DVD on medicine in sign language produced in Oita Prefecture

YANO Tadanori (left), a leader of the nonprofit organization related with medicine, shows a package of DVD with his friend.
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNews/2010_129308090918.html)


The Medicine Study Group, an incorporated nonprofit organization located in Oita Prefecture, produced DVD that explains how to take medicine and how to choose it wisely in sign language in order to help the Deaf community in the prefecture in the southern island of Japan.

YANO Tadanori (63), a leader of the group, had worked for the pharmaceutical company. The revision Pharmaceutical Affairs Act was enforced in April, 2009 after he had retired. The law allows people to buy the medicine in the convenience store. At the same time, the the concern for the medicine increased, and so he decided to make the best use of his experience and formed the group.

While acting, Yano has felt that the dissemination to the Deaf community was insufficient, and planned the production of DVD in sign language.

The group, funded by the promotion of non-prescription pharmaceutical self-medication Promoting Foundation in Tokyo, made 300 copies of DVD. The prefecture society of the Deaf cooperated in the interpreting.

DVD, which runs about 30 minutes, introduces the characteristics of the medicine, how to choose it properly, and the combination with health food. DVD is also useful in the drugstore, etc. besides being presented to the organizations of the Deaf in the country.

Yano spoke, "There are about 7,000 Deaf persons in the prefecture. I would like them to refer to DVD in the proper use of medicine".

New website on Deaf athletes in Japan launched

There are persons who are Deaf/hard of hearing enjoy any kinds of sports, not only major sports such like baseball and soccer, etc. but also combative sports and motor sports, etc.

However, there is few information on such sports that they do. In order to share the information on Deaf sports, "Deaf Athlete Japan" launched on December 3, 2010.

The website introduces the following athletes and games.
- Deaf kick boxer OTSUKA Masato
- Deaf Footsal games
- Deaf woman soccer striker HAMADA Rie
- Deaf soccer player KINEBUCHI Yoshihiko, etc.

Website (Japanese): 

Japan Deaf Theater Company to perform traditional tricks in January

A flier on the Deaf Theater Show
(photo: http://www.totto.or.jp/totto/syoshunnokai2011flyer.html)

The Japan Deaf Theater Company will celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishment in January, 2011.

The Totto Foundation, a social welfare corporate and a parent organization, will hold "The 30th Traditional Tricks in Sign Language for the Early Spring Show" in the National Noh Theater in Tokyo on January 22 (Saturday)-23 (Sunday), 2011, sponsored by the Japan Arts Fund's promotion project.

The show will start at 13:30 on the days.

All Deaf members of the company will perform three different tricks; Fumisumo, Igui, and Tsuribari. Spoken interpreting will be provided.

5,500-3,000 yen per person:
3,000-2,500 yen per person for group (five people or more)

Official site (English):

Crime rampancy that Deaf approaches each other

Deaf Lawyer TAMON Hiroshi explains the criminal act by the Deaf.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/tokyo/news.php?k_id=13000001012210001)

The cases that the Deaf person does an illegal act against other Deaf person is endless.

Lawyer TAMON Hiroshi (43), who became the first Deaf lawyer in 1998, has offered the free law consultation in JSL for the Deaf with a difficult access to justice every month for 11 years since 1999 in Tokyo.

He said that about 80 percent of about 300 cases was related with a swindle and pyramid selling by the Deaf themselves.

Moreover, other Deaf experts pointed out that because it is difficult for the Deaf in the access to the government administration and justice, it is not easy to find the damage and its recovery.

"It is necessary to increase personnel who deals with the cases by training them regarding Deaf awareness, setting up the post that teaches sign language in the organization".

First Deaf man passes C class soccer coach

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi is the first Japanese Deaf coach officially certified in C class by the Japan Football Association.
(photo: http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20101220001.shtml)

FUKUSHIMA Futoshi (31), a born-Deaf company employee, passed the examination of the "officially certified C class coach" of the Japan Football Association on December 19. He is the first Deaf coach officially certified in the country according to the Kumamoto prefecture soccer society located in the southern island of Japan.

Fukushima is a head coach of a private soccer team "FC Winared Junior" which he established four years ago, with about 20 teammates who are Deaf children, students of the Kumamoto School for the Deaf and their siblings. He has acquired the D class coach certificate necessary for the elementary school team, last November.

Fukushima decided to get himself promoted to the C class to acquire more knowledge. He took the examination on December 18-19 that included the practice test and the written examination which are not included in the previous D class coach examination.

For the practice test, he would give the players the direction which are mainly technical terms of which the knowledge the interpreter must know. So, ISHIBASHI Tadashi (17), a friend of Fukushima for ten years and a soccer club member of a hearing high school who is fluent in sign language, interpreted for him during the test. Fukushima says, "Thanks to him, I passed the test".

Fukushima had played with his hearing friends of his age in the park in the vicinity at early elementary school years. Soccer was one of his favorite sports. "I joined those boys without any difficulty. I liked to play and indeed enjoyed it with them".

However, there is no soccer club in the Kumamoto School for the Deaf, so he joined the baseball club. He said that he had envied the soccer practice at another school.

Fukushima works in the auto parts producing company in Kumamoto City, and stands in the ground as a head coach on Saturday. "I want to tell the Deaf children about the joy of playing soccer. Also I want tell them; Never give up!".

"Japanese Sign Language" introduced in Deaf education

Class taught thoroughly in Japanese Sign Language (JSL)
(photo: http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/sankei/life/snk20101220084.html)

Up to now, the oral method was a main instruction in the Deaf education. However, it was difficult for the student to comprehend what was said. The classes were unsatisfactory to them due to the shortage of the teacher who is fluent in JSL, etc.

The Nippon Foundation is supporting the course for the Deaf high school students prior to the college/university entrance examination, given by Deaf lecturers and interpreters.

Over 70 percent of 93 schools for the Deaf across the country has introduced sign language. However, many are "manually-coded Japanese". In addition, because the oral training, JSL, and the manually-coded Japanese exist together, the quality of Deaf education is failed.

The percentage of Deaf students pursuing higher education was only 16% while a percentage of hearing ones exceeded 50% in 2009.

The class on the entrance examination with JSL and support services for Deaf high school students was held in Tokyo. The lecturers were all Deaf, and taught mathematics, English, Japanese, etc. with interpreting and CART. Also the university students instructed in the knack of studying for exam.

Interpreting and support service are indispensable to understand the lecture after entering the college/university. Because the hearing college/university does not offer satisfactory support services, the Deaf student always faces the problem: he gets frustrated or isolated in the class due to the lack of effective communications.

The Office of the support project for the Deaf student in the Japan College of Social Work located in Tokyo has supported the Deaf students inside as well as outside the college.

The student at another university is also allowed to attend the lecture in JSL by the cross registration program. The 13 courses including "Sign linguistics", English, economics, etc. are taught by all the Deaf lecturers.

In the college, the special support school teacher training course has been set up since last year. The student who wants to register the course is required to master JSL, which was for the first time in the country.

Nippon Foundation officials in supporting the spread of JSL says, "We want to organize the lecture that directly is carried out in JSL and to arrange the environment that the Deaf student learns without any problem at the university in order to improve their scholastic attainments and the percentage of enrollment in higher education".

Encouraging Deaf students to understand Deaflympic Games in Oita Prefecture

Deaf player Kobori and the students at the School for the Deaf in Oita Prefecture
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNews/2010_129246185717.html)

There was a meeting on the Deaflympic Games, which the Deaf players active at the international game came to the Prefecture School for the Deaf in Oita Prefecture on December 15. Over 30 students participated in the meeting and learned how to enjoy the sports as well as the importance of hard work.

The last Deaflympics was held in Taipei in 2009, and 245 athletes participated from Japan. One of them was KOBORI Tomofumi (39), who won the bronze medal for the badminton mixed doubles and won 5th place for the team match.

He told the students about how he started playing badminton, the training method, etc. "Without the understanding from the boss and coworkers, it would be difficult for me to participate in any international game including the Deaflympics. I am working hard at the practice aiming at the next Deaflympics in Greek in 2013".

Afterwards, the students played a game with Kobori, and there was applause to his smash every time.

TAHARA Naoyuki, a member of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf sports committee as the organizer of the meeting, said, "Even in the Deaf community, people hardly know of Deaflympic Games as it is not well known in Japan. We hope many people encourage the Deaf players because they are working hard for our country".

Deaf high school student won microcomputer car contest in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture

The 16th Hokkaido region contest for the "Japan Microcomputer Car Contest 2011" was held in the Sapporo Technology High School in Sapporo City on December 11-12, sponsored by Hokkaido Technology High School Administrators Association.

At this contest, the high school students competed for the speed of the self-made microcomputer car. Students from 23 high schools across Hokkaido participated with 186 self-made cars.

The microcomputer car is self-propelled with a battery motor when is perceived the white line at the center of the 51-meter-long course with the sensor, competing over the time of one round. There were a team and individual matches.

UEDA Yuki, a student of Hokkaido High School for the Deaf located in Otaru, won the individual match. He will compete in the national contest scheduled at the Sapporo international Information High School on January 9 next year.

Deaf player joins professional independent baseball league in Niigata Prefecture

New players pose. NORO Taiki, a deaf player, is at right in the second row.
(photo: http://www.asahi.com/sports/bb/TKY201012140133.html)

Ten baseball players including high school students newly joined a baseball team, called Niigata Albirex BC, a member of the professional independent baseball league.

They had an interview in the Eco-Stadium Niigata in Niigata City on December 13, and were willing to tell what they would do for the baseball.

NORO Taiki (22), the only deaf player, joined as an outfielder. After he had graduated from the Horikoshi High School in Tokyo, He took an active part at Heisei International University, a member of the Kanto area new student baseball league. He is a swift runner, and won the best prize two times for his achievement to steal base most at the university. He is a good player all for running, offense and defense.

NORO says, "Being deaf means life is inconvenient, but I think I must work harder because I am deaf. I hope my performance will give the speculator courage".

Anti doping course to be held in Tokyo in February

The Japanese Deaf Cyclist Association plans to hold the anti doping course in Tokyo on February 11, 2011.

Lecturers will be HAYASE Kumi, a Deaf certified pharmacist, and SUZUKI Yuka, a member of national Deaf basket team. They have been certified in 2009 as a "sports pharmacist", an expert on the anti doping.

Major Deaf sports events are planned a few years ahead; the Winter Deaflympics in 2011, world championships, Athens Deaflympics in 2013.

Deaf athletes are encouraged to attend the course and get the knowledge related to the anti doping so that they will not be caught to the doping inspection, and to make the best use of for health management, etc.

Registration fee: 500 yen

Cafe bar and "sign language song class" open in Tokyo

The Cafe is on the fourth floor of the building. Standing is the manager and artist MITO Manami (left).

It was almost three months ago when the cafe & live space, called "Shimo-Kitazawa At Home", was opened in Tokyo.

The store is owned by a recording company "T-TOCRECORDS" located at Shibuya in Tokyo. The store offers "Sign language song class" weekly, too.

The class is related with Mito's own experience to encounter the sign language. Someone talked to her when she was a student, but she was unable to respond. This experience led her to learn the language.

Mito arranges a live performance that she sings or dance with the sign language.

"Sign language bar" being operated in Tokyo

Owner SATO (left) with the cast and manager KIMURA Takuya at the "Sign language bar".
(photo: http://ueno.keizai.biz/headline/731/)

Two months passed after the "Sign language bar, Kimi no Te (Your hands)" had opened in Tokyo on October 3.

This bar offers the opportunity to the customer to enjoy eating and drinking while using sign language with Deaf and hearing female cast.

Sato, a hearing man who owns the bar, said, "There is little place for people to enjoy drinking and signing. I wanted to make the place where everyone shares the happiness of communications in sign language".

Most of eight members of the cast, Deaf and hearing, were hired through the Internet. Sato explained, "The Deaf can also work at this bar just like hearing persons, because it is business pursuing the profit, not for welfare. I would like to have more customers to visit our bar".

A Deaf member of the cast says, "I am glad that the guest notices sign language as an interesting language. They see deafness as positive side, not a negative one". Other member also says, "I have had a yearning in this occupation. I am glad to fulfill the dream. I feel happy to see that the guest is enjoying regardless of sign language".

40 seats. The charge is a single-unit of 60 minutes, 5,000 yen for man and 3,000 yen for woman. Business hours 19:00-1:00. Closed on Sunday, holidays, the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

Documentary film on Deaf young lugger man aired in Kyushu

Deaf high school rugby club captain OTSUKA Takayuki at hard work
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localSports/120731038207/2010_127630985866.html)

A visual document produced by JNN Kyushu/Okinawa, titled "Our hot shout of joy for you!! High school lugger man's challenge", aired on TV in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan early December.

It focused on OTSUKA Takayuki, a deaf student who attends a hearing high school in Oita Prefecture.

He, who hardly hears anything, belongs to the rugby club, and is not allowed to use the hearing aid, so he does not hear anything like the referee's whistle, the voice of the instruction of the ally during the match.

He who doesn't use sign language heavily depends on lip reading to understand what is told.

Head coach TSUTSUMI Shouji chose Otsuka as the club captain at current year for his strong will.

Otsuka has dreamed that his team would compete at the National High School Rugby championship for the first time.

YouTube (http://bit.ly/eX0giH: Japanese caption) shows his challenge aiming at the national championship as his last game as high school lugger man.

Deaf woman wrestler to debut in Tokyo

Yakami Aoi who will debut soon as a professional wrestler.
(photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/ring/2010/12/18/0003682637.shtml)

Yakami Aoi is an active Deaf professional woman wrestler belonging to Toromon Japan, a Deaf professional wrestler group.

It was recently learned that she is debuting to the Deaf wrestling match scheduled for December 23 at Korakuen in Tokyo.

Command Bolshoi, a popular hearing wrestler of JWP (Japan Wrestling Produce), came to know about her and asked about fighting together in the ring. Yakami accepted the offer and will challenge the match for the first time as a Deaf woman wrestler this time.

She will be with Bolshoi, and fight against other hearing wrestlers.

Yakami says in writing, "It is quite like a dream going up to the mat at Korakuen".

Professional baseball player promises victory to Deaf students in Tokyo

Takahashi Yoshinobu (left) shows how to bat at the school for the Deaf.
(photo: http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/giants/news/20101206-OHT1T00023.htm)

Outfielder Takahashi Yoshinobu (35) of the Giants team based in Tokyo visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Tachikawa School for the Deaf in Tachikawa City, Tokyo on December 5, and led the baseball workshop.

He then swore to the baseball club members, "I promise that my team will win the national championship next year".

He first visited the school in 2004. He had promised that he would sign on TV if he achieved the first opening game at bat in 2005, which indeed came true.

The baseball club members at that time also achieved the promise made with Takahashi; they won at the "Kanto Regional Deaf School Baseball Tournament" in the summer of 2006.

Since 2006, Takahashi has spent an unwilling season due to the deterioration of lumbago, etc. He played 116 games for this season, a sign of revival, though he is unsatisfied.

National Deaf soccer championship held in Kagoshima Prefecture

The 9th National Deaf Soccer Championship was held for the first time in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture located in Kyushu on December 4-5. About 70 players participated, divided into 5 regional blocks based on Hokkaido, Eastern Japan, Western Japan, and Kyushu.

There were the men soccer game for the 3rd place and the final game as well as the women soccer game between the Eastern Japan and the Western Japan.

The team that won the championship would be the national team for the Deaflympic Games, so all the players competed hard.

Hearing high school in Kyoto prefecture holds annual sign language debate contest

The Deaf and hearing students have shared the school life together since 1971 at the Prefecture Yamashiro High School in Kyoto City. Over 100 Deaf students have graduated, and presently 15 Deaf students are enrolled.

In the high school, there are accommodations for these Deaf students to study with the hearing students in the classroom.

- The teacher will not talk with his back to the Deaf students.
- The teacher follows up to support the Deaf students for the experiment in the science class, etc.
- The visual material is always captioned, etc.

The sign language debate contest has been held every year since 1984. The Deaf student has a chance to present a speech about his own experience, etc. in sign language and the spoken language at the same time. Such an event has offered all the students to consider learning together at the school and to promote them to be aware of the disability issues.

The speech contest was held on November 17, and about 100 people came. Ten first- and second-year students gave a speech. Some of them worked on sign language for the first time, so the manuscript was prepared for about two months as well as they practiced repeatedly to brush up the sign language.

Interpreting to be offered at event with over 300 Deaf participants in Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture Governor Abe announced at the press conference on December 3 that his administration would place the interpreters and note takers at the event sponsored by the prefecture with 300 or more Deaf participants expected.

Up to now, the interpreters and note takers had been placed at the event in which the Deaf persons participated.

The prefecture officials said that there are about 8000 Deaf residents in the prefecture, which means one Deaf person per about 270 inhabitants, so the event with over 300 participants will be available for interpreting. This is assumed to be a part of Governor's effort to make the environment accessible to the Deaf community in the prefecture.

The gender equality forum and the youth health promotion conference, etc. held by the prefecture every year will be offered with the interpreting and note-taking services, too. Even if there are less 300 Deaf participants, it still will be provided as usual.

National Deaf organization publishes new sign language dictionary

"Our Sign Language: Dictionary for Learning", published by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf (2,730 yen).
(photo: http://book.asahi.com/life/TKY201012030294.html)

The Japanese Federation of the Deaf published a new sign language dictionary titled "Our Sign Language: A Dictionary for Learning". It was edited based on the 14 hand shapes as an index, from which one can find the Japanese meaning for a sign.

About 3500 signs frequently used in daily life were selected carefully for 3 years from the basic word collection, named "Our Sign Language" (10 volumes) series in which about 8,000 signs are collected covering every field such as daily conversation, technical term, etc.

In the new dictionary, each sign is labeled to indicate which level in the nationwide sign language certificate examination, helping the learner in the wide range from the beginner to the student who aims at the interpreter.

Professional coach works with Deaf soccer team in Sappro City, Hokkaido Prefecture

Captain Takahashi (left) and his teammates during practice aiming at the national athletic game.
(photo: http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/cont/consa-club/111287.html)

Fukagawa Tomotaka (38), a hearing coach of the Sapporo U-18 team for 8 years, has kept working with the Hokkaido Prefecture Deaf soccer team once every month since the summer of 2008.

The National Deaf Soccer competition will take place in Kagoshima Prefecture in the southern island of Japan on December 4-5. Coach Fukagawa hopes the Deaf team to win by all means.

The final practice before the competition was held at the Prefecture Sapporo School for the Deaf in Sapporo City on November 27. Fukagawa was unable to make it due to the conflict with the U-18 team which also had a workout.

Twelve Deaf players practiced hard enough to throw the sweat. Head coach Ishihara Ryo (35) said that the boys became more motivated thanks to Mr. Fukagawa.

"Could you send a professional player to teach the Deaf soccer team?" Tamura Naomi (39), an interpreter of the Prefecture Deaf Soccer Society, e-mailed to the Hokkaido Football Club located in Sapporo City in July, 2008. The club decided to send Fukagawa, a former Sapporo FW.

Fukagawa, who had never experienced in working with a Deaf group, felt uncertain at first about communications. However, with Tamura who interprets for the team, he felt relaxed. He also learned sign language, too which made him felt closer to the team players.

It is eye contact that Fukagawa coach emphasizes most. His desire for not only playing but also attitude and the spiritual aspect as the Hokkaido representative was conveyed to the teammates.

Tamura felt the players have become more concentrated on practice. Captain Takahashi Yuki (30) is grateful for Furugawa's work.

His work with the Deaf team has been made the best use of for his main job. In September, 2009, the practice match between the U-18 team and the Deaf group was held. The hearing teammates recognized again from the match how important it is to check out each other through calling.

Furugawa says, "The importance of communications was recognized again through working with the Deaf team. I have kept reminding of my work with the U-18 team more in detail". He has felt how valuable for his work with both the teams.

Deaf elementary student wins championship in rhythmic sportive gymnastics in Hiroshima Prefecture

Kakeyasu Akari with the gold medal elegantly poses for the photo.
(photo: http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201012020005.html)

Kakeyasu Akari (11), a born-Deaf fifth grader of the elementary school located in Hiroshima City won the championship of the category of Indian clubs in the Hiroshima Prefecture Junior Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Championships held in the city on November 28.

She put the microphone in front of the public address system which would sound out music to the hearing aid on her through the wireless, before playing for about one and a half minutes.

She won the first place out of 17 players from the elementary school fifth grade to the junior high-school second year. Takeyasu's powerful expression and the gracefulness, etc. were highly evaluated. She was pleased, saying that she has wanted to win the championship absolutely".

Yearning to the appearance of the person who danced with the ribbon, she started learning rhythmic sportive gymnastics when she was 5 years old, but it was hard because her body movement and the sense of rhythm hardly matched to the sound and the tune.

Takeyasu pressed her ear against the CD deck to confirm the tune many times. She even joined the rhythmic sportive gymnastics club and practiced three times a week at the sports center, accompanied by her mother Keiko (37).

Sign language interpreters confront difficult issue in moot court in Shizuoka

At the moot court held as a workshop for the certified interpreters, the woman (right) interprets for the Deaf man (left).
(photo: http://www.shizushin.com/news/feature/saiban/news1/20101127000000000013.htm)

As the lay judge system has been established, there is a possibility for a Deaf person to be elected to the lay judge. In the preparation for such a case, the Shizuoka Prefecture Society of the Certified Sign Language Interpreters began their efforts such as holding the court interpreters training.

When one Deaf lay judge is elected, usually two or more interpreters are needed. However, there are less than ten interpreters out of the 51 members have experienced in working at court.

The society held a moot court late November with the cooperation of Shizuoka University Law School, and found the difficulty in court interpreting.

Yamamoto Shiro, secretary-general of the prefecture society of the Deaf, who played a role of the defendant, says, "A lot of words that I do not understand the meaning were interpreted, so I am worried if the Deaf person may likely suffer from the disadvantage".

Furuguchi Akira, a lawyer and law school professor of Shizuoka University, pointed out that every word could affect the court decision. "The court interpreter needs to ask the presiding judge to confirm the meaning of a word when unable to understand at court, or to make clear the point for interpretation in the prior consultation".

Hatakama Mieko, president of the society of the certified interpreters, who has experienced court interpreting, said, "Hereafter, we, as an expert on deafness, will send information to make the court situation better administered".

The Health Minister recognizes the successful applicant of the sign language interpreter skill qualifying examination as certified. Among 200 interpreters recognized by the prefecture society of the Deaf, 51 interpreters are nationally certified. They work at court and TV political campaigns in addition to medical institutions and public offices in daily life.

