|Fukushima Koichi demonstrates the hand-made collection of sign language which introduces about 3,500 words. |
January 6, 2014
Fukushima Koichi (福島幸一), 63, the adviser of the Takefu sign language circle called "Cogwheels", has strived for the spread of sign language over many years in Echizen-shi, Fukui Prefecture.
He made the dialect collection (A4 size; about 1,000 pages) with illustrations of about 3,500 words of sign language in three years.
There is not only the nationally standard expression but dialects only in the rural area in sign language. The expression unique to the district, such as the name of a place and food, is also recorded. A local expression is also incorporated to use in daily conversation efficiently.
Sign language spread within the prefecture by the interpreter training program for the Fukui National Athletic Meet in 1968. Fukushima joined the Takefu sign language circle established immediately after the National Athletic Meet 45 years ago.
He has put power into spread of sign language such as he influenced the formation of a sign language circle or study group in various places, founded the prefectural sign language circle liaison council.
Fukushima began to develop the collection of sign language after he turned 60 to realize his thought: "The society that every one communicates by sign language freely always anywhere."