A symposium celebrating the 95th anniversary of The Mainichi Newspapers' weekly "Braille Mainichi," Japan's only newspaper for the visually impaired, was held in Tokyo on May 31 with a performance by a blind rakugo artist.
The event was part of a Mainichi Shimbun campaign to increase awareness for a barrier-free society ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. Some 200 people joined the event at the Palaceside Building in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward and enjoyed a performance by blind rakugo storyteller Katsura Fukuten. Mainichi Shimbun writers also commented on their coverage of news and stories on a barrier-free society.
Fukuten's performance during the event was on the prevention of visually impaired people from falling onto train tracks. Through a fiction story of a visually impaired train enthusiast rescuing a drunken man who fell from a station platform, Fukuten shared with the audience the importance of empathy.
Former Olympic swimmer Hanae Ito also appeared in the event and talked about bonds with visually impaired runners.
In a related event on the first floor of the Palaceside Building, a panel exhibition on the Braille Mainichi is also being held during weekdays through June 6 (between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.).