|Helen Keller (second from right)|
HANAWA Hokiichi (1746-1821) was a Japanese classical scholar of the Edo period.
When he was 5 years old, he suffered from trouble with his eyes due to a gastroenteric disorder. His eyesight weakened gradually. He became blind at 7 years old.
Helen Keller was educated by her parents saying that she should "follow Hanawa as her role model" since the childhood.
When she visited Japan for the first time in April, 1937, she visited by touching the sedentary statue of Hanawa in the memorial hall in Shibuya, Tokyo (photo).