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The Eighth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students Finals Day

On March 2nd 2013, the Finals Day of the Eighth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students was held at Regent’s College London, showcasing ten individual speeches, along with five group presentations, by UK university students.

The day began with the Category 2 finalists, all of whom are studying Japanese as an elective or optional course. The speeches were all of a very high standard and it was very difficult for the judges to decide the winner. However, the first prize eventually went to Junehwan Sung, a second year student from the University College London, for his fascinating speech on “The Hidden Treasure – Dialects.” In second place was Scarlett Wong, a 2nd year at Imperial College London, for her thought-provoking speech entitled “Even adults should watch anime.”

Category 2 was followed by speeches by  the Category 1 finalists, who are studying Japanese as their main degree subject. All five finalists demonstrated not only exceptional Japanese ability, but also a great degree of insight and knowledge of their chosen subjects. After much deliberation, first prize was awarded to Tim Joris Laméris, a 4th year student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, for his enlightening speech on “Japan: Dancing Prohibited.” The second prize was awarded to Paulina Wilczynska, in her 4th year at SOAS, for her insightful speech on the theme of “The apology culture of Japan.

This year’s Group Category gave beginner-level students the chance to give presentations on a topic of their choice. The four outstanding groups that made it through to Saturday’s finals were chosen from an initial 19 applications, and represented Imperial College London, King's College London, University of Warwick and University of Wolverhampton. They gave talks on “Vietnam,” “Introduction to the Mythological Creatures of Great Britain,” “Chinese Food Culture”, “Stratford-Upon-Avon “ and “Stereotypes of British people.” These groups were not placed individually, but instead received special prizes based on their chosen topics.

The full results and details of other entrants can be downloaded below.

We would like to thank all participants, their teachers and supporters, the judges, audience members and BATJ for making the contest such a success. In addition, special thanks must go to the generous sponsors: Baker & McKenzie LLP, Bloomberg L.P., Central Japan Railway Company, Eikoku News Digest, Gendai Travel Limited, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Airlines, Japan Centre, JP-Books (JPT Europe Ltd.), Mitsubishi Electric Europe, European Business School (Regent’s College London), Ricoh UK Ltd and Toshiba of Europe Ltd

We would like to encourage as many undergraduate students of Japanese language as possible to apply for next year’s contest.

If you are a secondary school teacher or student, you may be interested in the 2013 Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools.

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