Audience charmed by impassioned performance of Deaf theatre group

July 28, 2015  
The Saga Deaf theatre group "Ebis" (left) 
greets an audience with members of 
the Fukuoka Deaf theatre group "Hakata"
after the performance.

Takeo-shi, Saga:

A sign language performance of the Saga Deaf theatre group "Ebis (God of Wealth)" took place in the north public hall at Takeo-shi in Japan's southern island on July 26. 

It was the first appearance on the stage for most members, but with their sign language with an expression and a movement abundantly, they performed enthusiastically and received big clapping from about 200 audience.

Hirakawa Shingo, 63, the "Ebis" leader, who has been a Deaf actor for about  30 years, called for starting a new theater group, which three actors and one staff responded. They all practiced with support from the "Fukuoka Deaf Theatre "Hakata" since last autumn.

The play titled The Candies Story is about a mother who runs out leaving her baby becomes a ghost and comes to buy the candy for her child.

Subtitles also were provided so that everyone enjoyed the play.

Japanese source:

Project to promote sign language in service business starts

July 28, 2015  

Kyoto-shi, Kyoto:
Beauticians, playing as a receptionist or a 
customer, etc., practice service in sign language.

More than 400,000 Deaf/deaf people live in the whole country reportedly. There is a case that they are unable to make the sale staff understand what they want at a storefront, failing to get what they hope.  

The corporate social organization, "The Japan Sign Language Business Society" in Kyoto-shi is advancing a project to spread sign language among the shop assistants and others who offer service.

The first try was the spread of sign language to the entertainment business such as a beautician and a salesperson of a cellular phone, etc. for which a small dialogue is necessary with the Deaf customer.

A business sign language new course with charge was offered in a room in a building in Kyoto-shi on July 2. About 20 beauticians using sign language welcomed a Deaf person who acted a visitor, and tried to get request such as cuts or colorings while also using gestures, a conversation by means of writing and a picture.

When also acquiring sign language on the store side, there is a merit which leads to get new customers by word-of-mouth communication: A Deaf visitor comments, "They understand my sign language at that store." 

Japanese source:

Sign language play based on Deaf A-bomb victims testifying

July 27, 2015

Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki:
The drama produced based on 
the collection of Deaf A-bomb victims' 
experience in Nagasaki.

The drama, "The Hot Summer, 1945," produced based on testimony of Deaf A-bomb victims in Nagasaki-shi, was performed in a hall in Nagasaki-shi on July 25. 

The actors, both Deaf and hearing, performed as if they lived strenuously with pain of a disability and aftereffects of bombing, through sign language, and about 900 people applauded.

Comments from the persons who watched the show:
"I belong to the generation who don't know a war, but I learned the situation that a Deaf person was put after the war, and knew a war and fearfulness of the atom bomb, also"

"I found out what the performers were telling me through sign language. I felt that a Deaf person might become easier to live when more persons using sign language increase even daily."

Japanese source:

Related blog:

Deaf girl chosen to national team for World Deaf Swimming Championships

July 27, 2015

Sakata-shi, Yamagata:

Saito Kyouka, 14, is a senior junior high school student in the Deaf department of the Prefecture Sakata Special Support School at Sakata-shi in Japan's northeastern region. She broke the international conference dispatch standard record for the women 800m freestyle swimming that the Japan Deaf Swimming Association sets up.

Saito was chosen as a national team member for the 4th World Deaf Swimming Championships, which will be opened in Texas, U.S. for one week from August 16. She is the youngest, and the only junior high school student in the national team. 

Since she was a first grader she has kept going to the Sakata swimming club.

There was a send-off ceremony at the school for the deaf on July 23. In front of 103 children and students from preschool through high school, and the teachers, Saito said she would do her best. 

Japanese source:

Youngest player from Okinawa selected to national Deaf women futsal team

July 26, 2015  

Naha-shi, Okinawa:
Miyagi Miki takes a pass during 
practice in Naha-shi, Okinawa.

The Japan Deaf Soccer Association/Deaf Futsal Committee announced a list of fourteen women selected to the national team on July 25. 

The team will compete at "The 4th Deaf Futsal World Cup" that will be held in Thailand in November.

Miyagi Miki, 14, a senior of Uenoyama Junior High School in Naha-shi, is the youngest player and also the first player selected from the Kyushu/Okinawa area. 

Miyagi said, "I don't actually feel anything new yet, but I have been working hard to be on the national team and am really happy. I'd like to take a medal and return home with it so that I may be admitted in the world."

Japan is planning to take on Russia, Turkey and Spain at World Cup.

Japanese source:

National women volleyball team training aiming at gold medal

July 21, 2015  

Itoman-shi, Okinawa:
Training camp on July 19 in Okinawa

Twelve members of the national women volleyball team joined training camp in the Itoman-shi Citizens Gymnasium in Okinawa, located in the southern island of Japan, for three days from July 18.

After having won a silver medal in the Deaflympics in 2013, the national team is working hard to win a gold medal at the next Deaflympics, which will be held in Turkey in 2017.

Japanese source:

Deaf persons attend lecture against security related bill

July 21, 2015

Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka:
Kato (left) points out danger of the 
security related bills, interpreted (right).

A lecture by Kato Yushi, 22, a senior majoring in education at Tokyo Gakugei University was held at the city welfare exchange center in Hamamatsu-shi on July 20, organized by a group of  250 college/university students and others who oppose the security related bills presently  discussed in the Diet.

He said, "If we don't speak up, it will be regarded as acceptance, and then the movement will advance one after another. We all must speak up, 'the bills are not clear, so give us more time to think over."

In the meeting 45 Deaf persons participated. A male representative of the meeting said, "There are a lot of Deaf persons who don't like reading so that they have little information."

Japanese source:

Training offered to learn how to communicate without using voice

July 20, 2015

Osaka-shi, Osaka:

Four men and women in twenties established the organization called "Silent Voice" in Osaka in February, 2014.

They're doing the training business called "The Deaf Communication Training" which aims at know-how of communication by the visual clues found in the Deaf that is possible to apply at a site such as an enterprise, a shop, school, medical treatment, etc.

A training participant is neither required to know the knowledge of sign language nor to learn sign language. Without using voice in the group unit, the participants use easy words, simple sentences or pictures to tell each other about a topic, such like a hobby, finally.

The participant experiences that a message isn't conveyed as intended easily, and learns to think what "true communication" means.

About 100 people including a group from a major company participated in the training up to now.

Representative Onaga Tomoya, 25, who is a hearing children having Deaf parents (CODA), explained, "It will be also the practice which one learns from an expression what a partner wants to tell, and explains immediately clearly." 

The training program is a principle for four hours and the charge depends on number of people. 

Official website (Japanese): 

Deaf catcher defeated in 4th game of high school baseball tournament

July 15, 2015

The third game of the Eastern Tokyo Tournament for the National High School Baseball Conference was held in Tokyo on July 15, 2015. 

Tamada Sora, the only Deaf student in Omori High School in Tokyo, was a catcher in the baseball club at school. He gave a timely three-base hit across the inside off in the 8th inning leading to a victory.

Result: Omori HS 5-3 Komaba HS of Nippon Institute of Technology 

Omori HS team goes into the 4th game after ten year.

Japanese source:

In the next
Tamada runs up to a mound on the table 
in the fourth inning, holds the pitcher 
around with his mitt, and encourages him.  

game against the strong contestant Kanto First High School on July 18, Tamada fully appeared as the "fourth batter and a catcher." However, he fell a strikeout in the seventh inning of third turns at bat and ended in no hit in three at bats.

Tamara told the reporter through writing, "Being no regret by the last a.b., I was swinging a bat to the fullest. It was the best strikeout ever."

Result: Kanto First HS 9-0 Omori HS

The Omori HS team cheered Kanto First HS for advancing to the National High School Baseball Conference at Koshien in Hyogo Prefecture early August. 

Sign language cafe managed by Deaf persons opens

July 19, 2015
The Deaf cafe worker (left) takes an 
order by gestures, and serves curry. 

Kobe-shi, Hyogo:

The store "Sign Language Cafe Sea Gull" that Deaf persons at Kobe-shi in western Japan manage opened in a market in the city on July 18. They aim at making the cafe so that you can drop in casually.

A cafe leader Takada Hidemitsuru, 59, is enthusiastic with "opening the cafe as a step to independence."

The support group of Deaf persons and volunteers called  "Deaf Support Sea Gull" had planned opening a cafe in order to look for independence.

Twenty seats are prepared in the "event house" in the market;  four kinds of food, curry and rice, shaved ice, source rice crackers and iced coffee, are offered.  Eight out of about 20 Deaf persons stand at the store during business hours from 10:00am to 8:00pm by a change.

Japanese source:

Policeman explains a cybercrime and preventive measures in sign language  

July 17, 2015  

Okazaki-shi, Aichi:

A policeman introduced the current state of the criminal damage and preventive measures in sign language for the purpose of having Deaf persons know about a vicious cybercrime widely, at the workshop held in Okazaki-shi.

The members the Prefecture Deaf Association, who participated in the unusual event, learned eagerly from the policeman fluent in sign language directly.

The Association chief director commented, "The presence of the policeman who understands a disability is encouraging."

The lecturer was Matsumoto Junpei, 33, the superintendent of  the prefecture police cybercrime technical measure division management government service who was transferred from the National Police Agency in Tokyo. 

Matsumoto used to visit the barbershop owned by a Deaf person seven years ago. As he wanted to communicate with the Deaf owner, he went to a sign language club to learn sign language.

Japanese source:

Signature activity by Deaf group for "Sign Language Regulation" establishment

July 17, 2015
The Deaf persons and supporters appeal 
the signature for "Sign Language Regulation" 
in front of the Isahaya city office.

Isahaya-shi, Nagasaki:

The local Deaf group in Isahaya-shi in Kyushu, Japan's southern island, asking for establishment of a "Sign Language regulation," are working on signature activity in almost every part of the city. They have set a goal to collect signatures of about 5000 people before they submit it to the city council in September.

Ureshino city in Saga-ken has already established its Sign Language Regulation for the first time in Kyushu.
The sign language management committee, consisted of Deaf residents and interpreters, has taken the leading part and promoted the signature activity since April this year.

They are requesting specifically that; when examining a child with hearing loss at a hospital in the city, the doctor should give information to the parent about sign language; that interpreting should be provided on the local cable TV, etc.

Japanese source:

Sign Language Regulation: Deaf federation protests against consideration of target expansion by Hokkaido Government

July 16, 2015


The Hokkaido Federation of the Deaf located in Japan's northern island has submitted a written protest to Governor Takahashi Harumi on July 14 concerning the contents of "Sign Language Regulation" aiming at establishment.

The Federation stated that the Governor's pledge violation was clear as the Hokkaido Government considers the regulation by covering all the communication methods for the persons with disabilities such as not only sign language but also note-taking, braille, etc. 

Governor had stated clearly in pledge of a gubernatorial election in April that Hokkaido shall admit sign language as a language and maintain the social environment where the Deaf/deaf persons live at ease by establishing a Sign Language Regulation (tentative name)."

The Federation explained at a press conference held on July 15, "An independent regulation for sign language is necessary for the purpose to remember the hard history that the Deaf community had suffered, not to fade it away." 

Japanese source:

Deaf plays shortstop in local high school baseball tournament

July 15, 2015  

Sanda-shi, Hyogo:
Inui Yuto (left), a shortstop, watches 
a movement of an opponent on the 
second base, giving the sign of a check.

Inui Yuto, a senior of a hearing school named  Arima High School, is completely Deaf since the birth. He was selected to the starting member as a shortstop, running through his last summer at the high school at top speed.

He wanted to play soccer originally, but gave it up because the sport depends on sound most of time while moving around intensely. He threw himself into baseball since he was a third grader of elementary school, and did strenuous practice on connection play.

During the local high school baseball tournament this summer, the teammates put up the paper which showed the opponent's batting and ordered a shift of defense, supporting Inui. They also learned sign language and the manual alphabets. Inui says, "I am fortunate to have such good friends."

He hope to become a PE teacher at a special support school.

Japanese source:

Deaf group produces DVD on history of city in sign language

July 15, 2015

Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa:
DVD titled "Narrative on The Birth of 
Yokohama in sign language" 

The Yokohama-shi Deaf Association produced the DVD which introduces history of Yokohama-shi next to Tokyo by sign language titled "Narrative on the Birth of Yokohama  in sign language" for the first time in order to enhance awareness of the history of the city among the Deaf residents. 

The DVD introduces the history anecdote which concerns Yokohama starting from the Black Ship led by U.S. Commodore Perry in 1853 in a reproduction drama of a Samurai movie.

There is also explanation of the history of the place names and of a foreigner graveyard in the city. All the performers in DVD are Deaf.

Japanese source:

Commodore Perry and Japan (1854-1854)

Hard of hearing pitcher visits Deaf school and encourages children

July 14, 2015

Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido:
Ishii Yuya (right) and the Deaf children enjoy a catch.

Ishii Yuya, 34, a hard of hearing pitcher of a professional baseball team, Nippon Meat Packers, visited Obihiro School for the Deaf at Obihiro-shi in Japan's northern island and encouraged the children on July 13.

Since August, 2013, it's the second time that he meet with the students at the School. About 80 people, including the students and their parents, participated in this meet-the-people session.

Ishii answered the question collected beforehand one by one, such like "How can I throw a strike?" "What should I do to raise concentration," etc., and enjoyed a catch with the children  together.

Japanese source:

Local professional soccer team supported with sign language  

July 14, 2015
The cheering squad shows their 
support in sign language.

Saitama-shi, Saitama:

The local professional soccer team "J2 Omiya Ardija" had a game against the opposing team "FAJIANO Okayama" at NACK5 Stadium Omiya in Saitama-shi next to Tokyo on July 12.

An event by sign language was organized for the purpose of supporting Ardija regardless of any kinds of hearing impairment. The sign language cheering squad organizing committee does it every year as "Sign Language Support Day," which was the 7th time this year.

About 1,900 people, the largest number ever, occupied one corner of the stands as a sign language cheering squad. They put on an orange-colored T-shirt for the special day, and sang a campaign song titled "We love you, We're ORANGE," in sign language to show their support of Ardija. Deaf supporters appeared in a cheering place, too.

Japanese source:

Deaf persons observe discussions through interpreting at city assembly

July 10, 2015  
Plenary session of the Takamatsu city assembly 
which arranged the interpreters.

Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa:

Takamatsu city assembly in western Japan put the arrangement of an interpreting system into effect for the first time in the regular assembly plenary session held on July 10. Three deaf persons who visited in hearing were provided with the service by two interpreters.

The interpreting system is a part of efforts for "an open assembly." Interpreting is arranged for free of charge at the plenary session and the committee meetings when a Deaf wishes to have it for hearing.

One of the Takamatsu Deaf Association board members said, "I'm very happy that the system offers Deaf persons the equal opportunity with hearing persons. I understood what the assembly members discussed well. I'd like to hear sometimes."

 The city council secretariat hopes for the Deaf persons to use the system to learn what is going on in the assembly meeting. 

Japanese source:

Drama on Deaf persons' bombing experience to be performed

July 9, 2015
Ohashi Hiroe produces a play on 
experiences of Deaf bombed victims.

The drama titled "The Midsummer 1945" will be performed at Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in July. It focuses on the experiences of the Deaf persons who suffered from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in summer seventy years ago.

Ohashi Hiroe, 44, a Deaf actress who planned the drama, spoke, "Because you don't know much about a Deaf person 's bombing experience, I'd like to link that in the future."

The story goes: While the female editor collects data on the Deaf persons who suffered from a terrible bombing experience in Hiroshima, she recalls her Deaf mother who became estranged. Mother suffers from atomic bombing in Nagasaki soon after she is born. Grandmother who lost her husband by an atom bomb and desperately brought up her mother after the war...

Five actors including Ohashi are Deaf among nine performers. They will express by both sign language and voice. 

Japanese sources:

Obihiro-shi to establish sign language regulation in 2016

July 7, 2015     
The first study meeting for sign 
language regulation establishment 
was held in Obihiro-shi.

Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido:

Obihiro city in Japan's northern island will carry out "Obihiro-shi Sign Language Regulation" (tentative name) in 2016.

The city office held the first study meeting on regulation establishment and exchanged views with a Deaf group on July 6. The group will organize sign language events for the citizens on July 25 for causing of a time.

The regulation, placing sign language as "language", not the means of the interpretation, aims at the environmental development for the ease use of sign language as well as the enlightenment and spread of sign language.

The study meeting plans to make the questionnaire for the citizens on the interest to the sign language and a presence of hearing impairment in July and August. The city will hold the meeting four times by the end of October for developing a rough draft of a regulation.

Japanese source:

Deaf student playing as catcher in high school baseball game

July 2, 2015

Ota-ku, Tokyo:

The Tokyo Regional Game of the National High School Baseball Tournament in summer begins on July 4.

Tamada Hiro (picture), a senior of Tokyo Metropolitan Omori High School in Ota-ku, is a catcher of the baseball team in the high school. He was a born Deaf, and he begun playing baseball when he was a first elementary grader at a school for the Deaf in Tokyo. During his school years until junior high school he had played an active part as a batter number 4 in a local baseball club.

Tamada had promised to continue the baseball with his Deaf friends, but he decided on a regular school, Omori High School, because the school for the Deaf has no baseball club.

However, placed in the different environment from a school for the Deaf, his communication didn't work so well that he thought of leaving the baseball club often. Yet, he did not give up training during the morning drill and a lunch break every day.

Tamada has learned company's talk by means of writing and gestures, directed in fielders by gestures, and sent a sign of an encouragement to the pitcher. He has tried to make a comfortable environment for all the teammates to play.

When Tamada was asked expectation in the last summer by the reporter, he answered by writing. "I will show I can play baseball with my strong determination even though I am Deaf. I'd like to enjoy  playing baseball."

The second game was held on July 11, which Omori High School won in 3-0. The team had the nineth inning of three points of leads, a crunch of the no outs full bases. Tamada the catcher took a short break, running to a mound and encouraging the pitcher. He fetched the two runners, and the game ended. 

Japanese sources:

Cafe where sign language can be learned casually opens

July 3, 2015

Akita-shi, Akita:
Nimura (left) teaches sign 
language in communication.

The cafe called "Coffee & Knit  IVY" where visitors can learn practical sign language while having a chat is opened at Akita-shi in northeastern Japan.

A cafe owner Takahata Miyuki, 42, met a Deaf resident Nimura Takashi in a sign language club. He teaches sign language at elementary schools and the sign language club of a university. He is also a regular customer in the cafe.

Nimura had hoped that sign language would became closer to hearing people, and told Takahata about it. The sign language club in the cafe started in September, 2014. It holds twice a month. You can learn sign language freely at ease enjoying coffee, tea and a snack.

Japanese source:

English article: "La Famille Bélier" wins Audience Prize at French Film Festival in Japan

July 1, 2015


La Famille Bélier was presented as opening film on June 26 at the French Film Festival in Japan organized by UniFrance films.

This award is good news for the film by Eric Lartigau, which continues its highly successful international run (around 3 million admissions registered abroad to date) after a triumphant performance on screens in France. 

It is scheduled for release in Japan on October 31.

Read more:

French actress and director attend film festival in Tokyo

June 26, 2015  
Louane Emera (right) and Eric Lartigau (left)

The hit movie titled "La Famille Belier," which rallied 7,000,000 people in France, describes the relationship of the family in the fresh touch and humor.

The film was shown as an opening work on June 26 at the "French Movie Festival 2015" held until June 29 at Tokyo.

An actress Louane Emera and Director Eric Lartigau attended an event after the movie was showed and answered questions from an audience.

Emera, who achieved a screen debut with the movie, said that she took sign language lessons for this movie for four months.

"La Famille Belier" will start showing on October 31 across Japan.

Japanese sources:

Film Review (English):

Prefecture conference of the Deaf held in Tottori

June 29, 2015
Shozaki speaks about a change 
in consciousness by a Sign 
Language regulation

Tottori-shi, Tottori Prefecture:

 "The 59th Tottori Prefecture Conference of the Deaf," sponsored by the Prefecture Association of the Deaf, etc., was held at the Prefecture Friendship Hall in Tottori-shi on June 28, in which about 200 people, including Deaf persons,  supporters and learners of sign language, participated.

Shozaki Takashi, 53, a Deaf actor and director,  lectured entitled "Let's convey the word that appeals in sign language." He was a president of the jury of the first national high school sign language performance contest in autumn of 2014.

The participants confirmed the social realization that the Deaf will live more happily after the lecture, etc.

Japanese source:

English articles: Hearing impairment does not stop motorcyclist from riding across the world

June 29, 2015
Hakamada has travelled over 100,000km 
on his Suzuki Djebel 250 bike.

    Being Deaf did not stop Hakamada Kohei, 65, from Yokohama, Japan from travelling to six continents on his motorcycle.

    Hakamada, said he had travelled to 91 countries since he started his solo expedition in 2010, and had covered more than 100,000km on his Suzuki Djebel 250.

Read more:


English article: Diet staffers jump on tourism-promotion drive

June 28, 2015
Kuroda Saki, (left), a Diet's secretariat staff, shows 
tourists around the House of Representatives.

The Diet is making efforts to boost its appeal as a Tokyo tourist attraction, and members of the administrative staff who come up with good ideas have been pitching in and acting as tour guides.

The office of the House of Representatives has prepared a guidebook in seven languages and even made sign language guides available, said Saki Kuroda, 21, a staffer on the team.

On a recent tour, she greeted visitors in Japanese, English, Chinese and French while using sign language. 

Read more: