This summer, JASH gave six teams the opportunity to travel to Japan and experience first-hand the country and culture they had studied in preparation for the 2018 Japan Wizards Academic Team Competition (JWC) hosted by the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH). The JWC, held on February 24, 2018, gathered 135 students from 27 high schools to compete in two categories, Levels A and B, depending on their Japanese language proficiency. The four winning teams—Hawaii Baptist Academy Level A, King Kekaulike High School Level A, St. Andrew’s Schools Level B, and Mililani High School Level B—received free trips to Japan for themselves and their advisors. The annual Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship, sponsored by JASH Board Member Mrs. Ina Tateuchi in honor of her late husband, Mr. Atsuhiko Tateuchi, who was a strong supporter of JASH and the JWC, was awarded to the overall top-scoring team in the competition, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Level A team. This team received a total of 225 points out of a possible 300 points at the competition.
In addition, this year, a generous donation from JASH Board Member and Educational Committee Chair Jean Rolles gave one additional team the chance to go to Japan: Maui Preparatory Academy Level A. This prize, named the Dr. Michael Leineweber Trip Award after Ms. Rolles’ fellow JASH Board member and friend who passed away in 2014, was awarded to one team from the top 20 scoring teams with over 100 points. The second highest scoring team in the Level B category from King Kekaulike High School was also awarded a trip from a generous anonymous donor. Thanks to Hawaiian Airlines, who sponsored the winning teams’ air fares to Japan, students and their advisors explored a variety of landmarks in Japan while traveling through the regions of Tohoku, Kanto, Kansai, and Chugoku.