College Japanese-Language Students Vie for Trophies, Japan Trip

by Lynn Moyers on April 26, 2017

On the 38th floor at KPMG in downtown Portland, with stunning views in all directions, students from seven regional colleges battled for prizes in the running of the 21st annual Toyama Cup. Split into two divisions dependent on their learning levels, students from Portland State University, Linfield College, Clark College, Mount Hood Community College, Pacific University Willamette University and the University of Oregon competed in a 4-minute “speech contest”, tackling a topic of their choice and answering judges’ questions.

Topics ranged from self-identity to the relationship between Japanese manga and western comics, as students wrestled with the combined challenge of a foreign language, public speaking, and being graded. More than 50 attendees, including teachers, parents, and friends came to cheer on their students.

The event is heavily-supported by Oregon’s sister state in Japan, Toyama-ken, who provide prizes for all and a week-long trip to Japan to the winner. The day started with a letter from Toyama’s governor, in appreciation for the efforts of all. Toyama partners with the Japan-America Society of Oregon, who provides the organization, logistics and volunteers to plan and run the project. At the conclusion of this year’s competition Michaela Duffy, a graduate of Linfield and last year’s winner, gave a short talk on her trip to Toyama last summer.

This year’s event produced speeches of the highest quality. When the dust settled, the winners were announced as follows:

Division I

1st Jack Glenn, Willamette University
2nd Nikolas Pahomsky, Portland State University
3rd Preston Fuller, Mt Hood Community Collage

Division II

1st Natasha Milligan, Willamette University
2nd Emily Carlson, PSU
3rd Jackie Shepherd, Clark College

For full event photos, click here.

2017 Winner, Natasha Milligan’s full report: Natasha Milligan’s Toyama Trip

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: