|Katagiri Koichi, a Deaf tour guide |
using sign language.
Katagiri Koichi (片桐幸一), 35, is a first sign language tour conductor at the one of travel shops under the bargain travel company called "H.I.S.". He was hired in 2002 and has conducted a tour for Deaf persons or groups more than 60 times.
Born Deaf to a Deaf couple, he learned how to pronounce Japanese from his grandmother.
When young, he intended to become a social worker. Turning point was his travel in Korea when he was a sophomore at a university. Katagiri said, "a solo travel gave me a confidence in myself".
He has begun an travel event using sign language since 2008, planning a group tour, such like pilgrims, a group exchange with the overseas school for the deaf, and an personal tour one after another for the Deaf community, which wins popularity.