|Also Known As: Shuwa,Temane
Japanese Sign Language (日本手話, Nihon Shuwa, JSL) is the dominant sign language in Japan.
There is little knowledge of sign language and the deaf community before the Edo period. In 1862, the Edo government dispatched envoys to various European schools for the deaf. However, the first school for the deaf was not established until 1878 in Kyōto, and it was not until 1948 that deaf children were required to attend formal education.
JSL uses mouthing (saying a word with or without making a sound) to disambiguate various signs. Fingerspelling (see JSL syllabary) was introduced from the United States in the early part of the twentieth century but is used less than in the USA. Finger writing (tracing Japanese characters in the air) is sometimes used. There is a system associating the kanji with particular signs, which is used for places and personal names.
Besides JSL there are also Pidgin Signed Japanese and Manually Signed Japanese. Both of these are signed forms of the Japanese language. The first is used between non-native signers, and the latter is sometimes used in schools for the deaf. However, up to 2002, most Japanese schools for the deaf emphasized oral education, i.e. teaching..... full article at Wikipedia