The 44th Annual Japanese Speech Contest

On Sunday, November 5, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the Japanese American Association of Northern California (Hokka Nichibeikai), and the Northern California Japanese Teachers’ Association presented the 44th Annual Japanese Speech Contest at New People Cinema located in San Francisco’s Japantown.

A total of 33 contestants demonstrated their hard work in studying Japanese language and communication skills during the Middle School and High School Student Division in the morning, and in the College Student and Adult Division in the afternoon. Each contestant shared their thoughts and experiences gained through studying Japanese language and culture. The audience, composed of friends, family, teachers, and fellow students, encouraged the contestants.

The top three winners from each category of the Middle School and High School Student Division received special prizes from sponsor CAPCOM USA, Inc. The first place winner for the College Student and Adult Division received a round trip flight ticket to Japan from sponsor United Airlines. Each of the participants received special gift packages from New People, Inc.

Judges from both divisions were impressed with the caliber of this year’s speeches and the unique stories shared by each contestant. It was a close contest and the Judges encouraged participants to continue their studies in the Japanese language and to apply their skills in the future.

The Consulate would like to extend our sincere congratulations to all of the winners and commend each of this year’s contestants on their hard work.

Result

Middle School and High School Student Division

Category 1 (Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is not spoken)

  • 1st Place: Ms. Jumi Yoon, Mission San Jose High School, “The Meaning of Dieting”
  • 2nd Place: Ms. Nishchala Beeram, Monta Vista High School, “Why I'm learning Japanese now”
  • 3rd Place: Ms. Eileen Ha, Palo Alto High School, “The Warmth of Family”
 

Category 2 (Contestants who come from homes where Japanese is spoken)

  • 1st Place: Mr. Sota Hayashi, Sakura Gakuen, “My Passion for Nike”
  • 2nd Place: Ms. Lisa Yokemura, San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen, “Human Weakness”
  • 3rd Place: Mr. Kai David Steiner, San Mateo Nippon Gakuyen, “My Father and Cat”
 

College Student and Adult Division

  • 1st Place: Tangut Degfay, “Japan Through The Eyes and The Heart”
  • 2nd Place: Roger Luo, “What Japan Has Given Me”
  • 3rd Place: Ellen Zhong, “Why I could not say ‘I like Japan’”

Participants of Middle School & High School Student Division

  • Kira Fukuda
  • Kaiqi Gu
  • Yuchen Huang
  • Lydia Jian
  • Haoning Jiang
  • Qianying Doris Li
  • Christian Rizo Loreto
  • Shun Nakaizumi
  • Isabelle Poux
  • Sierra Lynn Rose
  • Yuxi Jennifer Sun
  • Sarah H. Wu
  • Joyce Yun

Participants of College Student & Adult Division

  • Blair “Yamato” Williams
  • Jie Ding
  • Kana Igarashi Limpanukorn
  • Jing Qian
  • Kenneth Mercado
  • Frank Vito Mondelli
  • Zihui Chloe Tang
  • Jia Zhen Yap
  • Margaret Grace Freiwald
  • Scott Richard Stevens
  • Patricia Amparo Ortiz-Tello

Judges

Middle School & High School Student Division

  • Mr. Shoichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco
  • Professor Stephen Roddy, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of San Francisco
  • Dr. Yoichi Aizawa, Executive Director, San Francisco Office, Waseda USA
  • Mr. Kenji Dohi, Director of Administration Division, New People, Inc.
  • Ms. Aya Ino, Director of Development & Communications, JCCCNC

College Student & Adult Division

  • Mr. Jun Yamada, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco
  • Mr. Hiroshi Tomita, President, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
  • Mr. Yoshiyuki Ohno, Vice Principal, San Francisco Japanese School
  • Mr. Lawrence Greenwood Jr., President, Japan Society of Northern California
  • Ms. Arisa Hiroi, JET Program Alumna

Greeting by Consul General Yamada

Judges’ comments by Deputy Consul General Nagayoshi

The judges and contestants of the Middle School & High School Student Division, Category 1

The judges and contestants of the Middle School & High School Student Division, Category 2

The judges and contestants of the College Student & Adult Division

Contestant delivering her speech in the College Student & Adult Division

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