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Congratulations to our 2022 Japan Wizards Competition Winning Teams!



Congratulations to the 72 students who represented 15 high schools from Oahu, Hawaii and Maui at the 19th Annual JASH Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC)! Teams were comprised of three students each, with a total of 24 teams competing. The student-teams were tested on their knowledge of various Japan-related topics such as art, culture and tradition, food, geography, history, Japan-U.S./Hawaii ties, literature, politics and government, sports, contemporary Japan, and of course language. Students were divided into two levels: Level A or Level B, depending on their current Japanese language level. Level A students were enrolled in Japanese I or II, and Level B students were enrolled in Japanese III or IV.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the JWC was held virtually again with two rounds taking place on separate days. The Preliminary Round took place between February 18 and 20, 2022 through an online quiz that each team member individually took. Individual test scores were combined towards the total team score to determine the teams that would advance to the Final Round of competition held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, February 26, 2022.

Each year, JASH awards trips to Japan to the top scoring public and private school teams in each level. We are pleased to announce the JWC Japan trip winners:

Level A: Hawaii Baptist Academy (private) and Mililani High School (public)

Level B: St. Joseph High School (private) and King Kekaulike High School (public)

Hawaii Baptist Academy Level A team was also awarded the Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship and the International Christian University Special Award for achieving the highest score of the Finals.

Hawaii Baptist Academy Level A, top scoring private school for Level A, winner of the Tateuchi Memorial Award and International Christian University Special Award;

Mililani High School Level A, top scoring public school for Level A

St. Joseph High School Level B, top scoring private school for Level B

King Kekaulike High School Level B, top scoring public school for Level B

In addition, Waiakea High School Level B team was awarded a trip to Japan donated by a retired public school teacher, who chooses to remain anonymous. The donor expressed how her former students benefited from the JASH Japan Wizards Competition and requested that a second public school from Level B travel to Japan.

Finally, JASH Board member and Youth Education Committee Chair Jean E. Rolles sponsored a sixth award for a trip to Japan in honor of her friend and fellow JASH Board member, Dr. Michael Leineweber, who passed away in 2014. Dr. Leineweber was a loyal supporter of JASH who strongly believed in the educational programs that JASH conducts, especially those programs that encouraged exchanges between people from Japan and Hawaii. In his memory, Ms. Rolles sponsored a team chosen through a random drawing during the JWC awards ceremony. To qualify for this drawing, the team must have been in the top 10 scoring teams during the Preliminary Round of competition. The five teams who had already won Japan trips were not eligible for this drawing. The top 10 teams who qualified for this drawing were (in descending order by score): Hilo High School Level B, King Kekaulike High School Level A, Waiakea High School Level A, Hilo High School Level A, Hanalani Schools Level A, Moanalua High School Level B, Waipahu High School Level A, St. Joseph High School Level A, Waipahu High School Level B and Aiea High School Level A.

The winner of the Dr. Michael Leineweber Award was: King Kekaulike High School Level A.

These six teams of three students and their advisors will travel to Japan when, of course, it is safe to do so to experience firsthand what they studied in the classroom and through independent research.

Thank you to our title sponsor Hawaiian Airlines and other major supporters – ABC Stores; Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation; Freeman Foundation; Halekulani Corporation; Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation; International Christian University; The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles; Jean E. Rolles; License Academy; Temple University Japan Campus; and our anonymous donor – who through the JWC encourage high school students to study about Japan and the many fascinating topics associated with it.

Also, a HUGE mahalo to the Competition Panel volunteers who helped the JWC run smoothly and also volunteered their Saturday a few weeks ago for a training session. Volunteers were from organizations that included the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of Hawaii, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Hawaii West Oahu, and Kapiolani Community College, just to name a few. A couple of volunteers joined virtually all the way from Japan to help with the competition. Without their tremendous support, the JWC would not have been possible.

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