Creator of ‘The Sign Gene’ Was Inspired by Japanese

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Filmmaker Emilio Insolera sees similarities between Japanese kana and sign language.

Emilio Insolera says he can thank a stint in Japan for helping him take advantage of his abilities, Kris Kosaka reports in The Japan Times.

While he was in Japan on vacation 10 years ago, Insolera was inspired to create ‘The Sign Gene,’ whose plot centers on a genetic mutation that causes deaf people to develop powers like shooting invisible bullets from their fingers and opening locked doors with their minds.

“Creatively, it all started with Japan,” Insolera told The Japan Times. “My first impression was that I had stumbled into the future, but as a linguist I was also instantly fascinated with Japanese and how it has a relationship with sign language. Kanji are usually concepts or ideas and then hiragana acts as a bridge for communication. It’s the same with sign language: We use fingerspelling (spelling out the alphabet with your hands) between our conceptual signs.”

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