Four High School Teams Earn Trips to Japan through the Japan Wizards Competition

JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines' Ms. Monisa Cline and JTB Hawaii's Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and the winning teams.

JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines’ Ms. Monisa Cline and JTB Hawaii’s Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and the winning teams.

By 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 135 students representing 26 schools from Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui were anxious to begin competing in the 10th annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) held at Kapiolani Community College (KCC). This marks the second year that Hawaiian Airlines graciously served as overall sponsor. Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda from the Consulate General of Japan at Honolulu welcomed the students and wished them success in this year’s competition. Read More

2012 Japan Wizards Japan Trip Awards Fulfill Dreams

JWC Waiakea High School team members (front row) join the Kendo Club at a local Ehime high school

JWC Waiakea High School team members (front row) join the Kendo Club at a local Ehime high school

This summer, four teams from Kauai High School, Maryknoll School, Saint Andrew’s Priory, and Waiakea High School were able to put their knowledge of Japan and language skills to the test in Japan after winning the Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC), held in February and hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). The students enjoyed their time in Japan by exploring the culture and practicing the traditions they learned about in the classroom. Alyssa Braun from Kauai High School wrote in her trip essay, “Visiting Japan was the experience of a lifetime. I was able to use all of the skills I learned in my Japanese language classes. I was also able to learn more about the places and people I studied in the Japan Wizards Contest. It was amazing to see the things that I studied in person. Going to Japan through JASH also taught me a lot about the true values of culture, tradition, language, and hospitality.” Read More

JASH Educational Program Director Observes 20th National Japan Bowl in Washington DC

Final Round, Level 4 Competition on stage

Final Round, Level 4 Competition on stage

On Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13, 2012, The Japan-America Society of Washington DC held its annual National Japan Bowl in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This marked the 20th anniversary of the Japan Bowl. JASH Educational Program Director Kelsey Soma Turek made the journey from Hawaii to observe the high school competition and see how we can improve the Society’s Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC). Sixty-five teams represented 32 schools from across the United States in this motivational Japanese language competition. The Japan Bowl is similar to the JWC in Hawaii. Its top scoring Level IV team is awarded a trip to Japan. Similar competitions are held by Japan-America Societies throughout the U.S., but JASH’s is the only competition that consistently awards four trips to Japan. Congratulations to all the participants! JASH will use some lessons learned to improve our 2013 JWC.

2011 Japan Wizards Iolani Teams Reflect on Japan Trip

JWC Iolani School teams and advisors with Mr. Shoichi Suzuki, Executive Director of the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo

JWC Iolani School teams and advisors with Mr. Shoichi Suzuki, Executive Director of the America-Japan Society of Tama Tokyo

In March 2012, the two Japan Wizards Competition (JWC) winning teams from Iolani School were able to immerse themselves in the culture of Japan and experience what they had studied in and outside of the classroom. Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, the teams delayed their Japan trip. According to the students, it was well worth the wait. Micah Lau wrote in his trip essay, “I could never forget the beautiful and silent gardens of Kyoto, muted by the imminent blossoming of millions of flowers; the peaceful, deep forests of Nara, the grand scale of Todaiji, the chilled water of Kiyomizu on my lips – I’ll keep them forever.” Read More

Forty-five Hawaii Teams Participate in Japan Wizards 2012

JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines' Mr. Hoyt Zia, JASH Chair Ms. Sharon Weiner, JTB Hawaii's Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and Mr. David Asanuma, JASH Director Ms. Jean Rolles, Deputy Consul General Kazunari Tanaka and the four Japan Trip Award winning teams

JASH President Ed Hawkins with Hawaiian Airlines’ Mr. Hoyt Zia, JASH Chair Ms. Sharon Weiner, JTB Hawaii’s Mr. Keiichi Tsujino and Mr. David Asanuma, JASH Director Ms. Jean Rolles, Deputy Consul General Kazunari Tanaka and the four Japan Trip Award winning teams

February 25th proved to be a very eventful Saturday at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), where the 9th annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) was held. By 9:00 a.m., 45 teams representing 28 schools from Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui were anxious to begin competing in the JWC, presented by overall sponsor Hawaiian Airlines. Read More

2011 Japan Wizards Japan Trip Winners Explore Japan

JWC Aiea High School team with Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura and two University of Hawaii interns from EPIC

June proved to be a very eventful month for two winning teams from Aiea High School and Baldwin High School (Maui) as they explored Japan as reward for placing in the Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) held in February. Part of the Japan trip prize included an all-day educational experience arranged by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). On June 9, student team members Kelly Hamamura, Samantha Kinoshita, Christina Wine, and advisor Rory Sato from Baldwin High School (Level B 3rd place winners) were graciously hosted by the Kitakyushu Japan-America Society (Kitakyushu JAS) and the Japan-America Society of Fukuoka (JAS Fukuoka).  This is the first time for any JWC team to be hosted in Fukuoka prefecture on the island of Kyushu, thanks to Kitakyushu JAS and JAS Fukuoka! Besides riding the new Kyushu shinkansen (bullet train) and eating the authenticumegaemochi in Dazaifu, the highlight of the educational experience was visiting the TOTO Factory in Kokura city. Kelly Hamamura wrote in her trip essay, “We were able to learn about a part of Japan that not many foreigners take the time to notice and that is integrated into every part of Japan. The TOTO Factory was historically very informative, and learning about how toilets evolved over the years was very interesting.” Read More

2011 Japan Wizards Competition

JASH President Ed Hawkins with JTB Hawaii’s Mr. Keiichi Tsujino, Mr. David Asanuma and Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo and the Japan Trip Award winning teams

February 26th started like any other Saturday in Honolulu. However by mid morning, 42 teams representing 24 schools from Oahu and neighbor islands Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui gathered at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) for the annual Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). Read More

JASH Receives donation from JTB Goodwill Foundation

JASH President Ed Hawkins accepts donation check from JTB Goodwill Foundation Administrator David Asanuma

JASH President Ed Hawkins accepts donation check from JTB Goodwill Foundation Administrator David Asanuma

JTB Goodwill Foundation presented a grant to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii for next year’s Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition. JTB co-sponsors this annual competition that pits high school student teams from across the State to test their knowledge of Japanese culture, history, economy, geography, and language. Winning teams are awarded trips to Japan to experience directly what they learned in the classroom.

JTB Goodwill Foundation has been a strong supporter of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii’s educational programs for Hawaii’s students. JTB Goodwill Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to promote goodwill through the interaction of culture, education, and athletics, to contribute to other charitable and goodwill organizations, and to participate in various charitable and goodwill activities. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii wishes to thank JTB Goodwill Foundation for supporting JASH’s educational programs designed to foster cultural interaction and further understanding between the peoples of the United States and Japan.

JASH Receives donation from JTB

JASH President Ed Hawkins accepts the donation check from JTB representative David Asanuma

JASH President Ed Hawkins accepts the donation check from JTB representative David Asanuma

JTB Goodwill Foundation’s David Asanuma presented a donation to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii to support its educational programs, specifically the Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition. The check will help fund this annual academic competition for high school students testing their knowledge of Japan, the Japanese language, and the U.S.-Japan relationship. Four winning teams are rewarded with trips to Japan.

JTB Goodwill Foundation is the organizer of the annual Honolulu Festival that brings thousands of visitors to Hawaii from Japan, the mainland U.S., and places around the Pacific region to showcase cultural heritage of various groups and promote understanding among peoples. JASH has helped to plan events as well as promote participation by students previously sponsored by JASH in its educational programs.

JASH would like to thank the JTB Goodwill Foundation for this generous donation. We look forward to hosting JTB representatives at the competition and awards ceremony in February.