Deaf staff was there in Tokyo Astronomical Observatory

Tanaka Yukiaki (田中幸明: 1915-1995) left as one of the 2nd alumni at the Japan Oral School for the Deaf and worked at the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory (currently the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) from September, 1944 until December, 1980.

The 20-cm refraction equatorial telescope was used for sketch observation of a sunspot till 1998. As a technical staff engaged in solar sunspot observation, Tanaka stood by even not only in the time of fine weather but in few intervals of clear weather, doing sketch observation of this sunspot for a long time.

Although his technique sketched with the pencil the sunspot of the solar image with a diameter of 25 cm projected on the projection version, even if it was at the fine weather time, the perseverance and technique of sketching the place of the good image one by one, and obtaining an image sharp as a whole were required for it.

He published the paper about observations repeatedly with his fellow researcher, especially the one published in 1960 was very important on solar physics which was introduced to the scientific journal of each country, capturing the spotlight from the astronomy community in the world.

Tanaka was reportedly employed by the Observatory since the personnel for a sunspot sketch those days were needed. He was then studying painting under a prominent painter.

Tanaka often thronged the laboratory, talked by writing and argued those days in front of the blackboard which was placed in each laboratory.

Japanese sources:

French Deaf students from Paris visit its sister school in Chiba

The group of the French Deaf students and staff arrived in Narita Airport.

April 25, 2014

Two teachers and five female students from the Paris School of the Deaf visited their sister school, the School for the Deaf Special Support Education under the University of Tsukuba in Chiba Prefecture, from April 23 through April 25.

The group stayed in the dormitory, and the French students learned Japanese culture, enjoying the exchange activity program with the Japanese students in each class from the primary school through high school including a non-degree graduate program.

Enjoy the photo albums:

Related links: 
Teachers of National School for the Deaf visit Paris School in France

Teachers from Paris visits School for the Deaf in Japan


Deaf community and hearing persons share experience for better understanding in shelter life training

April 22, 2014

A total of about 80 Deaf residents and sign language circle members in Hashimoto-shi and Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture in western Japan participated in shelter experience training for the first time on March 8 and 9.

The participants learned how to carry a wounded person on the emergency stretcher using the bamboo and blanket besides water supply training from a water-supply wagon. They also made the partition with corrugated paper in the gymnasium, covered the floor with the sheet or the blanket, and stayed overnight.

The evaluation meeting of this training was held on April 7. One of the Deaf residents said, "I would understand better if not only sign language is used, but also some messages are written on a white board," etc.

When other Deaf person commented, "I walked slowly to the extent that the next day came muscular pain so that a loud sound might not make people awake at night", there was a response from the hearing person, saying "Sound doesn't bother us even if you walk ordinarily."

The organizing committee members said, "We have learned something new from the training with the hearing people."

The professor of the Wakayama University disaster prevention research education center who cooperated in training suggested,  "The training was held with people from a sign language circle who know disability issues well this time. I would like to propose a training that includes the ordinary hearing persons of the area in the future." 

Japanese source:

Carp streamers as the recollections of Otaru School for the Deaf

The carp streamers donated by Otaru School for the Deaf.

April 22, 2014
A total of 300 sheets of the carp streamer and good-catch flag which are loved with the spring natural-featured scene were installed along Katsunaigawa River on April 13, delighting many spectators in Otaru-shi, Hokkaido, Japan's northern island.

Among the sheets, three carp streamers are hung with by the pole installed in the promenade of Katsunaigaw River, swimming calmly. They were donated by the Hokkaido Otaru School for the Deaf which was closed at the end of March, this year because of reduction in the number of students after the foundation of 107 years.

The personnel who worked in the school at that time explained;

"We used the carp streamers at the dormitory event. Due to the closure of the school, we discussed what to do with them, and reminded that the words related to the river in the school song.

So we contacted the city and the town association came to pick up the carp streamers. The school staff, and seven children and students wrote a message to the carp streamers that would leave recollections."

Written to the large-sized carp streamers with a name with the permanent marker are "Thank you", "Smile always", "Let us meet again", etc.

Japanese source:

Sign-language-interpreting lawsuit: Talk for reconciliation to start in Kagawa

April 21, 2014

Deaf office worker, Ikegawa Yoko (池川洋子), 42, a resident of Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa Prefecture asked for rejection disposal cancellation and the reparations (consolation money) of the sign-language interpreting dispatch with the reason for infringing Article 21 of the constitution, etc. that guarantees the right to know, against the Takamatsu-shi Office in the prefecture. The office did not accept her request for sign-language interpreting dispatch to the outskirts of the city. 

Oral pleading of the lawsuit was performed in the Takamatsu District Court on April 21. As Takamatsu-shi Office reformed the outline about sign-language interpreting dispatch, expanding the dispatch zone this month. So Presiding Judge suggested the both sides to talk for reconciliation.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has sent out the notice which accepts the dispatch to the outskirts of a city, and it has been expanded the dispatch zone in the prefecture from this month. With the mayor's approval the interpreter can be dispatched outside of the prefecture.

The complainant comments, "If they apply the dispatch measures sincerely, I would like to accept reconciliation."

Japanese sources:
Related link:
Takamatsu City shows the posture for fight against Deaf woman on sign language interpreter dispatch

CART project for support to Deaf/deaf students at Japan College of Social Work

CART study session by the Deaf/deaf student support project led by Professor Saito Kurumi (back).

April 21, 2014

A session to introduce CART, or Computer Assisted Realtime Translation was held by the Deaf/deaf student support project which Professor Saito Kurumi (斉藤くるみ) serves as a representative in Japan College of Social Work.

In order to support the Deaf/deaf student in the classroom, the research and practice which utilize a computer has been advanced since the autumn of 2010.

Currently CART serves about 10 Deaf/deaf students in the lecture and exercise at the College.

It is not an easy work, because if incorrect translation of language or a mistaken term occurs, the mistaken information may be memorized in the computer.

The students who participated in the lecture for the first time said, "It is hard to strike a key following the spoken speed of a speaker."

Professor Saito explained, "This lecture would make you understand deeply what deafness means. It is not only technical acquisition, but a lesson with the great merit for the hearing person who studies welfare."

Japanese source:

Prison sentence finally decided for otolaryngologist involved in hearing disability camouflage incident

April 18, 2014

The defendant Maeda Yoshiaki (前田幸昱), 79, was accused of fraud and drafting of a false medical certificate and the use in the auditory disorder camouflage incident in Hokkaido in 2007.

The 2nd minor bench of the Supreme Court made a decision that it would reject the defendant's final appeal on April 15, and accordingly the first and second high court decisions which were made into penal servitude eight years are set.

In a total of 23 persons of complicity including certified social insurance consultants and the inaccurate recipients of disability pension, guilt is already established and all trials of the incident persons concerned finished it as this.

The defendant Maeda who was an otolaryngologist of Sapporo conspired with certified social insurance consultants, drew up the false diagnosis to 42 persons who faked the disability from 2002 to 2007, and did unjust receipt of the disability pension of about 168 million yen.

Japanese source:
Related link:
Penal servitude of eight years to doctor for fraud of the pension by hearing loss camouflage

English article: Deaf wrestler Sean Noone: What it was like to wrestle in Japan!

April 17, 2014

Deaf wrestler Sean Noone tells what it was like to wrestle in Japan.

The wrestling event had been arranged by a Japanese pro-wrestling company called Touroumon. I felt it was a huge honour to be invited to take part and flew to Japan at the end of January.

Read more:

Toroumon Facebook:

Fire department produces video on Web119 emergency system for practical use

埋め込み画像 1
PR video of the "Web119 disaster information system" which Takarazuka fire-fighting headquarters produced.

April 12, 2014

The Fire-fighting Headquarters in Takarazuka-shi, Hyogo Prefecture developed public-relations video on the emergency call system, "Web119 disaster report system," to increase the registrant of the deaf community  and persons with speech disability who wish to report by a mobile phone.

Web119 is used in the "Fire-Fighting Direction Center for Takarazuka-shi, Kawanishi-shi, and Inagawa-cho" in the Headquarters. The residents of three cities and towns who are Deaf/deaf or speech impaired can register for the service.

Although the system has started in April, 2011, the registrant remained as eight persons as of April 10 in the these cities and towns. It was reported in the actually used case more detailed information was acquired sooner than the conventional fax message.

The Headquarters is going to upload the video on You Tube.

Japanese source:

Deaf group manages the private study program for the Deaf/deaf children in Fukuoka Prefecture

Anna Ichikawa, Saki Yamaguchi, and Izumi Honda (from the left) share the management of the private schooling program based on individual teaching.

April 11, 2014

After starting the NPO organization, "Disability Mutual Support Center MCP," which was formed by a deaf woman and her friends, the steady activity to support Deaf/deaf children and persons to learn is continued.

Their aim is promoting the environmental development which helps a Deaf/deaf person study better in an institution of higher education, such as a university and a junior college.

In February, 2012,  Yamaguchi Saki (山口沙希), 24, launched MCP with her college classmate Honda Izumi (本田いずみ). Honda used to be a  note-taker for Yamaguchi during their college days. Honda declined the informally arranged job and began activity. Later Honda's childhood friend and a Tokyo native, Ichikawa Anna (市川杏奈), 22, who has given up the dream as a flutist for sudden deafness.

MCP's learning support class called the "Miko Club" focuses on the original subject "Japanese" through one by one which the student learns how to use a particle, an honorific, reading ability, etc. MCP says if "Japanese language level" is improved, it would lead to the general improvement in academic ability including such like an arithmetical question in text can also be solved.

The class has been opened in Fukuoka, Saga, etc. in the southern island, currently for 13 children and adults aged from 4 to 20's. 

The three women live together in Onojo-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture in spite of opposition from their parents, respectively. Annual activity expenses are about 3 million yen. Although the Miko Club is the activity which depends only for cost prices, such as teaching-materials expenses, on a subsidy or contribution, MCP declares, "There is value in doing this even if a life is severe."

Yamaguchi can lipread so well with the result of training that she had a hard time in getting support, etc. MCP holds a meeting on note taking/CART, in an effort to increase more awareness in a university, etc. Yet the concern of the university in Kyushu, Japan's southern island is thin.

For this reason, MPC changed to put importance on the individual study support program to the children and students from primary school to high school. "We would like to advance environmental management for more children to enter a school of higher grade." One of the former students achieved entrance into a university in Kyushu this spring.

"We would like to make it the society which compromises mutually regardless of any disability." The three women's challenge continues while weaving in sign language and spoken language.

Japanese source:

Pioneer of deaf education introduced at local event in Hokkaido

The exhibition on a pioneer of deaf education, Kobayashi Unpei in Odaru-shi, Hokkaido

April 6, 2014

At the Otaru-shi General Museum Canal Hall, the small exhibition on "Deaf Education and Kobayashi Unpei" is held from April 5 to May 31 in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island.

The lecture titled "Did you ever know Kobayashi Unpei?" was opened on April 6, attracting ten persons.

The Hokkaido Otaru School for the Deaf which Kobayashi Unpei (小林運平) established in 1906 (Meiji 39) was closed its 107-year history in March, 2014.

The museum planned to hold the exhibition of a set of nine related materials possessed by and contributed to the museum.

After the lecture a woman in her 40's said, "I have learned sign language with the local association of the Deaf for six years. There was a bus tour which would trace the history of deaf education including the building site of a school for the deaf last year, and many persons participated in it. Since I was not able to participate then, I came to hear the talk today. I believe it is a good idea that the deaf children are taught with hearing children together even though the Otaru School for the Deaf was closed."

Japanese source:

Tokushima prefecture schools for the blind and the deaf hold opening ceremony

April 5, 2014

The "Tokushima vision support school" and the "Tokushima hearing support school" opened on April 4, and the commemorative ceremony was held, in which about 150 persons concerned participated. 

Each school changed the school name from the Tokushima Prefecture School for the Blind and the Prefecture School for the Deaf, respectively.

The new school building puts both the schools side by side to the site in Tokushima-shi where the old school for the Blind was built.

About 75 students go to either of the schools in the current fiscal year.

The board of education says it is the first case in Japan that the children and students with hearing and visual impaired, respectively from preschool through high school including the vocational classes go to the same school building.

Japanese sources:

Deaf centers installed in three bases in Tottori Prefecture

Governor Hirai Shinji (left) installs the signboard of the Eastern Center in Tottori-shi.

April 3, 2014

Based on the Prefecture Sign Language Ordinance concluded in October, last year, the prefecture and municipalities installed the "Deaf Center" in three places; Tottori-shi, Kurayoshi-shi, and Yonago-shi.

The opening ceremony was held in the Eastern Center in Tottori-shi on April 2.

Each center succeeds the dispatch of a sign language interpreter which was being carried out for every prefecture or cities, towns and villages across the prefecture, and is in charge of the loan of information machines and equipment, counseling, a Deaf person's activity support, etc.

Governor Hirai Shinji (平井伸治) who attended the opening ceremony said, "I would like to tackle preponderantly the development of environment which is accessible to the persons with disabilities in the current fiscal year."

Japanese sources:

Note-taking for broadcast of political views benefits the hard of hearing in Kyoto

The participants look at a screen written with script along with a candidate's broadcast of political views.

April 3, 2014

The event for hard of hearing participants to view broadcast of political views of the Kyoto gubernatorial election with note-taking took place in the city welfare hall in Yawata-shi, Kyoto Prefecture on April 2.

About 30 hard of hearing persons attended it. This event was the first trial in Japan carried out by the Kyoto Association of the Persons with Hearing Loss in order to get hearing loss persons who cannot sign interested in an election.

Since the captioning of broadcast of political views is illegal by the Public Offices Election Law, the image of DVD and the separate screen for note taking this time (photo).

The Association was pleased, saying "Now, we were able to get the information on the up-coming election. It is the first step of suffrage realization for us."

Japanese source:

Report on fake Deaf composer wins prize

April 4, 2014

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature held the selection meeting of the 45th Ohya Nonfiction Prize (大宅壮一ノンフィクション賞) in Tokyo on April 3.

In the magazine section newly established this time, the article titled "the Deaf composer* was an impostor" in "The Weekly Bunshun" (February 13 issue) by a writer Koyama Norio (神山典士) and the Weekly Bunshu reporters. They won the prize of one million yen.

*Click the related link:
Yokohama city states about the fake deaf composer and his disability card

Japanese sources:

Hearing loss group petitions for introduction of note-taking in the Public Offices Election Law

Sing language interpreting provided at the private campaign speech for the Kyoto gubernatorial election. The note-taker is also called for while barrier-free environment progresses gradually.

April 2, 2014

A ban was removed on passing an image on a screen by a private campaign speech, and it became possible to perform note taking since the Upper House election in July, last year.

However, the Public Offices Election Law specifies that a note taker cannot get paid  during an election period while the candidate can pay sign-language interpreting remuneration. The Kyoto Prefecture Association of the Hearing Loss, etc. are asking to change it.

Since note-taking is one of the fundamental means of communication and information for the person with hearing loss who does not understand sign language. The expert has also insisted, "It is a defect in the law and an immediate improvement is required."

A candidate for the prefecture gubernatorial election scheduled on April 6 held a campaign meeting in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi on March 28. Then the person in charge who prepared sign-language interpreting said regrettably, "Although we would like to advance accessibility in an election, it is impossible to request a note-taker who considers it as work without remuneration."

The Prefecture Association of the Hearing Loss has indicated, "If there is no information accessibility, it means a hearing loss person cannot do anything with an election."

On the other hand, the election division in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications says, "the election campaign is not an employment matter but working voluntarily is a principle. It is supposed on the present legal provision that remuneration cannot be paid to a note taker."

Japanese source:

Prefecture facilities open in the Saga Commerce Industry Building

Opening of prefecture support facilities was celebrated with the "applause" of the sign language which Deaf persons and foreigners both shake their wrists.

April 01, 2014

The Saga Prefecture Office in southern Japan opened the joint opening event of three facilities installed in the "Saga Commerce Industry Building" in Saga-shi on April 1. The facilities support the Deaf community and acts as the base of international exchanges.

The Prefecture Support Center for the Deaf located on the fourth floor of the building is to respond to broad consultation of those who have uneasiness in hearing ability regardless of the registration of the disability card. It is the first  kind of public information dissemination center in Kyushu, Japan's southern island.

The center also supports training sign-language interpreters and note-takers, production of video materials captioned and signed, etc.

Governor Furukawa Yasushi (古川康) greeted by four languages,  Japanese, Korean, English, and sign language at the opening event.

Japanese source:

First city and town enforce sign language ordinance in Japan

The personnel greet using sign language at the morning gathering in the health-and-welfare division in the Shintoku-cho Office in Hokkaido.

April 1, 2014

Ishikari-shi and Shintoku-cho in Hokkaido located in Japan's northern island enforced the "basic ordinance about sign language" on April 1, respectively. Their ordinance accepts sign language as language and aims at the community in which a deaf person lives easily.

Tottori Prefecture already enforced the same ordinance in October, last year. Even Matsusaka-shi in Mie Prefecture enforced the similar ordinance on April 1.  These cities and town together are the first among the cities, towns and villages across Japan.

Ishikari-shi will begin a "video relay interpreting service model project" in the city government office in June based on the ordinance.

On the other hand, in Shintoku-cho, the personnel greeted in sign language on April 1 at the morning gathering and the last meeting after work in the health-and-welfare division responsible for welfare of persons with disabilities. The sign language class for the town people will be opened in the near future.

Japanese sources:

Tottori Prefecture supports persons with disabilities at the time of a disaster

Sign language interpreter (right) mediates an exchange through a public telephone immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake in Sendai in March, 2011.  
(photo provided by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf)

April 1, 2014

The measure to support people such like the senior and persons with disabilities, etc. at the time of a disaster makes a close-up as the subject of the disaster prevention administration.

According to "the Disability White Paper in the 2012 Fiscal Year" published by the Cabinet Office, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the stricken areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake had the 9,471 disaster deceased (as of the end of February, 2012), whose mortality rate was 0.4%. Among them, the mortality rate (the area excluded in part) accounts for the whole disabled persons by 1,028 persons which goes up to 1.7%.

Tottori Prefecture has 39,934 persons who have a disability card as of the end of March, 2013. It developed "the decision indicator manual of disaster prevention in the cities, towns and villages for the support required by the persons with disabilities at the time of a disaster" after the Western Earthquake in 2000.

The prefecture has been advancing since 2008 a measure, such as registering a candidate into support person information required at the time of a disaster among the persons whom the disability card were newly issued or reissued.

The prefecture accelerates embodiment of the measure for a support person information required as one of the prefecture government themes of the 2014 fiscal year, "Understand disability and let us live together."

Japanese source:

Hearing loss organization interviewed on Samuragouchi case, saying "We are misunderstood"

March 27, 2014

The nonprofit organization called "Tokyo Hearing Loss Association" gave an interview in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on March 27, and appealed as the disturbance involving Samuragouchi Mamoru who used to be "a totally deaf composer," "misunderstanding to hearing loss has spread".

Although Samuragouchi revealed having returned the disability card at the press conference on March 7, association officials indicated, "It led to misunderstanding that a person can hear even if he/she does not own the disability card."

Although there are millions of hearing-impaired persons in Japan, a disability card holder remains as about 350,000 people. There is the actual condition which a hearing loss person cannot get social welfare services at the level which cannot catch conversation.

Japanese sources:

Related links:
Famaous composer was fake deaf
Yokohama city states about the fake deaf composer and his disability card

First meeting held to discuss on reexamination of the method to recognize hearing impairment

The meeting held at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Tokyo.

March 27, 2014
Samuragouchi Mamoru was doing composition activities despite of deafness, and it was found that he was not hearing impaired and returned the disability card after audiological examination.

In response to the case, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare held the investigation committee consisted of professionals in the medical field, and began review the way to recognize auditory difficulties on April 26.

Most of the committee members were not positive on the system change in reexamination as "Samuragouchi's case is rare this time," etc. 

The investigation committee will verify whether diagnosis in the medical institution at the time of a disability card being issued to Samuragouchi was appropriate.

The committee will make a report on the proposal of the reexamination based on a report of study group or opinion from disability organizations around March, next year. 

Japanese sources:

Related links:
Famaous composer was fake deaf
Yokohama city states about the fake deaf composer and his disability card

Matsusaka municipal assembly approves a sign language ordinance

The lawmakers celebrate sign language basic ordinance establishment by sign language with members of the Prefecture Association of the Deaf in the gallery (back) at the Matsusaka municipal assembly hall.

March 24, 2014

The Matsusaka-shi assembly in Mie Prefecture located in western Japan approved the "sign language ordinance which connects the heart by the hand and a hand" on March 24 that accepts sign language to be language and aims at developing the environment where a Deaf person lives easily.

Matsusaka-shi is the 4th local government body across Japan following Tottori Prefecture, Ishikari-shi and Shintoku-cho in Hokkaido that approved the sign language ordinance.

According to Matsusaka-shi's ordinance which will be enforced on April 1, the city should arrange the post for a sign language promotion manager  in the welfare office and employ a Deaf person as a person in charge.

Fukagawa Seiko (深川誠子), 44, president of the Mie Prefecture Association of the Deaf, said happily, "We will tackle to open sign language classes and build environment that sign language is available everywhere."

Japanese sources: