On 26th February, the finals of the Sixth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students were held in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, showcasing ten individual speeches along with four group presentations by UK university students.
The day got off to a brilliant start with the Category 2 competition, featuring speeches by students studying Japanese as an elective or optional course. Such was their high level of Japanese; it was hard to believe these finalists were not studying Japanese as their main degree subject. In a closely fought contest, the top place was awarded to Edwin Goh, a 3rd year at Imperial College London with his enthusiastic speech about fan translation of light novels. Second place was awarded to Shuran Dong from the University of Bristol for her speech on Japan’s traditional theatres.
After a short interval, the audience was treated to the Category 1 speeches, by students studying Japanese as their main degree subject. All five entries were very impressive; well researched, presented with confidence and followed by thoughtful answers to the searching questions of the interlocutors. The judges must have had a difficult decision, but in the end they awarded first prize to Andrew Lyttle, 4th year at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) for his exceptional speech about Rehabilitation facilities for Parolees in Japan. Second place was awarded to James Ball from the University of Leeds for his speech about the Senkakushoto territorial dispute.
This years Group Category gave beginner-level students the chance to give presentations about an issue of interest to them. The four outstanding groups that made it through to Saturday’s finals were chosen from an initial 19 applications, and represented the University of Sheffield, Newcastle University, Imperial College London, and SOAS. They gave talks on The Gunpowder Plot, Local Cuisine, Experiencing the ‘Pimlico Connection’ and Secrets of London. These groups were not placed individually, but instead received special prizes based on their chosen topics.
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, 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, Ricoh UK Ltd, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and Toshiba of Europe Ltd.
Click on the attachment below for the full results.