JASH Japan Wizards Competition Sends Six Teams to Japan in Summer 2019

On February 23, 2019, 126 students representing 27 high schools from Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai participated in the 16th Annual Japan-America Society of Hawaii’s (JASH) Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC) at Hawaii Tokai International College. Teams were comprised of three students each, with a total of 42 teams competing. The 42 teams competed in one of two levels, A or B, depending on the Japanese language class they were enrolled in at their respective high schools. Students were tested on their knowledge of various Japan-related topics such as art, culture and tradition, food, geography, history, Japan-Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, contemporary Japan, and of course language. The theme for the 2019 competition was “Nihon no Kankyō Mondai: An Ever-Changing Japan.”

At the conclusion of the JWC, the annual Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship, given by JASH Board Member Ms. Ina Tateuchi in honor of her late husband, Atsuhiko Tateuchi, who was a strong supporter of JASH and the Japan Wizards Competition, was awarded to the overall top-scoring team in the competition, ‘Iolani School Level B team.

‘Iolani School Level B team receiving the plaque for the Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship

JASH awarded Japan trips to the top scoring public and private school teams in each level. Level A: Punahou School and Moanalua High School and Level B: ‘Iolani School and Kapaa High School. The Japan Wizards Competition title sponsor, Hawaiian Airlines, sponsored the four top scoring teams’ airfare to Japan. Additionally, Hawaii Baptist Academy Level B team was randomly selected to receive the Dr. Leineweber Trip Award, thanks to the generous donation from JASH Board Member and Youth Educational Committee Chair Ms. Jean Rolles. This award is named after her friend and former JASH Board member, Dr. Michael Leineweber, who passed away in 2014. H.P. Baldwin High School Level B team was also awarded a trip to Japan generously donated by an anonymous retired public school teacher. The donor expressed how her former students benefited from the JASH Japan Wizards Competition and requested that the second highest scoring public school from Level B travel to Japan. Students and their advisors traveled to Japan this summer to experience firsthand what they studied in the classroom and through independent research. Each team created their own itinerary, incorporating an educ