The Program in Japanese held its Sixth Annual UCI Japanese Speech Contest on February 4th, 2012. Twenty Japanese corporations and organizations supported the contest, with Hitachi Chemical Research Center serving as the principal sponsor. Four educators and prominent community leaders judged the competition. The event provided Japanese language students an opportunity to think critically and express their thoughts clearly in public. It also served as an opportunity for students to be exposed to the local Japanese community, with the hope of developing important bonds between UC Irvine and the community and establishing the campus as a primary resource for the development of Japanese language instruction.
Seventeen students participated in the speech contest in the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels of Japanese. Each contestant spoke on a topic of their choice for a maximum of seven minutes. The topics ranged from the Great East Japan Earthquake to cultural and societal differences between Japan and the U.S., Japanese dialects, and Japanese immigrants to the US. Every participant was commended for their hard work and dedication in preparing themselves to deliver a speech in public in front of a large audience. The winners were as follows:
First Prize: Qing Wang – “My Favorite Japanese Culture”
Second Prize: Nicolas Ayabe – “Homestay Adventure”
First Prize: Zoe Fox – “The Milk Carton”
Second Prize: Haruna Asakawa – “Words: Identifying Differences in Culture”
Third Prize: Tiffany Chen – “Vocaloid: More than a Program”
Fighting-Spirit Prize: Nicole Houston – “When I Used to Live in Colorado”
First Prize: Po-Hsun Wang – “Responsibility”
Second Prize: Yilei Liao – “Looking Beyond the Tsunami”
Third Prize: Arisa Yang – “The Perfection and Competition Rate of Japan”
Special Prize: Alison Tominaga – “My Grandmothers and I”
Seven of the above winners from the UCI Speech Contest entered the regional speech contest organized by California State University, Los Angeles on February 25th. Po-Hsun Wang was awarded the Grand Prize for his speech “Responsibility,” and four other students placed as follows:
Second Prize: Zoe Fox – “The Milk Carton”
Second Prize: Alison Tominaga – “My Grandmothers and I”
Third Prize: Haruna Asakawa – “Words: Identifying Differences in Culture”
Third Prize: Yilei Liao – “Looking Beyond the Tsunami”
More than 120 people gathered for the speech competition, including VIPs from the sponsoring organizations and local community members, in addition to UCI faculty and students. The program also included a first-hand presentation on the Great East Japan Earthquake by Dr. Kazuya Oseki and his students from Tokiwa University, and the audience was also treated to a live performance of gagaku, a traditional Japanese musical instrument. The contest was followed by a social hour replete with Japanese refreshments donated by local Japanese businesses.
It is the Department’s hope that through this contest, students will be motivated to further pursue their learning of Japanese language and culture, and that the Program in Japanese will continue to thrive and grow as it serves the UCI students and the local community.
About the Program in Japanese
Founded in 1989, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (EALL) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) houses ten ladder-rank faculty and a roster of thirteen lecturers. The Department offers undergraduate degrees in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and East Asian Cultural Studies, as well as Ph.D. degrees in East Asian Languages and Literatures. The Program in Japanese is the largest among the three language programs, with a current enrollment of approximately 250 students.
More on the Japanese Speech Contest
More on the Program in Japanese
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