|Members practice in sign language for the special event. |
June 20, 2013
The sign language group named "Horned Owl" in Kyoto-shi, Kyoto Prefecture celebrated the 50th anniversary of foundation. It is the oldest in the existing sign language circles across the whole country.
The group will hold a commemorative ceremony in Kyoto-shi on June 23, and all the past chairmen will give a talk to look back upon five decades there.
Nakajima* Chiyomi* (中島千代美) who was a nurse of the Red Cross' Second Hospital of Kyoto started the sign language group in 1963. There was hardly a sign language interpreter those days, and it was a motive that communication was not effective between a Deaf patient and a doctor.
Nakajima called to Mukono* Kaichi* (向野嘉一), 85, who is a sign-language interpreting expert, and twelve members began to learn sign language.
They had a goal to "become a Deaf's good friend", and have appealed for the discrimination abolition and the improvement in a Deaf's life in cooperation with the Kyoto City Association of the Deaf.
A branch is located in each division of the city now, and about 400 members learn sign language once a week, or plan an exchange event with the Deaf community.
*Note: The Japanese name is usually in order: one's last name comes first, and then the first name comes next.