Things to Convey to Children

The Minamata-Ashikita Pollution Research Circle and the Open Research Center for Minamata Studies have co-hosted “the Seminar to Convey Minamata Disease” for teachers and school staff in the Minamata and Ashikita regions every year since 2010. This seminar addresses questions such as what to teach and to what extent, how to teach children from different backgrounds, which materials to use to convey Minamata disease properly: not only the acute type of the disease but other types affecting the patients at present as well as how to introduce the patient’s feelings and thoughts. Visiting the sites and listening to the patients’ stories offered by the seminar, participants are encouraged to discuss these issues and find ways to apply them to the future.
Minamata disease, the origin of public disruption, had 2 phases: acts of misconduct and damages. As school personnel at Minamata and Ashikita regions, they are required to have more impartial view on Minamata disease. Through the seminar, they learn that they must go beyond teaching fragmentary knowledge but also must convey what they learned from the sites and the patients to their students.