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April 6, 2003

Sign-language Bible to be made for video, DVD

From: Japan Times, Japan - Apr 6, 2003

Two Christian associations have begun a 15-year mission to produce a sign-language Bible to be made available on video and DVD.

When completed, it will be the first Bible of its kind in the world, according to the Japan Deaf Evangel Mission, based in Kiyose city, Tokyo, and the Japan Bible Society, in Tokyo's Chuo Ward.

The Old and New Testaments, totaling about 2,000 pages, will be transliterated into Japanese sign-language. The finished product will be a 50-volume set running 104 hours, according to the groups.

Individual volumes will be sold for 100 yen, so that the entire set will match the price of a paper Bible.

Around 3,000 deaf Christians are estimated to be living in Japan.

Production of sign-language Bibles has been attempted in more than 20 other countries. Due to the high cost, however, little progress has been made, according to the associations.

The production of the Japanese version will cost an estimated 210 million yen.

"Since there are some regional variations in Japanese sign language, we are having a hard time making it easy to understand," one production staff said.

According to an official, many deaf people find it easier to understand sign language than written Japanese.

The Japan Times: April 6, 2003
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