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 Shinzo
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:

Kyoto City councilors strenuous at sign language training

September 28, 2016

Kyoto city council held the sign language training for its councilors on September 28 for the first time in order to deepen the understanding to sign language. (photo)

All the 67 members participated, learned how to sign for a greeting and self-introduction, making an effort toward acquisition.

"The regulation aiming at big-hearted symbiosis society Sign Language connects" (Sign Language regulation) proposed by the councilors has been approved by an unanimous vote in March this year.

The council chairperson who proposed training spoke, "The event promoted the councilors to grow interest in sign language."

Japanese source:

First court judgment: Liability indemnity authorized to the top about a crime of subsidiary members


Twenty seven Deaf persons, both men and women, did the suit, asking three members of a gang, including the 88-aged leader for compensation for damages at total of about 200,000,000 yen as they had robbed the Deaf persons of cash by threatening.

The judge of Tokyo District Court admitted the gang leader's "respondeat liability" and ordered the three gang members to pay total of about 197,000,000 yen to the Deaf persons.

The judgment, applying a revised regulation of anti-gangster law of 2008, admitted respondeat liability in the goon squad top is for the first time, according to a plaintiff defense team, .

Japanese sources: