by Misa Murohashi, The North American Post
The annual Japanese Speech and Skit Contest was held online on June 4, as the originally planned contest, in March at Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW), was postponed due to COVID-19. It was the first online contest since the program started in 1983. The contest was first hosted by the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASW) with the purpose of providing Japanese learners with opportunities to demonstrate their progress. The Hyogo Business & Cultural Center continued hosting the contest in 1994. The Washington Association of Teachers of Japanese and Consulate General of Japan joined as co-hosts in 2014. Today the contest focuses on high school students. Starting this year, this event is being combined with the JIS (Japanese in School) festival, hosted by JASW.
As the students were not able to gather, each of them recorded his/her speech or skit video and posted it online. This year’s speech contest winners were Thomas Tang from Roosevelt High School for Level 2, Eric Bradley from Issaquah High School for Level 4, and Kathy Duefrane from Curtis Senior High School for Heritage Level.