Japanese Sign Language


A language of Japan

Alternate Names
JSL, NS, Nihon Shuwa, Shuwa, Temane

317,000 (Van Cleve 1986).



Language Status

5 (Developing).


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

Language Use

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

Language Development
TV. Bible portions: 1993–2018.
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.

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