Successful performance by Deaf theater group at Sapporo in Hokkaido Prefecture

Theatrical group members as a parent and her child act vividly in sign language.
(photo: http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/horidashi/news/20101128mog00m040018000c.html)

The play, titled "Feeling Something Important" by a Deaf theater group named "Mimu" (Dancing Dream) was over at a Sapporo theater. The performance was the first since six years ago.

After the final performance, Saito Kyoko (68), the representative of the group, stood on the stage for the final greeting. She had a lump in her throat, moved emotionally when she saw the "hand applause". This reminded her of a hard practice for five months which was well paid off.

The "Mimu" theater group was formed in 1981 as one of the club activities of the Sapporo Association of the Deaf in Hokkaido Prefecture in the northern island of Japan. The main play items had been a hit play and pantomimes, which were changed later to the creative play since about ten years ago. The group has participated in the theater festivals in the prefecture, etc.

Twenty six members and staff have continued practice for the recent performance since June.

The theme of the play was the importance of telling the desire each other; the family first disjointed deepens their relation after a stranger started living with them. The play indicated also that the importance of getting acquainted of both hearing people and the Deaf person.

Because the Deaf actors perform by not the word but the expression and movement, their emotions are richer than usual plays.

Araki Motoharu (65), a sign language instructor, said, "In the scenario, there is a word unfamiliar with the Deaf either, and it is difficult to translate into the sign language. Several signs are chosen as the candidate to be decided through the discussions with the actors".

The new performance is scheduled next year in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of its establishment.

Barrier-free movie festival takes place in Saga Prefecture

Kimura Yuichi (center) and Prefecture Governor Furukawa Yasushi share the session as a part of the film festival in Saga Prefecture.
(photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/gossip/article/2010/11/27/0003637349.shtml)

An event called the "Barrier-free Film Festival 2010" was held on November 26-28 in Saga City, Saga Prefecture, a part of Kyushu Island of Japan. This festival that focuses on the films with caption and audio for the Deaf and persons who are visually impaired is the first kind in the world.

Comedian Kimura Yuichi (47) was invited as a guest at the event on November 26. He had first directed the movie titled "Forged Notes", which was screened last year. He spent about two weeks on its barrier-free edition, that is, caption and audio, which was then first screened in the public.

When Kimura and Governor Furukawa Yasushi (52) talked at the session in the hall, Kimura explained details, saying, "Because I had would like all people, the young and the elder, men and women, to enjoy my work, and so agreed to edit for barrier free".

He talked about a barrier-free film, "It is necessary to know about it earlier. Even people without disabilities easily understand watching the barrier free film. It should become standard in the future".

"I think that it is good if the Deaf and persons who are visually impaired are part of the production staff from the beginning so that the barrier should be removed".

The Deaf die of accident at railroad crossing in western Japan

The alarm and crossing gates are set up in the railroad crossing where the fatal accident occurred last April.
(photo: http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/Disaster/An201011200152.html)

A Deaf elder man (89) was hit to death by the train when he was walking across the railroad crossing in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture in March, 2003.

The JR (Japanese Railroad) West had installed the railroad sign and the light that warned for the temporary stop after the accident.

Yet the tragedy was repeated. A Deaf woman (36) who took a ride on a bicycle was hit by the train and died in Okayama Prefecture in April, 2009.

The Prefecture Federation of the Persons with Disabilities submitted the request to the JR West branch office that covers Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures, in June, 2009 for the immediate installation of the crossing gates and the alarm to all the railroad crossings.

The Okayama branch office will install the alarm and the crossing gates in the railroad crossing in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture where the accident has often happened, in December.

Local festival to promote deaf awareness held in Iwate Prefecture

Equipment exhibition that fire alarm devices and video telephone, etc. are introduced.
(photo: http://www.iwanichi.co.jp/ken/item_21437.html)

The Iwate Prefecture Information Service Center for the Deaf held a festival in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, a northern part of Japan, on November 23- 28.

The festival which has been arranged every two years since 2006 aims at the deaf awareness promotion through cultural activities with the local community, etc. It was the 3rd this year.

The balloon art demonstration show, note-taking experience corner, screening of the prefecture TV with caption produced by a volunteer group, the equipment exhibition, booths to show the activities of the prefecture association of the Deaf and advocacy groups.

Hard of hearing student aged 72 eager to study at hearing school in Tokushima Prefecture

Tagami Sadao attends the class with the hearing students at the Naruto High School.
(photo: http://www.topics.or.jp/localNews/news/2010/11/2010_12903185873.html)

Tagami Sadao (72) is the ever eldest student at Naruto High School, which offers the four-year evening program, in Tokushima Prefecture. He has never missed any class for two years since he was enrolled.

Tagami, a native of Osaka City, moved with his elder sister away from their parents for evacuation during the war. Then he lost hearing due to chronic inflammation of the middle ear.

He got back with his family to live in Naruto City, Tokushima Prefecture after the war, and had been bullied by his classmates in elementary and junior high schools.

When Tagami took the examination of a hearing high school and passed it, his father told him, "Why do you go to school even if you are deaf? Instead you should find a job". So Tagami gave up going to school.

He found employment in the barbershop in Kobe City, but was fired due to deafness, returning home and starting to help the family business to sale the tea, which later became his profession.

The class hour of the high school is 18:00-21:00 from Monday thorough Friday. So Tagami goes to school at once after closing the green tea shop that he manages with his wife Kazumi (67).

He is also taking a correspondence course offered by other high school and attends the class every Sunday at the school. He will graduate from Naruto High School next year, earlier than his hearing classmates by one year.

Tagami always sits in front of the platform in the classroom because he is using the hearing aid, and copies all what is written on the blackboard to his notebook. He spoke, "The class shows me a clue to solve any doubt every time I attend. Study is unbearably interesting!".

Mistakes found in entrance exam for Deaf students at Tsukuba University of Technology in Ibaraki Prefecture

Tsukuba University of Technology, located in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, announced on November 22 that two mistakes in setting questions in the recommendation entrance exam were found.

The exam was administrated on November 20 for the industrial Information department of the industrial technological faculty that accepts only Deaf students.

Thirty-nine applicants from across the country took the recommendation entrance exams against 17 students for admission.

The two question mistakes had misprinting, etc, which were found while the examination grading committee was checking the examination sheets. As a result, the answers to the mistaken questions will be assumed as correct ones for all the examinees. The announcements of the exam results is scheduled for November 29.

Deaf and hearing children enjoy soccer coached by former player with interpreting in Nara Prefecture

Sanponsuge Takashi (left), a former professional soccer player, coaches the children while an interpreter (center) watches them.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/nara/OSK201011210162.html)

The first workshop where Deaf and hearing young school children learned together how to play soccer took place in the ground of the High School for the Children with Disabilities in Nara Prefecture on November 21.

The coach and four players, including Sanponsuge Takashi (32), a former professional soccer player, from the Specified Nonprofit Activities Organization "Nara Club" located in Nara City taught the workshop with interpreting.

Eleven members from the Nara Deaf Kids Soccer Club located in Yamato-Koriyama City and 12 hearing children who were recruited participated in the workshop.

Uchino Yusuke (9), a fourth grader from Nara Prefecture School for the Deaf, spoke happily, "I understood what the coach told us. I enjoyed practice".

Sanponsuge said, "The kids really worked hard, and good at practice. We hope we can offer them more chances to play soccer together in the future".

First DVD produced by Aomori Prefecture Police for pretest to renew driving license in sign language and caption in Japan


Aomori Prefectural Police Department produced DVD with sign language and caption for the first time in the country to allow 75-year-old or more drivers to take a pretest for the senile dementia check which is obligated when the driving license is to be renewed. Twenty-five driving schools in the prefecture have started using DVD.

The pretest, introduced to decrease the number of car accidents by the elder across the country last year, examines the memory and the judgment of the elder driver. The Aomori Prefecture Information Center for the Deaf cooperated with the police department in producing DVD as there are elder drivers with a hearing trouble.

At the driving school that uses DVD, the interpreter on a monitor TV shows four pictures and asks, "There is a wardrobe in the box. Which picture is the same one in it?", etc. in sign language and caption at the same time.

DeafBlind group sponsors tenth anniversary forum in Tokushima City

Fashion show by DeafBlind members
(photo: http://www.topics.or.jp/localNews/news/2010/11/2010_129031854116.html)

The Tokushima Society of the DeafBlind, composed of the DeafBlind, their families and friends, was established in Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture in May, 2000. It works on the fellowship exchange program, public relations, etc. for the members' social participation.

A forum took place to celebrate the tenth anniversary of establishment in Tokushima City on November 20, and about 270 people including members and their supporters participated.

Chairwoman Kakuta Hatsue greeted the audience, saying "The DeafBlind tend to be alienated from information and communications, but we will try to make people understand our needs and use the welfare system as well in order to participate in the society".

Osugi Katsunori, chairman of the Hiroshima DeafBlind Society and a guest speaker, spoke, "Even though you may be able to use neither sign language nor braille, you can take communication positively by writing letters on the palm".

There were a slide pictures of the past decade activities and a fashion show by the members.

Deaf boy's work chosen best at national schools for the Deaf art exhibition

Nakamura Yu, a fifth grader, receives the award from the chairwoman, Santo Akiko at the school.
(photo: http://www.shizushin.com/news/local/central/20101117000000000028.htm

The 15th National Schools for the Deaf Art Exhibition" was held, sponsored by the Education and Welfare Society for the Deaf.

From the kindergarten and elementary category of the event, the work of a fifth grader Nakamura Yu (11) of Shizuoka City was chosen to be the best one, awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. He is attending the Shizuoka Special Support School for the Deaf in the city.

Yu's work titled "The Shizuoka Dome" was chosen from the 552 works submitted from across the country. He painted and crayoned the scene which the soccer and baseball players are seen in the ground in the dome with the twinkled stars.

The award ceremony took place at the school on November 16. The society chairwoman Santo Akiko handed the certificate to Yu.

He said, "I am really glad. I drew a picture of my dream to have the Shizuoka Dome set up. I will work hard to draw a better picture ".

Deaf circle members win highest award in contest on support project for Deaf students at university

Deaf students representing their circle at Gumma University show the highest award.
(photo: http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/gunma/20101119/CK2010111902000075.html)

At the national symposium held by PEPNet Japan (the Postsecondary Education Programs Network in Japan), etc. at Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture on November 14, there was the third practice case contest concerning the support project for the Deaf students. Fourteen groups made a presentation.

Half the number of about 300 students and school personnel in total from across the country voted on the best presentation.

As a result, three Deaf students from Gumma University won the highest award for the first time. They appealed their own disability positively, and their positive attitude toward the circle activity and the classes, etc. impressed the participants who voted.

At the university, the CART service to support the Deaf students in the classroom has been introduced by the circle of about 25 students.

Hearing students in Saga Prefecture learn the role of hearing dog

The note-taking circle "Mimi no Kai" held a meeting to introduce the work of the hearing dog at a municipal junior high school in Tosu City, Saga Prefecture in the southern island of Japan on November 15.

Invited was a 12-year-old hearing dog named "Chiro", trained by a guide dogs training society located in Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture in the same island. She worked with her trainer to show how to achieve for the Deaf user: hearing the bell of the fax and telling the trainer, waking up the sleeping trainer after the sound of the clock alarm.

The trainer spoke there were about 10,000 Deaf persons who need the hearing dog while there were only 21 hearing dogs were available in the whole country. She also spoke about the important role of the hearing dog for the Deaf. "It becomes mental support for the Deaf in daily life not only helping but also staying nearby".

DeafBlind man from Osaka products movie based on his experience

Kadokawa Shinichiro (left) answers through sign language in tentacle. The screen is a clip from the movie he made.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/areanews/osaka/OSK201011110158.html)

The production of a movie with a DeafBlind man as the main character was completed. It was screened in Kadoma City, Osaka Prefecture on November 13.

The movie was made by Kadokawa Shinichiro (45), a DeafBlind resident of Osaka City. He wrote the scenario based on the experience in his younger days.

At the beginning of the movie, a Deafblind man named Kenta recollects about himself 20 years ago. He is a student isolated at the university, and meets a hearing girl by chance.

She learns Braille and accompanies Kenta whenever he moves around. He is said by a friend of hers that he is a burden for her.

Shocked, Kenta actually feels difficult spending time at the university, and is anxious whether to go to the United States to study as there is the advanced support system for the DeafBlind in the country.

Shinchiro went to study to the U.S. after graduation from the university and learned how to support the DeafBlind. He set up an incorporated nonprofit organization, the Welfare Center for the DeafBlind "Smile" at Tennoji Ward, Osaka City in 1999 after he had returned home, and has been assumed the position of the chief director.

Shinichiro has started sign language classes and computer workshops for the DeafBlind. His movie was produced in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of establishment.

He says, "I would be glad if the movie gives people a chance to know more and support the DeafBlind better".

Special visit of Diet for 120th anniversary of establishment, sign language interpreting provided

Since the first Diet was opened in 1890 in Japan, 120 years have passed on November 29 this year.

As a memorial event, the "Diet Special Visit" will be arranged at 9:00-17:00 during the first weekend, December 4-5.

The central door, used only when the emperor is invited to announce the opening of the Diet, and when the newly elected members first to attend the Diet will be shown, as well as the minister rooms, etc. These spots are not included in the regular visit.

No appointment requested.
Meet at the Diet Building main entrance.

For those who are Deaf/HoH, the staff will interpret.

Deaf film making group to hold party to celebrate tenth anniversary of establishment

A Deaf film making group called The Deaf Movie Entertainment Prodia was formed in November ten year ago.

It will hold a celebration party in the fancy hotel in Tokyo, December 11, 2010, 13:30-16:30.

Tentative program:
- Commemorative gift presentation
- Raffle
- Screening of a short movie produced by two Deaf young directors

Capacity: 200 people

Admission fee: 10,000 yen (with dinner)

Deaf film festival to be held in Niigata Prefecture in March, 2011

The 2nd Niigata Shuwaru (Sign Language) Film Festival will take place in the Niigata Shimin-Eigakan CINE WIND located in Niigata Prefecture, a northwestern part of Japan, on March 11-13, 2011.

The executive committee calls for films to be screened. They may be submitted not only on a DVD, but also on a Blue-ray Disk (BD).

The deadline for the submission is no later than November 30, 2010.

English link:

Hearing children attracted to dancing in sign language

Group members practice dancing in sign language.
(photo: http://www.nnn.co.jp/dainichi/news/101118/20101118037.html)

A group called "Chupachapusu" in Osaka City, of which a singer Yoshino Etsuyo (32) is the representative, has attracted 15 hearing children aged from 5-15 children to dance in sign language. They are working hard at the practice in the town hall nearly every day.

Etsuyo had learned about dancing in sign language when performing with other groups five years ago, and has taught several hearing children how to dance in sign language while her own performance on stage.

She called the local community last September and started up the group. "Dancing in sign language was originally produced for and by the Deaf", she says, "I believe it should be a good chance for hearing people to know sign language, too".

One of the members (11) says, "it is difficult to dance while corresponding the word to sign language". Other also shows the more interest in sign language, saying, "I want to learn conventional sign language though there are so many signs that I must remember".

Hearing man suspected for false report with use of emergency text message service for the Deaf

The false text message had been sent to "the 110 emergency mobile text message service", set up for the emergency call from the Deaf/HoH that the Hyogo Prefecture Police Department has been operating since 2004.

The Osada police station arrested a hearing company employee (45) on November 15 in Kobe City on the suspicion of the violating the Minor Offenses Act (false declaration). It is the first time that the prefecture police arrested the false report by "the 110 emergency text message service".

The employee e-mailed the emergency mobile service at around 3:00 am on September 14, saying that a time bomb was set up. The officers ran to the company after getting the report and searched thoroughly for the bomb.

According to the police, the man has admitted the suspicion, saying that he wanted to dispel the job stress and put the bomb".

Deaf painter exhibits Deaf art works in Kumamoto Prefecture

The Deaf world are produced in Hideto Noritomi's atelier.
(photo: http://mytown.asahi.com/kumamoto/news.php?k_id=44000001011160004)

Hideto Noritomi (41), a Deaf resident of Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, has been exhibiting his Deaf art works in the gallery for the first time in the city from November 16 to December 4. Free admission.

Hidehito says that he wants to send the message through the works; "I want you to be proud of being Deaf and the sign language".

The exhibit included 63 oil paintings drawn from 2008 to this year. They are painted blue and navy blue in the black background. It is also composed to clearly show the concept of oppression against the Deaf; the sign language is banned and the oral training with the use of the hearing aid for the deaf education is stressed.

While attending the school of for the deaf in Tokyo, Hidehito was taught how to lip read and speak with the use of a hearing aid so hard that he didn't dare to tell the teacher he could not bear it. Even if he secretly learned sign language from upper class students, the teacher scolded him, "If you sign and don't speak, your voice will be like the one of animal".

Wife Kazuko (37) went to the United States in 1993, learned ASL at the school for the deaf and taught Japanese culture. Hidehito began thinking about how he would tell the Deaf children, who might have a bitter experience like himself, about Deaf pride, starting the painting school. He went to France to learn the oil painting in 1996, and started producing as a painter in 1999. He came to concentrate on "Deaf Art" in 2004.

Related link:

Deaf volleyball coach awarded for his leadership in Okinawa Prefecture

Hirotoshi Shimajiri (right) and his former teacher Kozo Miyazato are glad to win the grand prize.
(photo: http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-169960-storytopic-1.html)

The last audition of "The 15th Okinawa Colony Grand Prize" was held by the executive committee in Naha City on November 10.

The prize is given to a person with disability whose effort for independence and the activities for social, cultural and art, etc. are remarkable.

Hirotoshi Shimajiri (57), a Deaf dormitory supervisor of Okinawa School for the Deaf was selected as a recipient of the grand prize. He is also a coach for the women volleyball club of the prefecture association of the deaf.

The presentation ceremony is scheduled to take place on December 9 in the event of the Day of the Persons with Disabilities.

The committee chair Yutaka Takamine explained the reason for the selection, "He contributed to the disability sports activities in the prefecture as he led the team to win the third place in the National Athletic Meeting held in Chiba Prefecture in October".

Hirotoshi started volleyball under the guidance of Coach Kozo Miyazato when he was 15 years old at the Okinawa School for the Deaf. Hirotoshi has been a coach for the women volleyball club since 2004.

He said, "I want to share the pleasure to get the award with my former teacher Kozo, my family and the teammates. My next goal will be to lead the team to the top in the country".

Sign language interpretation to be provided for gubernatorial election next spring

The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications explained the policy on November 12 to introduce the sign language interpretation to the TV program on the political speech by candidates who run for the gubernatorial election after the nationwide local elections in April next year.

The interpreting is currently offered by a political party which has the proportion representative election list of Upper and Lower Houses.

Moreover, the candidate speech for the House of Councilors electoral district and the gubernatorial election was banned. For the House of Representatives small electoral district, the candidates are allowed to include the image of their political party.

The introduction policy explained earlier was approved on the day at the panel of experts concerning the enhancement of the accessible environment for the persons with disabilities.

This ministry plans to examine the sign language interpretation in the direction into the House of Councilors electoral district in the future.

Deaf senior achieves to climb mountain 20,000 times in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

Kenji Yamamura, who achieved 20,000th time of daily climbing a mountain, was award by the city education board.
(photo: http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/kobe/0003598503.shtml)

Kenji Yamamura (78), a Deaf resident in Higashi-Nada Ward, Kobe City, who has kept climbing Mt. Futatabi-san (altitude about 470 meters) in Chuo Ward in the city every day, finally achieved 20,000 times of a climbing mountain on September 26 last year. He was honored by the city education board on November 10.

About 60 years had passed since Kenji had started climbing a mountain. He went to climb the mountain from the shelter the next day even though his home was completely destroyed in Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake.

He lost hearing at the high temperature of the measles at the age of four. He enthusiastically said, "I am glad that I finally made it despite of my deafness. My next goal will be the 25,000th of climbing".

Kenji takes the first train which departs at 5:05 in the morning, gets off at Motomachi Station, and starts toward to the mountain top with light footsteps.

Deaf community requests enactment of the sign language law

The Deaf community in Japan has steadily moved toward to the enactment of the "Sign Language Law" aiming at the development of a social environment in which the sign language as a communication means for the Deaf is easy-to-use.

The domestic legal systems procedure for the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is underway by next spring. The organizations of the Deaf have appealed that they want a friendly society so that they might use the sign language anywhere in a dignified manner when it be approved as a 'Language' in the law.

The enactment of the Sign Language Law has been an earnest goal since the Japanese Federation of the Deaf was established in 1947.
Deaf lawyer to lecture about his experience in Yokohama City

The lecture meeting, titled "My experience as a lawyer", will be held in
Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture on November 20 (Saturday), 10:00-11:30. Sponsored by a group, called the Yokohama City Group to Protect the Children with Speech and Hearing Impairment.

Hiroshi Tamon, a Deaf lawyer, will speak about the chance to become a lawyer and his legal activities, etc.

Spoken interpreting and CART services will be provided.

Fee: free for the members, and 300 yen for non-members

Hard of hearing student enjoys life at hearing school in Miyazaki Prefecture

China Kuroki chats with her classmates, showing smile.

China Kuroki (14), who has been hard of hearing since she was prematurely born, is a second grader in the hearing school, called the Togo Junior High School, in Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture. She has been supported by a note taker and her hearing friends and kept well in the class.

Her mother, Kozue (49), said, "We would like to tell people who are worried about their disability not to give up hope".

China says, "I am happy in the school. My dream is to become a sign language interpreter. I want to help the Deaf children".

Hearing actress challenges cast as Deaf mother

Yasuko Matsuyuki (left) with Ryunosuke Kamiki
(photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/2010/11/02/0003578875.shtml)

The actress Yasuko Matsuyuki attended a finished interview in Tokyo on her starring the TV drama, titled "A String Of The Mind". It was produced by NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai: National Broadcasting Station) and will be aired on November 27, 21:00. She for the first time acted a Deaf mother in the drama.

Yasuko had gone in the dog race of sign language for about one month, saying "acting in the drama was worth challenge. I am happy now after I performed hard and accomplished it because my casting was demanding".

The drama depicts the bond of the CODA son who aims at becoming a pianist played by Ryunosuke Kamiki and Deaf mother played by Yasuko.

Tenth anniversary wedding ceremony for Deaf couple held in marine park in Kanagawa Prefecture

The 10th anniversary wedding ceremony was held for the married Deaf couple aged forties in the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park in Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture on October 30. A company employee Takayuki Minato and his wife Toshiko, Yokohama City residents, were escorted by the dolphin and the sea dog. The couple said pleasantly that the event which would be best remembered as a new start again for their life.

Takayuki attended Tsukuba University School for the Deaf in Chiba Prefecture and graduated from Tokai University. Toshiko studied welfare through the communication system university while working after she graduated from the Prefecture Oihama High School, and acquired BA.

They first met in the sign language circle at the IT company where they worked, and got known more each other. They were married in 2000 and lived in Miura City. The next year their first child was born. She is hard of hearing, now a fourth grader.

The family loved dolphin and the fish, visiting the Marine Park in the city as often as twice a month with the annual membership passport. However, as they had wanted to spend more time together they moved to other city near the company, and so they visited the park less. The marine park officials offered the Deaf couple with their gratitude to hold a ceremony commemoration.

The second wedding was held in the dolphin show hall, and the bride and bridegroom both in a scuba diving suit were riding on the dolphin. They exchanged the oath in sign language in front of their family members, friends, and the public guests, which was applauded by the attending people and sea dog, too. The dolphin put out the tail from the surface of the water to show agreement.

After the exchange of wedding rings that the sea dog had carried, the Deaf couple signed the wedding certificate. They said to the people attending in sign language, "Thank you for joining us today. We are glad to spend happy time with your blessing. We certainly will protect ourselves with our daughter to remain happy".

Deaf-related groups hold meeting on dissolve information divide in Fukuoka Prefecture

The pep rally took place in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture on October 30, aiming at the legal system change so that the persons who are Dead and hard of hearing could have access to information without any barriers and share it with each other.

It was sponsored by the prefecture promotion headquarters, consisted of nine organizations including the prefecture association of the Deaf, and about 140 people participated.

In the meeting, it was pointed out that the services of interpreting and caption, etc. were not enough in daily lives, such as the education, justice, the election, etc. , and that there was a information divide in society.

The participants confirmed that the development of a new legal system to provide the persons who are Deaf and hard hearing with security for information and communications as a right was necessary along with the enforcement of a new welfare law of the persons with disabilities to replace the current welfare law.

Person in boyish costume doing PR in sign language for Tokyo Sky Tree district

Oshinari-kun, a person dressed up in a boyish costume, does PR for the shopping district in sign language.
(photo: http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/tokyo/20101029/CK2010102902000027.html)

The local commercial society around the new tower called "Tokyo Sky Tree" in Sumida Ward, Tokyo designed a person dressed up in a boyish costume to represent the shopping district.

He was named "Oshinari-kun" and does PR for the district, by joining the local events and strolling in the surrounding on Saturday every week.

Recently, he challenges sign language. The opportunity came to him when the society staff has participated in the training in sign language in order to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

Oshinari-kun participated in the staff training in sign language on October 19, and visited the volunteer center to learn sign language on October 22.

He has learned to sign such as "My best regards", "Oh, yes", "I want to go up to the observatory", "Please visit us again", etc. However, there is a restriction in the signed expression because he has the round hands without the fingers.

The staff says, "Oshinari-kun wants you to overlook the limit as he signs in his own way".

English official site on Tokyo Sky Tree:

Related link:
New sign language for new tower in Tokyo

Deaf group produces pickles for sales in Kagoshima Prefecture

The organization, formed by a Deaf person, the family and a former teacher in Kagoshima City in the prefecture, celebrated its first anniversary in October.

Members of the organization are about 100 people aged 20s-80s including 60 Deaf persons. They have produced the vegetable in the field, and recently started a new project; production and sales of the pickles.

The farm is an area of about 30 ares with six greenhouses, where 14 kinds of vegetables such as spring onions are produced. Members who have a spare time come to help farming for a few days during the week. Moreover, they are breeding about ten chickens in the farm, too.

The vegetable is delivered to home at two places in the city besides being sold to mainly the members for the set price of 100 yen.

The organization was approved as a food manufacturing industry which they had submitted in September, and worked on the pickles production by the guidance of a certified cook.

About 30 bags of the greens pickles were first shipped and sold at the "welfare festival" on October 31.

Centennial anniversary of Deaf school celebrated in Kagawa Prefecture

Deaf students play the Japanese drum" at the ceremony.
(photo: http://www.shikoku-np.co.jp/kagawa_news/education/article.aspx?id=20101030000326)

Kagawa Prefecture School for the Deaf in Takamatsu City in the prefecture held the centennial anniversary of establishment ceremony on October 30. About 300 people including Kagawa Prefectural Governor attended it.

The principal addressed the participants, "Everyone in the community has kindly supported our school. We aim at the education meeting the needs of each student in the future".

The alumni members and the students pledged for further development of the school while remembering its 100-year history.

In the opening, 21 students from the drum club performed the Japanese drum, whose drumbeats filled the gym.

The drum performance won the gold prize of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in the National Deaf School Concert Contest in January, 2010.

The school was established as a school for the blind and deaf-mute in 1908, and the class for the deaf-mute students was formed in the school in 1910. There are more than 800 alumni members.

Necessity of group home for Deaf seniors appealed at meeting in Nagano Prefecture

The regional welfare forum in Nagano Prefecture
(photo: http://inamai.com/news.php?c=shakai&i=201010241246210000040621)

The regional welfare forum took place in Nagano Prefecture on October 24, and about 110 people such as the welfare workers attended.

They discussed the support to persons with disabilities in 3 sessions; the employment, the group home, and the leisure activity.

One of members of the Kamiina Society of the Deaf appealed for the necessity of the group home for the Deaf seniors, using the slide, etc. in the session on the group home.

She gave advantages with the group home. "By building it, Deaf people will help one another, share understanding, receive the appropriate care, etc".

There are only ten group homes for the Deaf in the country according to the society of the deaf.

Hearing university students participate in "note taking" course in Kumamoto Prefecture

The note taking course at the Kumamoto University of Health Science.
(photo: http://kumanichi.com/news/local/main/20101024005.shtml)

The course that trains the note taker started at the Kumamoto University of Health Science in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, a part of the southern island of Japan, on October 23.

The Higher Education Consortium Kumamoto, made from 14 universities and technical colleges in the prefecture, arranged the course for the first time, aiming at supporting children and students who are Deaf/hard of hearing.

Thirty-four students from 7 universities participated. They will learn the note-taking method and the writing, etc. for three days until October 31. They will use the best of the note-taking technique when working as a volunteer in schools and events.

One of the participating students who studies the special support class said, "I learned note-taking first this year. I am interested to know how to make a note the content of the lecture for Deaf students".

Deaf man arrested for threatening Deaf acquaintance to get money in Tokushima Prefecture

The Tokushima Kita police station in Tokushima Prefecture arrested a man (44) for threatening a Deaf man (53) and stealing his bank card on October 24. The arrested man was a part-time job employee in Ishii-cho in the prefecture.

The suspect threatened his Deaf acquaintance in sign language, "I will kill you if you don't give me your bank card" in March, 2009. He used it and withdrew about 1.3 million yen in total six times from the automatic teller machine (ATM) for three months since April.

The police station says the arrested man, who is Deaf himself, admitted the suspicion. He used to work with the Deaf acquaintance at the same company more than ten years ago.

Deaf office worker winning in word processing skills at Abilympics in Yokohama City

Eri Takahashi says, "I am glad that my effort has paid off".
(photo: http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/tochigi/20101022/CK2010102202000087.html)

The 32nd national technical skills competition for persons with disabilities (the Abilympics) was held for three days from October 15 in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Eri Takahashi (33), who works for the Canon Inc. Utsunomiya office in the Utsunomiya City Kiyohara Industrial Estate in Tochigi Prefecture, won the third place in the item of word processing skills.

Eri, a born-Deaf woman, uses a hearing aid and does lipreading. She was recommended by the superior in July, 2010 to participate in the local prefecture Abilympics. She was enlisted in the item of word processing skills that required for the proficiency of the operation of the computer software to make and edit documents.

Eri unexpectedly won the championship, and since then she kept practicing several hours every day in preparation for the national competition in Yokohama City.

At the competition, 46 best experts with disabilities who were chosen from across the nation. The agenda was to produce a letter of invitation, two table charts, and five English sheets with the computer in the given time.

Eri hardly slept because of the tension the day before, and the tremble of the hands did not stop immediately before the competition on that day.

However, Eri recalls with wry smiles, saying that she was surprised at the difficulty of the agenda and a lot of work required to be completed in the time, which, on the contrary, made her concentrate on the work".

She says that she saw the competitors were very serious and highly skilled, who gave her courage. "I will not use any excuse because I have a disability. I feel it is very important that any person should work with commitment".

Group of deafened and HoH to hold conference in Chiba Prefecture in November

The Chiba Prefecture Association of the Deafened and Hard of Hearing, in cooperation from several organizations concerned, will hold the conference in commemorative of the 25th anniversary of establishment in the Ichikawa City Citizens Hall in Chiba Prefecture on November 14, 2010, Sunday, 10:30-15:30.

-Commemorative ceremony
-Keynote lecture:
Theme: "Even if I do not hear it, I have a good life"
Lecturer: Noriko Tanaka
(certified interpreter and sign language instructor)
Traditional comic story telling in sign language, magic, and lottery

There will be an exhibition by the enterprises related to the support devices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and a hearing aid consultation in the hall, too.

Registration fee: 2500 yen (preregistration requested)

Magnetic induction loop, caption on the overhead project and note taking, CART and interpreting will be provided.

Sign language circle in Shizuoka City receiving national volunteer service award

Vice president Michiyo Takahashi with the national award.
(photo: http://www.shizushin.com/news/local/central/20101022000000000031.htm)

The sign language circle, called "Suruganokai", based in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, won the volunteer merit commendation by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.

The ceremony was held in the city office on October 21. Vice president Michiyo Takahashi attended representing her circle and received the award from the mayor. She said, "We indeed feel honored, and encouraged for our future work. We will work to promote the local citizens to understand Deaf people more".

Formed in in April, 1970, "Suruganokai" with about 100 members has been active to spread sign language and exchange with the local Deaf community. Also it has involved in such activities as teaching the city's sign language classes, joining a various kind of events in the city, etc.

Japanese visitors learn from Deaf students in Canada

The seven students and six teachers were visiting E.C. Drury school for the Deaf last week from Japan to learn more about Canadian culture and Drury’s bilingual — ASL and English — education system. They observed the school’s Grade 8 class.

Link (English):

Japanese Deaf history conference to be held in Shiga Prefecture in November

The Japanese Deaf History Society will hold the 13th Japanese Deaf History Conference in Omi-Yawata City, Shiga Prefecture on November 27-28, 2010.

Kichinosuke Nishikawa was born in the city. He was one of the old principals of the Shiga Prefecture Oral School and aggressively promoted the oral education in the 1930's. He banned the use of sign language even to his deaf daughter, Hamako. She was brought up in the strict oral education as a role model for the Deaf children during the era.

The conference will celebrate the 70th anniversary since his death, stressing on Deaf education from a historical viewpoint as its theme.

Tentative program:
- November 27, Saturday
13:00 opening ceremony
13:30 Keynote speech
"Kichinosuke and Hamako Nishikawa : Their Life and Human relationships"

15:30 break
15:45 Talk Show: "Remembering Kichinosuke Nishikawa and Hamako"
17:00 break
17:30-19:00 research reports

- November 28, Sunday
09:15 research reports
10:45 break
11:00 workshops: "What is a Deaf history group?" to learn the needs of the group and and how to increase membership.
12:30-13:00 plenary session

- Registration fee:
Member: 5000 yen (student: 4000 yen)
Non-member: 6000 yen (student: 5000 yen)

Deaf news caster to present lecture in Mie Prefecture in November

The lecture meeting, sponsored by the Tsu City Welfare Association of the Deaf, will take place on November 7, Sunday, 13:30-15:30 in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture.

The theme of the lecture: "Current situation of Meisei Gakuen* - Meaning of offering education in sign language"

*A school for the Deaf, located in Tokyo, where the Deaf children are taught in JSL.

The lecturer will be Hirosuke Ono
(Deaf daily news caster and a teacher of the Meisei Gakuen)

Spoken interpreting will be provided

Fee: 1000 yen for older than high school student (with material)

Deaf news caster to present lecture in Mie Prefecture in November

The lecture meeting, sponsored by the Tsu City Welfare Association of the Deaf, will take place on November 7, Sunday, 13:30-15:30 in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture.

The theme of the lecture: "Current situation of Meisei Gakuen* - Meaning of offering education in sign language"

*A school for the Deaf, located in Tokyo, where the Deaf children are taught in JSL.

The lecturer will be Hirosuke Ono
(Deaf daily news caster and a teacher of the Meisei Gakuen)

Spoken interpreting will be provided

Fee: 1000 yen for older than high school student (with material)

Performance of Chinese Deaf group called off in Japan  

It was reported that the "China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe" has called off their performance in Japan, according to the interview to the event project company, WAT, located in Kofu City on October 19.

The troupe is well known for the repertoire such as "thousand-hands goddess of mercy".

According to WAT, the performance was scheduled in 22 places in the country from October 19th to November 26th; starting with Kofu City in Yamanashi Prefecture, Nagoya, Tokyo, Sapporo, etc.

The troupe called early October, explaining that they have decided to cancel the performance in Japan because "the necessary formalities for going abroad became difficult". This seems unclear whether it is related with the influence of the Senkaku Islands issue.

The friendship exchange program of the students of the prefecture school for the deaf located in Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture and the troupe members that had been scheduled on October 18 before the performance was also canceled.

Signing singers to perform at national sports meet for disabled in Chiba Prefecture

Kiyomi Nakamura (right) and Atsushi Sakaki

Kiyomi Nakamura (33), a Deaf singer, says, "I don't know whether I sing well. Only I feel failed everyday". Atsushi Sakaki (35), a hearing guitarist, responds, "We always get over with the difficulty by meeting the audience".

The 10th National Sports Meet for Persons with Disabilities will take place in Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture on October 23-24. At the event 13 items are scheduled both in the individual and the group according to the category of disability.

The singing group will perform in front of over 3,000 athletes and more than 10,000 spectators in the opening ceremony. They say, "We will be given energy by them. We have been excited about it".

When Atsushi sang in the corner of the town of Kitasenju in Tokyo eight years ago, Kiyomi told him that she heard only his songs". And the duo started. Since then Atsushi trained her hard almost every day.

There is a part that Kiyomi will sing, too, in the opening ceremony though she usually supports Atsushi singing a song by her dance and sign language.

They say, "We will never stop singing together. When we go to other place far away, we see very energetic elderly persons, who give us their great power".

Hard of hearing man doing Karate for 55 years in Oita Prefecture

Kenichi Kono with the certificate as a master of the Okinawa legitimate Karate.
(photo: http://www.oita-press.co.jp/localNews/2010_128728291629.html)

It has been 55 years for Kenichi Kono (67) with the Karate. He has his own gym, teaching office workers and university students in Oita City, Oita Prefecture.

Kenichi acquired the ninth class certificate of the Okinawa legitimate Karate in April this year. He says, "I will continue to do the Karate until I die".

When he was a junior high school student, Kenichi started the Karate. He lost hearing in the left ear due to scarlet fever at the age of three. He had wanted to overcome the inferiority complex that came from his deafness.

Kenichi came across actual combat Karate with the use of a part of protector at the age of 17, and later gave himself up to the kind of Karate that does not require to wear the protector at all.

He had won the championship in the lightweight class of the national athletic meeting, having been an active player until he was 39 years old.

Kenichi is teaching the Karate at his gym while working in the salvage industry company. Also he is serving as the vice president of the Oita Prefecture Association of the Hard of Hearing.