Deaf professional wrestlers make a show in sign language on the ring

The staff interprets by sign language by side of the Deaf wrestler showing off  strength.
(photo: http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/)


February 15, 2013

The Deaf professional wrestling organization called the "HERO" (headquarters in Chuo-ku, Tokyo) has been holding six performances mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area after starting a new business in 2010.

An announcer by the ring side interprets the sign language of the Deaf wrestler, or the staff interprets what a hearing wrestler says on the ring for Deaf spectators.

Fundamentally, five Deaf wrestlers from the "HERO" challenge hearing counterparts for a match. About 80 percent of spectators are Deaf.

A Deaf wrestler, Yamiki aged 62 who is the main wrestler of the "HERO," joined the new professional wrestling group which was formed by one of the prominent hearing wrestler, Antonio Inoki, and started as a trainee at the age of 21.

Because Yamiki was Deaf, the group didn't believe his ability, and no longer invited him for practice when he was injured, so he left the group about one year later.

Yamiki became involved in a wrestling group for persons with disabilities, such as a referee etc. since around 2005. He wanted to be a wrestler again then, starting the "HERO" with his eldest son Sato Yoshiyuki, 34, on 20 February, 2010.

Yamaki said about his experience with his hearing opponent at the first meeting: Yamaki told him something by pointing at him, who misunderstood it for an insult.

Sato, who currently represents the "HERO," continued the part-time delivery job all the time from the time of starting a new business, raising the activity fund and busy in securing the staff fluent in sign language, etc.

It is not easy for the Deaf wrestlers to find practice time as they are employed by a company. What supports them is the zeal to give the spectators as a wrestler that once they had been impressed as a fan of the professional wrestling.


Japanese original article:
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2013021502000257.html

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