japan.
I am happy to meet everyone.
I graduated from Kagoshima Women's University in the Department of
on 20 March this year. The commencement was the best day of my life that I never forget. I was
But I was perplexed because there were a lot of newspaper reporters
After the representative of Department got a degree, the President
of Kagoshima Women's University, Mr. Sunagawa congratulated on the graduates.
He touched on me in this speech, "It is
a very wonderful that there is Miss. Aya lwamoto in the graduated students. Her intense figure
made a deep impression and courage on the school-mates.
That must give a hope and encourage people who have same handicap.
Her effort is wonderful. It is our pride to assist her studies."
I was deeply moved by his word and tears came to my eyes. My parents
shed in tears,
I'm going to a Women's University to obtain a librarian's license
now. It's my dream
to become a librarian in a quiet library. I am studying French, too. I
want to go and see pictures
at Le Musee Louvre and Le Musee d'Orsay in France.
My hobbies are listening to music and looking up words in the dictionary.
Today, I am going to talk about my personal history book.
My parents have published “Hashirikitareyo-Akoyo” it means:“Come
to Mama, Dear.”
subtitled“A child with Down syndrome weaves her dreams and goes to University”on
1998. My mother and father wrote the book about the period from my birth
to my entering Kagoshima Women's University,and I wrote my impressions
of the book at the end.
I have been sick since I was born, and my parents had a lot of trouble.
I grew up without knowing much about my illness. When I was in my
second year at University, I learned for the first time that I have a handicap.
While I was watching a program
about Down's syndrome on Japan's NHK television, I asked my father about
it, and he told me I
have Down's syndrome. I was feeling about it faintly, but it was very shock
for me. My mind went blank.
Then I saw my mother writing about my illness on a word processor.
It really surprised
me, and I didn't want to believe it. I was very sad.
I learned that my parents were going to publish my personal history
book and make
public my illness and tell about my family in the book. I worried, and I don't want them to reveal
my illness. I cried in sorrow.
My father and mother said“You have done wonderfully. Don't be afraid. Take pride in yourself.”
I talked about my worries to Dr. Tanaka, who works at the Child General Consultation
Center in Kagoshima City. He said, “It is very important that you tell
about your handicap.” At
first, I thought I can't tell everybody the truth, but I was encouraged
by his words, so I made up
my mind to tell the truth.
Besides, my relatives and my parent's friends cheered me up.
I'm not afraid anymore, and there's no need to hide the truth. I want many people to
read this book that my parents have published. I'd like them to understand the feelings of the handicapped.
The book has finally been published. The book has a rose cover, and it was very
beautiful. I like it very much. Soon after our book was published, articles
about our family and
the book appeared in the Asahi newspaper, the Yomiuri, the Mainichi, the
Minaminihon, the Nishinihon and other newspapers.
We got a lot of letters and telephone calls from all parts of Japan.
They said, “I was
deeply moved by your book.”, “You gave me courage.”, “I cried reading this
book.”, “I found
hope for the future.” and so forth.
We were encouraged by their messages. I think that it was a very
good thing that my
parents published this book.
I also hope to work with handicapped children. I have a lot of dreams.
People have a shallow view and a prejudice against the Down syndrome
in Japan now. I
am sad it.
Life is short, but precious. That's why I won't give up my hopes
I am grateful to many people helped me, and I want to say my parents
“Thank you for
giving birth to me.”
This composition is my speech of 3rd Asia Pacific Down's Syndrome Conference.