Karate champion with disability and two masters behind her success

    Aika Arakaki (center)
November 25, 2016


The 23-aged Deaf woman, Aika Arakaki practices karate while working at a confectionery factory in Naha, near Osaka.  

In October, she won for the first the Women’s Individual Kata in the Persons with Physical Disabilities Division (Deaf/Hard of Hearing) at the 12th All Japan Karatedo Championships for Persons with Disabilities. Behind her success are her two masters.


Life saving device approved with "ear mark" by hard of hearing group

November 14, 2016

"Ear mark" (photo: green) shows hearing disability, promoted by the National League of Hard of Hearing and Deafened in order to spread recognition about hearing impairment in the public aiming at comfortable social realization. 

The "Ear mark" has been allowed by the League on October 11, 2016 to be used on an automated external defibrillator (AED) sold by the Japan Lifeline Corporation (headquarters: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) as it was designed to fit the needs of a person with hearing impairment. (photo)

When using AED, any person with hearing impairment can follow certainly by the pictures shown on the body of the device, a lamp flash and a use procedure manual.

Japanese source:

Princess attends national junior high school opinion contest

November 13, 2016

The "National Junior High School Opinion Contest" that a junior high school student remarks through a daily experience was held in Tokyo on November 13. Princess Kako, the second daughter of Prince and Princess Akishinonomiya attended, too. (photo)

Twelve junior high school students chosen from the applicants across Japan gave their own opinion at the 38th contest this year.

The welfare and concerning with a person with disabilities as  theme were most presented. The boy who was a first-year  student stated with sign language from his own experience with his Deaf grandparents who took care of him: "It is necessary not to regard a disability as special, but to accept each other." 

The girl who was a third-year student used sign language, too when making an opinion. "I accept my hearing impairment as the individuality and believe communicating with a person is important." She was chosen the best at the event.

Princess Kako, who has learned sign language and attended a national high school sign language performance contest, was listening to opinion of each junior high school student eagerly.

Japanese sources:

National high school lunch contest held in Shimane Prefecture

November 12, 2016

The National High School  Packed Lunch Contest was held at Matsue-shi in the prefecture, part of western Japan on November 12. 

It was the event with which high school teams competed to pack lunch using local specialties and a recipe in Shimane Prefecture. A theme of the contest was "Packed lunch with the rice that makes the locals happy".

Hokkaido Mikasa High School (Mikasa-shi, Hokkaido) won the first place (picture). Coming out second best were two teams including Tokyo Metropolitan Katsushika School for the Deaf.

Japanese source:

Tottori Earthquake: contribution donated from entry schools in sign language contest

November 12, 2016

Some schools, who participated in the 3rd National High School Sign Language Contest held at Kurayoshi-shi, Tottori Prefecture in September, donated or sent a letter of cheers for the people hit by an earthquake on November 21.

"We'd like to do something for Tottori Prefecture." 
"Please come back as it was used to be as soon as possible."

The colored paper full of words of an encouragement reached the Prefecture Office in the end of October. Nine students of the Tokyo Metropolitan School for the Deaf who participated in the contest for the first time wrote their thoughts and wishes for reconstruction.

The officials concerned feel thankful for what these students did through a connection with the national contest. 

Japanese source:

Tokyo Governor appeals by sign language on "Para Sport" website newly established

November 11, 2016 

Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Koike Yuriko announced that the information website on disability sports titled "TEAM BEYOND" was established in order to liven a time for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics at her press conference on November 11.

Koike, who says she is learning sign language, appealed using sign language, "Let us all create the future in Tokyo." (photo)

Japanese source:

Actress requests interpreting for Deaf grandparents while appearing on TV interview

November 10, 2016

The anecdote about NHK's TV program titled "Family History" about an actress Saito Yuki, 50, aired on November 10 became clear. (photo)

Saito Yoshio, her grandfather of a mother's side, became sick and lose hearing at the age of two. He got over difficulties and became a craftsman professed in an obi, a broad Japanese sash for a kimono. He worked hard for advocacy of the Deaf community with his Deaf wife, which was commended from the Government.

When Yuki appeared first in the TV program titled "Tetsuko's Room" in 1986, she requested for sign-language interpreting for her Deaf grandparents, which was consented.

However, Yoshio has died three days before the broadcast. While a funeral was prepared, according to Yuki's aunt, the  program was broadcast.

Japanese source:

Bus company introduces video relay service on iPad

November 7, 2016

The Western Japan JR Bus introduced a VRS system using iPad, called "FACE touch me," at a bus ticket center in Osaka and Kyoto on November 7. 

The attempt is the first time at a main bus terminal in Kansai area according to the bus company.

By the new service, a foreigner, an operator and a ticket staff communicate using a video via an application. This system also corresponds to three languages (English, Chinese and Korean) and Japanese sign language.

Japanese source:

Sign language forum held in Tottori Prefecture

November 7, 2016  
The drama was performed focused on  
missing of expectation or misunderstanding.

The Tottori Prefecture Sign Language Forum was held at Tottori-shi in the prefecture, a part of western Japan, on November 6. Participants deepened understanding to sign language through lectures and a drama.

The event was organized by the Prefecture Association of the Deaf with support from the New Nihonkai Shinbun company and others.

Japanese source:

Deaf center celebrates 10th anniversary in Okayama

November 6, 2016

The commemorative ceremony and the festival which commemorated establishment for 10 years of Okayama Prefecture Center for the Deaf located in western Japan were opened at the center on November 6.

Ando Miki, a Deaf woman and chief director the non-profit organization named MAMIE in Osaka, presented a lecture titled "Living with a hearing dog."

A program took place in the hall, such as support groups for the Deaf exhibited panels about their activities, a hard of hearing members performed hula dance in the afternoon and so on (photo).

The center offers a lecture to support independent living of Deaf/deaf persons and trains sing language interpreters, etc.

Japanese source:

Hearing pro wrestler makes first entry in Deaf wrestling game

November 6, 2016  
Onita (right) and Tomoryu

A hearing pro wrestler Onita Atsushi entered and defeated an opposition from "The Wild Army" by the first tag with a Deaf wrestler Tomoryu of "The Hero Regular Forces" at the Deaf professional wrestling event, "WILD HERO," held in Tokyo on November 5. (photo)

The HERO that was defeated by the Wild Army in the sport event on November 1, 2015, took the group operation right back in the hand this time.

Tomoryu visited Onita and directly appealed for entry to the wrestling event earlier on September 26.

The performance was ended by a happy ending, but the Wild Army seems not to withdraw silently just as it is and still to follow contention by both sides.

Japanese source:

Related blog:
Hearing pro wrestler to join Disability Pro Wrestling in November

Arts design related to ”ILY" Sign" displayed in Hokkaido

November 6, 2016    

An arts exhibition on "ILY" sign as its theme is held in the Obihiro-shi Gallery in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, until November 8.

It was planned to deepen the understanding to deafness, and about 70 items such as pictures, photos, accessories and others which were gathered from the whole country.

The photo of himself posing with the "ILY" sign and the uniform with his own signature were donated from a hard of hearing professional baseball pitcher, Ishii Yuya, of Hokkaido Nippon Meat Packers.

Japanese source:

Deaf school drama club to challenge national high school drama contest

November 6, 2016  
A member practices

Only one of the about 2000 schools aiming at the National High School Drama Contest scheduled for summer in 2017 is the Nara School for the Deaf located in Yamatokoriyama-shi, Nara Prefecture near Kyoto.

The school drama club has worked the original style performed through both sign language and subtitles out in order to get over "the wall of language". "We want to show charm of our sign language play." The drama club members will join the Prefecture Tournament held in Nara-shi on November 6.

Founded in 2004, both high and junior high school students come into practice together. In a past play, they tried to use voice at first, but a judge pointed out, "why don't you make use of the uniqueness of your sign language?". So when the members challenged only by sign language, it didn't get right  this time, either.

The club members and its advisor studied how to express in the play, and now that they learned by trial and established the method in 2006. After a while the drama club successfully challenged through an area contest every year, and advance now towards a prefecture tournament. The drama club also appeared in a Kinki region contest three times.

Japanese source:

Tottori earthquake: Deaf group explains current state of Deaf evacuees

November 5, 2016
Japanese Federation of the Deaf President Ishino Toshisaburo visited Tottori Prefecture Office in western Japan on November 4 and handed over a gift of money for the people hit by the recent earthquake in the prefecture central part to Governor Hirai Shinji. (photo: center)

Ishino has visited Kurayoshi-shi, the city hit by the disaster, on November 3, and asked 30 Deaf persons about worries, etc. 

He pointed out that there are Deaf persons who can't get information on the earthquake correctly at any time, too." Ishino told Governor that the Federation has the idea to dispatch sign language staffs.


Asian Pacific Deaf Basketball Club Championships in Fukuoka Prefecture

The 3rd Asian Pacific Deaf Basketball Club Championships will be opened from November 7-10 in Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture, a part of Japan southern island. Japan will first hold the event. 

The teams which have won a preliminary in every area participate in the tournament; five men teams from four countries, and three women teams from two countries.

Japanese source:

Barrier free drama event to be held in Chiba

November 4, 2016
High school drama club members practice 

The "barrier free drama event" by which persons with disabilities, people aged, and able-bodied persons enjoy a drama together will be held at a city culture center in Nagareyama-shi, Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo on November 12. It is an unusual case for an autonomous body in eastern Japan.

The drama club members from two high schools in Chiba will perform for the event.

An information terminal for tablet type is lent out to a person who is Deaf/deaf. Twitter of a little bird or a sound effect of an explosive sound as well as words are shown to the terminal. The professional company in input of subtitles located in Okinawa Prefecture will use remote control operation for subtitles taken out using a computer.

Japanese source: 

Deaf beautician supports person with disabilities with nail art

November 3, 2016

An event was held at the disabilities support facilities located in Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo, on October 23. 

The hair salon with a Deaf staff participated in the event and offered nail art. Kuriyama Reimi, a Deaf qualified beautician, works for the salon. (photo: back left)

Kuriyama does usually on nail art targeted for the men, but she devised such as doing nail art while also thinking the design of the nail on the day. The persons with disabilities who experienced a nail art were delighted because there were usually few such chances.

Japanese source:

Sign language learning website for employees in tourist industry renewed

November 4, 2016

MID Academic Promotions inc. located in Chiba city near Tokyo renewed the website titled “Tabisyuwa” (Sign Language for Travel) for the people working in the travel industry which was started in 2013. (http://tabisyuwa.com/)

The website uses the sign language learning system for the person who has not learned sign language up to now to read and understand the sign language at a natural speed through "rhythm learning".

Japanese source:

MID Academic Promotions inc. official website: English

Folk art explained through sign language

October 24, 2016

The public facility located in Kitakami-shi, Iwate Prefecture, a part of northeastern Japan, provided sign language interpreting in the entertainment performance held on October  22-23 for the purpose of having Deaf visitors understand folk art while the National Disability Sports Meet took place in the prefecture. (photo)

Numbers such as shinto music and dance, and a performance of a demon sword dance were introduced through sign language. It was first time that interpretation was taken for an entertainment performance at the public facility.

Japanese source:

Deaf Japan-North Korea friendship group visits North Korea

October 21, 2016

The Deaf Japan-North Korea Friendship has a purpose to promote exchange and cooperation between the Japanese Deaf persons and the counterpart of North Korea.

The group visited North Korea from September 19 through  24. They visited disabilities facilities, such as North Korean Society of the Deaf and the school for the deaf, and met with Korean Deaf persons. The needs to support Deaf persons in North Korea was recognized. (photo)

A visit trip to North Korea by Japanese Deaf persons has organized as a start after the International Deaf Friendship program in Pyong Yang which has started from 2009, jointly sponsored by NPO "TOGETHR-Hamhung e.V." and World Federation of the Deaf.

Japanese source:

Event: the world of the noh farce through sign language

October 21, 2016

The event to enjoy "noh farce in sign language will be held at the Kita Noh Stage in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo on October 21. The 'Kyogen' (a comic play) will be performed by Deaf actors along with interpreting in the event.

The Kita-Style, one of the Noh groups which is a Japanese traditional entertainment, planned it in order for Deaf persons to enjoy a classic art.

The "Japan Theatre of the Deaf," a theatrical group managed by the Totto Fund which actress Kuroyanagi Tetsuko established, performs signed 'Kyogen'. 

This is a typical program of the theatre group, and it has earned high evaluations domestic and abroad. Because there is a performer who uses spoken language from a stage wing, too, even though you don't know sign language, you will enjoy it.


Princesses attend National Deaf Education Conference opening ceremony

October 13, 2016

Princess Kiiko, the wife of Prince Akishinonomiya who is Crown Prince's younger brother, and thier eldest daughter Princess Mako attended the opening ceremony of the 50th National Deaf Education Conference held at the Wayo University auditorium in Konodai, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo on October 13. 

About 660 people attended the opening ceremony. The conference was organized by Tsukuba University's  Special Support School for the Deaf located in the city. 

Princess Kiko gave a greeting speech signing at the same time, "It's expected that children are increasing each possibilities in the better environment which would link to a social involvement." (photo)

Class lesson observations, a keynote speech, study subcommittees and others are opened until October 14.

Japanese source:

Prime Minister answers to question by sign language at House of Councilors budget committee

October 13, 2016
Prime Minister Abe Shinzohttp://www.sankei.com
There was a unusual scene that sign language was exchanged during a deliberation of Upper House Budget Committee on October 13.

The independent member Yakushiji Michiyo who stood as a question through sign language, and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo commented in sign language, too. (photo)

By a question and answer about "Deaflympics", after Prime Minister pointed out that understanding may be also developed after taken up by the question. He said, " "I'm glad, too" in sign language while answering.

Japanese source:

English article: Fujitsu vibrating hair clip helps deaf feel the beat

Oct 8, 2016 


Fujitsu Limited, Japan's general electronic maker and general IT vender in Tokyo, has developed a gadget to help the deaf experience beats around them. 

The tool has been designed as a hair clip, named as Ontenna. This helps the person to ‘feel’ the sound, if he cannot hear it.

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Chiba Prefecture enlightens on persons with disabilities discrimination through cartoon

October 7, 2016

Chiba Prefecture Office located next to Tokyo has developed a cartoon that explains the Person with Disabilities Discrimination Removal Law, put on its web page, and distributed a copy of the cartoon at public places. (photo)

It is the first effort at urban and rural prefectures in metropolitan area.

The four frames, related to discrimination cases that a person with disabilities experiences daily and support, are drawn in a cartoon. A person with disabilities from the prefecture and the students who study welfare worked on drawing pictures.

Japanese source:

Watercolor painting exhibited by Deaf woman with view of life and death

October 6, 2016 

A born-Deaf illustrator Shikata Misato, 35, a Nishinomiya-shi resident in Hyogo Prefecture, displays her watercolor painting in "GALERIA TAKARAZUKA" in Takarazuka-shi on October 6-19. (photo)

She included the outlook on life grown during living with disability in her 16 works in the vivid colors. 

Shikata went to London soon after graduation from high school, because she wanted to get away from stuffy Japan and to see the outside world." However, it didn't work and she returned home after half year. Breast cancer was detected at the age of 26 while she worked part-time with rolling on. Anxiety collected.

She began thinking, "Has something been done and have I not left anything? I want to express myself how I have forced my  disability into an excuse." And she draw a picture.

Works by Shikata are challenging an expression of the unknown world as before birth and after death against the background of the Buddhist view of life and death.

Japanese source:

To attract more sumo wrestling fan, sign language, subtitles, braille and English provided

A sign language interpretation and 
a monitor of subtitles were prepared 
in front of the sumo ring.

October 5, 2016  05:30

Various tries were performed in order for foreigners and persons with disabilities to enjoy a sumo wrestling event in Tokyo.

Juryo sumo wrestlers stood welcoming visitors at the entrance, and attendants all dressed in kimono.

When explained to a Deaf person, sign language and monitoring of subtitles were provided. A braille brochure was prepared for a person with visual impairment. An English broadcast in the hall was also put into effect for a foreigner.

Nihon Sumo Kyokai (Japanese Sumo Wrestling Association) showed an interest in helding a sumo wrestling event next year.

Japanese source:

Messages from Olympians given to Deaf athletes ahead of national sports meet

October 5, 2016
The Deaf high school students look at the 
messages written by the gold medalists.

Toyama Prefecture located in a part of northern Japan is proud of its two native athletes, a male judoist and a female wrestler, who won a gold medal at the recent Olympics in Brazil. They wrote a message for young children at the request of the Prefecture Education Board.

The board plans to hand a copy of the messages to encourage an athlete in a send-off party before a national tournament.

Two Deaf students, who will participate in the National School for the Deaf Sports Meet (field and track, and table tennis), received a copy of the messages at the party held at the Prefecture Office on October 4.

Japanese source:

Deaf school children learn how to make puppet show instructed by pro theater group


The experience class invited a puppet show company called  "Deaf Puppet Theater Pupil" (Kawasaki-shi) on October 4 at Kyoto Prefecture School for the Deaf Maizuru Branch School (Minamitanabe, Maizuru-shi, Kyoto Prefecture).

It was a part of the Agency for Cultural Affairs' project that  utilizes "a child's upbringing through by cultural art", aiming at  developing the expressive power and the invention  of the child through sign language and a puppet show.

Eleven children including the preschoolers and elementary school children learned how to express the world of poetry with the use of a doll, sign language and an expression through a body movement under the guidance of the theater company.

"Deaf Puppet Theater Pupil", formed in 1980, is the only group in the world that hearing and Deaf members work together as as a professional puppet show company. They have visited the Maizuru Branch School every year since three years ago.

Japanese source:

Introduction of the 119 emergency net system for persons with disabilities increase

October 3, 2016

There is the system which "119 Emergency Report" that can be made by touching the screen of smart phone through the internet. 

The system has an advantage for a Deaf person to report quickly with a global positioning system (GPS), too. (photo)

The number of the fire fighting head office which has introduced the system is increasing rapidly. About 150 head offices is five times four years before the system adopted.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) under the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has the policy on unification of the system across Japan, planning to start discussion to gather ideas or information by March, 2017. They aim at practical use nationwide by the time end of 2018.

Japanese source:

Students and Deaf staff invent new signs related to space

October 2, 2016
The members of a sign language club 
"Tsumaki" made "space sign language".
A new sign for "Outboard activities"
Kasuga Haruki, the Deaf staff who works for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) worked with a sign language club of Toyo University, "Tsumaki" together to make six new signs related to the universe, such as "International Space Station," "JAXA," "spacecraft," "outboard activities".

During taking charge of a tour with a sign language guide, Kasuga had felt necessity of "space sign language" once more. He knew the sign language club on the Internet and asked for collaboration in November, last year.

"Tsumiki" is a club with a history of more than 30 years has about 120 members. But it was the first time for them to make a new sign. Most of them said, "We could not think easily and often came to a deadlock."

Kasuga says, "I'd like to use the new signs in the space class at a school for the deaf and a sign language guide tour at JAXA from now on."

Japanese source:

Koe No Katachi (2016) Extended Trailer - (English Subtitles)

Koe No Katachi (2016) Extended Trailer - (English Subtitles)


Japanese pro soccer team in Myanmar supports Deaf children's overseas game participation

October 3, 2016
The team practises before 
the overseas championship.

The Soccer International event, "The ASEAN (First Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Deaf Football Championship" will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 4-10.

As the educational facilities for the Deaf in Yangon "Mary Chapman" (about 100 students enrolled) are next to the Japanese school in Yangon, Albirex Niigata Myanmar, a Japanese professional soccer team, has supported it continually for about two years.

Albirex is appealing support to Japanese-affiliated firms located in Myanmar  in order to make about 20 Deaf children participate in the event.

Six countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar) have expressed participation as of September 11.

Japanese source:

Former US senator lectures on disability law in Okayama

September 30, 2016

The lecture with a retired US senator Tom Harkin, 76, was held at Okayama University in Okayama-shi located in western Japan on September 30. (photo)

He drafted the Americans with Disabilities Act which was a basis of the Person with Disabilities Discrimination Removal Law carried out in April this year in Japan.

About ADA, Harkin stated that through his experiences with his Deaf brother and his nephew who became a wheelchair person after car accident, he thought to seek correspondence in detail, such as not only prohibiting discrimination but also canceling a ramp on the road, etc. 

In response to a question on how to strengthen the Person with Disabilities Discrimination Removal Law further, Harkin advised, "Could you ask a person concerned with a disability by all means?" 

About 100 students, welfare facility staff and administrative persons concerned attend the lecture meeting.

Japanese source: