Congenital Minamata disease patient Shinobu Sakamoto, 61, and her mother Fujie sit in a car as they head for a hospital in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, September 14, 2017. Hundreds of people have died from what has come to be called Minamata disease. Most commonly it results from consumption of methylmercury contaminated seafood and in severe cases is classically mani-fested by concentric constriction of the visual fields, ataxia and sensory dis-turbance in the distal extremities. In the 1950s, a Japanese cat known as “717” helped solve the mystery of a mass poisoning in Minamata, Japan. Methyl mercury discharged from the factory contaminated fish and shellfish, which in turn Because of its location, townspeople eat a lot of fish. Minamata is a small fishing town on the coast of the Shiranui Sea. Abstract Minamata disease is the name given to a neurological syndrome caused by or-ganic mercury intoxication. The fish-based diets of the people and cats of Minamata seemed to be the common thread between those showing symptoms, leading scientists to suspect the fish in Minamata Bay … A fishing port, Minamata was also the home of Nippon Chisso Hiryo Co., a manufacturer of chemical fertilizer, carbide, and vinyl chloride. Minamata disease is the same as methylmercury poisoning, and is characterized by neurological disorders such as ataxia, constriction of visual fields, and speech disturbance (the trias of … In a news conference today in Kumamoto, on Japan's southwestern island of … Minamata disease, Disease first identified in 1956 in Minamata, Japan. A book published to mark the 50th anniversary of Minamata disease's official recognition offers compelling accounts of the initial outbreak, the long years ... Kyodo News.