City council adopts letter of opinion on broadcasting election speeches without interpreting

The Maebashi City Council in Gunma Prefecture unanimously adopted the letter of opinion that states it is irrational not to approve broadcasting of the speeches by the political candidates without interpreting and that requests for improvement. The gubernatorial election and the House of Councilors election in the prefecture were conducted in July, 2010.

Up to now, about 6000 Deaf persons in the prefecture had been forced into the situation that they were not able to understood the political speeches in both elections broadcast according to the Gunma Prefecture Federation of the Deaf. They have also appealed, "There is no reasonable reason for not providing interpreting".

It is said that the approval of the letter of opinion is the first in the prefecture according to the council. It will be shortly submitted to Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other politicians concerned.

Japanese Sign Language conference to take place at Yokohama City in October

The Japanese Association of Sign Linguistics will hold the 36th Japanese Sign Language (JSL) Research Conference on October 30, Saturday -31, Sunday, 2010 in the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus at Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The conference theme is "JSL research to be given back to the signing community".

Tentative program:
October 30 (Saturday)
10:00 opening ceremonies
10:15-11:30 lecture
"JSL Research and I" by Harumi Kimura
She will talk what the JSL research has influenced the society, and what the JSL research that helps the signing community means.
*Kimura will give a presentation in the video letter from the United States where she will be staying on that day.
11:30-12:30 lunchtime
12:30-16:30 presentations/reports (8) 18:00-20:00 get-together

October 31 (Sunday)
9:00-12:00 presentations/reports (6) 12:00-13:00 lunchtime, meanwhile the general meeting for the membership to be hold.
13:00-4:00 presentations/reports (2) 14:15-16:15 reports related to JSL research
-"Trial on traffic accident won by the Deaf woman and JSL studies" by Daisuke Hara
- "Ethics for the researcher" by Saori Tanaka
16:30 ending

Registration fee:
Member 5,000 yen (4,000 yen only for a day)
Non-member 7,000 yen (6,000 yen only for a day)
student 5,000 yen (4,000 yen only for a day)

Deaf tavern owner in Tokyo to publish book on his life in October

The book written by Fusao Yoshioka

"No matter Deaf or hearing, all people share the same world."

It is what Fusao Yoshioka, a tavern owner at Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo always says.

He became Deaf at the age of three, and worked as a painting engineer in the auto manufacturer after he graduated from a high school for the deaf.

However, fueled by the wave of restructuring, he retired voluntarily and started to manage the tavern ten years ago.

When the reputation started calling another reputation and the restaurant was getting on the right track, he was hit by a sudden accident.

It was a geniality and love of people who always supported Fusao in the hard wind of a unusual life.

The book titled "Fusao: A Deaf Tavern Owener" (1,365 yen), full with troubles and exciting happenings in his life, is scheduled for the sale on October 8.

Party held to celebrate long-lived Deaf elders in Nagano Prefecture

The Deaf elders enjoy a magic show at a party.

The Kami-ina society of the Deaf in Nagano Prefecture arranged a party for five Deaf elders aged over 75 and celebrated their longevity at the "Nagomi House", a daycare facility for the elders, on September 21.

In the "Nagomi House", where the persons with disabilities and the elders enjoy gathering readily, a group called "Momiji" that offers a daycare service to the Deaf elders on Tuesdays, arranges events and programs.

The party for the Deaf elders was held along with a meeting of the "Momiji" members. They had a nice time having lunch and enjoying a magic show.

*It is customary to celebrate the longevity of the elders across Japan in the middle of September every year.

Parking space for bicycles completed at Deaf school in Kochi Prefecture

A new bicycle-parking space was completed in the Prefecture Kochi School for the Deaf in Kochi City on September 22. It was made by a collaboration work by 7 Deaf students in an industrial technological course and 17 hearing students in the architectural course.

The old bicycle-parking space was located in the place near the heavy traffic load of cars. Deaf school officials planned to set up a new bicycle-parking space away by about 100 meters, and proposed to the hearing high school in the city last December for the project.

The students, Deaf and hearing, had worked together on building the space for six hours every Wednesday since the middle of July.

One of the hearing students, Chihiro Ikeuchi (17) said, "I felt that it was possible to understand each other even though we hardly communicate. When a deaf friend nodded, I felt happy".

One of the Deaf students, Tomoko Okano (19) also said through the interpreter, "It was terribly good because the hearing friends taught me in a very gentle way. I was happy to have something good to remember".

Beginner's JSL Class to be held at Osaka University

The Beginner's JSL class will be offered at Osaka University.

