Announcement on Deaf in Japan

Deaf in Japan刊行についての著者からのお知らせ。Japan Forum MLへのメッセージ;

I am pleased to announce that Cornell University Press has published
my book, _Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity_.

Here is a short description of the book:

> Until the mid-1970s, deaf people in Japan had few legal rights and
> little social recognition. Legally, they were classified as minors
> or mentally deficient, unable to obtain driver's licenses or sign
> contracts and wills. Many worked at menial tasks or were constantly
> unemployed, and schools for the deaf taught a difficult regimen of
> speechreading and oral speech methods rather than signing. After
> several decades of activism, deaf men and women are now largely
> accepted within mainstream Japanese society.
> Deaf in Japan, a groundbreaking study of deaf identity, minority
> politics, and sign language, traces the history of the deaf
> community in Japan, from the establishment of the first schools for
> the deaf in the 1870s to the birth of deaf activist movements in
> the postwar period and current "culture wars" over signing and
> assimilation. Drawing on archival and ethnographic research and in-
> depth interviews with deaf men and women from three generations,
> Karen Nakamura examines shifting attitudes toward and within the
> deaf community.
> Nakamura suggests that the notion of "deaf identity" is intimately
> linked with the Japanese view of modernization and Westernization.
> The left-affiliated Japanese Federation of the Deaf embraces an
> assimilationist position, promoting lip-reading and other forms of
> accommodation with mainstream society. In recent years, however,
> young disability advocates, exponents of an American-style radical
> separatism, have promoted the use of Japanese Sign Language.

_Deaf in Japan_ is available in both paperback and hardcover. Here is
the link to the paperback version on

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about the
book or my research.


Karen Nakamura*1
Yale University