Interpreters translate from video on Deaf atomic bomb victims' experience

Eiko Yamazaki,
representing the Deaf atomic bomb victims,
gives a speech in JSL

Interpreters work on the JSL video

Nagasaki Branch of the National Sign Language Interpreting Issues Study Society is working on the video that recorded the experiences related by the Deaf atomic bomb victims in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki City.

When they expressed in JSL, they used not only the hands but also their whole body. They tell us their uneasiness when exposed to radiation and a slight mind over suffering in postwar days, more than the text record.

About 20 branch members are translating JSL on the video to spoken Japanese language and writing an explanation of JSL expressed.

Eiko Yamazaki (82), a Deaf woman from Nagasaki City talked about her experience of being an atomic bomb victim. She was born Deaf. During the war, she did not understand what had happened even if the warning red rang and was very uneasy.

She returned to the parents' home in the vicinity of the ground zero to look for her elder sister immediately after the atomic bombing, and was exposed to radiation.

In the peace memorial ceremony held on August 9, 2003, she served as the radiation victim representative, telling the audience about her wish for the world at peace.

According to the branch, about 100 Deaf people in Nagasaki Prefecture were exposed to radiation, and out of them about 30 people died. Even those who survived, they were not aware of the realities of the atomic bomb for a while in postwar days as no one told them the fact.

The branch founded in 1983 has collected the Deaf radiation victims' testimonies at first. The stories by nineteen Deaf persons have been recorded in the video so far.

Their testimony was brought together in a video titled "Let My Hands Speak" in 1986. However, the problem was how to translate such a rich signed expression into Japanese language.

The branch hopes that the video on the Deaf testimonies will be used as a sign language teaching material in the future, because all their realistic war experiences, historical background of prewar days through postwar days, and their deep emotions are not found in any text material.

Source in Japanese:

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