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Tokyo Helen Keller Association, INC.

in Japanese
Blue bird

Hold Your Torch A Little Higher To Light Up The Way Of The Blind

History of THKA

Miss Helen Keller who is well-known as the triple-handicapped saint made a second visit to Japan in 1948. The Mainichi Newspapers carried out a so-called "Helen Keller Campaign" on a large scale in concert with her tour. She was greeted with immense enthusiasm even though the Japanese people were depressed at that time by their defeat in World War. She made a speaking tour all over Japan to appeal for new laws concerning the welfare of physically disabled persons.

The East Japan Helen Keller Foundation (a foundation juridical person) was established in April 1950 based on the funds collected in the campaign. In May of that year the foundation had the honor of being visited by the then Emperor and Empress.

Miss Keller played a large part in helping to bring about the establishment of the "Law for the Welfare of Physically Disabled Persons" which took effect on Dec. 26, 1949. Following this, "The Social Welfare Services Law" was established in March 1952, while the name of the East Japan Helen Keller Foundation was changed to the Tokyo Helen Keller Association, as a social welfare juridical person, in May 1952.

On May 28, 1955, Miss Helen Keller took up an appointment as the honorable presidency when she visited the Tokyo Helen Keller Association. In her inaugural speech, she encouraged the staff of our association with the words "I hope that you become a big help for the blind in Asia".

On September 8, 1955, the association was commended by the Labor Minister because of the associations services for the blind, and also received a certificate of commendation from the Governor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on account of the same reason on April 22, 1960.

On December 11, 1979, the Tokyo Helen Keller Association received once again a certificate of commendation from the Minister of Health and Welfare for the services of activities of braille printing, such as the "Tenji Journal". The commendation was made in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Law for the Welfare of Physically Disabled Persons.

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