Deaf barber receives official commendation for independent persons with disability
Muramasa Honda (78), who operates the barbershop at Yasshiro City in Kumamoto Prefecture in the Japanese southern island, received the 2009 Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare commendation as one of the self-reliant persons with disabilities across the country.
Muramasa, deaf since the birth, has continued to operate the barbershop for about 50 years, pleasantly says, "I feel very rewarded though there were many happenings up to now".
He started to work for a barbershop at the age of 22, and set up his own barbershop five years later at the present place. He and his Deaf wife, Kuniko (73), have managed it since then.
He also has kept the volunteer work for 20 years; he visits the facilities of persons with disabilities in the city once a month and gives them a haircut.
Muramasa and Kuniko both get very tired after they fix hairs of 30 persons, at most about 50, from 9:00 to 16:00. Still, they say, "we feel encouraged when someone tells us he likes our haircut work".
The couple visited the Mayor Fukushima in the Yasshiro city office on December 14, and told him that they went to Tokyo on December 3rd to receive the Ministry commendation. The mayor praised them, saying, "It must be a great honor".