As Japan's first school for people with disabilities celebrated its 50th anniversary last week, its founder — 91-year-old actress Mariko Miyagi — has been hailed for her "revolutionary" work battling prejudice and working to create an inclusive society.

When Miyagi launched Nemunoki Gakuen in 1968, prejudice against people with disabilities was common and strong in Japan. The government even conducted forced sterilization on thousands of disabled people.

The actress also faced stinging personal criticism, with some people blasting her campaign as a mere publicity stunt.