The Office of Support for Students with Disabilities at the University will be holding 13 sign language classes for students who have no or little knowledge of sign language. By learning even a little sign language, one can communicate with and assist those who, for one reason or another, use sign language in their daily life.

Full attendance at these 13 classes will be requested.

- Class dates: weekly every Monday, October 18, 2010 ~ January 31, 2011

(Note: classes will NOT be held on the following 3 Mondays: December 27, January 3, and January 10.)

- Class time: 2:40 ~ 4:10 p.m.

- Class quota: 20
(Note: Priority will be given to those who apply first and to those who can attend all 13 classes.)

For more information, see the following English link:

Beginner's JSL Class to be held at Osaka University

Beginner's Japanese Sign Language Class will be held at Osaka University.

2010-10-18 (Mon) - 2011-1-31 (Mon)

Support for Students with Disabilities will be holding 13 sign language classes for students who have no or little knowledge of sign language. By learning even a little sign language, one can communicate with and assist those who, for one reason or another, use sign language in their daily life.

Support for Students with Disabilities looks forward to full attendance at these 13 classes.

For more information, see the following English link:

Deaf man to donate sporting goods to children in Philippines

The towels and the shirts are collected for donation which Mr. Torikai hands to children in the Philippines.

Takeo Torikai (40), a Deaf resident in Tokushima Prefecture, has called in March, 2010, "Let's present sporting goods to poor children in Asia", and about 950 goods were gathered from about 300 people across Japan; about 500 T-shirts and about 450 towels, all the commemorative gifts from sports meets .

Takeo leaves for the Philippines on September 18 with an NGO staff member who supports the children of the poorest segment of the population in the Mindanao island in the country. They visit the mountain village in a northern part of the island, present the goods to the local children and tell them how to enjoy sports.

Takeo stays until September 22, and opens photograph exhibition on the trip after he returns home.

He has been challenging a domestic and foreign triathlon rally since 1993, seeing a lot of poor children in the foreign countries, so he thought of donating sporting goods.

National Deaf Sports Meet held in Tokushima Prefecture

Two local athletes (facing) are making the oath for the best performance in sign language in the Tokushima municipal gym.

The 44th National Deaf Sports Meet, sponsored by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, started in the Tokushima municipal gym on September 17. Holding in Tokushima Prefecture was first in 39 years since 1971.

An opening ceremony started at 14:00, and the Deaf athletes from each of 47 prefectures in Japan, marched proudly along with the performance of the prefecture police brass band.

After the oath made by local athletes, about 50 Deaf members of a local dance group and Deaf students showed the local dance called "Awa Odori", inviting the participants to join them.

The Sports meet were attended by 1,410 athletes from across the country, competing at 13 venues of four cities and towns for ten game items such like track and field, table tennis, baseball, etc. for two days from September 18.

Deaf dancer to lecture on professional experience at meeting in Kanagawa Prefecture

The education course will be held in the Kanagawa Prefecture Welfare Center for the Deaf on September 25, Saturday, 13:30-15:30.

The lecturer will be Dakei, a Deaf dancer and leader of the Dance Unit, "Shizuku" (Dropping Water), talking about his own experience as a Deaf dancer and performances, etc.

He was found while taking an active part in the Japanese Theater of the Deaf company and began to work as a professional dancer. He performs in not only Japan but also around the world here and there, including workshops.

Free admission.

Interpreting, CART and a hearing loop system provided.

Deaf school to strengthen support for Deaf children in Okayama Prefecture, starting in October

The Okayama School for the Deaf, located in Okayama Prefecture, will establish the "Consultation Support Room" for the parents and guardians having Deaf infants in October in order to respond to medical and educational consultation in two places of the prefecture northern part once every month.

The preschool teacher of Deaf children with expertise will advise not only the parents about hearing problems, education, etc, but also the teachers and infirmary staff who support the learning process of the Deaf children in the mainstream program.

Reservation is required for a week.
Consultation is free.

Lecture meeting related to "Deaf and Trial" to be held in Osaka City

Problems of the misinterpretation, etc. by the interpreter in court still exist while one year has passed since the lay judge trial started in Japan.

The Kansai Japanese Sign Language Society will hold the lecture meeting with the theme of "The Deaf and Trial" in
Kwansei Gakuin University in Osaka City on September 26, Sunday, 11:00-12:30.

Miyuki Matsuo, who served as the witness in the moot court held by the Court Interpreter Training Association in Hiroshima in June, 2010, will talk about her experience with the moot court, etc.

Miyuki, a lecturer of Kwansei Gakuin University, is a member of her Deaf family. She was in the mainstream program after leaving Hiroshima School for the Deaf.

Capacity: 30 people

Registration fee:
Adult including MA student: 1000 yen.
Student: free.

*Interpreting will be provided.

Broadcast captioning decrease due to less production expenditure and time

The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications announced the broadcast captioning results in fiscal year 2009 on September 13.

They found that the ratio of captioned TV programs by broadcasters, including NHK General broadcasting and five Tokyo commercial stations, was less than that of the last year for the first time since the investigation on the TV program with caption started in 2000.

The captioning ratio of NHK General broadcasting was 47.6%, 1.9% decrease compared with the previous year, and the five Tokyo commercial stations 43.9%, 0.4% less the last year.

More cost and the time are needed to produce the program with caption than the regular program. It is assumed that the production expenditure has reduced due to less the advertising income, and the production schedule has been shortened, so less time to make the program captioned.

Hearing high school students trained as CART staff at national meeting in Saga Prefecture

The hearing students practice on the CART system at the workshop.

The hearing students from the local high schools will participate in the 5th National Conference on Universal Design as a staff, which will be held in Saga Prefecture on December 21 - 22.

As they will work on the CART system, they are improving the skill by attending the workshop and extracurricular activities.

Four sessions will be held in the conference. Several caption staff will be assigned to each session to provide the accessibility to prospective Deaf/hard of hearing participants.

The workshop on captioning was held on September 11, and the hearing students learned how to use the software for the CART system and how to input a basic conversation.

They have kept practicing on the system while studying the technical terms used in the sessions until the national conference in December.

Emergency medical card for Deaf that explains symptom by pointing

Emergency medical card

Urayasu City officials in Chiba Prefecture made an "emergency medical card" for the elder and Deaf persons.

When falling due to sudden illness while going out, a Deaf person points out the sentence and the picture in the card to someone who is ready to help, request for the ambulance and tell the rescue team about the symptom he suffers.

There are sentences such as "Please call an ambulance", "Please contact my family" on the card as well as the body chart and symptoms such as heat, vomiting, etc. to show the other party by indicating it.

The card in the size of the business card which is fold can be kept in the purse, etc. It is free, being distributed at the welfare section in the city hall.

The panel that enlarges the card is available in the ambulance, too. According to the officials, the similar card for a foreigner will be examined in the future.

Deaf leader for World Youth Deaf Camp visiting governor in Saga Prefecture

(above) Yoshida (left) shows the certificate of the World Youth Deaf Camp to the governor Furukawa (center) and Minoru Nakamura, president of the Saga Prefecture Association of the Deaf.

Takashi Yoshida (27), a group leader representing Japan in the World Camp for the Youth Deaf in Venezuela, visited governor Yasushi Furukawa in the city hall on September 10.

From his experience with the camp which 100 people from 25 countries joined, he said, "The Deaf overseas are taking an active part by various occupations. I felt the Japanese Deaf are behind".

Takashi and two Deaf 7th graders from Kumamoto and Niigata prefectures have participated in the camp for a week from August 1. He also served one of the International Sign at meetings.

Takashi explained the program and the activities to governor Furukawa, saying, "The International Sign is quite different from the Japanese Sign Language. I made some gestures when it was not easy to interpret".

The governor introduced himself by sign language and encouraged Takashi, stating "You should work hard as not only a Japanese leader but also a leader in Saga Prefecture in the future".

Establishment of hospital for cochlea implant strongly requested in Saga Prefecture

Those concerned with the cochlea implant issues have strongly requested the Saga prefecture administration to establish a hospital or facilities in the prefecture that perform both the cochlea implant operation and the rehabilitation after the operation.

It is only Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, and other three prefectures that have not established any such a hospital according to the "Association of Cochlear Implant Transmitted Audition (ACITA)" .

The prefecture officials say, "To secure the specialist is difficult," etc. while the persons who appeal, "We want to undergo the operation and rehabilitation in a familiar place".

The cochlea was put to practical use in the world during the 1980's. The initial surgery, etc. has been covered by the insurance in Japan since 1994 and then the number of the surgery has been on the increase. Over 5000 people are cochlea implanted in the country according to ACITA.

Princess Kiko chats with Deaf soccer players in sign language after film show


Princess Kiko, the wife of Prince Akishinonomiya who is the younger brother of the Crown Prince, appreciated the documentary movie titled "The Eye Contact", which focuses on the activities of the Deaf women soccer team, in the hall located in Minato Ward, Tokyo on September 4.

The movie spotlights the national women soccer team that debuted to the "Deaflympic Games" in Taipei in 2009: each player's daily life, school and workplace after the team was formed and competed in the game.

Princess Kiko talked with the teammates who appeared in the movie and the coach in sign language. She has used the sign language since her college days.

The princess said to them, "The atmosphere of the team was very good. You must have worked hard to play soccer". Even she asked, "How often did you practice it in a week?".

A preview of "The Eye Contact" (in Japanese)!

Deaf student winning for broad jump in national sports meet in Tokyo

The National Open High School Track and Field Sports Meet was held in the National Stadium in Tokyo on August 14.

Mayuko Umehara (19), a fourth-year high school student of the open branch school of the Kyoto Prefecture Amino High School, competed in the girl broad jump, and set the record of four meters 62 centimeters, winning the championship.

For this achievement, she was commended in the school gym on September 1, the first day of the second term.

Mayuko was pleased, saying that the hard practice has borne fruit.

She had lost hearing in the left ear since her early childhood, receiving the operation of the cochlea implant in March, 2010.

Time capsule opened at Deaf School in Hyogo Prefecture

The former students and others are excited to open the time capsule for first time in 15 years.

The Deaf children aged 1-6 currently attend the Kobato Special Support School for the Deaf, a preschool for the Deaf, in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture.

The former students who had graduated immediately after the Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake in 1995 gathered in the school again on August 29.

Attending were 8 out of the 13 students and about 20 concerned people including the teachers at that time and their families.

They took the "treasure" of collection of works and the pictures, etc. out of the time capsule that had been buried 15 years ago at the corner of the school ground.

Those memories of attending school, such as the hard work to learn how to speak with the parents, the graduation ceremony immediately after the earthquake, etc., revived vividly.

They experienced the earthquake two months before the graduation. The schoolhouse received damage, and the school was closed for a week or so.

Hiromi Tanabe, the head teacher at that time and former principal, remembered the terrible days of the disaster and explained, "All the children looked expressionless. We desperately tried to make them feel comfortable and relaxed".

First planetarium show with caption popular in Fukushima Prefecture

Planetarium show with caption. The Japanese caption is seen at the bottom.

The planetarium show with caption for the Deaf was screened for the first time in the City Science Center, "Space Park", located in front of Koriyama City Station in Fukushima Prefecture on August 29.

This event was held with the help of the captioning volunteer group in the city. About 52 spectators enjoyed it.

The planetarium show with caption is very few in the country. The show was on trial basis this time, and the majority of the spectators requested that they would like to see it again by all means.

Hearing school children visiting barrier-free factory in Oita Prefecture

The children make a corrugated cardboard doll of "Asimo" in the factory.

A group called the "Glaring Mothers Club" in Hinode Town, Oita Prefecture arranged the visit to the factory for their elementary school children to learn about a barrier-free workplace environment on August 23.

The "Honda Sun Sunrise Factory" located in the prefecture, where the employees with disabilities work, produces parts such as meter panels and the plate lamps used for the car. There is no bump for the workers who move easily in the wheelchair, and the Deaf employees are given the direction on the process with the lamp.

About 50 hearing children visited the workplace environment. One of them said, "The workers enjoy their work even though they are disabled. I want to see such a more place in the country".

At the end of the visit, the group of the children made the handcrafted doll of the corrugated cardboard that designed two-legged robot "Asimo", and learned to enjoy making something.

Deaf bar hostess having new-born baby

Rie Saito kisses her beloved baby girl.

Rie Saito (26) was known as a Deaf bar hostess who used to communicate with her guests in writing at the bar in Ginza, Tokyo.

She gave birth to the eldest daughter Ema in Hawaii on June 24.

They returned home from Hawaii in Aomori to attend the publication commemoration event in Aomori Prefecture, her hometown. And they have lived in Tokyo since then.

Rie is happy to be a new mother. It is the most pleasant moment for her when the baby is asleep beside her.

Ema's father is the man with whom Rie had associated before. She felt that father was necessary when thinking of Ema though she has decided to raise as a single mother. "I think that Ema will live with her parents sooner or later. He also is acknowledging it".

Rie is not getting expenses of bringing up Ema, etc. from the man now. She says, "Only he loves me, which is enough for me", and currently lives on her own savings.

Rie is taking leave the Ginza club where she had worked before, which is no different from being unemployed. "I will have to work sooner or later to support my family anyway".

Her first book, "The Hostess Talks In Writing", was a best-seller and its translation version is scheduled for the publication in South Korea.

Related links: