Japanese Sign Language


A language of Japan

Alternate Names
Shuwa, Temane

317,000 (Van Cleve 1986).

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


None known. Related to Taiwanese [tss] and Korean [kvk] sign languages.

Language Use

Over 95% of the deaf understand Japanese Sign Language. 107 deaf schools. The first school opened in Kyoto in 1878.

Language Development
Other Comments

‘Temane’ is the former name. Pidgin Signed Japanese is distinct, and used often in formal situations, lectures, speeches, and for interaction with hearing people. 80% of the deaf understand finger spelling.