April 23, 2016
Hirokawa Asako (photo), 43, an actress of the Nippon Theater of the Deaf, saw a musical called "Les Miserables" at London in 2009 during her study abroad for one year in the United Kingdom. She was also impressed with support to a person with disabilities enjoying the musical.
In 2012 after returning home, Hirokawa established the non-profit corporation called "The Theater Accessibility Network" (TA-net) to support theatergoers regardless of disabilities.
As the chief director of the organization, she involved herself in both consultation with a theatre group and a theater as well as with a person with disabilities. She also formed the search site on the support information collected for performances, such as caption and audio guide, (http://ta-net.org/event/) in 2016.
Because of her prominent activity, Hirokawa won the Agency for Cultural Affairs Rookie of the Year award of selection and recommendation of art works in fiscal year 2015. Her theatergoer support activities are certainly continued backed by the new Law of the Elimination of Discrimination Against the Persons with Disabilities.