Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Announcement:「A Primer on Deaf Communities in Japan: Identity, Sign Language and Diversity」@YCAPS, Getting to Know Japan Webinar (via Zoom) -- Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 19:00 (JST)

Accesss the meeting link here: https://www.ycaps.org/gtkj-a-primer-on-deaf-communities-japan

The program format is 30 minutes of lecture and 30 minutes of discussion. Of course it will be impossible to cover everything about this topic in such a short time. So the reading list below might be helpful.

Abstract: Are deaf people in Japan considered to be simply disabled, or an oppressed linguistic minority, or both? Specific recent actions, events and moments have greatly influenced and shed light on societal views and attitudes regarding deafness and disability such as the Tottori Prefecture ordinance recognizing and promoting sign language (2013), successful elections of deaf (2015) and disabled (2019, 2022) politicians, the Law to Eliminate Discrimination against People with Disabilities (2016), the Sagamihara care home massacre (2016) and the Paralympics in Japan (originally scheduled for 2020). How have deaf people themselves contributed or reacted to these happenings? This presentation, based on 25 years of ethnographic research, will be a brief overview of the situation(s) of contemporary deaf communities in Japan, with discussions of academic and social welfare models (deficit and cultural), identity (Deaf and deaf), intersectionality (diversity) and sign language use (Japanese Sign Language).

Keywords: Deaf/deaf, Japanese Sign Language, cultural model, deficit model, intersectionality

Suggested Reading List:

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2023. “The Embodiment of the Deaf in Japan: A Set of Heuristic Models for Identity, Belonging and Sign Language Use.” In Anthropology through the Experience of the Physical Body, edited by K. Fushiki and R. Sakurada. Singapore: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-99-5724-8_4.

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2021. “Barrier-Free Communication for the Deaf in Japan: A Local Initiative for Medical Interpretation Services in Japanese Sign Language.” Journal of Inquiry and Research 11: 319-337.

Available online: https://kansaigaidai.repo.nii.ac.jp/records/8036

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2019. “Performance, Sign Language, and Deaf Identity in Japan.” Anthropology News website. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1182.

Available online: https://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/performance-sign-language-and-deaf-identity-in-japan/

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2013. “How to Play Deaf in Japan” The Journal of Intercultural Studies 38: 17-25.

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2006. “Living Partial Truths: HIV/AIDS in the Japanese Deaf World.” Deaf Worlds 22, Number 1 (Special Focused Edition: HIV/AIDS and Deaf Communities, edited by C. Schmaling and L. Monaghan): 197-221.

Mori, Soya and Atsubumi Sugimoto. 2019. “Progress and Problems in the Campaign for Sign Language Recognition in Japan.” In The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages, edited by M. De Meulder , J. J. Murray and R.L. McKeep. Bristol, Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters. DOI: 10.21832/9781788924016-008.

Nakamura, Karen. 2006. Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission For Asia and the Pacific. 2023 Sign Language, What Is It? An ESCAP Guide towards Legal Recognition of Sign Languages in Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok: United Nations.

Available online: https://www.unescap.org/kp/2022/sign-language-what-it-escap-guide-towards-legal-recognition-sign-languages-asia-and-pacific#