DVD on medicine in sign language produced in Oita Prefecture

YANO Tadanori (left), a leader of the nonprofit organization related with medicine, shows a package of DVD with his friend.
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNews/2010_129308090918.html)


The Medicine Study Group, an incorporated nonprofit organization located in Oita Prefecture, produced DVD that explains how to take medicine and how to choose it wisely in sign language in order to help the Deaf community in the prefecture in the southern island of Japan.

YANO Tadanori (63), a leader of the group, had worked for the pharmaceutical company. The revision Pharmaceutical Affairs Act was enforced in April, 2009 after he had retired. The law allows people to buy the medicine in the convenience store. At the same time, the the concern for the medicine increased, and so he decided to make the best use of his experience and formed the group.

While acting, Yano has felt that the dissemination to the Deaf community was insufficient, and planned the production of DVD in sign language.

The group, funded by the promotion of non-prescription pharmaceutical self-medication Promoting Foundation in Tokyo, made 300 copies of DVD. The prefecture society of the Deaf cooperated in the interpreting.

DVD, which runs about 30 minutes, introduces the characteristics of the medicine, how to choose it properly, and the combination with health food. DVD is also useful in the drugstore, etc. besides being presented to the organizations of the Deaf in the country.

Yano spoke, "There are about 7,000 Deaf persons in the prefecture. I would like them to refer to DVD in the proper use of medicine".

New website on Deaf athletes in Japan launched

There are persons who are Deaf/hard of hearing enjoy any kinds of sports, not only major sports such like baseball and soccer, etc. but also combative sports and motor sports, etc.

However, there is few information on such sports that they do. In order to share the information on Deaf sports, "Deaf Athlete Japan" launched on December 3, 2010.

The website introduces the following athletes and games.
- Deaf kick boxer OTSUKA Masato
- Deaf Footsal games
- Deaf woman soccer striker HAMADA Rie
- Deaf soccer player KINEBUCHI Yoshihiko, etc.

Website (Japanese): 

Japan Deaf Theater Company to perform traditional tricks in January

A flier on the Deaf Theater Show
(photo: http://www.totto.or.jp/totto/syoshunnokai2011flyer.html)

The Japan Deaf Theater Company will celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishment in January, 2011.

The Totto Foundation, a social welfare corporate and a parent organization, will hold "The 30th Traditional Tricks in Sign Language for the Early Spring Show" in the National Noh Theater in Tokyo on January 22 (Saturday)-23 (Sunday), 2011, sponsored by the Japan Arts Fund's promotion project.

The show will start at 13:30 on the days.

All Deaf members of the company will perform three different tricks; Fumisumo, Igui, and Tsuribari. Spoken interpreting will be provided.

5,500-3,000 yen per person:
3,000-2,500 yen per person for group (five people or more)

Official site (English):

Crime rampancy that Deaf approaches each other

Deaf Lawyer TAMON Hiroshi explains the criminal act by the Deaf.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/tokyo/news.php?k_id=13000001012210001)

The cases that the Deaf person does an illegal act against other Deaf person is endless.

Lawyer TAMON Hiroshi (43), who became the first Deaf lawyer in 1998, has offered the free law consultation in JSL for the Deaf with a difficult access to justice every month for 11 years since 1999 in Tokyo.

He said that about 80 percent of about 300 cases was related with a swindle and pyramid selling by the Deaf themselves.

Moreover, other Deaf experts pointed out that because it is difficult for the Deaf in the access to the government administration and justice, it is not easy to find the damage and its recovery.

"It is necessary to increase personnel who deals with the cases by training them regarding Deaf awareness, setting up the post that teaches sign language in the organization".

First Deaf man passes C class soccer coach

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi is the first Japanese Deaf coach officially certified in C class by the Japan Football Association.
(photo: http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20101220001.shtml)

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi (31), a born-Deaf company employee, passed the examination of the "officially certified C class coach" of the Japan Football Association on December 19. He is the first Deaf coach officially certified in the country according to the Kumamoto prefecture soccer society located in the southern island of Japan.

Fukushima is a head coach of a private soccer team "FC Winared Junior" which he established four years ago, with about 20 teammates who are Deaf children, students of the Kumamoto School for the Deaf and their siblings. He has acquired the D class coach certificate necessary for the elementary school team, last November.

Fukushima decided to get himself promoted to the C class to acquire more knowledge. He took the examination on December 18-19 that included the practice test and the written examination which are not included in the previous D class coach examination.

For the practice test, he would give the players the direction which are mainly technical terms of which the knowledge the interpreter must know. So, ISHIBASHI Tadashi (17), a friend of Fukushima for ten years and a soccer club member of a hearing high school who is fluent in sign language, interpreted for him during the test. Fukushima says, "Thanks to him, I passed the test".

Fukushima had played with his hearing friends of his age in the park in the vicinity at early elementary school years. Soccer was one of his favorite sports. "I joined those boys without any difficulty. I liked to play and indeed enjoyed it with them".

However, there is no soccer club in the Kumamoto School for the Deaf, so he joined the baseball club. He said that he had envied the soccer practice at another school.

Fukushima works in the auto parts producing company in Kumamoto City, and stands in the ground as a head coach on Saturday. "I want to tell the Deaf children about the joy of playing soccer. Also I want tell them; Never give up!".

"Japanese Sign Language" introduced in Deaf education

Class taught thoroughly in Japanese Sign Language (JSL)
(photo: http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/sankei/life/snk20101220084.html)

Up to now, the oral method was a main instruction in the Deaf education. However, it was difficult for the student to comprehend what was said. The classes were unsatisfactory to them due to the shortage of the teacher who is fluent in JSL, etc.

The Nippon Foundation is supporting the course for the Deaf high school students prior to the college/university entrance examination, given by Deaf lecturers and interpreters.

Over 70 percent of 93 schools for the Deaf across the country has introduced sign language. However, many are "manually-coded Japanese". In addition, because the oral training, JSL, and the manually-coded Japanese exist together, the quality of Deaf education is failed.

The percentage of Deaf students pursuing higher education was only 16% while a percentage of hearing ones exceeded 50% in 2009.

The class on the entrance examination with JSL and support services for Deaf high school students was held in Tokyo. The lecturers were all Deaf, and taught mathematics, English, Japanese, etc. with interpreting and CART. Also the university students instructed in the knack of studying for exam.

Interpreting and support service are indispensable to understand the lecture after entering the college/university. Because the hearing college/university does not offer satisfactory support services, the Deaf student always faces the problem: he gets frustrated or isolated in the class due to the lack of effective communications.

The Office of the support project for the Deaf student in the Japan College of Social Work located in Tokyo has supported the Deaf students inside as well as outside the college.

The student at another university is also allowed to attend the lecture in JSL by the cross registration program. The 13 courses including "Sign linguistics", English, economics, etc. are taught by all the Deaf lecturers.

In the college, the special support school teacher training course has been set up since last year. The student who wants to register the course is required to master JSL, which was for the first time in the country.

Nippon Foundation officials in supporting the spread of JSL says, "We want to organize the lecture that directly is carried out in JSL and to arrange the environment that the Deaf student learns without any problem at the university in order to improve their scholastic attainments and the percentage of enrollment in higher education".

Encouraging Deaf students to understand Deaflympic Games in Oita Prefecture

Deaf player Kobori and the students at the School for the Deaf in Oita Prefecture
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNews/2010_129246185717.html)

There was a meeting on the Deaflympic Games, which the Deaf players active at the international game came to the Prefecture School for the Deaf in Oita Prefecture on December 15. Over 30 students participated in the meeting and learned how to enjoy the sports as well as the importance of hard work.

The last Deaflympics was held in Taipei in 2009, and 245 athletes participated from Japan. One of them was KOBORI Tomofumi (39), who won the bronze medal for the badminton mixed doubles and won 5th place for the team match.

He told the students about how he started playing badminton, the training method, etc. "Without the understanding from the boss and coworkers, it would be difficult for me to participate in any international game including the Deaflympics. I am working hard at the practice aiming at the next Deaflympics in Greek in 2013".

Afterwards, the students played a game with Kobori, and there was applause to his smash every time.

TAHARA Naoyuki, a member of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf sports committee as the organizer of the meeting, said, "Even in the Deaf community, people hardly know of Deaflympic Games as it is not well known in Japan. We hope many people encourage the Deaf players because they are working hard for our country".

Deaf high school student won microcomputer car contest in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture

The 16th Hokkaido region contest for the "Japan Microcomputer Car Contest 2011" was held in the Sapporo Technology High School in Sapporo City on December 11-12, sponsored by Hokkaido Technology High School Administrators Association.

