Deaf school girl learns Japanese traditional dance

Maki Yuina-san (left) practices Japanese dance with her hearing cousin Kato Kaon-san.

Dec. 12, 2012

Maki Yuina-san (9), a fourth grader of the Kagoshima School for the Deaf in the southern island of Japan, is practicing Japanese traditional dance.

During practice, her hearing cousin Kato Kaon-san (11), who also a Japanese dance student, learned sign language by herself and interprets for Maki-san.

They are intent on "performing on various stages in the future."

Maki-san lost hearing at the age of two, and usually uses a hearing-aid.

Japanese original article:

Deaf rugby football player relates his own personal history

December 16, 2012

Kuratsu Keita-san (24) visited the preschool in the Prefecture Shizuoka School for the Deaf in Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, his alma mater, for the first time in 20 years early in December.

"Who want to hang down from Kuratsu-san's arm?"
The kindergartners raised the hand eagerly to the teacher's question. When Kratsu-san presented the brawny arm, the children stuck it and raised a cheer. He smiled and said to the children, "Eat a lot and do your best with a dream."

Kuratsu-san, who was born deaf, uses a hearing-aid and does lipreading. He attended the class for hard of hearing children in public elementary and junior high schools in the city. He was on the baseball team in the junior high school. As soon as he was admitted to the private high school in the city, he became attracted to rugby football at once.

Kuratsu-san felt his heart trembled with the sound of a tackle, etc., and told his parents that he would play rugby football. They didn't accept it,  saying, "It is a dangerous sport, and it may hurt you." At the end, they allowed him as he promised "to play only for three years."

Unlike baseball, a player does not always stand in the same place. Since playing rugby football wasn't safe, the hearing-aid was removed, and communication in the team was more difficult beyond anticipation.

The obstacle awaited him even not playing. When the meeting with the head coach was held after practice, he heard the practice time of the next day. When he went to the ground in the morning the next day, nobody was there. He missed to hear that the practice would be in the afternoon.

Kuratsu-san said, "I remember I was scolded by the head coach. He told me to come out more positively. I would not be who I am now if the incident did not hit me."

Then he came out more eagerly. He invented a sign used during the game as the head coach's advice, and his communication with the teammates became more possible. He won a regular post and also participated in the nationwide competition.

He is currently on two rugby teams; one is a team for adults, and another is a Deaf Rugby Japan all-star team. He was a captain of the Deaf Rugby team which competed against Australia at the international game, the first game held in Japan in November, 2011.

"If I didn't ever play rugby football, I might have been bashful. I accepted my disability and now have self-confidence. His future goal is to win one victory for the Japan team in the Deaf Rugby international match.

"I would like to show that a person with disability can play sports. For that purpose, I want to become stronger."

"Communication Tool" used for Lower House election in Tokyo

The "Communication Tool" which Tokyo Public Offices Election Commission made for the Deaf voters.
Dec. 14, 2012

Tokyo Public Offices Election Commission set the "Communication Tool" used for the Lower House election scheduled on December 16 in the polling places of most metropolitan area with 62 cities, wards, towns, and villages.

The tool is used in responding to a question or an inquiry from the Deaf/hard of hearing so that they can cast their vote smoothly.

This tool is already used before the voting day for those who were unable to vote on the day. Commission officials say that it is popular.

They have communicated with the Deaf/hard of hearing in writing, etc., and introduced the tool after taking in the Tokyo Federation of the Deaf's opinion to improve vote environment for the Deaf/hard of hearing.

The tool has two kinds: one is made from plastic A4 size, and another A3 size poster for a notice.

Japanese original article:

Exhibition to honor the birth centennial anniversary of silent artist in Tokyo

A flyer
Matsumoto's art works exhibited at Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo
December 9, 2012

In celebrating a painter Matsumoto Shunsuke's (1912-1948) 100th anniversary since his birth this year, his art works are exhibited in Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo on November 23, 2012 - January 14, 2013.

Matsumoto Shunsuke (real name: Sato Shunsuke) was born in 1912 in Tokyo and spent boyhood in Iwate Prefecture, a part of northeastern Japan. He aspired to be a painter after losing hearing at the age of 13 due to sickness.

Although the military authorities ordered all the painters to "take a brush and draw a battle picture as a national policy," in 1941 prior to the Pacific War, only one artist objected. He was a then 29-year-old youth, Matsumoto, and declared: "The painter can draw only the picture from his own heart."

Matsumoto who escaped the draft because of deafness merely walked along the building and street corner in Tokyo or Yokohama and sketched silently, while most painters strove for the battle picture during war.

The midst of the air raid he yet continued the sketch, saying "I will keep my work until I am blown away with a bomb." His landscapes during the wartime which show quietness in the beauty though these sank darkly, which became masterpieces representing the early Showa period (1926-1988).

Japanese original articles: