Story from Japan Today, November 13, 2008:
Ami Suzuki shows warmth in new daytime drama
Singer Ami Suzuki, 26, takes on the challenge of portraying a hearing-impaired character in “Love Letter,” a new TV drama celebrating the 40th anniversary of TBS’s “Ai no gekijou” daytime dramas. Suzuki plays the lead role of a young woman growing up, who communicates through sign language. She travels to Shodo Island in Kagawa Prefecture, where she falls in love for the first time and makes lifelong friendships.
Suzuki expressed her concerns and aspirations when she said “I want to express my true feelings through sign language. With music, I can express things like love clearly through the words, but on stage I have to convey things that are not expressed easily, so that’s tough. But I think I’ll be able to convey the warmth of people through sign language.”
The drama starts on Nov 24 and is on weekdays at 1 p.m.
More information from Asianbite:
Set on Shodoshima in Japan's Inland Sea, the story follows the experiences of the hearing-impaired protagonist along the path to adulthood, such as her first love and her first breakup. The 15-year span of the story is divided into three parts, with Suzuki playing the character as an adult. Rio Yamashita will play the character in junior high, while Yukina Matsushima fills in for the elementary school version of the role.
Well let's see how they do with another deaf drama. Has it really been 4 years since the last one, "Orange Days?" (And is Suzuki Ami really 26?) I have blogged about the challenges of representing deaf people in Japanese dramas. I hope "Love Letter" does a better job.