National Election official announcement: singer speaks in sign language

The 24th Upper House Election was made public on June 22.

Imai Eriko, 32, is a member of a female vocal group "SPEED." As one of the Liberal Democratic Party proportional representation candidates, she made an election race start at Yuraku-cho, Tokyo, giving speech, "I'd like to make the society that gives everyone a smiling face." (photo)

Imai described her impression on the first campaign speech, "I was feeling like the first live show."

She's bringing up her eldest son who is Deaf as a single mother.

Japanese sources:

Related blogs:
English article: Singer with a Deaf son seeks Upper House seat

Singer talks about her Deaf son at event

University student fire brigade recognized for protection activities against disasters

June 24, 2016

The Shukutoku University Student Fire Brigade demonstrates a squirting water technique at the meeting. (photo)
A student fire brigade is increasing recently. The student fire brigade of the Shukutoku University (Chiba-shi, Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo) is the first fire brigade in the universities nationwide. 

They usually do rule practice, gets on the fire truck loaned from Chiba-shi, puts protection against disasters patrol in an area into effect, and helps with an emergency drill at a nursery school and the school for the Deaf. Protection against disasters guidance is also performed with a neighborhood association. 

At present, eleven members are actively involved in the fire brigade, finding a time from school works and a part-time job.

Japanese source:

Company makes Deaf workers business power by long employment

Zamami Cardboard Box, the company which produces corrugated cardboard paper in Itoman-shi, Okinawa Prefecture located in Japan's southern island, is putting the emphasis on long employment of persons with disabilities.

At present total of eight people including Deaf workers take charge of pasting corrugated cardboard paper, digging, inspecting, piling up and working in the factory. The length of the employment exceeds 15 years, the longest.

The Deaf employee can sort a defective product out in an instant with a good sight. (photo)

The company holds a weekly meeting with an interpreter, hearing the worries about work and a problem for improvement. There is a white board at the places in the factory, which helps the employees, both Deaf and hearing, communicate better by writing.

The president guarantees, "The Deaf person works carefully and perseveres well, and so it's the part of the fighting force sufficiently at a site of manufacturing."

Japanese source:

Hearing students learn how to sign using spread supporter dispatch system

June 23, 2016
The students learn how to express 
in sign language eagerly. 

There is a sign language club in Iwami High School at Iwami-cho, Tottori Prefecture, the only club in the prefecture. It club has expanded activities including interpreting.

The high school also introduced to the class from April, 2016 as a part of "social welfare basis" to deepen of sign language learning. With the sign language spread supporter dispatch system from the Prefecture Education Board, the sign language class will take place 15 times a year.

The school is planning to start sign language as the new subject in April, 2017. 

Japanese source:

Deaf students enjoy event with Korean hearing students near around

June 23, 2016

Ibaraki Prefecture Mito School for the Deaf near Tokyo held a Sports Day on June 3. (photo)

29 hearing students near the School for the Deaf participated in the event and strengthened the friendship with the Deaf children.

The children of both schools sang a school song and enjoyed a play each other.

Children form the Korean School are learning much every year through an exchange with the School for the Deaf.

Japanese source:

When elevator suddenly stops, e-mailing possible for Deaf person for help

Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo made sure that a Deaf/deaf person can contact with a watch room by sending an e-mail when an elevator stops all of sudden because of accident such as an earthquake, from June 17. 

Three out of 110 elevators in the city are available. The notice is shown in the elevator : "Emergency could be informed to an elevator watch office, using  the e-mail address for urgent communication." (photo)

This effort was carried out after a Deaf user pointed out; "The contact makes through only telephone in an elevator when it stops." 

Japanese source:

Credit union clerks learn how to offer service by sign language

June 21, 2016

Following "Kobe-shi Sign Language Regulation" effective in April, 2015, recently a sign language class was held at Himeji Credit Union Kobe West Branch Office located in Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture near Osaka, aiming at learning how to communicate with the clients who are hearing-impaired. (photo)

27 sales clerks learned the way of the communication by sign language. The branch office has asked the Hearing Impairment Welfare Society in the city to provide a class, which came true.

There are 2,013 hearing-impaired people at the city according to Kobe-shi. The number of registered interpreters is 118. A participant of an interpreting training lecture is increasing, but it is difficult to secure more interpreters.

Japanese source:

Sign language class held for hearing residents in Kyoto-shi

June 18, 2016

Kyoto-shi is well known as a place by the origination of Japanese sign language.

The "Sign Language Regulation" that understanding of sign language and its spread are promoted was carried out in April, this year.

The sign language class for hearing residents was held in the city. It was the first effort to offer the opportunity for them to learn about sign language.

The participants learned how to sign greeting for some scenes. Also the play on the necessity of sign language in the daily life was shown. 

There are about 1,100 Deaf persons who communicate in sign language in Kyoto-shi. 

Japanese source: 

Deafblind para triathlete achieves the whole distance with help from team

June 18, 2016
Nakada (left) and her guide

A para triathlete Nakada Suzuko, 49, a Kyoto resident, was the only Japanese Deafblind athlete completed in Yokohama Para Triathlon" event held on May 15. She achieved the whole distance, continuously for two years. (photo)

"Yokohama Para Triathlon" is the domestic meeting held simultaneously with the World Triathlon Series Yokohama Meeting, and triathletes with disabilities gather from the whole country.

Nakada was perfectly Deaf, and has a poor sight, only she can see a face of a partner in one meter away. She competed in the visual impairment class and did everything, swim, bicycle and run, along with a "guide".

A wave was in bad condition, but Nakada finished in an hour, 52 minutes and 16 seconds; the record was about 4 minute faster  than last year.

Japanese source:

Subtitles and voice guide provided for barrier free in visual work

June 16, 2016

A non-profit corporation in Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa near Tokyo has begun to collect volunteers to make subtitles and voice guide of two independent showing works for persons with sight or hearing impairment to enjoy watching movies.

It aims to train the staff in making subtitles and voice guide which currently lack, and technological improvement.
To promote barrier free environment in visual works, the Law on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities was carried out in April this year, but it's negligible that there are subtitles and voice guide to a picture work, and staff education has been a big problem.

Japanese source:

Legislation to disseminate information in sign language discussed at National Conference of the Deaf

A ceremony of the 64th National Conference of the Deaf  aiming at the social status of the Deaf person and improvement of welfare, sponsored by Japanese Federation of the Deaf was held in Tokushima-shi in western Japan on June 12. (photo)

About 2,200 people participated from the whole country and adopted the resolution that dissemination of information in sign language is asked to an autonomous body.

Ishino Fushisaburo, chief director of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, spoke to the participants: "A person with disabilities and a senior citizen are to suffer damage first at the time of a disaster. Let's aim at the social realization in which no one is left."

Among the ten items of the adopted resolution:
- Sign language is admitted as a language and the legislation of "Sign Language Ordinance" which requires dissemination of information in sign language of an autonomous body is achieved.
- Plan for disaster area support of the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and reinforcement of a protection system against disasters.
- Demand the right of Deaf children to get education in sign language, etc.

There were also study subcommittee meetings and a meet-the-people session in the city before the ceremony took place.

Japanese source:

Prefecture education board starts mock election for special support schoo
June 14, 2016

Those who are 18 years old or elder are allowed to vote for the first time at an Upper House Election in July this year. 

The Kanagawa Prefecture Education Board has begun the mock election for the students of two special support high schools to learn importance of the election .

Work and study through the mock election was held on June 10 at the Prefecture Hiratsuka School for the Deaf (Hiratsuka-shi). In the class a teacher spoke how important to vote by sign language to about 40 Deaf students. (photo)

"Please think carefully to choose a representative. It is important for you to know that your voting will lead to changing society."

The students compared the speech of each candidate through interpreting and casted one vote in a ballot box.

The senior student who took the lesson, "I will be 18 years old soon, so I thought I had to be responsible for politics. There is little information for a Deaf, so, I'd like to read a newspaper and the Internet to learn more about election." 

Japanese source:

Deaf students demand sign language training for new teachers

June 11, 2016

Students of Kyoto Prefecture School for the Deaf (Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi) are asking implementation of good sign language training beforehand for a newly-hired teacher.

They are complaining, "We have a hard time to communicate with a teacher who can't use sign language well, and sometimes we are unable to understand what is about in the class." This is also a problem nationwide.

Kyoto Prefecture School has a sign language class for 30 minutes once a week for the teachers, and most of them learn sign language almost personally. But it's fact that the level of the signing skill varies among the teachers.

The student and alumni have formed a group named "Dawn of the DEAF" and begun signature activity. They will pressures the Prefecture into requirement of the preliminary training for a newly-hired teacher in order to make sure that get good standard of the use of sign language.

Japanese source:

University sign language club produces "space sign language"

June 9, 2016

A sign language club of Toyo University (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) developed "space sign language" in conjunction with JAXA (State Corporation Japan Aerospace Exploration and Research and Development Agency, JAXA). (photo) 

They have developed six signs related to space so far, and a video explanation by students was on the JAXA website.

The development started from the thought of the person in charge of JAXA, one of the deaf staff; If there were sign language for space terminology, it would be possible to increase time for exhibition and discussions during a tour of facilities. 

JAXA  Web site (Japanese):

Japanese source:

Deaf mountaineer who achieved reaching Everest meets press

The Deaf mountaineer, Tamura Satoshi, 51, who succeeded in reaching the summit in world highest peak Everest in May, held a press conference in Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo, his home town on June 8. (picture)

Through interpreting he explained, "Mountains around Everest looked low, and a sea of cloud was mysterious." He told that he wanted to tell a person with disabilities, "You can find the way by the courage and an effort through mountaineering."

Japan Mountaineering Association said they don't know an overseas case. However, they assumed Tamura is the first Deaf mountaineer in Japan to reach Everest. 

It was the third time for Tamura to challenge Everest. In the past twice times preventing him from climb because of strong wind and an earthquake, giving up reaching the summit. This time, too, a mask of an oxygen bomb broke down, and so headache disturbed him on the way reaching the summit.

Japanese source:

English article: Cafe connects people through sign language

June 09, 2016


A cafe run by Deaf staff has opened at the Bunkyo Kumin Center in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, attracting many local residents.

Read more:

Municipal districts gather to cooperate on "sign language ordinance" establishment

The National Municipal District Chiefs Society on Sign Language was established in Tokyo on June 8 in order to promote establishment of "Sign Language Ordinance" which admits sign language as a language and plans for the social realization of the its use at all places through autonomous bodies cooperate widely. 

The 250 municipal district chiefs and 4 town mayors joined the group.

A forum was opened also in Tokyo on the day, and 61 mayors from across the country participated and confirmed to cooperate on work for communication and enlightenment to raise a time in the whole country. About 400 persons concerned participated in the forum. (photo)

Japanese source:

Prefecture and disabilities broadcast organization make agreement on captioned news at shelter
June 8, 2016

Gifu Prefecture (photo: left) and the authorized non-profit organization corporation CS disability broadcast located in Osaka-shi concluded a comprehensive cooperation agreement for person with disabilities support in the time of a disaster on June 7.

When a large-scale disaster occurs, the broadcast installs the equipment to provide a subtitles and a sign language on TV disaster emergency news in 479 welfare shelters in the prefecture with priority. This is the first attempt  in the first nationwide.

The organization sends an information program by sign language and caption through original CS communication for Deaf people. Specific urgent disaster news on TV can be accessible with caption and sign language.

Japanese source:

Classical comic storytelling with Japanese and English subtitles

June 6, 2016

The rakugo (classical comic storytelling) event was held at a theater in Tokyo in the evening on June 5, with Japanese and English subtitles for a Deaf/deaf person and a foreigner to enjoy the event, too. About 100 people gathered.

When Katsura Bunshi, a popular professional comic storyteller began to talk, Japanese and English subtitles were reflected in a screen behind the stage almost at the same time. (photo)

A deaf woman in forties said, "It would be the first time for me to see, and I was looking forward to enjoy it. I was really able to laugh a lot." A man in twenties from Ireland said, "The subtitles were also easy to read, which helped me understand."

Japanese source:

Movie "LISTEN" viewed with ear plugs to feel Deaf music
June 5, 2016

An art documentary by a Deaf group titled "LISTEN" (running for 58 minutes) is shown at a theater "UPLINK" in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 

In the movie 15 Deaf persons express music by movement of hands and body, and facial expression. (photo)

Despite the movie without sounds, a pair of ear plugs is distributed to an audience before showing.

Makihara (right) and Dagei

Directors, Makihara Eri, 29, and Dagei, 45, both Deaf, usually communicate in sign language in the silent world. They explained, "We reduced the tone against which clothes rub and the tone of the air conditioning also as much as possible. We would like the viewer to see the place where there is no sound."

The movie does not have any clear story. However, it asks if "there is also existence like "music" in the Deaf world originally."

Japanese Source:

Deaf athletics team plays active part in Japan Paralympics

June 4, 2016

The Japan Paralympic Games took place on June 4. On the first day, while a final selection race to Rio Paralympics was held, Deaf athletes joined too, marking a new record for the relay (photo).

The Japan Deaf national team, 33 athletes and 12 staff, will participate in the World Deaf Athletics Championships scheduled for June 23 - 27 in Bulgaria.

For more photos click the following link.

Japanese source:

Deafened female shop assistant works at clothing store

June 4, 2016

Fast retailing which develops a clothing store "UNIQLO" has hired a person with disabilities at "more than 1 1 stores" as a target since 2001. About 1,250 persons with disabilities work for the store nationwide now. The Personal Division staff said, "There are various people in society. It's natural they also work together at workplace."

The deafened female, 34, who lives in Tokyo, had tried to get a job, and every time when she had a job interview and told the telephone communication was impossible, so she was declined.

At such time "UNIQLO" decided to employ her because of her smiling face. When she sometimes made a guest scold, and was worried, offering retirement to her boss, who encouraged her to keep on working.

She put on the badge in a chest, on which she wrote "I am hard of hearing. Please speak clearly and slowly. I understand sign language." It has been 13 years since she started a job. She says, "I am fortunate to keep a job because of my coworkers' help and understanding."  

Japanese source:

Deaf work center produces wood manufactures for baby's birthday

The Deaf persons in the work center called "Wakafuji-ryo," located at Shintoku-cho, Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, 
are trained in cabinetmaking and wooden craft to develop self-reliance.

The project, which the wood manufactures they make as birthday celebration to to be presented to the baby born at the town, started in April, 2016.

One from four kinds can be selected; building blocks using Hokkaido-produced wood, a chair, tableware and the toy that makes a sound when moved (photo).

Japanese source:

First city subsidy system to promote reasonable accommodations

June 1, 2016

Akashi-shi, Hyogo Prefecture near Osaka in western Japan has begun a subsidy system on June 1, the first in the whole country, following the Law for the Elimination of Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities effective on April 1.

While the Law defines reasonable accommodations for a private enterprise as an effort obligation, Akashi-shi is making a reasonable accommodation as obligation by its regulation. 

The city supports private enterprises, town councils, organizations and others to reduce a cost burden. It appropriated 3,500,000 yen for the budget in fiscal year 2016. 

Japanese source:

Japan Deaf volleyball team concludes sponsorship contract with company

June 1, 2016
Japan Deaf women volleyball team 
with a company logo banner

A corporation KIYORA Kikuchi located in Kumamoto Prefecture, part of Japan's southern island, produces and sells the "Nano Hydrogen Water Kiyorabi," a top brand of hydrogen water. 

It concluded sponsor contract with the Japan Deaf Volleyball Association on April 1, 2016.

The corporation offers the players "Nano Hydrogen Water Kiyorabi" and others in order to support the players' health and ease fatigue of daily hard practice. A logo of the company is printed in a formal jersey and a polo shirt that the player wears.


Club for Deaf children after school opens

June 1, 2016
The children enjoy a snack.

There are not much facilities designed for Deaf children yet nationwide.

The "Shining Stars," the club for the Deaf children, where they spend time after school, opened in Maebashi-shi, Gunma Prefecture, north from Tokyo, in April, this year. It is located in a house in the uptown where it is about one kilometer away from the Prefecture School for the Deaf.

The staff are providing for careful guidance aiming at improvement of communication ability among the children.

The non-profit organization corporation the "Shining Stars" consisting of the parents in the prefecture manages the club. They had a trial management for one year since last year with help from a private support group. They were granted by the Prefecture following the Child Welfare Law to start a service for Deaf children this spring.

Japanese source:

Comic book on Deaf college student's friendship to take filming

May 27, 2016

A comic book, "I can hear a sunny place" by Fumino Yuki which was sold on October 27, 2014 , was decided to be taken a picture filming. (photo)

This comic draws a friendship of Kohei the deaf college student who is easily misunderstood and can't match the environment well in many ways, and his cheerful classmate Taichi.

This work was Fumino's debut one and had a public response.

Japanese source:

First documentary comic book on deafness published

May 30, 2016

A comic book, "A deserted one isn't only you" (vol.1) by Yoshimoto Koji, was sold on May 30. (photo)

The work, being serialized in a comic magazine "Big Comic Superior" (Shogakukan publisher), is Yoshimoto's latest one. He wrote a documentary cartoon with as a base material on deafness.

The story starts with a scene Yoshimoto meets the Deaf men again whom he had met at the event. Yoshimoto remembered that they told him that they understand cartoon most," and he met them for an interview.

Japanese source: