Sign expressing the feature of "Osprey" aircraft in Okinawa

The deaf persons show how to sign for the Osprey which express the feature of its body. (from right to left)

October 22, 2012 

Among the Deaf community of Okinawa Prefecture in the southern island of Japan, the sign expressing Osprey aircraft has spread spontaneously. They sign by pointing the index finger of both hands up, turning like a propeller, and then combine with the existing sign of the airplane which expresses the feature of the osprey which has a function of both a helicopter and an airplane (see the photo). 

The Prefecture Association of the Deaf executive director, Higa Takeshi-san explained, "Many people here are worried about the safety of Osprey. The Deaf and hard of hearing people who have limited accessibility to text information are collecting the information about Osprey through signed conversation." 

Higa-san has met the persons using the same sign for Osprey in different parts of the prefecture. When he pointed his index finger of both hands upward, and moved them like a propeller to mean Osprey, he was surprised to see other Deaf persons doing the same motion.
Higa-san says, "Although one thinks that the individual expressed the feature of the body at first, if intelligible, it will become the sign more common to the whole country." 

The Deaf community including sign language interpreters have doubts about the  deployment of Ospreys in Okinawa despite of the fierce opposition in the prefecture, fearing whether Ospreys crash into the city while safety not being secured. 

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