This week: a focus on Japanese Sign Language! In addition to French and American Sign Language, I have been interested in Japanese culture and (spoken) language for a while, but I never explored Japanese Sign Language, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the the Japan Society posted two videos specifically about Japanese Sign Language.
Check out the two videos #withcaptions below, courtesy of the Japan Society.
The history of the Deaf experience in Japan appears to be a hard-won one, as, according to Karen Nakamura’s Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity (which I have heard very good things about but have not read):
“Up through the end of the 1970s, deaf people in Japan had few legal rights and little social recognition. They were classified as legal minors or mentally deficient. They were unable to obtain driver’s licenses, sign contracts, or write wills.”
They only recently obtained the right to drive, and even now must affix a special sticker to their car…
Anyway, it was great to find these informative videos on the Japan Society YouTube page. To read about some of the fun that I had at the Japan Society a while back, check out my blog post Japan Cuts/Japan Cats: An Informal Photo Essay.
And just for fun, here is the trailer #withcaptions for the movie I saw back then, Neko Samurai: