English article: Relay services give hearing-impaired taste of telephone

July 10, 2016


Using smartphones or computers, Deaf persons access sign-language interpreters via video-enabled internet phone or messaging platforms, such as Skype and Line. The interpreters then contact the intended parties, telling them they are calling on behalf of a Deaf person.

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Enhancing understanding of importance of caption and sign language

The event, called "The Silent Day," which undergoes vicarious experience of the situation that one cannot hear and make aware of importance of a note-taking service was held in the city welfare center at Imabari-shi, Ehime Prefecture in western Japan on July 23. About 120 people participated.

The NonProfitOrganization "Fine Support PAPIE" in the city that supports the person who has a hearing disability with note-taking has held the event every year since 2008.
The participants saw the puppet show titled "The Three Pretty Kittens" with the use of an ear plug on each ear. (photo) They understood the story and learned the importance of the visual information to depend on the subtitles reflected in a screen aside of the stage and the sign language.

Japanese source:

Group of the governors to spread sign language starts

July 22, 2016 

"The Group of the Governors to Spread Sign Language," aiming at making society which Deaf/deaf people can use sign language everywhere surely, started by July 22 and held a general meeting in the Diet. 

The governors cooperate and pressure the Government to establish the "sign language law" which requires dissemination of information by the sign language as well as promotes projects to understand sign language nationwide in spite of a presence of a disability. 

Governors from 33 prefecture became a member of the group. Tottori Prefecture Governor Hirai Shinji who set a Sign Language Regulation for the first time nationwide in October, 2013 assumed a chairperson. 


Students volunteer to work on CART for Deaf students

July 22, 2016

Tohoku Fukushi University is a private university at Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture located in northeastern Japan. 

They are working on the support activity by Computer Aided Real-Time Transcription (CART) for the college students who are Deaf/hearing impaired and were hit by Kumamoto earthquake in Japan's southern island in March this year.

The CART service by volunteering students has continued once a week for an hour and a half since the end of June, and through the end on August 3 which the first term ends. (photo)

Tohoku Fukushi University has been supported by universities across the country in the time of the 2011 Eastern Japan Great Earthquake, putting the effort as "one of repayments."

Japanese Source:

English article: Deaf travel agent makes trips easier for disabled

July 14, 2016


Travel agent Koichi Katagiri, 37, provides the deaf customer with information through sign language at H.I.S. Co.’s head office in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

He, who has had difficulty hearing since birth, works at the Universal Tourism Desk section, which helps anyone enjoy traveling, regardless of disabilities or physical conditions by proposing safe, comfortable plans that can meet each customer’s needs.

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Court orders parents of hearing-impaired girl to make compensation for damages

July 19, 2016

Two elementary girls have had trouble at school. A hearing-impaired girl threatened the other girl to fall from the roof of a nine-floor apartment house in Koto-ku, Tokyo, in 2013. As a result, the girl who jumped off was seriously injured. 

The parents of the hearing-impaired girl was sued to make compensation for damages at total of 30,000,000 yen. 

On July 19, Tokyo District Court ordered the parents to pay compensation for damages at about 10,000,000 yen because they neglected obligation to take care of their child.

Japanese sources:

National High School Sign Language Contest advertised on electronic ad

July 20, 2016

Tottori Prefecture is developing electronic sign advertisement at the Japan Railroad's five stations in both prefectures, Tottori and Shimane, in order to advertise "the Third National High School Sign Language Contest" on September 25.

It's shown to a display at each station, one time at least for five minutes, and the advertisement is repeated for 15 seconds. (picture)

The video will be renewed at any time until September 25 when the contest starts.

 Japanese source:

A participation application of the National high school sign language contest" was closed. 

61 teams (65 schools) from 30 prefectures applied this year, more than 47 teams (50 schools) from 22 prefectures last year. 

Out of the them, 30 teams (32 schools) newly applied this year.

Tottori Prefecture Disability and Welfare Department officials   which accepted an application, remarked: "The national contest is being made well-known nationwide. It's the evidence by which many high school students feel charm in sign language and a sign language performance."

Japanese source:

Deaf body border becomes noodle shop owner

July 17, 2016

Tosaka Yumi, 42, a retired professional body border, also plies to a sea in Chiba next to Tokyo on a regular day off in the "Chitose Hermitage," a noodle shop. (photo)

It was when she was two years old, she was found out that she was hearing impaired. Her parents were busy with a noodle shop  business in Tokyo, and it was grandfather that noticed her strange state.

Yumi was spited since time of the nursery school and hated to talk with anyone, but she acquired the "lipreading" skill. She met a body-board at the age of 18 and was absorbed in the sport, becoming a professional in the world rank later.

However, Yumi's life changed about two years and a half ago. Her father told her that he would close the noodle shop that her grandfather started and continued for more than 50 years because of father's advanced age.
Yumi and her parents

Yumi became the third owner of the Chitose Hermitage earlier than a schedule. Currently she holds classes of yoga and knitted goods with a friend as a lecturer after having remodeled the 3rd floor of the shop, Also she keeps teaching a body-board to Fukushima's children hit by the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake, at a sea in Chiba.

Japanese source:

Related blog:
Deaf body boarder keeps challenge on

Deaf society plans housing for Deaf seniors in Sapporo: The first whole country

The Sapporo Deaf Society in Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, plans to establish the housing for Deaf seniors with a service offered in the city by the end of fiscal year 2016, (Image) They are busying with fund raising.

Society officials say enthusiastically, "We want to maintain the facilities where an old Deaf person can also spend his old age surely." According to Japanese Federation of the Deaf in Tokyo, such establishment in housing for Deaf seniors with a service is the first nationwide.

Out of about 320,000 Deaf people with a disability card, those who are 65 years old or older are about 220,000, about 15 % increased more than 10 years ago according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Japanese source:

Adecco promotes diversity through sign language lecture for employees

July 14, 2016  

Japan corporation of the Adecco group which is the biggest service enterprise of human resources in the world, Adecco Corp, an overall personnel division in Tokyo which develops service of human resources held the sign language lecture for its employees on July 6.

It was the first implementation and the sign language lecture was put into effect as the part of "barrier free support project" Adecco develops since 2015. 

The topics of the lecture included a definition of disability, a legal field related to disability, the working environment for a person with disability, home support situations for the person with disabilities by Adecco, etc. 

Later the participants learned "manual alphabet" through self-introduction by sign language and a word-chain game. (photo) The sign language lecture will continue from now on.

Japanese source:

Building as welfare herald revives in Shimane

July 12, 2016

There was a completion-celebrating ceremony of the Memorial Hall in honor of Fukuda Heiji and Yoshi who were forerunners of welfare service in Matsue-shi, Shimane Prefecture located in western Japan.

In 1866, Fukuda Heiji was born in Tottori Prefecture next to Shmane, and moved to Matsue in 1878. He begin a print shop in front of the prefecture office. Matsue was seized with the unprecedented big flood damage in October, 1893. Then Heiji had a sudden enlightenment on welfare service.

The children deprived of a house and parents became an orphan, and herded together to do a beggar and steal repeatedly. Heijii saw its condition and made a welfare facility called the Matsue Children Inn.

Fukuda Yoshi was born in 1872 as Heiji's younger sister. She  graduated from Shimane Prefecture Teacher Training School in 1890, and become a teacher of Honjo Elementary School. At the time, She met a Deaf girl named Ishibashi Haru.

This fateful encounter with the girl made Yoshi awaken in education for the Blind and Deaf. She was the first woman to establish the school for the Blind and Deaf in Shimane Prefecture, the 11th school for the Blind and Deaf across Japan. It  would be later split to the present Shimane Prefectural School for the Visually Impaired, and Matsue School for the Deaf.

The memorial hall where the completion-celebrating ceremony took place was the building used to be the chapel of the Matsue Children Inn.

Japanese source:

Singer with Deaf son wins first for Upper House election

July 10, 2016

Imai Eri, 32, a singer of the "SPEED" group, who ran for an Upper House Election by LDP proportional representation, became certain.

She (photo left) is bringing up an 11-year-old Deaf son (center), as a single mother. 

Imai stated about her political vision, "I will persevere in nation building so that I can report opinions of persons with disabilities to the Government accurately."

She indicates also to continue her singling activities after election.

Japanese source:

Related blog:
National Election official announcement: singer speaks in sign language

Deaf freshman accepted to first Waseda University rugby club

July 10, 2016
Kishino (left) applies himself 
to tackle practice.

The first Deaf freshman, Kishino Kaede, 18, joined Wasoeda University, one of the strong contestants of Kanto Region University Rugby Match A Group, since foundation in 1918. He graduated from the Gifu School for the Deaf.

He was an excellent player who appeared on "U-18 combined team eastern and western match" for two years as a selected member from the team of a small number of players which has no chances to play at a national tournament during his high school days.

Kishino got over severe new face practice for about two weeks for the Waseda University Rugby Club and this April, and became a member of the traditional club.

His goal is to contribute to win as one of the best universities nationwide.

Japanese source:

Related blog:
Deaf student challenges rugby at Waseda University

English version: Election broadcasts for upper house race left without sign language, subtitles

July 9, 2016 


Campaign broadcasts of candidates running for constituencies in the July 10 House of Councillors election are being aired without sign language interpretation or subtitles for people with hearing loss, after the Diet failed to agree on reform of the election broadcasting system.

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English article: National broadcaster announces plans for 2016 Paralympic broadcasts

July 7, 2016


Japanese broadcaster NHK has announced at a press conference in Tokyo that it will broadcast around 120 hours of action from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, almost three times more than London 2012.

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Photograph selected best means strong bond of Deaf couple

The photograph titled ""Strenuous Practice at Midsummer" caught a moment when the player aims at a goal, which a contrast in the shadow is striking. (photo)

The photo was taken by Komatsu Hitoshi, 53, a Deaf resident in Hadano-shi near Tokyo. It was chosen as a jackpot at the 48th Yokosuka Photograph Federation Public Contest Show.

Komatsu continues the photography activity while relying on a wheelchair. Kinue, 55, his Deaf wife, has supported his photography activity. (photo)

Japanese source:

Sable with "Thank you" in sign language sold for understanding

July 6, 2016

The confectionery sales Kaoru Shop in Kawashiri-machi, Akita-shi in northeastern Japan cooperated with the Akita Sign Language Spread Center on July 5 in sale of  sable with sign language illustrated meaning "thank you very much" for a limited period. (photo)

The center got cooperation from the store with an special printing machine with edible ink in order to get many more people interested in sign language.

Japanese source:

Upper House Election:Voting environment fails the needs of persons with disabilities

July 5, 2016

Voting situations for persons who are visually impaired and Deaf/deaf persons have not been improved completely for an Upper House Election (vote counting on July 10).

There is a problem that no arrangement of interpreters at a polling place for a Deaf person. It's a little less than 20 percent out of 6,256 Deaf persons with a handbook and understood sign language in Miyagi-ken, part of northeastern Japan. 

Even if they would like to know candidate's appeal, most of time there is no interpreter available on a street where a candidate makes oratory or speech. 

The Prefecture Information Center on Deafness points out, "More person by aging as well as a disability is increasing. While aging of the whole society is developed, support needs are expanding, political correspondence is immediately needed."

Japanese source:

"Work to promote understanding sign language" earns letter of thanks from Deaf society

July 7, 2016

At "the 19th Learning Contest Using the Library Resources" (sponsored by the library promotion foundation), Ihara Kurumi, 9, a fourth grader of Hikifune Elementary School in Sumida Ward, Tokyo won an excellent prize.

The Sumida Ward Deaf Society present a letter of thanks to her, citing her work deepened understanding of Deaf persons.

The title of the work is "The word which conveys mind, it is Sign Language." Ihara saw a mother of her friend speaking to Deaf baby by sign language, which made Ihara interested. She  checked different things such as history of sign language, a dialect and the kind. 

Japanese source:

Deaf students join local high school baseball tournament

July 1, 2016

The 98th National High School Baseball Championship  Kagoshima Region Tournament starts in Japan's southern island on July 2, in which students of Kagoshima School for the Deaf will participate for the first time.

They will play together with other two local hearing schools as one team. (photo)

Participation in a "summer" tournament by a school for the deaf is the first nationwide according to the Japanese High School Baseball League. 

Japanese source:

English article: Anime on deaf, bullied girl to screen in Japan

June 29, 2016


A Japanese anime film narrating a deaf girl’s life struggle is set to storm theaters in Japan and entice deaf moviegoers to watch and sympathize with the film’s protagonist.

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Related blog:
Popular comic "The Sound of Voice" to be filmed