At this contest, the high school students competed for the speed of the self-made microcomputer car. Students from 23 high schools across Hokkaido participated with 186 self-made cars.

The microcomputer car is self-propelled with a battery motor when is perceived the white line at the center of the 51-meter-long course with the sensor, competing over the time of one round. There were a team and individual matches.

UEDA Yuki, a student of Hokkaido High School for the Deaf located in Otaru, won the individual match. He will compete in the national contest scheduled at the Sapporo international Information High School on January 9 next year.

Deaf player joins professional independent baseball league in Niigata Prefecture

New players pose. NORO Taiki, a deaf player, is at right in the second row.
(photo: http://www.asahi.com/sports/bb/TKY201012140133.html)

Ten baseball players including high school students newly joined a baseball team, called Niigata Albirex BC, a member of the professional independent baseball league.

They had an interview in the Eco-Stadium Niigata in Niigata City on December 13, and were willing to tell what they would do for the baseball.

NORO Taiki (22), the only deaf player, joined as an outfielder. After he had graduated from the Horikoshi High School in Tokyo, He took an active part at Heisei International University, a member of the Kanto area new student baseball league. He is a swift runner, and won the best prize two times for his achievement to steal base most at the university. He is a good player all for running, offense and defense.

NORO says, "Being deaf means life is inconvenient, but I think I must work harder because I am deaf. I hope my performance will give the speculator courage".

Anti doping course to be held in Tokyo in February

The Japanese Deaf Cyclist Association plans to hold the anti doping course in Tokyo on February 11, 2011.

Lecturers will be HAYASE Kumi, a Deaf certified pharmacist, and SUZUKI Yuka, a member of national Deaf basket team. They have been certified in 2009 as a "sports pharmacist", an expert on the anti doping.

Major Deaf sports events are planned a few years ahead; the Winter Deaflympics in 2011, world championships, Athens Deaflympics in 2013.

Deaf athletes are encouraged to attend the course and get the knowledge related to the anti doping so that they will not be caught to the doping inspection, and to make the best use of for health management, etc.

Registration fee: 500 yen

Cafe bar and "sign language song class" open in Tokyo

The Cafe is on the fourth floor of the building. Standing is the manager and artist MITO Manami (left).

It was almost three months ago when the cafe & live space, called "Shimo-Kitazawa At Home", was opened in Tokyo.

The store is owned by a recording company "T-TOCRECORDS" located at Shibuya in Tokyo. The store offers "Sign language song class" weekly, too.

The class is related with Mito's own experience to encounter the sign language. Someone talked to her when she was a student, but she was unable to respond. This experience led her to learn the language.

Mito arranges a live performance that she sings or dance with the sign language.

"Sign language bar" being operated in Tokyo

Owner SATO (left) with the cast and manager KIMURA Takuya at the "Sign language bar".
(photo: http://ueno.keizai.biz/headline/731/)

Two months passed after the "Sign language bar, Kimi no Te (Your hands)" had opened in Tokyo on October 3.

This bar offers the opportunity to the customer to enjoy eating and drinking while using sign language with Deaf and hearing female cast.

Sato, a hearing man who owns the bar, said, "There is little place for people to enjoy drinking and signing. I wanted to make the place where everyone shares the happiness of communications in sign language".

Most of eight members of the cast, Deaf and hearing, were hired through the Internet. Sato explained, "The Deaf can also work at this bar just like hearing persons, because it is business pursuing the profit, not for welfare. I would like to have more customers to visit our bar".

A Deaf member of the cast says, "I am glad that the guest notices sign language as an interesting language. They see deafness as positive side, not a negative one". Other member also says, "I have had a yearning in this occupation. I am glad to fulfill the dream. I feel happy to see that the guest is enjoying regardless of sign language".

40 seats. The charge is a single-unit of 60 minutes, 5,000 yen for man and 3,000 yen for woman. Business hours 19:00-1:00. Closed on Sunday, holidays, the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

Documentary film on Deaf young lugger man aired in Kyushu

Deaf high school rugby club captain OTSUKA Takayuki at hard work
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localSports/120731038207/2010_127630985866.html)

A visual document produced by JNN Kyushu/Okinawa, titled "Our hot shout of joy for you!! High school lugger man's challenge", aired on TV in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan early December.

It focused on OTSUKA Takayuki, a deaf student who attends a hearing high school in Oita Prefecture.

He, who hardly hears anything, belongs to the rugby club, and is not allowed to use the hearing aid, so he does not hear anything like the referee's whistle, the voice of the instruction of the ally during the match.

He who doesn't use sign language heavily depends on lip reading to understand what is told.

Head coach TSUTSUMI Shouji chose Otsuka as the club captain at current year for his strong will.

Otsuka has dreamed that his team would compete at the National High School Rugby championship for the first time.

YouTube (http://bit.ly/eX0giH: Japanese caption) shows his challenge aiming at the national championship as his last game as high school lugger man.

Deaf woman wrestler to debut in Tokyo

Yakami Aoi who will debut soon as a professional wrestler.
(photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/ring/2010/12/18/0003682637.shtml)

Yakami Aoi is an active Deaf professional woman wrestler belonging to Toromon Japan, a Deaf professional wrestler group.

It was recently learned that she is debuting to the Deaf wrestling match scheduled for December 23 at Korakuen in Tokyo.

Command Bolshoi, a popular hearing wrestler of JWP (Japan Wrestling Produce), came to know about her and asked about fighting together in the ring. Yakami accepted the offer and will challenge the match for the first time as a Deaf woman wrestler this time.

She will be with Bolshoi, and fight against other hearing wrestlers.

Yakami says in writing, "It is quite like a dream going up to the mat at Korakuen".

Professional baseball player promises victory to Deaf students in Tokyo

Takahashi Yoshinobu (left) shows how to bat at the school for the Deaf.
(photo: http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/giants/news/20101206-OHT1T00023.htm)

Outfielder Takahashi Yoshinobu (35) of the Giants team based in Tokyo visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Tachikawa School for the Deaf in Tachikawa City, Tokyo on December 5, and led the baseball workshop.

He then swore to the baseball club members, "I promise that my team will win the national championship next year".

He first visited the school in 2004. He had promised that he would sign on TV if he achieved the first opening game at bat in 2005, which indeed came true.

The baseball club members at that time also achieved the promise made with Takahashi; they won at the "Kanto Regional Deaf School Baseball Tournament" in the summer of 2006.

Since 2006, Takahashi has spent an unwilling season due to the deterioration of lumbago, etc. He played 116 games for this season, a sign of revival, though he is unsatisfied.

National Deaf soccer championship held in Kagoshima Prefecture

The 9th National Deaf Soccer Championship was held for the first time in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture located in Kyushu on December 4-5. About 70 players participated, divided into 5 regional blocks based on Hokkaido, Eastern Japan, Western Japan, and Kyushu.

There were the men soccer game for the 3rd place and the final game as well as the women soccer game between the Eastern Japan and the Western Japan.

The team that won the championship would be the national team for the Deaflympic Games, so all the players competed hard.

Hearing high school in Kyoto prefecture holds annual sign language debate contest

The Deaf and hearing students have shared the school life together since 1971 at the Prefecture Yamashiro High School in Kyoto City. Over 100 Deaf students have graduated, and presently 15 Deaf students are enrolled.

In the high school, there are accommodations for these Deaf students to study with the hearing students in the classroom.

- The teacher will not talk with his back to the Deaf students.
- The teacher follows up to support the Deaf students for the experiment in the science class, etc.
- The visual material is always captioned, etc.

The sign language debate contest has been held every year since 1984. The Deaf student has a chance to present a speech about his own experience, etc. in sign language and the spoken language at the same time. Such an event has offered all the students to consider learning together at the school and to promote them to be aware of the disability issues.

The speech contest was held on November 17, and about 100 people came. Ten first- and second-year students gave a speech. Some of them worked on sign language for the first time, so the manuscript was prepared for about two months as well as they practiced repeatedly to brush up the sign language.

Interpreting to be offered at event with over 300 Deaf participants in Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture Governor Abe announced at the press conference on December 3 that his administration would place the interpreters and note takers at the event sponsored by the prefecture with 300 or more Deaf participants expected.

Up to now, the interpreters and note takers had been placed at the event in which the Deaf persons participated.

The prefecture officials said that there are about 8000 Deaf residents in the prefecture, which means one Deaf person per about 270 inhabitants, so the event with over 300 participants will be available for interpreting. This is assumed to be a part of Governor's effort to make the environment accessible to the Deaf community in the prefecture.

The gender equality forum and the youth health promotion conference, etc. held by the prefecture every year will be offered with the interpreting and note-taking services, too. Even if there are less 300 Deaf participants, it still will be provided as usual.

National Deaf organization publishes new sign language dictionary

"Our Sign Language: Dictionary for Learning", published by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf (2,730 yen).
(photo: http://book.asahi.com/life/TKY201012030294.html)

The Japanese Federation of the Deaf published a new sign language dictionary titled "Our Sign Language: A Dictionary for Learning". It was edited based on the 14 hand shapes as an index, from which one can find the Japanese meaning for a sign.

About 3500 signs frequently used in daily life were selected carefully for 3 years from the basic word collection, named "Our Sign Language" (10 volumes) series in which about 8,000 signs are collected covering every field such as daily conversation, technical term, etc.

In the new dictionary, each sign is labeled to indicate which level in the nationwide sign language certificate examination, helping the learner in the wide range from the beginner to the student who aims at the interpreter.

Professional coach works with Deaf soccer team in Sappro City, Hokkaido Prefecture

Captain Takahashi (left) and his teammates during practice aiming at the national athletic game.
(photo: http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/cont/consa-club/111287.html)

Fukagawa Tomotaka (38), a hearing coach of the Sapporo U-18 team for 8 years, has kept working with the Hokkaido Prefecture Deaf soccer team once every month since the summer of 2008.

The National Deaf Soccer competition will take place in Kagoshima Prefecture in the southern island of Japan on December 4-5. Coach Fukagawa hopes the Deaf team to win by all means.

The final practice before the competition was held at the Prefecture Sapporo School for the Deaf in Sapporo City on November 27. Fukagawa was unable to make it due to the conflict with the U-18 team which also had a workout.

Twelve Deaf players practiced hard enough to throw the sweat. Head coach Ishihara Ryo (35) said that the boys became more motivated thanks to Mr. Fukagawa.

"Could you send a professional player to teach the Deaf soccer team?" Tamura Naomi (39), an interpreter of the Prefecture Deaf Soccer Society, e-mailed to the Hokkaido Football Club located in Sapporo City in July, 2008. The club decided to send Fukagawa, a former Sapporo FW.

Fukagawa, who had never experienced in working with a Deaf group, felt uncertain at first about communications. However, with Tamura who interprets for the team, he felt relaxed. He also learned sign language, too which made him felt closer to the team players.

It is eye contact that Fukagawa coach emphasizes most. His desire for not only playing but also attitude and the spiritual aspect as the Hokkaido representative was conveyed to the teammates.

Tamura felt the players have become more concentrated on practice. Captain Takahashi Yuki (30) is grateful for Furugawa's work.

His work with the Deaf team has been made the best use of for his main job. In September, 2009, the practice match between the U-18 team and the Deaf group was held. The hearing teammates recognized again from the match how important it is to check out each other through calling.

Furugawa says, "The importance of communications was recognized again through working with the Deaf team. I have kept reminding of my work with the U-18 team more in detail". He has felt how valuable for his work with both the teams.

Deaf elementary student wins championship in rhythmic sportive gymnastics in Hiroshima Prefecture

Kakeyasu Akari with the gold medal elegantly poses for the photo.
(photo: http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201012020005.html)

Kakeyasu Akari (11), a born-Deaf fifth grader of the elementary school located in Hiroshima City won the championship of the category of Indian clubs in the Hiroshima Prefecture Junior Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Championships held in the city on November 28.

She put the microphone in front of the public address system which would sound out music to the hearing aid on her through the wireless, before playing for about one and a half minutes.

She won the first place out of 17 players from the elementary school fifth grade to the junior high-school second year. Takeyasu's powerful expression and the gracefulness, etc. were highly evaluated. She was pleased, saying that she has wanted to win the championship absolutely".

Yearning to the appearance of the person who danced with the ribbon, she started learning rhythmic sportive gymnastics when she was 5 years old, but it was hard because her body movement and the sense of rhythm hardly matched to the sound and the tune.

Takeyasu pressed her ear against the CD deck to confirm the tune many times. She even joined the rhythmic sportive gymnastics club and practiced three times a week at the sports center, accompanied by her mother Keiko (37).

Sign language interpreters confront difficult issue in moot court in Shizuoka

At the moot court held as a workshop for the certified interpreters, the woman (right) interprets for the Deaf man (left).
(photo: http://www.shizushin.com/news/feature/saiban/news1/20101127000000000013.htm)

As the lay judge system has been established, there is a possibility for a Deaf person to be elected to the lay judge. In the preparation for such a case, the Shizuoka Prefecture Society of the Certified Sign Language Interpreters began their efforts such as holding the court interpreters training.

When one Deaf lay judge is elected, usually two or more interpreters are needed. However, there are less than ten interpreters out of the 51 members have experienced in working at court.

The society held a moot court late November with the cooperation of Shizuoka University Law School, and found the difficulty in court interpreting.

Yamamoto Shiro, secretary-general of the prefecture society of the Deaf, who played a role of the defendant, says, "A lot of words that I do not understand the meaning were interpreted, so I am worried if the Deaf person may likely suffer from the disadvantage".

Furuguchi Akira, a lawyer and law school professor of Shizuoka University, pointed out that every word could affect the court decision. "The court interpreter needs to ask the presiding judge to confirm the meaning of a word when unable to understand at court, or to make clear the point for interpretation in the prior consultation".

Hatakama Mieko, president of the society of the certified interpreters, who has experienced court interpreting, said, "Hereafter, we, as an expert on deafness, will send information to make the court situation better administered".

The Health Minister recognizes the successful applicant of the sign language interpreter skill qualifying examination as certified. Among 200 interpreters recognized by the prefecture society of the Deaf, 51 interpreters are nationally certified. They work at court and TV political campaigns in addition to medical institutions and public offices in daily life.

Successful performance by Deaf theater group at Sapporo in Hokkaido Prefecture

Theatrical group members as a parent and her child act vividly in sign language.
(photo: http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/horidashi/news/20101128mog00m040018000c.html)

The play, titled "Feeling Something Important" by a Deaf theater group named "Mimu" (Dancing Dream) was over at a Sapporo theater. The performance was the first since six years ago.

After the final performance, Saito Kyoko (68), the representative of the group, stood on the stage for the final greeting. She had a lump in her throat, moved emotionally when she saw the "hand applause". This reminded her of a hard practice for five months which was well paid off.

The "Mimu" theater group was formed in 1981 as one of the club activities of the Sapporo Association of the Deaf in Hokkaido Prefecture in the northern island of Japan. The main play items had been a hit play and pantomimes, which were changed later to the creative play since about ten years ago. The group has participated in the theater festivals in the prefecture, etc.

Twenty six members and staff have continued practice for the recent performance since June.

The theme of the play was the importance of telling the desire each other; the family first disjointed deepens their relation after a stranger started living with them. The play indicated also that the importance of getting acquainted of both hearing people and the Deaf person.

Because the Deaf actors perform by not the word but the expression and movement, their emotions are richer than usual plays.

Araki Motoharu (65), a sign language instructor, said, "In the scenario, there is a word unfamiliar with the Deaf either, and it is difficult to translate into the sign language. Several signs are chosen as the candidate to be decided through the discussions with the actors".

The new performance is scheduled next year in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of its establishment.

Barrier-free movie festival takes place in Saga Prefecture

Kimura Yuichi (center) and Prefecture Governor Furukawa Yasushi share the session as a part of the film festival in Saga Prefecture.
(photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/gossip/article/2010/11/27/0003637349.shtml)

An event called the "Barrier-free Film Festival 2010" was held on November 26-28 in Saga City, Saga Prefecture, a part of Kyushu Island of Japan. This festival that focuses on the films with caption and audio for the Deaf and persons who are visually impaired is the first kind in the world.

Comedian Kimura Yuichi (47) was invited as a guest at the event on November 26. He had first directed the movie titled "Forged Notes", which was screened last year. He spent about two weeks on its barrier-free edition, that is, caption and audio, which was then first screened in the public.

When Kimura and Governor Furukawa Yasushi (52) talked at the session in the hall, Kimura explained details, saying, "Because I had would like all people, the young and the elder, men and women, to enjoy my work, and so agreed to edit for barrier free".

He talked about a barrier-free film, "It is necessary to know about it earlier. Even people without disabilities easily understand watching the barrier free film. It should become standard in the future".

"I think that it is good if the Deaf and persons who are visually impaired are part of the production staff from the beginning so that the barrier should be removed".

The Deaf die of accident at railroad crossing in western Japan

The alarm and crossing gates are set up in the railroad crossing where the fatal accident occurred last April.
(photo: http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/Disaster/An201011200152.html)

A Deaf elder man (89) was hit to death by the train when he was walking across the railroad crossing in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture in March, 2003.

The JR (Japanese Railroad) West had installed the railroad sign and the light that warned for the temporary stop after the accident.

Yet the tragedy was repeated. A Deaf woman (36) who took a ride on a bicycle was hit by the train and died in Okayama Prefecture in April, 2009.

The Prefecture Federation of the Persons with Disabilities submitted the request to the JR West branch office that covers Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures, in June, 2009 for the immediate installation of the crossing gates and the alarm to all the railroad crossings.

The Okayama branch office will install the alarm and the crossing gates in the railroad crossing in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture where the accident has often happened, in December.

Local festival to promote deaf awareness held in Iwate Prefecture

Equipment exhibition that fire alarm devices and video telephone, etc. are introduced.
(photo: http://www.iwanichi.co.jp/ken/item_21437.html)

The Iwate Prefecture Information Service Center for the Deaf held a festival in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, a northern part of Japan, on November 23- 28.

The festival which has been arranged every two years since 2006 aims at the deaf awareness promotion through cultural activities with the local community, etc. It was the 3rd this year.

The balloon art demonstration show, note-taking experience corner, screening of the prefecture TV with caption produced by a volunteer group, the equipment exhibition, booths to show the activities of the prefecture association of the Deaf and advocacy groups.

Hard of hearing student aged 72 eager to study at hearing school in Tokushima Prefecture

Tagami Sadao attends the class with the hearing students at the Naruto High School.
(photo: http://www.topics.or.jp/localNews/news/2010/11/2010_12903185873.html)

Tagami Sadao (72) is the ever eldest student at Naruto High School, which offers the four-year evening program, in Tokushima Prefecture. He has never missed any class for two years since he was enrolled.

Tagami, a native of Osaka City, moved with his elder sister away from their parents for evacuation during the war. Then he lost hearing due to chronic inflammation of the middle ear.

He got back with his family to live in Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture after the war, and had been bullied by his classmates in elementary and junior high schools.

When Tagami took the examination of a hearing high school and passed it, his father told him, "Why do you go to school even if you are deaf? Instead you should find a job". So Tagami gave up going to school.

He found employment in the barbershop in Kobe City, but was fired due to deafness, returning home and starting to help the family business to sale the tea, which later became his profession.

The class hour of the high school is 18:00-21:00 from Monday thorough Friday. So Tagami goes to school at once after closing the green tea shop that he manages with his wife Kazumi (67).

He is also taking a correspondence course offered by other high school and attends the class every Sunday at the school. He will graduate from Naruto High School next year, earlier than his hearing classmates by one year.

Tagami always sits in front of the platform in the classroom because he is using the hearing aid, and copies all what is written on the blackboard to his notebook. He spoke, "The class shows me a clue to solve any doubt every time I attend. Study is unbearably interesting!".

Mistakes found in entrance exam for Deaf students at Tsukuba University of Technology in Ibaraki Prefecture

Tsukuba University of Technology, located in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, announced on November 22 that two mistakes in setting questions in the recommendation entrance exam were found.

The exam was administrated on November 20 for the industrial Information department of the industrial technological faculty that accepts only Deaf students.

Thirty-nine applicants from across the country took the recommendation entrance exams against 17 students for admission.

The two question mistakes had misprinting, etc, which were found while the examination grading committee was checking the examination sheets. As a result, the answers to the mistaken questions will be assumed as correct ones for all the examinees. The announcements of the exam results is scheduled for November 29.

Deaf and hearing children enjoy soccer coached by former player with interpreting in Nara Prefecture

Sanponsuge Takashi (left), a former professional soccer player, coaches the children while an interpreter (center) watches them.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/nara/OSK201011210162.html)

The first workshop where Deaf and hearing young school children learned together how to play soccer took place in the ground of the High School for the Children with Disabilities in Nara Prefecture on November 21.

The coach and four players, including Sanponsuge Takashi (32), a former professional soccer player, from the Specified Nonprofit Activities Organization "Nara Club" located in Nara City taught the workshop with interpreting.

Eleven members from the Nara Deaf Kids Soccer Club located in Yamato-Koriyama City and 12 hearing children who were recruited participated in the workshop.

Uchino Yusuke (9), a fourth grader from Nara Prefecture School for the Deaf, spoke happily, "I understood what the coach told us. I enjoyed practice".

Sanponsuge said, "The kids really worked hard, and good at practice. We hope we can offer them more chances to play soccer together in the future".