Bilingual caption to a large-sized shadow picture

Japanese and English captions are seen (right), attached to the large-sized shadow picture  

May 28, 2012

The group that performs the shadow picture show held their show with captions in Japanese and English for the Deaf and the foreign residents in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture on May 27.

With the mothers from the city taking the lead, the group has performed the original large-sized shadow picture show on the topic of Kawasaki City, an old tale of Japan, etc.

The group was told by some local foreigners that they would enjoy the show better if easy Japanese caption is attached.

The group members discussed and decided to attach two captions in English and intelligible Japanese. The captioning work was started in January, 2012. Translators offered help in English translation.

Japanese original article:

Korean Air invites its members to the movie show

May 27, 2012

Korean Air will hold the film preview present to 60 couples (120 persons). The Japanese Deaf movie titled "The Yuzuriha (Daphniphyllum macropodum)" was produced for the Japanese Federation of the Deaf's 60th anniversary.

The invitation is for the members on the Korean Air's frequent flyer program "SKYPASS." Registration is accepted at the time of an application by June 10, 2012.

Korean Air offered the coverage cooperation in December, 2011 for the TV program that Hayase Kentaro, a Deaf director of "The Yuzuria," and other Deaf persons made a trip to Soul.

A film preview will be held at a Roppongi theater in Tokyo on June 28, 2012.

"The Yuzuria" has shown at 600 theaters, 1000 times of a show, with over 170,000 viewers. It has been also shown outside Japan such like in Soul, South Korea, the Kyrgyz Republic, etc.

Japanese original article:

Deaf student to participate in National High School Baseball Championship Okinawa convention

May 26, 2012

The National High School Baseball Championship Okinawa convention will open in June, 2012.

The Japan High School Baseball Federation Board accepted that Teruya Akira (17), a Okinawa High School for the Deaf senior, as a member of the Central Agriculture-Forestry High School baseball team to participate in the local convention in Okinawa Prefecture. 

Although Akira attends the mainstream program in the Central Agriculture-Forestry High School and is a baseball teammate, he is not officially registered with the school, so he is not on the baseball player registration.

Neither the school for the Deaf belongs to the Federation, nor it has a baseball club. So Akira has not been able to play representing both the schools.

It is the first case in the whole country that a Deaf student is accepted to play baseball officially. The judgment of the Federation gives a dream and hope to the Deaf students who play baseball in the similar environment not only within the prefecture but also in the whole country.

Efforts of both the schools were great and Federation officials also explored possibility positively.

When the Kitashiro School for the Deaf baseball teammates and others, wanting to play a match against hearing students in Okinawa Prefecture, cleared various hurdles and achieved to join the Federation in the beginning of the 1980s. Although the summer convention was final, and the baseball team was dissolved less than three years, it became the nationwide topic of attention and their story became a movie and comics.

Japanese original article:

Rotary Club donates refrigerators to school for the Deaf in a stricken area

The Rotary Club members and Deaf students  

May 25, 2012

The Saginuma Rotary Club which performs philanthropy activities in Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture visited the Fukushima Prefecture School for the Deaf in Koriyama-shi stricken by the 3/11 Great East Japan Earthquake, and presented two large-sized refrigerators which can be used in the dormitory on April 22.

The club continues support such as fund-raising after the earthquake disaster, and this time was planned as part of their support.

Eighteen club members and their families arrived at the school. The Deaf student representative expressed his gratitude to the Club for their help.

One of the Rotary Club member said, "Some students had changed to another school for refuge to the outside of the prefecture. We hope our project would encourage the remaining students."

Japanese original article:

Software to develop to change the text inputted into sign language CG

May 24, 2012

The Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) is doing research that the human being drawn by computer graphics uses sign language in a TV program.

The theme of research is "translation to sign language CG for a weather report." The software has been developed now, focusing on the sign language related to a weather report that many contents are patterned comparatively.

With general Windows computers, the text inputted is translated into sign language, which is outputted in CG form.

See video:

1) It will rain in some places tomorrow.
2) It will rain until about noon tomorrow.

Japanese original article:

Deaf care worker passes national examination for certification

May 24, 2012

Ozawa Chieko passed the national examination for care worker to be certified in the 2011 fiscal year.

She is vice president of the Aomori Prefecture Association of the Deaf and has worked at the nursing health care facility for the aged at Towada City in the prefecture.

Chieko is the first to have passed the certification examination.

She has taken communication with the clients, etc. positively at the workplace, using the gesture sometimes.

She shows the zeal over work related to care services. "I would not forget my initial earnest intention and to employ what I have learned from preparation for the recent examination in work efficiently."

Japanese original article:

Deaf and hearing students enjoy exchange activity program

The Deaf children stare at small tropical fish in Kagawa Prefecture School for the Deaf.

May 23, 2012

The students of the Tadotsu High School and the Kagawa Prefecture School for the Deaf joined the first exchange activity program in the School for the Deaf in Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa Prefecture on May 22.

The five hearing high school students majoring in the marine production visited the school for the Deaf with the "aquarium".

About 30 Deaf students observed various tropical fish together, communicating with the visitors in writing, etc.

Nakagawa Tomoya (17), a Deaf high school senior, said, "I was glad one of the hearing students introduced himself by sign language. I hope the exchange program will continue from now on because I want to talk with hearing friends on various topics."

The Deaf students are going to visit the Tadotsu High School in July.

Japanese original article:

Deaf person selected as leader of watchdog group on disability discrimination in Kumamoto

May 23, 2012

In Kumamoto Prefecture in the southern island of Japan which aims at dissolution of the discriminating problems to persons with disabilities, the "Disability Discrimination Ordinance" was enacted from the current fiscal year.

To supervise whether this ordinance is being employed appropriately, the voluntary association "Kumamoto Disability Forum" was  inaugurated.

The prefecture will be asked for an improvement if the forum that consists of 29 disability organizations in the prefecture finds a problem.

The forum establishment meeting was held in Kumamoto City on May 19, and Matsunaga Akira (74), managing director of the Prefecture Welfare Association of the Deaf, was elected as the representative.

He said, "We would like to aim at the society by which a person with disability is esteemed as a person."

Japanese original article:

New group to promote understanding of cochlea implant in Okinawa

May 23, 2012

Watakuchi Jun (30), an office worker in Okinawa Prefecture, is working hard to form a group for cochlea-implanted persons, aiming at extending an understanding of cochlea implant and solving the related issues for the implanted.

Jun lost hearing at the age 17, and was tormented by various stress and fear as it was impossible for him to take communication well with people, to follow the classroom activities, etc.

Jun started to use the cochlea implant at the age 25, and even after he regained hearing, he has faced various problems, such as lack of understanding of the cochlea implant, a maintenance cost of apparatus, etc.

From his own experience with the cochlea implant, Jun hopes to support especially children's growth.

The group will be set up in July. As a part of the event, a lecture meeting will be held related to experiences of the implanted.

Japanese original article:

Deaf high school boy grows well

May 23, 2012

Okita Taiga (17), a high school student of the Ishikawa Prefecture School for the Deaf, has a very handsome look. He is a member of the track and field club at the school, yearning after the inter-high school championships. Even if he does a dead run, he is conspicuous for a moment.

When he was a small boy, Taiga was a model. At audition, he used sign language and passed. His parents were very happy about it not because the son became the model, but because his being Deaf was accepted.

It turned out that Taiga was Deaf in ten months after the birth, and the parents were worried about his future. They have wished Taiga would grow up well no matter what obstacles were ahead.

Japanese original article:

Booklet on sign language vocabulary including signed dialect

Fukushima Koichi explains that the booklet will make beginners as well as an experienced learner enjoy reading.

May 21, 2012

Koichi Fukushima (61), adviser to the sign language circle of Echizen in Fukui Prefecture, made a booklet (A4-size, 282 pages) on the sign language vocabulary which anyone can learn to sign easily.

Fukushima who has studied sign language for 43 years said, "I want many people to learn how deep the sign language is."

According to him, the national sports meet for physically handicapped persons held in 1968 was the opportunity for more sign-language interpreters in the prefecture. About ten persons interpreted at the opening ceremony for the first time in the whole country, and these people made many sign language circles in the prefecture.

The new booklet includes not only dialect of sign language accepted in the specific local area but also how the noted products of Echizen City are expressed.

Since the sign language has been unified with its spread nationally, the locally signed dialect decreased.

Fukushima says, "the tradition of the area and hardships of predecessors serve as a backdrop in which signs were produced. We need to preserve them as a cultural heritage."

He is creating the second volume that incorporates new signs and more signed dialects.

Japanese original article:

Deaf man's photograph selected at photography contest on Tokyo Skytree

"My Skytree" taken by Shionoya Tomihiko

May 22, 2012

On May 22, Tokyo Skytree, at 634 meters the world's tallest broadcasting tower, opened to the public.

Since July, 2000, the readers have submitted photos with the theme on "My Skytree," which serializes with the Sankei Shimbun local edition (Tama, Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa).

Celebrating the Tokyo Skytree opening, the contest of the submitted photos for one year and ten months was held and 34 photos were selected.

One of the these photos, shown at beginning of this page, was taken by Shionoya Tomihiko from Sakura-shi, Chiba prefecture. He is Deaf.

To see the selected photos, click:

Moreover, his photograph was chosen in the similar contest by the TBS TV broadcast as he posted on his Facebook page:

English report on Tokyo Skytree opening:


Deaf lawyer gives a lecture in Okinawa Prefecture

Tamon Hiroshi, a Deaf lawyer, talks about his job, etc.

May 15, 2012

A born-Deaf lawyer Tamon Hiroshi gave a presentation at the lecture meeting the night of May 12, cosponsored by the Okinawa Prefecture Miyakojima City Disability Welfare Division and the Miyakojima Society of the Deaf.

Hiroshi spoke in sign language about his life under the title "My steps to becoming a lawyer." After attending the school for the Deaf,  later the hearing high school in Chiba Prefecture and studied at the university in Tokyo. He finally passed the bar examination after the 8th time of try.

Hiroshi explained why he aimed to become a lawyer. "I was from a fatherless family and  interested in social welfare as I had seen how difficult it was for my mother to support our family life, so I had wanted to help the socially weak."

He had a turning point after having read the newspaper article that a hard of hearing person became a lawyer when he was a junior high school student.

"In the article the new lawyer said that he wanted to help weak persons. It inspired me to become a lawyer even if I was Deaf. I was not confident myself, but I decided I would try."

Hiroshi explained his job as a lawyer. "I deal with a debt problem many times. Only 10 percent of my work hours is devoted to the court, and many hours for an interview with the client and desk work, etc."

Hiroshi's presentation interpreted apparently impressed the audience with his life long mission.

Japanese original article:

Q+A: Lance Allred: The Japan League center on his personal challenges and the BJL Final Four.

May 18, 2012

Q+A: Lance Allred:  

The Japan League center on his personal challenges and the BJL Final Four.

Kyoto Hannaryz center Lance Allred took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the upcoming bj-league (Basketball Japan League) Final Four, the culture of basketball in Japan, the challenges of playing with a hearing impairment and much more.

Read more:

Deaf golf conference held in Mie

May 18, 2012

"The 2012 Japan Deaf Golf Opening" was held in the Tsu country club at Tsu-shi, Mie Prefecture.

The event was for the final selection of the national team members of the "9th World Deaf Golf Championship" which will be held on the golf course in October, 2012. Sixty-seven Deaf  players joined the event.

Masanori Kojima, chairman of the board of directors of the Japanese Deaf Gold Association, showed enthusiasm, saying "although the 3-11 Great East Japan Earthquake affected our community, we opted for holding the event in the spirit that Japan does its best."

The World Deaf Golf Championship is held  every two years since 1996. The 9th Championship will be the first Asia holding, October 5-13, 2012, with the players from 17 countries expected to compete.

Japanese original article:

Deaf student winning a poem contest for two years

Ayagaki Aoi says, "I would continue to enjoy the music which is not only sound"

May 16, 2012

The volunteer organization "Nara Dandelion Club" will host an annual music festival every year to promote expression activities regardless of disability.

The poem by a Kumamoto School for the Deaf junior Ayagaki Aoi (17) from Hita-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture, was accepted again by the poem contest for the music festival. 

Hers was one of eight poems accepted out of 452 poems from the whole country. Aoi was surprised and said with her brightened eyes, "I would be glad if my poem is written for music."

Her work, titled "Something important for protection," appeals her thought of the sign language that she treasures. A Deaf person feels a sense of powerlessness from the uneasiness because of deafness, but feels joy
when conversation can be taken through sign language as "light of hope."

Aoi was recommended by her friend, who knew she has dreamed to take up musical work in future, to write a poem by herself, and she began writing a poem when she was in the 11th grade.

Aoi is working on the "sign language song" which tells words by sign language with music or arranges a dance signing.

She hopes she can dance with sign language on the stage at the music festival, scheduled for the end of July, 2012 in Nara Prefecture, if music written for her poem passed the composition contest.

Japanese original article:

First woman trained for cormorant fishing in Aichi

Inayama Kotomi (left) studies a cormorant.

May 15, 2012

In Inuyama-shi, Aichi Prefecture, a hearing woman has began training in cormorant fishing on Kisogawa River.

If she were successful, she will be the first female for cormorant fishing with the tradition in a little more than 1300 years in the prefecture. She will be the 6th person in the whole country following Kyoto and Fukuoka Prefectures.

Inayama Kotomi (23) from Komaki-shi in the prefecture, worked in the pet shop store, after graduating from the vocational school where she studied the breeding method of an animal, etc. She passed the examination to become an expert on cormorant fishign by the tourist agency of Inuyama in April, 2012.

Kotomi is learning how to keep the cormorant facility clean, how to make a cormorant quiet by rubbing its throat under the instruction of the experienced cormorant fisherman.

To treat a cormorant professionally in fishing usually takes for about three years. Under the leadership of an expert, Kotomi is going to study how to treat a cormorant on the river in June.

She said, "When explaining cormorant fishing on the boat, to get many people to see, I would like to propose using a picture-card show and sign language."

Japanese original article:

Judgment reprieve to the father who murdered his deaf son

May 14, 2012

The lay judge trial of the defendant Yasuda Hirosh (74) has been held at the Yokohama District Court in Kanagawa Prefecture. He was accused of murdering his second son (41) who was deaf at the house in Yokohama-shi in November, 2011.

The presiding judge sentenced to suspended sentence five years and penal servitude three years at the judgment hearing on May 14, stating that the defendant had a situation which could be fully so sympathized that it would be impossible to blame him strongly, against penal servitude six years demanded for the defendant.

The presiding judge explained the reason of sentence mitigation, "There are many situations which should be considered to the circumstances or a motive."

He said, "The son who was deaf and had mental disorder used violence on his parents and repeated the debt. It was presupposed that it was pessimistic of the future and became a hopeless feeling although the defendant made his son receive medical treatment for about ten years in a hospital, made him go into personal bankruptcy by having consulted with the public office and the lawyer. He tried all the means for his son."

According to the court, the defendant murdered the son by fastening his neck with the electrical cord at home around 11:30 p.m. on November 13, 2011.

Japanese original article:

New and accessible subway to run in June


May 13, 2012

The state-of-the-art cars of the Nagoya City Subway in Aichi Prefecture are ready to be delivered to the City Traffic Bureau's factory from May 13.

The new subway has six cars with more accessibility for persons with disabilities; the wider space for the person with wheelchair by 3 times in each car, the guidance lamp which tells the Deaf passenger when the door closes/opens is installed in the upper part of the door.

The new subway is due to come out through a test run in June.

Japanese original article:

Deaf school producing DVD about Deaf experience with WWII

The Miyakonojo Sakura School for the Deaf advances work of DVD which summarized the Deaf persons' war experience.

May 13, 2012 
The Miyazaki Prefecture Miyakonojo Sakura School for the Deaf (48 students) in Miyakonojo City located in the southern island of Japan is tackling a DVD project related to the Deaf persons' war experience.

The DVD which is due to be completed by the end of May will be used not only in classroom, but also for public-oriented education.

The DVD project has been chosen to be funded by the Panasonic Educational Foundation of Tokyo, and 500,000 yen will be presented at the ceremony in Tokyo on May 25.

The school has finished interviews to the Deaf persons in the city about their experience with the Pacific War, and is working on edition and caption of the DVD.

Japanese original article:

Deaf man writes a novel based on his experience


May 10, 2012

Suzuki Yoshio (76) of Higashi-Yamato-shi, Tokyo who lost hearing at the age of three finished writing the novel titled "Deaf Struggle in War of JSL and Oralism"(an English tentative title)based on his early life (1,155 yen, 168 pages).

The publisher Bungeisha located in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo and others say that it might be very rare that a Deaf person writes a novel.

Yoshio saw the Japanese film titled "Nameless, Poor and Beautiful" about the way of a life of the Deaf after the end of the war in 1945 when he was in the 30's.

He was impressed with the movie, saying "The movie shows very well about the Deaf." However, he thought that if a Deaf person expressed something about the Deaf by himself, it would be more real.

Even if Yoshio reached his 70's, the thought never disappeared, and he decided that he would write by himself.

The book goes along with the writer's own experience: about his family who were forced into separation by the outbreak of the Pacific War, the days he spent alone in the dormitory as a boy, the recollections of mother and younger sister who lost life in the middle of the homecoming from old Manchuria (the present China northeast area), father who returned from the old Soviet Union, etc.

Yoshio tried hard to recall several events in his past, which he wove into a story as a fiction. He says, "I want the Deaf to think that they can challenge anything."

Japanese original article:

Aged disaster victims to move into new public housing in Fukushima

May 10, 2012

The first apartment residence was completed in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture to accommodate disaster victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The ceremony to deliver the key was held on May 9.

The American major chemistry company, "Dow Chemical" which has a factory in the city built the new apartment, which was presented to the city.

This apartment which accepts 12 households is a housing facility for the disaster elderly people who move in through their makeshift house.

Kawanishi Satsuki (82) who is deaf and his wife Tomiko (80) have lost their house by tsunami and will move in on May 11.

Tomiko has learned about the housing building plan that nursing care services would be available for her husband and became interested in it.

She visited the construction site about 13 times, wishing she would be able to live with her husband here. She is now pleased with the start of a new life.

Japanese original article:

Deaf university graduate hired as a teacher aid at alma mater in Kumamoto Prefecture

Sumiyoshi Shota trains his student how to draft.


May 4, 2012

Sumiyoshi Shota (22), who graduated from the Kumamoto Prefecture Kumamoto School for the Deaf, has started to teach at the alma mater for a new post as a teacher aid this spring.

He passed the employment examination succefully, starting instruction in a classroom. He brightens eyes, saying "I want to show the young students that they can be independent even if with disability."

Shota uses sign language and writing for communication with hearing people. He attended the mainstream program until the junior high school, and he went to the school for the deaf as a high school student, because, as he says, "I didn't want to be treated as a special student who requires help from the teacher, but wanted to spend a student life with other students equally."
The dream of Shota's that time was becoming a designer and building a house for his parents. While he studied at the Tsukuba University of Technology located in Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture, the thought that he would contribute to independence of those who are disabled like himself also swelled every year.

When Shota visited the alma mater to discuss his future career last spring, he was suggested by the teacher about the position of a "teacher aid," and opted for taking an examination.
As a result of hard study, Shota was the first successful candidate by the special selection frame for persons with disabilities introduced by Kumamoto Prefecture Education Board in the 2010 fiscal year.
Shota says that he would acquire a teacher's license and become a class room teacher in the future. "There are also many things which can be carried out in spite of deafness. I want my students to believe their possibility and to do their best toward a dream."

Japanese original article:

Survey: 30 percent of women with disabilities suffering from sexual harassment

May 9, 2012

The civic organization of Tokyo, "DPI Women with Disabilities Network," conducted a survey through other organizations, etc. in May - November, 2011 about hard experience for a woman with disability to live.

31 out of 87 women including 5 Deaf women, exceeding 1/3, mentioned sexual harassment.

The task force of Cabinet Office intends to held the hearing of the organization persons concerned on May 11, and use its results in preparation of the disability antidiscriminatory bill which aims at introduction to an regular Diet session next year.

Japanese original article:

Sweet rolls baked by Deaf workers for sale

The tourist visits and appraises bread and cookies.

May 07, 2012

The bakery shop named "Onokoroya," which was opened in Sumoto-shi, Hyogo Prefecture in December, 2011 as a workplace for the Deaf, started manufacture and sale of bread following baked confectionery.

The closing hour was even extended, and the shop has been welcomed by local people and the persons on the way home from work. The bakery is sold out almost every day.

The shop is a branch office of the local activity support center which the Hyogo Prefecture Welfare Project Association of the Deaf runs.

After the old store that was out to business was remodeled with funding of the prefecture model project that promotes the reuse of old stores, the baked confectionery shop was opened first with three Deaf workers and two staff.

15 kinds of baked confectionery, such as cookie, a madeleine, a muffin, and a rusk, have been made for sale.

This time, to meet the request from local people for bread, a bean-jam bun, a bun with a cream filling, melon bread, a croissant, etc. are manufactured. These sell well.
Moreover, bread is also baked by order.

Business hours is 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Monday to Friday. On the 4th Fridays, the shop stands in the city office. Not only the workers but the people who visit the city hall purchase saying, "It seems to be delicious."

The shop manager Hashizume Kazunori (43) says, "we strive further to get our shop to contribute more to the community here. We provided training to the Deaf student who wanted to work. We are looking forward to more Deaf workers."

Japanese original article:

Policeman mistakes a suspect by writing with Deaf group

May 8, 2012

The Amagasaki Minami Police Station in Hyogo Prefecture announced on May 7 that it had mistaken the suspicion. It had arrested a man for offence in the night of May 6 on violence suspicion.

Three victims were all Deaf, and while the policeman was investigating to find out what happened by writing, he misunderstood the person who was attacked.

The police once released the suspect, and is hearing the situation from him.

According to the police, the policeman arrested the office worker (50) who grabbed a passing-by woman, one of the Deaf victims, by the front of her clothes at Japan Railroad Tachibana station in Amagasaki City on May 6 at 23:55. 

However, when the police reconfirmed on May 7, it turned out that it was one of two Deaf men who were together with the woman.

The suspect was drunk with alcohol on the day, and says that he accepts suspicion; "I am sorry very much."

The police is going to send the report to the prosecutor on his violence behavior against the three Deaf persons.

Japanese original article:

Deaf students go on school trip in Okinawa Prefecture

Deaf students enjoy dancing with the local residents in Okinawa.

May 4, 2012

The sign language cafe "Kukuru" ("True Heart" in Okinawan dialect) located in Okinawa Prefecture in the southern island of Japan has offered both the Deaf community and hearing people a place where they work together.

On April 25, four high school seniors of the Nara Prefecture School for the Deaf participated in the welcome party which the cafe owner Higa Takao (52) and staff set up with the local residents and customers. The Deaf students enjoyed dances in sign language, folk dances, etc. which were the pleasant recollections of experience for their trip.

Higa's wife Mayumi (46) lost hearing because of a German measles when she was a child. He usually exchanges information with persons with disabilities across the country through his blog. He had a request about lunch arrangement from the School for the Deaf. He wanted to hold the luncheon which the students would remember well, and made a plan with his staff. 

All the participants danced finale together. The students said, "We really had a good time with the friendly Okinawan people here. We surely will remember forever in the whole life."

The teacher who led the student group mentioned, "I had came here for preliminary check in February and thought at least having the meal at the cafe was enough for our trip. We are indeed moved with Mr. Higa's and others' warm kindness".

Japanese original article:

Finger Spelling for Japanese syllabary panel made by hearing students wins prize

The "Finger Spelling for Japanese Syllabary Panel" which was made by the hearing students last year.

May 3, 2012

The "Finger Spelling for Japanese Syllabary Panel" which the graduates of the Gifu Prefectural Ogaki-Yoro High School made won a prize at the 22nd Hobby Grand-Prix sponsored by the Japan Hobby Association on April 26, 2012.

It was made by two seniors who studied life welfare in 2011. They packed cotton into working gloves, made each the form of Japanese syllabary, sewed, and attached the face fastener. It is easy to remove and stick on big cloth in order to tell a thought.

The graduates have studied in a lesson using for expressing a finger spelling for each Japanese syllabary at a time, when telling the word which is not found sign language.

Hearing groupie for Deaf rubber-ball baseball team

May 3, 2012

The Kanagawa Prefecture Hiratsuka School for the Deaf rubber-ball baseball team in Hiratsuka City has a "groupie." He is called Yoshiki Teruhiro, 65, of Kamakura City.

He has also taken the nine's photograph with the digital camera which is his hobby while watching almost every game since four years ago.

Yoshiki served as the manager and the coach of the high school rubber-ball baseball team in the prefecture for ten or more years. He says, "The competition for a regular position was severe, and the teammates were cold and unfriendly."

He saw the practice of the School for the Deaf by chance, after having completed his term. He was impressed. "The Deaf students were single-minded and really enjoyed playing baseball."

Since then, Yoshiki has attracted to the Deaf baseball team which even didn't seem strong. He said, "Each teammate understands what he should do regardless of his disability."

He presents the guardian the photograph which he took and printed. In a practice game, he acts as a referee, and after a game he hits fungoes for fielding practice. Of course, he is all a volunteer.

"When I see these boys, I would like to do something more helpful." The groupie showed a big smile.

Japanese original article:

Deaf photograph club exhibits works in Kumamoto Prefecture

The first photo exhibition was opened by the Deaf photograph club.

April 30, 2012

The Kumamoto Prefecture Deaf Photograph Club held the photo exhibition to celebrate the 5th anniversary of foundation in the prefecture.

The members said, "we want the visitors to see the difference of a viewpoint between the Deaf and hearing persons."

The club was formed in 2007 taking advantage of the photograph class which the Prefecture Association of the Deaf sponsored. The members are improving their skill with help of the expert who is a lecturer every month.

The photo exhibition came out for the first time, which exhibited 35 unusually visual works of nature, rural scenery, a living thing, etc. that the nine members in their 40-70's made. 

Japanese original article:

Deaf high school students play baseball game against hearing students


May 2, 2012

The Saitama High School Rubber-Ball Baseball Spring Game, sponsored by the Prefecture Education Board and the Prefecture High School Baseball Federation, was held in Saitama Prefecture on May 1.

Rubber-ball baseball is one of the popular games because of less injuries and easy playing. The players of the hearing high schools that respect both literary and sports and a school for the deaf were playing with their best at the formal event.

The Omiya School for the Deaf in Saitama City has only two regular-season games per year to play against a hearing school.

A Deaf pitcher Yasuno Kiyonari threw nearly 130 fastballs with good tempo. He says, "A good chance to try my ability. How much I have practiced will show results."

He began baseball when he was a third grader and played for the baseball club during his junior high school days.

Since the baseball team at the Omiya School for the Deaf has only seven teammates, members of other clubs such as the tennis club or track and filed club, are often asked to play baseball as a teammate.

The Deaf students faced troubles at the signals during the game. Since they are easy to be detected if sign language is used, they used finger spelling for the signals.

On that day Omiya lost to the opponent by 0-18, finishing the game at the fifth time. The Deaf teammates felt regretful, saying "We will improve our skills more by summer."

Head coach Ishikawa Hiroyuki said, "My boys are learning not only cooperativeness or social life but also communication needy in their daily living, through playing rubber-ball baseball."

Japanese original article:

Prefecture governor to submit budget plan in support of hearing aid purchase

April 29, 2012

Yamaguchi Prefecture Governor has made the measure which supports hearing-aid expenses for the hard of hearing children who are not eligible for the physically handicapped persons' card.

He will submit a supplementary budget to the Prefecture Assembly regular meeting which is due to be opened in June.

The governor said, "Since I would like to solve a hearing-aid purchase problem during my term of office by August, I will strive to carry out as soon as possible."

According to the prefecture disabled persons support division, 11 prefectures, such as Okayama and Shimane Prefectures, have introduced the hearing-aid purchase subsidy.

For the most of the cases the hearing aid expense is split by the prefecture, towns/ villages, and the applicant, while a hearing aid costs about 30,000~140,000 yen for one ear.

The governor said, "the use of hearing aid  leads to improvement in linguistic competence or academic ability. I would like to discuss each town about the burden rate."

Japanese original article:

Computer system using mouth movement developed for communication

Professor Yamamoto (left) checks the system (right)

April 27, 2012

Professor Yamamoto Fujio of Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa Prefeture and others are tackling the joint research of the system that a computer reads a motion of a mouth in the video and changes to some written Japanese before being tweeted.

They aim at the system's utilization, saying that it would support a deaf/hard of hearing person using IT.

There are the forms of the mouth movement when to speak Japanese; five vowels comprised of "a, i, u, e, o" and the closed mouth form, which all are classified and coded.

A computer reads each motion of a mouth in the video, guesses what is said, and translates to a code. And then, in search of the code for a word out of a dictionary database, it changes to the word. If it is sent by a twitter, it will help communication between the Deaf/hard of hearing person and his family, etc.

Professor Yamamoto says, "If an intention could be conveyed only by a mouth motion, the system can be utilizable for the conversation in the noisy place, or the conversation which does not want to be heard by other people."

Future issues are that reading a mouth motion by individual difference correctly, development of a dictionary function, etc.

Japanese original article:

Woman team wins at the World Deaf Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo

May 1, 2012

At the World Deaf Table Tennis Championships which is currently held in the National Olympic Memorial Youth Center of Tokyo, the Japanese woman team won a complete victory against a formidable rival China by 3-2, placed at the world's No.1.

Sato Riho, a Tokyo Fuji University senior who got two points that led to the victory, said, "It had been hard to defeat China, so I have had a strong will to win for this game."

Head Coach Sato Shinji, who is also her father, praised good fight of the woman team saying, "They fought hard without even collapsing mentally."

Japanese original article: