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JAPAN: What sign languages are used in Japan?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

This article can help you answer the following questions:


Where is Japan?


How many Deaf / Hard of Hearing people are in Japan?

There are an estimated 4,173,700 Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Japan.

This percentage is a rough estimation: 3.3% of the general population. Lack of research make estimating these numbers difficult. The World Health Organization estimates 5% of the world population has significant hearing loss. Keep in mind that developing nations typically have a much higher number of Deaf and Hard of Hearing populations.


What sign languages are used in Japan?

  • 日本手話 or Nihon Shuwa (Japanese Sign Language)

Written / spoken languages in Japan:

  • Japanese

  • Ainu

  • Amami-Ōshima

  • Kunigami

  • Miyako

  • Okinawan

  • Yaeyama

  • Yonaguni


How do you say Japan in sign language?


Where can I learn Japanese Sign Language online?

InterSign University offers online Japanese Sign Language (JSL) courses. Register here:

InterSign University offers many international sign language courses. Check them out here:


Where is the Deaf village in Japan?


What Deaf organizations are located in Japan?

Source: Gallaudet


Additional sign language resources for Japan

We will update this section as more information becomes available.


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