ITOCHU Foundation to collaborate with nine prefectural libraries to organize the event "Nihon Mukashibanashi no Tabi (Journeys Through OldJapanese Stories)" in conjunction with the enforcement of the Act for Eliminating Discrimination

New method of reading provided by public libraries and ITOCHU Foundation

March 31, 2016

From April 1, 2016, ITOCHU Foundation (a public interest incorporated foundation) will launch an event in conjunction with the enforcement of the Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (the Act for Eliminating Discrimination) by collaborating with public libraries. It aims to provide the complementary series "Nihon Mukashibanashi no Tabi" in e-book form, mainly to children who have difficulties reading paper books due to disabilities.
In "Nihon Mukashibanashi no Tabi," a wide range of stories that have been passed down throughout various parts of Japan are written in each local dialogue. We believe that this creates opportunities for children to enjoy a wide variety of stories as well as to develop affection toward local areas and love for their home province. In addition, we aim to deliver opportunities for them to savor the feeling of short journeys, considering that those with physical disabilities may have difficulties moving around.
The books are edited in accordance with the DAISY multimedia standard, which is an international standard. Each book is carefully designed to include functions such as voice reading, speed adjustment, font enlargement, color display of the clause being read and auto-scroll, so that individual children can read them as easily as possible.
This year, with the support of nine prefectural libraries, we produced the following complementary books to be distributed to over 900 libraries throughout Japan in May 2016. Moreover, we obtained the permission of the copyright holders before producing the books so they can be enjoyed by all people, regardless of whether or not they have disabilities.
While DAISY multimedia books are the latest form of books that allow the easiest reading experience for people with disabilities, the number of books available is still limited. They are expected to become widespread in the future. ITOCHU Foundation is planning firstly to raise awareness of DAISY multimedia books among adults who are in the position of supporting children with disabilities, and then secondly to provide opportunities to children who have given up reading so that they can develop an interest in digital reading.

Books that are scheduled to be distributed in fiscal 2016

Hokkaido "Yamatobashi ni atta poromoi": In cooperation with Hokkaido Prefectural Library
Iwate "Osatsu no nageta oishi": In cooperation with Iwate Prefectural Library
Nara "Warashibe choja": In cooperation with Nara Prefectural Library
Wakayama "Kaminaga hime": In cooperation with Wakayama Prefectural Library
Okayama "Momotaro": In cooperation with Okayama Prefectural Library
Fukuoka "Etsu-to bo-sma": In cooperation with Fukuoka Prefectural Library
Saga "Otowa kannon yurai, Odoshi no hi": In cooperation with Saga Prefectural Library
Nagasaki "Ryonyo Osuwa": In cooperation with Nagasaki Prefectural Library
Kumamoto "Tengu no kakuremino": In cooperation with Kumamoto Prefectural Library

ITOCHU Foundation (a public interest incorporated foundation)

ITOCHU Foundation commenced its activities in 1974, and its aim was to support the sound development of the younger generations. Since then, we have organized a wide range of ventures by responding to the changes in the social environments surrounding the younger generations, and also to the changes in child education and welfare. Mainly by Providing Subsidies for Children’s Literature Collections and Promoting the Use of E-Books, we are currently offering support to grassroots reading volunteers throughout Japan and children who are learning to read at special needs schools with a view to developing the educational environments surrounding children.

ITOCHU Building 5th Floor, Kitaaoyama 2-5-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
[General Affairs Division/Subsidy Division] TEL:03-3497-2651 FAX:03-3470-3517
[E-Books Promotion Division] TEL:03-3497-2652 FAX:03-3470-3517