Deaf persons in Kawasaki-shi participates in rescue practice using emergency e-mail system
July 8, 2017

On July 7, the members, both Deaf and hearing, of a sign language club who come into action in Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo practiced flood disaster rescue with officers of Takatsu Police Station and Takatsu Fire Department.

Practice took place near Futago-bashi Bridge by the assumption for which a member found the person drowning at Tama-gawa River.

The members learned how to use the emergency e-mail 110 system of the Prefecture Police. (photo)

Practical use has started with the emergency e-mail 110 system since 2003 according to Takatsu Police Station. Actual use in the prefecture was 259 cases last year, while this year 104 cases by the end of May.

The officers of the Police Station explained an aim of the practice; "There are Deaf or hard of hearing people who don't know how to report yet using the emergency e-mail system. We'd like to tell them about the emergency system already existed as well as how to use it." 

Japanese source:

List of Sexual Minority Support Groups

The group which supports a sexual minority with hearing loss has begun to start in recent years. 

They dispatch an interpreter to an event and a meeting, and an advisor/counselor to meet with the sexual minority and the family.

Support group list:

The Deaf LGBT Northeast 
(Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture)

Tokyo Deaf LGBT Bond 
(Mitaka-shi, Tokyo)


Deaf Rainbow
(Himeji-shi, Hyogo Prefecture)

Deaf man in Osaka active to promote awareness on LGBT
July 7, 2017

Kokubun Yutaka, 45, a Deaf resident in Moriguchi-shi, Osaka Prefecture, is an HIV patient and a homosexual. (photo) He has been active to enhance awareness in the Deaf community about LGBT, the various nature, too.

Kokubun, born to a Deaf family in Fukushima Prefecture, was brought up by his grandmother at her home since he was an elementary pupil. She believed oral method would help her grandson develop his speech ability. 

During his high school days, Kokubun felt a kind of love for a male leader in club activities, but it was when he was 26 years old he realized he was a homosexual himself.

Kokubun learned about the Tokyo Rainbow Festival which male homosexuals gathered in Tokyo, in which he participated. Then he felt:"That is what I am, too!" And, excitement didn't cool for him. He soon made a friend and a lover who were Deaf.

At 30 years old, Kokubun learned that he was infected by HIV as the result of a check in a health center. He once thought of killing himself at a moment, but continued to received the treatment.  Two years later, he met the man aged 46. They have lived together.

Kokubun moved to Osaka taking the opportunity that the man was relocated in 2015. While holding a sign language class, Kokubun tells the Deaf that there is various nature, LGBT.

Japanese source:

Discriminatory attitudes toward Deaf in daily life, feeling of alienation without visible information

June 15, 2017

About 4,200 people, both Deaf persons and their supporters, participated in the National Deaf Conference of Japanese Federation of the Deaf which was held in Fukuoka-shi located in Japan's southern island at the beginning of June.

Cases of the discriminatory attitude toward the Deaf persons who feel anxiety and alienated in daily experienced were reported in the subcommittee meeting under a theme "Human Rights".

 "A request of the Deaf person who communicates by means of writing is ignored, and only oral communication goes on."

"An interpreter and a note taker are not provided for a classroom or a meeting of a workplace."

"A broadcast is only called by voice/sound on a bus or a train."

"The Deaf person waiting for the turn at a hospital is called only by voice announcement," etc.

The questionnaire which was conducted by JFD from September, 2014 to March, 2016 with 811 Deaf respondents. 87% of them experienced discriminatory attitudes. 

Those who asked for the "reasonable accommodations in relation to "the Persons with Disabilities Discrimination Banishment Law effective in in April, 2016 specifically went up to 62%, pointing out as follows:

(1) interpreting arrangement at school and a workplace

(2) dissemination of the accident information, etc. of the public transportation should be captioned

(3) staff service improvement in a medical agency and public facilities.

There are 3,516 interpreters certified by the government authority at present. The government had put up a target of the interpreters who work for official facilities with 4,000 people (one interpreter for 100 Deaf consumers) when the certificate test started 28 years ago. However, autonomous bodies, educational institutions and public hospitals hired 1,801 interpreters (including certified one) according to an investigation conducted in 2015 by the national interpreters group in Kyoto, less than half of the target of interpreters; 53.7%.

Japanese source:

Tokyo Governor welcomes national team for Deaflympics by sign language

July 5, 2017

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko received expression of courtesy from the Tokyo team selected for the Summer Deaflympics in Turk, (July 18-30) in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on July 5.

Koike welcomed the team in sign language, and through interpreting she continued to say that she would like to make the environment with a diversity which persons with disabilities could play easily.

About 4,500 athletes from 109 countries and areas will participate in the upcoming Deaflympics including the Japanese team with 108 athletes (74 men and 34 women). Out of the 21 sport items, Japan will complete in 11 items; badminton, beach volleyball, bicycle, soccer, karate,  mountain bike, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Japanese source:

Life insurance company staff in Matsuyama receive lecture to deepen understanding to disabilities
July 4, 2017

The National Disabilities Sports event will be held in Ehime Prefecture in October.

A delivering lecture took place at a hotel in Matsuyama-shi in the prefecture on July 3 for the purpose of having the volunteers who support a meet deepen the understanding about disabilities beforehand.

About 45 staff of the Dido Life Insurance Matsuyama Sales Division attended the lecture. They learned the purpose of the meet and the outline of sports, as well as experienced sign language. (photo)

Japanese source:

Deaf city council member asks for more barrier free environment
July 3, 2017

 "The ways of communication for those who are hearing loss varies, such as a hearing aid, sign language, writing and others. I ask you to arrange right support  system according to the needs of the person with hearing loss."

Sato Makoto, 37, (photo) a deaf city council member stood for a general question and appealed to the mayor and fellow members at the general assembly meeting of Toda-shi, Saitama Prefecture on June 9.

An answer from the administration is made through the voice recognition system that voice is changed to the caption, and interpreting as well.
Sato lost hearing when he was very sick at the age of two. He put on a hearing aid and was trained by an oral method since then. He learned sign language after he became an office worker after finishing high school.

His experience with the USA two years ago when he visited was so a big opportunity that he determined to become a politician.

Sato ran as an independent candidate for Toda-shi council election in January, 2017.  He appealed to make Toda-shi a barrier-free society, and won his first election.

Sato is the fourth Deaf local councilor in the whole country, and the first one in Saitama Prefecture next to Tokyo.

Japanese source:

No application for Tottori Prefecture's sign language course for next year

June 29, 2017

Tottori Prefecture Office has established a sign language course related to a social welfare (the university degree level) for the new employers in spring, 2018, which it was found out on June 28 that no one has made any application.

The Prefecture Office aimed to station  interpreters in the department that carries out a social welfare policy in order to plan substantially related to a person with disabilities. 

However, the Office seems to be pressed to reconsider an application and so on. 

Japanese source:

Send-off party held for Japanese team before Deaflympics

June 28, 2017

Prince and Princess Akishinonomiya, and their eldest daughter Princess Mako met with the national team who will represent Japan at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics,  at the Akasaka East House near Akishinonomiya's residence in Tokyo on June 28. Princess Mako and her mother Prince Kiko encouraged the team, saying "Do your best" in sign language.

Another send-off party for the Japanese team was held at the House of Councilors Hall in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It was for the first time to hold such an event for the national team representing at Deaflympics.

The party were attended by the Olympic and Paralympics Minister and the Sport Agency Chief. Both encouraged the team and hoped for their doing best. The Turkish ambassador to Japan told a greeting, too.

At the Deaflympics scheduled for July 18-30 in Samsun, Turkey, 108 athletes in total  will compete in 11 sport items including truck and fields, badminton and others.  

Japanese sources:

All graders in Shintoku-cho learn sign language following curriculum

Shintoku-cho in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, has established a sign language regulation in 2014 for the first time and as the third town/village by the whole country autonomous body.

The sign language class has started targeted for all the grades of three elementary schools in the town this year. 

Children from the first grade through sixth grade learn sign language by a consistent system until graduation based on a step-by-step curriculum. Hokkaido Prefecture School Board says the case of the town is the first attempt.

The town dispatches an interpreter as a lecturer. The each grader has total of 30 frames until graduation: five frames a year for each grade (one frame for 45 minutes). (photo)

Japanese source:

Practice to catch stranger at Wakayama School for the Deaf
June 22, 2017

Practice to catch a stranger was performed at the Prefecture Wakayama School for the Deaf near Osaka. T

Total of about 100 graders and junior high and high school students and teachers participated in the training.

An officer from the Wakayama West Police Station acted the suspect who invaded in the schoolhouse with a knife. (photo: second from left) He asked loudly whether there was any child, while keeping the knife in his hand. 

Warned by school emergency announcement, the teachers and staff tried to hold the man who acted as suspect down using a broom, etc.

Japanese source:

Deaf survivor of atomic bombing appeals peace in sign language

June 19, 2017
Yamazaki Eiko explains in sign language, 
"I was afraid of an atom bomb. I cried much." 

Yamasaki Eiko, 90, is the Deaf woman who survived the atomic bombing in Nagasaki-shi located Japan's southern island. 

She moved to an elderly nursing home for the Deaf aged in Awajishima in Hyogo Prefecture, "The Awaji Owl Village" in the autumn of 2016.

Yamasaki visited her old home in Nagasaki-shi and lectured in the Atomic Bomb Museum on June 18. 

She stated, "I am afraid of an atom bomb.
It is the regrettable misery." Participants responded to her speech by expressed with waving both hands.

Japanese source:

Related blog:

Facilities for Deaf aged in Wakayama Prefecture behind schedule
June 17, 2017

In Wakayama Prefecture located in Central Japan, six Deaf organizations have cooperated in the fund-raising campaign since August, 2015 aiming at construction of the first home for the Deaf seniors in the prefecture. (photo) 

However, a schedule of the dedication of the Deaf senior home this fall was put off one year later because of lack of funds; the group gathered about 85,000,000 yen by May 20, 2017.

The building of the home for Deaf aged as soon as possible has been requested in the Deaf community, and the persons concerned have felt impatience.

By estimation of the Prefecture Association of the Deaf, out of about 6,200 persons with hearing impairments with disabled person's handbook issued, 500 Deaf persons who need sign language and the half of them are 65 year old and elder.

There are only 12 homes for the Deaf aged across Japan, overwhelmingly fewer compared with 70 facilities for visually impaired.

Japanese source:

Insurance company staff learn sign language by Deaf staff
June 15, 2015 

The staff of Tokyo Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd. Nichido Insurance Against Fire at Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido has volunteered to learn sign language since May.

The Deaf woman employed by the company, who has wanted her fellow workers to know about the world of the Deaf prepared a textbook, teaches them sign language. (photo: left)

Using the day when there is no overtime work, 20 staff are learning basic sign language such as greetings, fingerspelling, etc. for about one hour after a regular work time.

Japanese source:

Private cramming schools for Deaf students aiming at academic or social leadership
June 14, 2017

The private cramming school which supports the Deaf person who wishes for university entrance was established at all part after the persons with disabilities discrimination banishment law carried out in April, 2016.

"Deaf Academy," a private cramming school for Deaf students in Kyoto-shi, was established in April this year to produce a social top leader from the Deaf young generation. At the middle of May, six  third graders have entered. For three hours they learn "skills development," "counseling," "subjects (mathematics, Japanese, etc)." The monthly fee per a child is 13,500 yen.

The classes of the skills development focus on mainly a visual stimulus and memories as the curriculum. A Deaf teacher of the mathematics class uses sign language. (photo)

"The Private Cramming School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students" in Tokyo supports a Deaf person with successful university/collage entrance examination. Japan School of Social Work in Kiyose-shi, Tokyo started the course in 2009 as a support project. 27 students mainly who are a senior of  junior high school or high school attend a lecture every Friday.

To secure the individual level at the said cramming school, a Deaf lecturer uses sign language directly, and for a hearing lecturer interpreting is provided. 

Japanese source:

First group home for Deafblind open in Japan

June 13, 2017

The group home for Deafblind persons, named "Smile Residence for the DeafBlind" (shortly Mickey House) opened in Tennoji-ku, Osaka-shi in March. (photo)

In order to support communication with a tenant and going out, a staff is arranged cordially. Such facilities are the first across Japan according to the National Association of the DeafBlind in Tokyo. To secure the staff is difficult and problems still remain in a nationwide expanse.

The group home with five floors has ten rooms in all (about eight square meters for each). A rent is 65,000-75,000 yen including the lighting and heating expenses.

The present tenant is seven men and women aged 20-sixties. The three remaining rooms are being decided. Support staff are also stationed for 24 hours: about five persons in the daytime and one person at night.

Japanese source:

Unveiling monument held at Fujita Takeshi's birth place in Shimane
June 11, 2017

Fujita Takeshi (1917-72) who was born in Shin-Onsencho, Hyogo Prefecture next to Kyoto, was a well-known Deaf Japanese-style painter as well as an educator of the Deaf. 

Unveiling a monument was held at Fujita's birthplace in commemoration of the 100th year since his birth on June 10. His Deaf wife Takako (94) and her two daughters attended the event. (photo) 

Fujita got ill at the age of eight and lost hearing two years later. After graduating from Kyoto Prefecture School for the Deaf junior high school where he majored in painting, he became a painter.  Fujita returned home because of his father's sudden death in 1945. He got married to Takako who was also from the same school in the next year.

Fujita taught painting at Shimane Prefecture School for the Deaf and others,  
as well as he served as one of the board directors of Japanese Federation of the Deaf, endeavoring to promote social involvement of the Deaf community. He died at the age of 55 at his home in Hamada-shi, Shimane Prefecture in 1972. 

Life of Fujita and his wife was a model of the movie titled "Nameless, Poor, Beautiful" directed by Matsuyama Zenzo in 1961. 

Japanese sources: