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

Hironaka (right) and Fukumori
May 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese source:

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

May 15, 2017  

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

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

An application will be accepted after May 15.

Japanese Deaf tourist denied interpreting at Honolulu

May 12th 2017


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

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

May 14, 2017

2011 when

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese source:

Deaf and hearing children are in one at art event

May 14, 2017

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

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

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

Japanese source: