Congratulations to the Winners of the 12th Annual JASH Japan Wizards Competition

JASH President Lenny Yajima with JASH Chair Daniel Dinell, JASH Directors David Asanuma, Sal Miwa, and Howard Hamamoto, JTB Hawaii’s Akio Hoshino, and the winning teams

Congratulations to the 129 students who represented 29 high schools on Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai at the 12th Annual Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Kapiolani Community College (KCC)! The 44 student teams were tested on their knowledge of Japanese art, culture and tradition, food, geography, history, Japan-Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, contemporary Japan, and of course the Japanese language. We are proud to announce the winners of this year’s competition: 
Level A 1st place: Punahou School
Level A 2nd place: Maui Preparatory Academy
Level A 3rd place: Mililani High School

Level B 1st place: Punahou School
Level B 2nd place: Baldwin High School
Level B 3rd place: St. Andrew’s Priory

The Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship was awarded to the top scoring team in the competition, Punahou School (Level B team).

JASH awarded Japan trips to the top scoring public and private school teams in each level. We are proud to announce the Japan trip winners:

Level A: Mililani High School (public) and Punahou School (private)
Level B: Baldwin High School (public) and Punahou School (private)

Students enjoy a friendly game of fukuwarai, a game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey

These teams (three students and an advisor each) will travel to Japan this summer to experience firsthand what they studied in the classroom and through independent research. JASH will also arrange educational programs hosted by our colleagues in Japan: Japan-America Societies in Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Kitakyushu, and Tama Tokyo; Ehime Prefectural International Center, and Nagaoka International Exchange Association.

Between competition rounds, students were kept busy with the numerous activity stations in the Activity Center. These included calligraphy, gyotaku fish printing by Prior 2 Pupu Productions, karuta, origami by Hawaii Origami Club, a tea ceremony demonstration, and Jeopardy. HI Kendama performed and demonstrated various tricks and techniques involving the kendama, a traditional Japanese game that has gained popularity in Hawaii.

Volunteers teach students how to play Japanese Bingo

Thank you to the overall sponsor Hawaiian Airlines and other major supporters – ABC Stores, Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation, Freeman Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, JTB Hawaii, Temple University Japan, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles – who make the competition one which high school students across the state look forward to each year.

JASH would also like to thank all the contributors who provided prizes, snacks, and other donations that assisted with the competition. Many thanks and recognition goes to the 76 volunteers representing the JET Alumni Association of Hawaii, UH Manoa, KCC, Hawaii Tokai International College, and American Savings Bank to name a few. Without this tremendous support, the competition would not have been possible. Finally, our gratitude goes to the President, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, and staff of Kapiolani Community College for the generous use of their facilities and for their support of the JASH Japan Wizards Competition.