Deaf barbershop owner in Gunma Prefecture

January 19, 2012

It has been 15 years since KIMURA Tomoyuki (39), who is born-Deaf, inherited the barbershop of trade in Shibukawa-shi, Gunma Prefecture. The shop is managed by three persons, his Deaf wife and an aesthetician Tomoko (39), and his mother Miyoko (67).

Tomoyuki barbered the man in his 50's for the first time as a haircutter after graduating from Gunma Prefecture School for the Deaf where he studied the barber course.

The customer who visits the barbershop first may be surprised at the gestural communication. Tomoyuki communicates with the customer in writing and gesture about the haircut style for about 5 minutes. After he finishes the cut, the customer checks in the mirror and shows the sign of "OK."

Many of his visitors are Deaf. Tomoyuki gives them a haircut and adjusts a hairstyle until he gets them to be convinced, and leaves record to his chart.

Tomoyuki has two hearing children, a fourth and a second graders in the elementary school. Their classmates with the backpack on the back visits the barbershop. Tomoyuki gets a text message on the haircut from their parents through cell-phone.

He has felt blessed with the job in the local community. "Even if these children grow up, they will continue wanting to have a haircut. For that purpose, I have to continue polishing state-of-the-art technique." With the sign-language interpreter, Tomoyuki eagerly goes out for attending a haircut workshop.

Japanese source:

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