Deaf father's dream realized by his son at National High School Baseball Championship in Koshien
August 20, 2017

"I will make my Deaf father happy with my best hitting."

Meiho High School baseball team in Oita Prefecture advanced to the National High School Baseball Championship quarterfinal on August 20, held at Koshien, Hyogo Prefecture.  

Matsutani Naoto, 18, from Meiho HS,
showed his best and final play to his Deaf father Akihiro, 46. 

He was unable to play baseball because of being Deaf as wished when he was young.

Meiho team was defeated, but Akihiro was glad and proud, saying, "My son was on the best stage," and praised him from a stand.

Japanese sources:

Deaf Japanese athletes strive to raise funds and awareness

The oldest international sporting event for people with disabilities is the Deaflympics, which was first held in Paris in 1924 and was managed by Deaf people.
Read more:

National interpreting workshops held at Fukuyama
August 18, 2017

The 50th National Interpreting Issues workshop was held in Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture on August 18, sponsored by Japanese Federation of the Deaf and National Interpreting Issues Study Group.

Deaf persons, interpreters and sign language students from across Japan will 
deepen their understanding about the situation of support to Deaf persons, peace and human rights through three days until August 20, attending lectures and subcommittee meetings.

About 1,100 people attended the opening ceremony. NIISG Chairperson and others spoke, such like "82% of interpreters across Japan are hired irregularly, a condition of the unstable employment. We will aim at improvement of the welfare of Deaf persons and the social status of an interpreter."

Japanese source:

Narita International Airport to repair restrooms for visitors
August 17, 2017

Narita International Airport company has begun to repair the all aging 147 restrooms for visitors in three passenger terminal buildings for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

The restroom rooms were completed repairing on August 9 in the two arrival lobbies of the second passenger terminal building, equipped with a wide private room, and now available to use.

The company considers the barrier free environment, such as the light warning equipment to tell fire breaking to a Deaf person in all the restrooms, planning to finish repair by March, 2020 with the budget of 5,000,000,000 yen.

Japanese source:

On Mountain Day wetlands walk with sign language guide in Nagano held
August 12, 2017

An event related to "Shinshu Mountain Day" has started after Nagano Prefecture Sign Language Regulation's was carried out in March, 2016 as an opportunity.

This year, the event to walk on mountain in Shinshu through sign language guide was held on on August 11, sponsored by the Prefecture. It took place at Yashimagahara Shitsugen (mountain wetlands).

About 20 people from children to adults, regardless of hearing impairments, participated in the activity. They enjoyed a guided tour by interpreting as well expanded an exchange at the wetlands where flowers in summer shined by deep green. (photo)

Japanese source:

Life insurance company to start video relay service for emergency
August 17, 2017

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., a major damage insurance company, will start a video relay service to respond to the Deaf customer on September 1. (photo)

The company, which has received through the internet, an e-mail and a fax, makes sure to correspond the emergency by which an accident has occurred more smoothly.

The "Plus Voice" that offers a video relay service in Sendai-shi will connect the insurance company and its Deaf customer.

When introducing a free communication app "LINE" into smart phone, it can be used easily.

Japanese source:

Deaf persons experience bouldering at Nara
August 16, 2017

The organization "Outdoor Sign Language Plan" that develops the business to promote Deaf persons' outdoor activities  held a Deaf bouldering event at Nara-shi, Nara Prefecture near Kyoto on August 14.

Five Deaf persons who love a sport participated in the event, having a pleasant good sweat with support of an interpreter and the guidance by a specialist. (photo)

Japanese source:

Sign language group in Toyama edits film on WWII Deaf experienced
August 15, 2017

The sign language club, "TOWA Group", in Toyama-shi, Toyama Prefecture collected the war experiences of Deaf persons related to Toyama Great Air Raid, Emperor's broadcasting to end the war, retreat from Manchuria and others into a film. (photo)

The film looks back to "the war the Deaf community experienced" and appeals the importance of peace powerfully.

The film is edited based on movies in the past, and there are a lot of Deaf performers who passed away, too. The club is considering DVD making as a visual record for posterity.

Japanese source:

Women in Iyo-shi make 100 white boards for communication by means of writing
August 13, 2017

The National Disabilities Sports Meet will be held in Iyo-shi, Ehime Prefecture on October 28-30, 2017.

As Deaf athletes will be expected in participate in the event, 22 local female volunteers got together at the City Health Welfare Center and made 100 small white boards for communication by means of writing on August 11. (photo)

One of the volunteers explained, "When even if you don't use sign language, you see a Deaf person who may have something trouble and help him/her with the writing board."

Japanese source:

Muko-shi Office in Kyoto to start employment test in barrier free environment

August 13, 2017

The Employment Promotion of Persons with Disabilities Act that prohibits discrimination against the persons with disabilities in all situations of employment has been revised.

Following the legal move, Muko-shi Office in Kyoto Prefecture will provide the written examination in braille and interpreting in the clerk employment examination for the persons with disabilities, which will take place first on October 22 and then in the middle of  November.

Japanese source

To order broiled cutlet on skewer in diner in Kyoto, write or sign
July 18, 2017

The diner called "Broiled Cutlet & Bar Maekawa's" was opened in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi recently. A Deaf person runs it with some deaf assistants.

To make an order, a guest writes a memo at "Maekawa's". Guests enjoy the Osaka taste that the Deaf owner had trained himself.

Maekawa Kenji, 47, runs the business. He manages by himself alone on weekdays, and his three Deaf friends in Kyoto including a former colleague from the previous work join as a part-time job in weekends. 

Contact in Japanese:

Japanese source:

Government to support memory keepers of a bombing experience

August 8, 2017

After 72 years passed since an atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more survivor of the atomic bombing are getting aged. 

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has decided to support the "memory keeper" who hands down an experience from generation to generation for a survivor of the atomic bombing.

There are 164,621 survivor of the atomic bombing currently as of the end of March, 2017 according to MHLW, It was almost cut by half in 22 years. The average age of the atomic bomb survivor exceeds 81 years old.

In order to promote understanding of the real fact of atomic bombing, domestic and abroad, MHLW will appropriate for the budget next year to cover the cost to train persons in English or sign language who will be dispatched overseas. This is the first time for the Government to put the budget on the memory keeper project

Japanese source:

Person with disabilities mistreated at workplace: Government annual report


An investigation of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported that the  number of persons with disabilities abused by their employer and boss at a workplace reached 972 in fiscal year 2016.

A total result of the report is published based on the Person with Disabilities Prevention of Abuse Law. This year was the fifth time.

The number of the businesses which had mistreated employees with disabilities was 581. 13.4 percent of the employees with disabilities was less than 4 percent compared with the previous year (1,123 people). It was highest number, 530 persons with intellectual disabilities for a breakdown.

One of mistreatment of persons with disabilities was the case of the Deaf worker.  In front of his face his boss showed the paper saying "Leave the company." 

Japanese source:

"Dialogue in Sign Language" held in Tokyo

August 7, 2017

The "Dialogue in Sign Language", by which a participant undergoes vicarious experience of the world without sound and words and enjoys communication, is held at Shibuya-ku, Tokyo until August 20. In Japan, it is the first holding.

Participants use the headset from which sound is insulated. They are led by a Deaf guide and carry on a dialogue only through facial expression and body language.

Seven rooms are in a meeting place, such as "Hand Dance", "Facial Gallery," "Shapes and Hands" (photo) and others, which a participant experience differently. 

This kind of event started in Germany in 1998, and more than 1,000,000 people in six countries experienced it.

Japanese source:

Wakayama-shi starts telephone service through Skype

August 5, 2017

Wakayama-shi Office in Wakayama Prefecture has begun sign language telephone service using video call software of the internet "Skype" on August 1 so that a Deaf person can call. It is a part of services related to the Sign Language Regulation which was carried out in April, 2016.

A Deaf person had to go to the city office to call when there was no one who knows sign language nearby, and an interpreter helped him communicate through a telephone. There were 170 cases last year.

A Deaf person can save the time when he goes to the city office now, and can also call from any other place.

Japanese source:

Turkey: Deaflympics ends, Japan picks 27 medals
July 31, 2917

Deaflympics held in Samusun, Turkey, with more than 3,000 athletes from 97 countries and areas since July 18 ended on July 30, and the closing ceremony was performed. (photo)

Japan national team competed in 11 sport items and won 27 medals (six gold medal, 9 silver medals and 12 bronze medals). They collected more medals than the last Deaflympics in Bulgaria four years ago which was 21 medals.

Deaflympics is less known in Japan compared with Olympics and Paralympics. Japanese Federation of the Deaf as national desk has put the effort into national enlightenment activity as well as improvement of competitive ability in the Deaf athletes.

The next Deaflympic Summer Games is planning to be held in 2121, although the site isn't decided yet.

Japanese Sources:

Deaf guide service at Tomioka Spinning Factory to start in August

July 26, 2017

Tomioka-shi, Gunma Prefecture near Tokyo announced that it would begin to introduce a "Deaf guide" for a tour of the world-class cultural property "Tomioka Spinning Factory" on August 1.

The city began the project which dispatches interpreters to usual explanation, and dispatched 29 interpreters last year. However, it took time, and Deaf visitors pointed out that it would be better if a Deaf person acts as a guide who has the same viewpoint as them.

After the city trained Deaf persons as a guide, it became possible for them to act as a guide.

Japanese source:

Kakogawa-shi begins to promote barrier free environment


Kakogawa-shi, Hyogo Prefecture next to Osaka has begun to support a private enterprise to make its store or business barrier free for a person with disabilities. 

Meal menu with a braille, the folding slope over a ramp for a wheelchair user, interpreters dispatch to an event, and others are covered by the city between the full amount and the half price of the cost.

"The Person with Disabilities Discrimination Dissolution Law" has been enforced since April, 2016. Such as refusing servicing for reason of the disability, discriminatory treatment is forbidden.

Japanese source:

Deaf society donates sign language DVD for fire rescue crew


Toyokawa-shi Deaf Welfare Society in Aichi Prefecture donated the sign language DVD to Toyokawa-shi fire fighting head office on July 21 

In order that the emergency and rescue crew in each fire department can sign at a site, the head office will distribute the DVD to five fire departments.

The society hold a lecture meeting on the proper use of an ambulance for the rescue staff in September, 2016, participated by three rescue members for the first time. It was found that they respond to a Deaf patient by means of writing.

Japanese source:

Volunteers support Deaf persons who suffered from disaster in Fukuoka

July 15, 2017

Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture located in Japan's southern island, suffered large damage by a record torrential downpour.

About 20 members of "Fukuoka Prefecture Association Sign Language Group" visited two houses of Deaf persons, and worked to  removed sand which flowed in the houses. 

The house in which Fujise Hideo, 82, lives was full of earth and sand on the floor. One of the volunteers was extracting mud using a shovel after he learned the situation and damage of the those days from Fujise and his family by sign language.

Fujise said, "I am really relieved to have someone who can communicate when I need help. It's the serious situation, but, I'd like to exert myself."

One of the volunteers explained, "Deaf people often have trouble in the time of an accident, so I ran to help them."

Japanese source:

Shikoku area organization publishes book on dialect in sign language

Sign Language for "MORNING"
expressed by four prefectures
July 11, 2017

Shikoku Federation of the Deaf (secretariat in Kagawa Prefecture) and others published the book (B5 size; 76 pages, DVD) which introduces "dialect" of the sign language daily used in the Shikoku area which locates four prefectures after about two years of collection. 

The sign language which developed respectively in every region across Japan is different in the meaning and an expression, and a communication problem will be expected in case of emergency such as disaster.

Shikoku Federation hopes to succeed to sign language used in each region as well as prepare for Nankai-trough disastrous earthquake to prevent confusion in interpreting. 

Japanese Federation of the Deaf located in Tokyo says there are about 350,000 Deaf/deaf persons in the whole country, and about 70,000 out of them daily use sign language. The federation has worked on "standard sign language" by Japan Sign Language Research Center in Kyoto-shi since 1969.

Japanese source: