Deaf High school student practises diving

March 18, 2016

Mori Shota (photo), a high school junior, has attended the Saga Prefecture School for the Deaf through from a kindergarten program in the Prefecture located in Japan's southern island. 

He once hoped to enter a hearing high school, but was told to continue going to the School for the Deaf when he was a eighth grader. In winter when he was in the ninth grade he became interested in diving.

Haraguchi Shinya, 35, a teacher of the Deaf, leads the Saga Diving Club. The club practiced at the gymnasium at school, which interested Mori. Though he didn't know diving, he became a club member in April, 2015.

Mori participated in the regular season game for the first time  in July, 2015, but the result was the lowest rank. He has hard training six days a week, for a winter period the land training to be continued in order to compete at the interscholastic athletic meet as his goal.

Japanese source:

Sight-impaired and Deaf persons help one another at workplace

March 18, 2016
(from the left)
Yoshida, Takashima and Sakurai  

A Deaf woman and two women with visual impairment help one another at the same workplace, making up with work.

Sakurai Ayumi, 50, Takashima Michiko, 44, and Yoshida Kiyoe, 45, have been employed by "Toyomichi Office Service", the special case subsidiary company of Toyota Tsusho in Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture.

Sakurai is born Deaf, and Takashima and Yoshida are visually impaired who lose sight after the age of 20 because of illness. Sakurai was taught in oral education since aged two, which explains she is able to communicate with them. 

The three people have started to support one another in 2006 when "Toyomichi Office Service" was established to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. 

Currently out of 88 employees, 37 are persons with disabilities. Sakurai takes charge of shipping off work of a payroll sheet; doing a massage for the workers is main business for Takashima and Yoshida who both are a certified instructor of massage and acupuncture.

A bond deepened among the three people has affected their colleagues, too. 

Japanese source:

Deaf high school student wins prize for road safety poster design

March 17, 2016  
Mizuno Hirota with his work 
that won prize in his hand.

Japan Traffic Safety Association and Mainichi Newspapers sponsored "The Road Safety Poster Design Contest" for the 2016 year, announcing prizewinners on March 16. 

A work of Mizuno Hirota, 16, a first-year student of the Gunma Prefectural School for the Deaf north to Tokyo was chosen as a fine work in the general category.

Mizuno drew many sketches, downloaded one of them to a computer and completed it. He said with delight, "I'm really happy because my design was accepted."

Japanese source:

Prefectural School for the Deaf presents a nursery tree to disaster area

March 17, 2016
The students wrap the young trees 
in a net for shipping off.

Asahi Shimbun, a newspaper company,, and other organizations have sponsored the "Green Baton Movement" which presents a wooden plant to a disaster area of the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake where the green plants lost by tsunami, a big tidal wave.

The junior and high school students of Yamanashi Prefecture School for the Deaf in Yamanashi-shi applied the green movement two years ago.

Recently, the students shipped off six young plants of Japanese Enkianthus perulatus that they grew for a northeastern disaster area. 

Japanese source:

Seminar on note taking service to support the Deaf at National Athletic Meet held

The participants practise note-taking 
skills at the seminar.
March 13, 2016

A workshop for leaders of support volunteers, who convey information to a Deaf/deaf person through note taking at the 2017 Ehime National Athletic Meet and National Disability Sports event, took place at the Ehime Prefecture Welfare Center for the Visual Impaired and Deaf in Matsuyama-shi, Ehime, part of western Japan on March 12. 

The participants learned how to convey audible information to the Deaf by means of writing. 

The assignment of the information support volunteers is to input the pledge for fair play at the opening ceremony to a computer which reflects in a large screen, write an announcement on a white board to convey a message, etc. 

Japanese source:

Festival held to promote understanding to disability soccer

March 12, 2016  
The children puts an eye mask 
and experience the "blind soccer".

The Second Festival was held by Japan Deaf Football Association (JDFA ) on March 12 at a soccer stadium in Hyogo Prefecture, a part of western Japan, for the purpose of raising understanding and interest about Deaf soccer activities.

The children who participated put on an eye mask or used a walking stick and experienced play.

This event also aimed at funding to support the Japan Team.

Japanese source:

Documentary movie on fake musician to open in June
March 9, 2016  

The Documentary movie titled "FAKE" (The Fake Musician) is about Samuragouchi Mamoru (photo) who made people upset about "a ghostwriter turmoil" in 2014. The movie will be released in June 4, 2016.

Samuragouchi had acted as if he were "a totally Deaf composer", but it was found that he made the main songs actually written by a university part-time lecturer as his own work in February, 2014.

According to a source, Mori Tatsuya, a well-known documentary movie director, turned a camera at Samuragouchi's home for a year and four months since September, 2014.

Japanese sources:

Related blog:
Famaous composer was fake deaf

Fire fighters learn sign language on staff training.
March 9, 2016
Ishikari Fire Department in Hokkaido, a northern island of Japan, held a sign language training seminar on March 8. 

27 fire fighters who participated in the seminar learned how to sign a basic greeting and signs which can be used at a first aid site such as "Do have a pain?", etc. (photo)

The lecturer who was Deaf introduced a gesture, a conversation by means of writing and fingerspelling besides the sign language to communicate with a Deaf person.

The Fire Fighting 0ffice has introduced a sign language seminar for its staff members since 2014 when Ishikari-shi established a sign language regulation for the first time at towns and villages in the whole country.

Japanese source:

"Sign Language regulation" adopted by all regional assemblies

March 4, 2016  

There is an assembly in 1,741 municipal districts across the country.  

The opinion documents asking for the establishment of "Sign Language regulation" that places sign language as an independent language equal to Japanese were finally adopted by all the regional assemblies on March 3.

Out of 47 prefectures, Tottori, Kanagawa and Gunma have already adopted a Sign Language regulation.

Even if an opinion document were all present by the regional assemblies, Government is negative toward legal establishment.

Japanese sources:

Challenge to reach Everest as first Deaf climber from Tokyo

February 24, 2016

The Deaf Tokyo native Tamura Satoshi, 50, has aimed at Everest reaching the summit as the first Deaf climber in the world (photo). He plans to leave Japan in May. 

Since his high school days, he has had a dream to climb Everest someday. 

Tamura challenged Everest twice times up to now, but he had to withdraw from reaching on the way to the summit of Everest because of bad weather in 2014 and the earthquake that attacked Nepal in 2015.

Fund-raising is being appealed by a cloud funding through "Motion Gallery" (

Japanese sources:

Improper remark by broadcasting company chairperson repeated at meeting 

March 9, 2016

At the meeting on March 9 where the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Company) budget for the next fiscal year starting this April was discussed,  NHK Chairperson Momii Katsuto made a remark in response using a disparaging word regarding Deaf/deaf people. 

He apologized immediately and mentioned that he would cancel his remark.
Momii has used the same word on the different topics at the House of Representatives Director Committee on February 23 and withdrawn his comment.

Japanese sources:

"Note taking" of election candidate speech to be rewarded

February 18, 2016  

The proposed amendment of the public office election law, which allows the political party and the candidate to pay a reward to the note-taker who serves a deaf voter during candidate's speech, will be concluded by the current Diet session.

The revised law will be applied at an Upper House Election in summer and thereafter.

With a reward to a note taker as well as payment to an interpreter which has been also allowed in the past, the Deaf/deaf will gain more accessibility to participation in election. 

Japanese source:

Tourist information provides information in foreign language and sign language

February 15, 2016
Akashi Tourist Information in 
Akashi Railroad Station Yard

The Akashi Tourist Information that the Akashi Office of Tourism manages at Akashi-shi, Hyogo-Ken, part of western Japan opened in Akashi Railroad Station on February 14.

The Tourist Information, combined with the Bus Information Center in front of Akashi Station, deals with a visitor in foreign language or sign language through a video relay service system using a tablet terminal.

Japanese source:

Music documentary movie by Deaf people to open public

January 28, 2016

The art documentary movie, titled "LISTEN" (LISTEN リッスン』) which runs for 58 minutes was produced by Deaf people including directors and performers to express Deaf music visually.

It is a music movie without sounds, which will be shown at Shibuya Uplink in Tokyo on May, 2016. →See the trailer ( )

Japanese source:

Official website (Japanese)


Last visit to the grave of educator before grave moved

A pupil puts a hand together 
in front of the grave of Endo.
January 23, 2016

Endo Tadasu (1853-1945) was called "the Father of Education in Tottori-ken". He founded a school for the visually impaired and a school for the Deaf in the prefecture, part of western Japan.

A festival which bears virtue of the departed Endo took place at a family temple in Tottori-shi on January 22.

The persons concerned of both the schools has held an anniversary service for Endo. As the family of the deceased plans to move the grave out the prefecture, this year was last for a visit to the grave.

Endo established the first public Tottori higher elementary school in the prefecture in 1885 and founded a private Tottori Library. He also opened a private Tottori school for the Blind and Deaf (the present Tottori School for the visually impaired and School for the Deaf) in 1910. He even endeavored these schools to become public.

Japanese source:

Yamagata Governor's interview interpreted starting January

January 5, 2016

Yamagata Governor Yoshimura Mieko has made her regular press conference interpreted every week, starting January 4. An interview is being covered live on the Internet.

Interpretation of a governor interview has been performed in Tottori-ken, part of western Japan, and Yamagata's attempt is first among six prefectures in northeastern Japan. 

Japanese source:

English article: Singer with a Deaf son seeks Upper House seat

February 10, 2016


Imai Eriko (photo), who gained fame and success for belting out tunes as a member of J-pop group SPEED, used sign language to announce her candidacy in the Upper House election this summer.

Imai, 32, a single mother of an 11-year-old son with a hearing disability, will run on the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s ticket.

Read more:

English article: Photo of Helen Keller’s 1937 visit to school discovered

The photo shows Helen Keller with 
students and teachers at the school 
in Gifu Prefecture in June 1937

The Japanese newspaper, Chunishi Shimbun, published January 18, 2016, reports a photo taken during a visit by Helen Keller to Gifu Prefectural School for the Blind in 1937 has been discovered at a late student’s house and was donated to the school.

Read more:

English article: Helen Keller’s letter written during Japan visit discovered

A letter typed and signed by Helen Keller in 1937.

The Japanese newspaper, published June 24, 2015, reports an interesting story on Helen Keller.  


A letter written by the American deaf-blind activist Helen Keller (1880-1968) during her first visit to Japan has been discovered, offering fresh inspiration for those working for disabled people.

Read more: