Video on sign language used at the time of flood damage introduced
May 27, 2017
The "Chiyokawa Basin Zone Meeting" made with officials and the people in the Tottori Prefecture East developed a video titled the "sign language for protection against disasters" which appeals Deaf persons for evacuation at the time of flood damage occurrence.

"Run away!" Both arms are shaken big to the direction for run away. (photo)

17 vocabularies such as "Run away!" "A river is flooded", which are made of both gestures and sign language are introduced for quick escape in case of emergency.

The protection against disasters signs were made by the meeting with cooperation of the Prefecture Association of the Deaf in response to the Sign Language Regulation establishment in 2013. 

Risk of failing to escape is high because escape information by a protection against disasters administrative radio fails to transmit through local Deaf persons. When the person who lives in the neighborhood uses a disaster-related sign, it'll be possible to appeal to the Deaf for immediate escape.

Japanese sources:

Actress appointed as a sign language ambassador
May 26, 2017
Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo established "Sign Language Promotion Regulation" in 2014.

The Prefecture Federation of the Deaf recommended an actress Saito Yuki, 50,  as an ambassador of the spread enlightenment on sign language.

An investiture took place at the Prefecture Office on May 25. (photo) 

Saito, a residence of Yokohama-shi in the prefecture, assumed a sign language spread promotion ambassador. Saito will participate in enlightenment events.

Her grandparents who passed away were Deaf, and Saito was familiar with sign language since her childhood.

Japanese source:

Deaf students experience home stay in local area

Twelve Deaf students, high school seniors of Hiratsuka School for the Deaf (118 students) in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo, are visiting Rikuzentakata-shi, Iwate Prefecture in Japan's northeast area, staying at private houses for two days from May 24, as school excursion. 

Acceptance of Deaf students to stay overnight at a private house is the first time to the said city and uncommon to the prefecture, too.

The School for the Deaf planned so that the Deaf student can meet hearing people and gain valuable experience before leaving the school. 

All the students experience agriculture by each home (photo), learn the situation of the earthquake disaster six years ago, enjoying the atmosphere in the local area which is completely different from a metropolitan area.

Japanese source:

Prefectural Office and Prefecture Hospital offer remote interpreting service through tablet end
May 23, 2017

Oita Prefecture located in Japan's southern island has started remote interpreting service for Deaf persons by installing a tablet terminal in each reception desk of the prefecture office and the prefecture hospital.

When the Deaf visitor who prefers communication through sign language, the staff at the reception desk connects a terminal for an interpreter in the Prefecture Deaf Center, using a tablet end. (photo)

Japanese source:

Deaf man reduces "invisible wall" - "I don't escape from hearing difficulties"

Nakama (second from left)
May 22, 2017

Nakama Masahito, 39, who takes charge of decision processing on campus and managing of a document and an official seal at Okinawa Science Technology University Graduate School is Deaf since birth. 

While at all workplaces, an office work contact often depends on an e-mail, what Nakama tries to do is to meet and tell the person concerned directly.

In the communication, if there is something like a "wall" even a little, Nakama doesn't escape from there, but stands with the concerned person. 

Nakama went to the Prefecture Okinawa School for the Deaf which was in Naha-shi in 1980 's. He learned how to speak at school. He says, "The lip reading that I learned at school is the biggest treasure for me." 

Nakama attended a hearing school from an elementary school through the high school, and entered Tsukuba Technology College, majoring in architectural engineering. After graduating, he worked in the field of architecture design at a building company in Tokyo, Nagano and Fukuoka and others, returning to Okinawa in 2007.

Nakama was hired by Okinawa Science Technology University in 2010. He has been trusted by a staff with disabilities, whom he hears their worries and giving advise.

Nakama also tries to make the people around him understand himself through interchanging, such as using time of the lunch break, he teaches sign language to a colleague. (photo)

Nakama commented,  "I would like to do positively to make the society where people, regardless of disabilities, are able to work together."

Japanese source:

Training material for promotion of sign language at school published by Education Board in Chiba Prefecture

May 19, 2017

Chiba Prefecture Education Board, located near Tokyo, published the material which will be used for the sign language training in promotion of sign language at school on May 18.

The training material explains basic idea and a policy of the law related to a person with disabilities including discriminatory prohibition regulations and the prefecture policy as well as consideration of a person who is Deaf or hearing impaired.

As the special quality of the hearing impaired person and consideration are mentioned:
- Dissemination of visual information such as the characters and figures.
- Communicate according to the need of the person who are Deaf/deaf such as sign language, summary note-taking and writing.
- Confirm whether the contents of communication are clearly understood.
- Keep the distance to see the move of the mouth, etc. clearly.

The important points when using sign language are mentioned:
- Convey what you want to tell in a place where one can see clearly.
- The use of facial expression is important.
- Use voice also while signing.
- Understand sign language can be expressed in several ways. 
Easy sign language expressions and the explanation of a manual alphabet are also included.

The material for a workshop can be used such as a sliding material, copy distribution for participants and a notebook.

Japanese source:

Major life insurer to get credit of manners in customer special quality

President (front) spoke, "While being on a wheelchair, 
I understood how a person with disabilities feel". 
May 19, 2017

To practice of behavior in an effort to meet the needs of a client with disabilities,  about 7,200 executives and regular employees including the president of Daido Life Insurance aim to acquire the "universal official approval third class of manners" which Japanese Universal Manners Society sponsors.

According to the society, attendance by the staff will be the largest. The seminar will be held seven times until February, 2018. 

The first lecture was held at the Tokyo headquarters on May 1 through a video conference system from Osaka headquarters and branch offices across Japan with 1,800 persons.

The persons who have acquired the third class are 26,000 so far according to the Society, and the number of enterprises and organizations has reached 400.

Japanese source:

First official Deaflympics support theme song completed
May 19, 2017

The Deaflympics will be held on July 18-30, 2017 in Samsung, Turkey.

The first Deaflympic support theme song, "HERO", which was officially recognized by Japanese Federation of the Deaf, was shown on May 19 through a music video trailer animation.

The song is performed by a dancing group "HANDSIGN" and others who express lyrics by sign language.


Japanese sources:

Slow spread of mobile emergency reporting system for persons with disabilities introduced in Akita
May 17, 2017

Akita-shi is using "Web 119 Emergency Reporting System" for a person with disability including Deaf persons (photo), the only city in Akita Prefecture located in northern part of Japan.

The Fire-Defence Agency has suggested introduction of "Web 119 emergency reporting system" to a fire fighting head office in the whole country, which was introduced in Akita at the time of its system renewal in April, 2016.

Registrants for one year are 28. The registration number is stagnating because 
it appears difficult for the person unused with the Internet. There are some ideas on how to improve the mobile system such like pushing one button to call for emergency report. 

Fire-Defence Agency officials say that about 20 percent which introduced the mobile emergency system at a fire fighting head office across Japan. It can be inconvenient for a Deaf person who goes out for travel or work outside the area of the fire fighting head office, unable to use the mobile emergency system. 

Japanese source:

Deaf university pitcher pitches well by first pitch of league series in spring

Hironaka (right) and Fukumori
May 15, 2017

There was a second game with two games, and a right-hand pitcher Hironaka Soma, senior of Osaka Sangyo University, achieved the first pitch of spring league series. He pitched hard twice without losing point, contributing to get a point.  

He started playing baseball when he was a third grader of elementary school, although his parents and a director of the team he belonged to at first. Because he loves baseball, he has never given up in the difficult situation.

Hironaka communicates with his teammates and friends through sign language, fingerspelling and gestures. The one who also supports Hironaka with lectures at the university as well as baseball is Fukumori, one of the teammates.

While there are nearly 180 teammates, Hironkaka has pitched in league series since he was a freshman in autumn, and pitches up to now ten games. Head coach Miyazaki Masashi has trusted him, too.

Hironaka says, "The strength of the heart is my advantage. Despite my deafness, I'd like to show that I can play baseball well." His dream is to become a professional baseball player".

Japanese source:

Notice: National high school sign language performance contest to be held in October

May 15, 2017  

The Fourth National High School Sign Language Performance Contest" will be held in Tottori-shi located in western Japan on October 1

Teams of high school students will compete for the performance using sign language in dance or drama.  

An application will be accepted after May 15.

Japanese Deaf tourist denied interpreting at Honolulu

May 12th 2017


A deaf tourist from Japan was illegally denied access to a sign language interpreter during hours of interrogation and detention at Honolulu International Airport and was subsequently handcuffed.

Read more:

Osaka, first prefecture to start sign language class for Deaf children in June

May 14, 2017

2011 when

The amended Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law was just carried out in 2011, which accepts sign language as a language for the first time in Japan.

Osaka Prefecture Office decided to secure an acquisition opportunity like other languages with a belief that sign language is also a language, establishing a regulation in March.

Osaka, the first prefecture across Japan to offer an opportunity for Deaf young children to acquire sign language, will start the "sign language class" for Deaf infants and their guardians in June, with assistance from the Prefecture Association of the Deaf. The cost will be served by Nippon Foundation. 

About the establishment of Osaka's Sign Language Regulation, Japanese Federation of the Deaf commented, "We hope that policy with the system performance spreads over the whole country. We also aim at the establishment of Sign Language Regulation by Government to secure acquisition of sign language." 

Since Tottori Prefecture first introduced the Sign Language Ordinance in 2013, 97 autonomous bodies established the similar regulation as of April 20, 2017. The prescriptive contents of the regulation differ among the autonomous bodies.

Japanese source:

Deaf and hearing children are in one at art event

May 14, 2017

An event for children was opened in Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture on May 13, encouraging both children with hearing difficulties or developmental disability and hearing children deepen their understanding each other through art activities.

About 25 children 1-9 years old interchanged through drawing a picture  in a wall and a mat in their own way. (photo)

The non profit organization "Wonder Art Production" located in Tokyo, planned the event. The team "Art For Hope" has worked to support the area hit by disaster just after the earthquake in 2011 through creation of fine arts.

Japanese source: 

Florist's shop that employs person with disabilities opened

May 13, 2017

The florist's shop where people with disabilities work was opened on May 8 near Harajuku Station at Harajuku in Tokyo.

Ten staff with mental disorder or hearing difficulties are working in the shop that has a cafe.

When the shop manager Fukujyu Maki, 28, acquired a teacher's license for special support school in college days she learned there was few opportunity for the student with a disability to be employed is limited. She opened the shop to make the place for a person with disabilities to work happily.

According to Tokyo Metropolitan Office, the shop is a welfare service business to secure the minimum wages for a person with disability, which is uncommon by such business category.

Japanese source:

Expressing city name in sign language, it's Mickey Mouse!

May 11, 2017 

The sign language for "Urayasu-shi" in Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo was introduced recently on the Internet. As it exactly looks like Mickey Mouse, it became the topic of conversation.

A local sign language club in Urayasu-shi explained about this sign (photo). The movement which indicates "Urayasu-shi" draws a rather big circle by both hands so that an ear may be grown on the head. It certainly looks like the ears of the main character of the popular theme park Tokyo Disney Resort in the city.

Disneyland started the business in Urayasu-shi in 1983, but the public relations of the Resort commented that they never have been involved in making such a sign.

An old sign for Urayasu-shi is still expressed, but the sign language club that started in 1980 says they doesn't know the history of the sign for Mickey or Disneyland clearly.

The cast given training as an interpreter is putting the round badge which drew Mickey's hand, guiding a Deaf visitor at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Japanese source:

Takahashi City Firemen and policemen learn sign language
May 11, 2017

Takahashi-shi in Okayama Prefecture, part of western Japan, carried out a Sign Language regulation for the first time in the prefecture in April, 2017. 

The city has started the sign language lecture for paramedics and firemen on May 10 (photo), aiming that they can communicate easily by sign language in doing first aid conveyance of persons with hearing impairments. Policemen participated and learned a basis of sign language, too.

The lecture is held by the pace of the twice a month at the city fire fighting head office in the city.

Japanese source:

Race Queen fluent in sign language
May 11, 2017

Miki Chisako (photo), 27, is a member of  "KOBELCOGIRLS" for the race car team "LEXUS TEAM SARD". She has been chosen as the "Race Queen of the Year  2015-16".

Miki tells about her daily life, races and others using sign language in the Instagram and Twitter.

"I'd like also to challenge the one such as  talking with sign language as well as acting and a song this year beside working as the model and the race queen."

Japanese source:

Entrepreneur taps Skype, tablets to offer sign language service across Japan


Imagine you’re a hearing impaired person who wants to hire a sign language interpreter. The process is antiquated and lengthy. You have to send a fax to a local municipal government to make a reservation two weeks in advance, and officials then look for an interpreter whose schedule matches yours. Once they find one, you’ll get a reply by fax.
Under this system, it is impossible to get an interpreter right away to deal with urgent matters.
But Junto Ohki (photo), a young entrepreneur, has not only relieved many people of such anxieties, but also helped change the widespread belief that sign language interpreting is something that should be provided by the public sector as welfare.

Read more:

Deaf rugby player aims at playing regularly
May 5, 2017

A rugby fixed period competition of Waseda University and University of Tokyo took place at Waseda University ground in Tokyo on April 15. 

Although the Waseda University team was leveled as the third class, the game was  traditional one as a regular season game.

FL Kishino Kaede, a Deaf sophomore of Waseda University, played in the game. (photo) He is probably the first Deaf player in the rugby team in Waseda University's 99 year history. He usually puts on a hearing aid, but removes it during practice or a game.

KIshino made up with image making for the game more carefully than his hearing teammates and also burst into breakdown (ball scramble after a tackle) daringly. He held a ball tightly, playing until the second half for 30 minutes, contributing to an easy victory of 55-3.

Kishino commented, "My goal this year is to get a regular position at a match in autumn. I'd like to be a member of my team aiming at the best one in Japan".

Japanese source:

Related blog:

Deaf film director brings fresh perspective with silent film

May 7, 2017 

A deaf film director who was unhappy about the lack of films made from the perspective of those with hearing loss has taken a step to address the situation, by completing a silent film featuring those who can't hear.

Read more:

City starts sign language exchange activity for Deaf and hearing persons in Kato-shi
May 2, 2017

Kato City Office in Hyogo Prefecture next to Osaka formed a first Sign Language Regulation among  autonomous bodies in Kinki area in 2014.

The city started the activity, "Kato Cherry Tree Room", at a social welfare center on May 1. 

Deaf and hearing persons will work on lifelong learning while communicating through sign language. The room opens in the morning every Monday.

On the first day, 12 Deaf and 15 hearing persons gathered, communicating each other about a hobby and others. (photo)

Japanese source:

Animation film "The Sound of Voice" nominated for international festival in France
April 25, 2017

The two animation films, "In the Corner of this World" and "The Sound of Voice" were nominated for the full-length film competition category of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (Festival International du Film d'Animation d'Annecy), which will be held on June 12-17 in France.  

The animation film on Blu-ray/DVD based on the original cartoon "The Sound of Voice" by Ohima Yoshitoki will be on sale May 17. (photo) The story is about a young couple, a hearing boy and a Deaf girl, since their school days.

Japanese source:

Deaf soccer player aims at being Japanese Leaguer
May 1, 2017

Nishi Daisuke, 18, who is Deaf,  has joined Verusupa Oita, a soccer team belonging to the Japanese Football League this season. (photo: center)

Since unable to hear around during a game, he remembers movements and ways of teammates to make up. Nishi has practiced hard aiming at play in the League.

 Born in Tokushima-shi, part of western Japan, Nishi has been Deaf since then. When he was a first grader, he joined a local soccer club. Nishi eyes following a teammate's movement patiently in soccer.

He persevered in school life exceedingly. He attended a hearing school later, but there was hardly a companion at school because there was no one who use sign language. So Nishi mastered oral communication when he was at a junior high school.

His skill to play soccer was also improved. When he was a junior high school student, he belonged to the youth group of Tokushima Verusupa, a local professional soccer team. Nishi was a high school student, leading d his team to the Tokushima Prefecture high school soccer tournament as a starting member. 

Nishi participated in test practice by Verusupa Oita in August , 2016. Coach Sano noticed Nishi running after a ball desperately with former leaguers, and decided to admit him to the team. JFL officials says they have never heard about a Deaf person admitted to JFL.

Nishi works at a camera component facility from 6:00am to 2:00pm before going to practice.

Japanese source:

"With the Animal That Helps" published
April 30, 2017

The book titled "With the Animal That Helps" which tells about the animal that works for a person with disabilities was published.

Kanai Maki, 43, an essayist in Tokyo, wrote the book including  an illustration. (photo)

The book introduces five stories such as the dog which sends a monkey away that 
eats farm produce untidily, a guide dog which supports a Deafblind person and others. 

Among these, the story about the Deafblind man, Kadogawa Shinichiro, 52, and his guide dog that lives with him in Osaka-shi is touching. 

Japanese sources:

Deaf soccer player leads experience class for hearing club members

Matsumoto Takumi (center) uses gestures teaching 
how to play soccer without hearing. 
April 30, 2017

To spread more awareness on Deaf soccer, Matsumoto Takumi, 27, who represents the national Deaf soccer team, held an experience class at a park in Miyazaki-shi located in Japan's southern island on April 29.

35 junior high school students who belong to the soccer club, "Asahi Sports FC", in the city, put an ear plug and without raising a voice, playing and experienced difficulty in the play and the pleasure.

Japanese source:

Annual Deaf soccer league event held in Tokyo

photo 1

Photo 2
Photo 3

April 28, 2017

The Japan Deaf  Soccer Association (JDFA) held the 16th JDFA Deaf League meeting in Tokyo on April 22-23, which attracted about 300 people.

With the theme, "Let's enjoy ourselves together," 130 Deaf and hearing players aged 14-61. They were divided into two age groups; under aged 34 and over 36, and four teams played. (photo 1)

On the second day, 48 children from  kindergartners through junior high school first year enjoyed soccer with experienced players and the Japan Deaf Soccer Team players. (photo 2)

With an international referee who was invited, a panel discussion was held under the theme, "What differs between Deaf soccer and Pro soccer: on communication", and a referee technique experience were performed. (photo 3)

Japanese source:

Prefecture honors Deaf local athlete

April 27, 2017

Yoshida Sho (photo), who works in the National Hospital Organization Saga Hospital in Saga Prefecture located in Japan's southern island, is an amateur sports player at a world level. 

He was selected by the Prefecture Office as the best athlete on April 26.

Yoshida has been unofficially selected to the national men volleyball team for the Deaflympics in Turkey in July. 

He commented, "I'd like to do my best at the Deafympics  in order to make a good report". 

Japanese source:

Related blog:

City subway staff ignore request from Deaf man for written communication 

April 25, 2017

When a Deaf man, 62, a Kyoto City resident, who wanted to know the IC railroad ticket in details, asked two clerks of the City Transportation Authority for  explanation at the municipal subway station on April 10 three times, showing the disabilities card. 

He wanted a conversation by means of writing. But on April 24, it was found out that the clerks kept explaining to him orally.

The Elimination of the Disabilities Discrimination Act requires an administrative agency necessary consideration for a person with disabilities, and the City Transportation Authority apologized to the Deaf man.

Japanese source: