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'Braille Mainichi' creates video showing how Japan's only newspaper for the blind is made

OSAKA -- The Mainichi Newspapers' weekly "Braille Mainichi" publication has created a five-minute video recording the rare production process of Japan's only braille newspaper.

    The Braille Mainichi was first published for the visually impaired in 1922, or the 11th year of the Taisho era (1912-1926). The paper published its 5,000th issue in the summer of 2020, and will celebrate the 99th anniversary of its establishment this year. The braille newspaper has been published regularly for as long as around a century, and is said to be unparalleled even in the world. It has received the Kikuchi Kan Prize and the Japan National Press Club special award, among other accolades.

    A rotaty press for Braille Mainichi is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi)

    The video shows parts of the editing process unique to the braille newspaper, such as creating articles using computer software designated for braille transcription, and proofreading by blind staff who go over drafts by tracing the braille on galley copies. The printing process which uses a rotary press for Braille made in Germany, as well as bookbinding by staff who fold each booklet in half by hand while making sure not to crush the braille, are also contained in the footage.

    (Japanese original by Tetsuya Endo, The Braille Mainichi, Editor-in-chief)

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