Give Her a Hand


Sign language is given a lot of importance here. On the educational channel they have daily news in sign language and talk shows and lessons. Each of these is usually repeated two or three times. Since my first trip here in 1989 I have also noticed that tenji blocks (guides for the blind) are embedded in most train station floors and many public sidewalks. I think both of these result from Helen Keller’s influence on Japan.

Natalie Beck appeared on a program recently. I don’t know if she is famous or well known, but she was interesting. She has learned American sign language and Japanese sign language. It was interesting to hear her explain differences in the two systems. (Yes, I am a geek.)

Months in Japanese were very easy to express quickly and relations (mother, grandmother, son, grandson, etc.,) were very easy to communicate in English. I would say more, but I was half asleep as I watched this one morning.


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