Deaf bartender raises game to thrive in Ginza

KYODO   JuN 13, 2013

Dai Igarashi is a bartender in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza entertainment district, attending to customers like any barkeep but with one difference — he is totally deaf.

As the manager of Bell Sign, which caters to hearing-impaired people, Igarashi communicates in sign language. But since people with normal hearing also visit the bar, he keeps writing boards on the counter to communicate or resorts to lip-reading and speaking.

Igarashi, 31, was born deaf and attended a school for the hearing-impaired until he was 21. Part of his education was learning oralism — a method that teaches lip-reading and breathing patterns used in speech to communicate through oral means — in junior high school.

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Deaf bartender raises game to thrive in Ginza | The Japan Times.