Picture-book about a Deaf village mayor presented in Niigata Prefecture

Kodaira-san presents the book (left). 
He tells about Yokoo-san, the first Deaf villiage mayor (right).

July 13, 2012

In 1951, Yokoo Yoshitomo-san of Koguro Village (currently Koguro Town, Yasuzuka Ward) in Niigata Prefecture located in Northeastern Japan became the village mayor.

He was the only one Deaf village mayor in Japan at that time.

He worked hard since he was a boy, returned to the hometown after studying in Tokyo, became a village mayor with the villagers' reliance, and rendered for the village and its people.

Furthermore, he contributed to establish a school for the Deaf.

The life of Yokoo-san was made into the picture-book titled "Sonomama de ii" (Be easy to come out as it is).

The persons concerned with the production of the picture-book visited the Joetsu Municipal Yasuzuka Elementary School and presented the children the book.

Kodaira-san, a Deaf man from Nagano Prefecture, told about Yokoo-san in sign language, and taught the children about sign language.

The children were looking earnestly at the talk in sign language for the first time.

Japanese articles:

Teacher driving motorcycle drunken collides with a police car

July 24, 2012

Okinawa Prefecture Police Naha Station arrested Kakazu Katsuya (39), who teaches at the Prefecture Okinawa School for the Deaf, on suspicion of traffic law violation for intoxicated driving on July 24.

According to the police, Kakazu drove the motorcycle in the drunken state in the prefecture road around 0:45 a.m. on July 24.

The motorcycle was speed per hour 10~20 km, was protruded into the opposite lane and collided with the police car. Both sides did not have the injury.

Kakazu admitted saying, "I drank beer and drove. I was dozing at the time of an accident."

Japanese original article:

District Court refuses to pay the public expenditure of sign-language interpreting for Deaf woman

July 24, 2012

A Deaf woman (41), an office worker in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, filed the lawsuit in quest of cancellation of the disposal against the city, which declined her suburban dispatch application of sign-language interpreting, as their act being against the constitution, etc.

Female defense counsel had submitted the written letter to the Takamatsu District Court to provide the woman with the sign language interpreter with a public expenditure, etc. on July 23.

Defense counsel announced today that the Court replied they would refuse the demand. 

Japanese original article:

Related link:
Deaf woman rejected for sign language interpreting to file a suit against city office

Efforts to train more sign-language interpreters in Tokushima Prefecture

University students practice how to communicate in JSL with the Deaf instructor (second from left).
(photo: http://www.topics.or.jp/)

July 20, 2012

Sign-language interpreters ran short in Tokushima Prefecture located in western Japan, leading to lack of support to the Deaf community.

The Prefecture Welfare Association of the Deaf is continuing efforts to increase sign-language interpreters through steady instruction to the college students interested in welfare.

The prefecture has 15 certified interpreters, placed the 7th with fewer sign language interpreters in the whole country. There are reportedly about 100 requests for interpreting services per month.

In the National Deaf Athletic Meet held in Tokushima in 2010, since a part of the program schedule was a weekday, the number of interpreters did not meet the requirement, so the organization committee had to ask for help of a total of 16 interpreters from other three prefectures except Tokushima in the Shikoku region.

The Deaf Association is promoting sign language positively at a university, a high school, etc. in the prefecture. More students who wish to work at the spot of welfare are interested in sign language.

The National Conference of the Deaf, sponsored by Japan Federation of the Deaf, is scheduled in Tokushima in 2016. The Association officials say, "We hope that we train more young prospective interpreters in order to be ready for such a large-scale conference only with our human resources within the prefecture."

Japanese original article:

Sign Language Corpus Project

January, 2012

Sign Language Corpus Project

Japanese Sign Language has its variations, but it does not have its writing system. How has it developed over time? To answer this question, we collect various sign language expressions from different parts of Japan.

Image of JSL Corpus
Other themes:
- Technology and Communication
- Academic Term Translation into Japanese Sign Language

For more details click:

Teachers from Paris visits School for the Deaf in Japan

A group of French teachers meets with the faculty from Tsukuba University of Technology
(photo: http://www.deaf-s.tsukuba.ac.jp/topics2012/Paris20120713.htm
In the University of Tsukuba School for the Deaf in Chiba Prefecture (up)
(photo: http://www.deaf-s.tsukuba.ac.jp/topics2012/Paris20120710.htm

July 9, 2012

Three teachers of the National Paris School for the Deaf, well known as the first school for the deaf in the world in 1760, visited the University of Tsukuba School for the Deaf in Chiba Prefecture from July 9 for one week.

Both the schools have signed the memorandum as a sister school in 2003. The Parisian teachers observed the class lessons and the facilities eagerly. They also visited energetically not only the University of Tsukuba, but also Tsukuba University of Technology, both located in Ibaraki Prefecture, and the Chiba Prefecture Chiba School for the Deaf, etc. during stay.

On the final day, the School for the Deaf connected the Paris School through the Internet using Skype, and the image and its sound were comparatively clear in spite of the time difference of 7 hours.

The exchange program which uses Skype appeared possible. The visit of the French teachers promoted the idea of the student exchange program to be carried out from next year, including the concrete schedule.


Deaf teachers tell personal experiences at a lecture meeting with parents

The Deaf teacher explains accessible environment required for deaf children. 
(photo: http://news.kanaloco.jp/)

July 23, 2012 

The lecture meeting was held in the Kawasaki Municipal School for the Deaf in Kanagawa Prefecture on July 22, aiming at learning what environment is required for the children who are deaf/hard of hearing.

Two Deaf teachers gave a lecture on their personal history and experience. They explaining that a group of deaf/hard of hearing children need a place where they feel comfortable with one another, and that the importance of the sign language as a communication tool was stressed.

About 20 persons, such as parents with deaf/hard of hearing children, alumni members, a sign language circle members, participated.

Japanese original article:

"Deaf-Mute Institute" monument unveils, celebrating 60th anniversary in Hokkaido

July 23, 2012

The unveiling ceremony of the private Muroran Deaf-Mute Institute monument was held at the social welfare organization Muroran Gensen School in Muroran, Hokkaido on July 22.

It was a project for the 60th foundation anniversary of the Muroran School for the Deaf carried out by its Alumni Association.

The institute, which would be changed to Muroran School for the Deaf later, opened near the Gensen School on October 1, 1936.

About 30 persons, including alumni members, principal and individuals concerned, attended the ceremony,

Chairman of the Alumni Association Tomizawa made a speech, saying "We had a hard time during the war time, truly supported by the people in the area, such as using the ground of a nearby school."

"We deeply appreciate the donations from across Japan to build the monument."

Japanese original article:

Deaf students distribute flowers in the neighborhood

The Deaf students hand the policeman the marigold they cultivated.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/)

July 20, 2012

The students of the Gifu Prefectural Gifu School for the Deaf presented the people in the neighborhood the cultivated flowers of the marigold on July 19.

The students handed the flower, telling by sign language, "We wanted the beautiful flower to bloom, so we gave water to the flower every day."

The project has been carried out since 10 years ago.

Japanese original article:

Hearing American visits Deaf school in Kagawa Prefecture

July 18, 2012

In order to deepen an understanding to foreign culture, the students of the Prefecture School for the Deaf learned American Sign Language and culture from the hearing American on July 18.

The school located at Takamatsu-shi in the prefecture invites a foreign lecturer for the Deaf students as a part of the cultural program every year.

Mr. Christopher McCabe from the United States, who works for the Kagawa Prefecture Government as Coordinator for International Relations, visited the school, and introduced his home state Colorado, etc. to ten junior high school students, using the slide.

Then, he introduced the American Sign Language (ASL) showing the name of an animal or a color, and the students pronounced English following Mr. McCabe back, and practiced ASL.

After the lecture, one of the students said, "Although ASL was difficult, I enjoyed the game with Mr. McCabe because it was easy to memorize."

Japanese original article:

Links on Christopher McCabe:
- http://jp.linkedin.com/pub/chris-mccabe/12/8a1/578
- http://www.i-pal.or.jp/blog/2011/10/29oct2011-chris-mccabe.html  
- Newsletter - CIR Homepage

Bandanna and SOS card for Deaf person at the time of a disaster to be made for distribution

The bandanna (left) and SOS card
(photo: http://www.ehime-np.co.jp/)

July 15, 2012

As a part of disaster prevention measures for the Deaf community, the Ehime Prefecture sign language circles council is producing the bandanna and foldaway SOS card which tell that the carrier is Deaf at the time of a disaster, etc.

A 56-square-cm bandanna made of purple-and-pink colored cloth, has printed text messages such as "I am Deaf," "I can sign," "ILY" sign, etc. Deaf persons or signers put the bandanna on to show the carrier needs help or can sign at a a glance.

The SOS card made of thick paper shows nine cases, such as "please show an evacuation area," "what did the broadcast say now?" etc., with the text   and the illustration for each case.

When folded up, the card will be 7 cm long and 5.3 cm wide, and can be put into a pocket and carried.

Japanese original article:

South Korean actor prepares sign language interpreter for fans in Japan


July 17, 2012

On July 13, Kim Jae Won, a South Korean actor, held a meeting for his Japanese fans at the Yokohama Bridge, all seats filled with eager fans to see him.

He prepared a sign language interpreter for his Deaf/hard of hearing fans.

He played the role of a deaf person in the MBC drama "Can You Hear My Heart" last year, which gained much attention.

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