Located in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, a northern part of Japan, a Deaf group called "JSL From Heart in Miyagi" is working on the spread of JSL that has its own grammar different from spoken Japanese.
This group aims at the training of JSL teachers through researching the guidance method and systematizing the use of JSL. They are preparing for a seminar in Sendai in March.
The "JSL From Heart" was established last August with its leader, Yutaka Kudo (46), a sign language lecturer. (photo above: Kahoku Shinpo) About 20 Members plan and manage lecture meetings and JSL classes in order that understanding to JSL is deepened.
Children who lost hearing before they learn Japanese use JSL daily. JSL was difficult for Kudo, who was deafened later, to learn, but he says he was surprised at the effectiveness that JSL shows. "If JSL were to spread, the intention is conveyed correctly and smoothly, and the social participation of the Deaf might advance."
Though there are a few Deaf persons teach JSL as an occupation at enterprises and hearing schools. As a current state in the Tohoku region including Miyagi Prefecture, only a small number of volunteers are relied. The "From Heart" have abandoned holding of the JSL classes due to lack of the lecturers or the interpreters.
Kudo hopes, "We want to make people aware of JSL widely through the seminar, and to offer the appropriately learning environment for a lot of people."
Source: Kahoku Shimpo, Jan. 2, 2009
Japanese edition and the photo included: