Deaf ace uses fingerspelling for communication in high school baseball in Shimane Prefecture

A pitcher Hironaka Soma (right) discusses with
a catcher Koga Kenji through the use of fingerspelling.
July 3, 2014

The local convention for the National High School Baseball Championship (The Summer Koshien Tournament) will open on July 15 in Shimane Prefecture in western Japan.

With congenital hearing loss, the baseball ace Hironaka Soma (広中蒼磨), 17, is practicing hard aiming at the Summer Koshien Tournament. He belongs to a baseball club of the private Masuda East High School located in Masuda-shi, Shimane Prefecture.

After graduating from the Nara Prefecture School for the Deaf, Hironaka entered the hearing high school which has the participation experience of a national convention and he became one of  the baseball teammates.

A total of about 80 baseball teammates have mastered basic sign language and communicate with Hironaka in sign language.

Director Oba Toshifumu (大庭敏文), 32, influenced by the teammates,  learned fingerspelling together with the coach. Oba said, "Hironaka has struggled with many difficulties and has overcome them. So his strong emotional strength has also permeated the team."

Japanese source:

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