join us and enter our virtual speech contest for college students in Oregon and Southwest Washington

Toyama Cup Virtual Japanese Speech Contest

Saturday, April 22, 2023

On Saturday, April 22nd, local Oregon college students that study the Japanese language and their supporters gathered on Zoom for the 27th Annual Toyama Cup. The event is a speech contest sponsored by Japan’s Toyama prefecture, Oregon’s sister state, and hosted by the Japan-America Society of Oregon (JASO). The event consists of a lower and higher level, with the champion of the higher level winning a trip and week-long stay in Toyama. All winners and runners-up received a variety of gifts from Toyama.

This year’s competitors came from top Japanese programs around the state, including Lewis & Clark College, Pacific University, Reed College, University of Oregon, and Willamette University.

Community involvement is heavy, not only with volunteers from the Education and Executive Committees at JASO, but with judges from Shokookai of Portland, the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, the International School of Beaverton, and the Association of Teachers of Japanese in Oregon (ATJO). Participants were congratulated by Governor Nitta of Toyama Prefecture and Consul General Yoshioka in Portland.

Contestants chose their own speech topics, which ranged from public education to the customs and history of tea, displaying not only their passion for the Japanese language, but also their interests and how these are reflected in Japan. During the event, participants had the chance to engage with past Toyama Cup champions and guests from Toyama Prefecture.

After extremely close-fought competitions, Eliana Bly of Lewis & Clark College came in first of the lower division, and Lucas Carmichael-Tanaka of Reed College conquered the higher division, winning the free trip and stay in Toyama, Japan.

Toyama Cup showcases the excellence of Japanese language programs all over Oregon, providing high school students in our community many local options if they choose to pursue their love of the Japanese language in higher education institutions. The Japan-America Society of Oregon will continue to work to support this community of students, teachers, and programs; and equally, the sister-state relationship with Toyama that brings greater richness and opportunity to all.

Full Results:

Level 1

First Place: Eliana Bly of Lewis & Clark College,

Second Place: Charlotte Jaguzny of Lewis & Clark College

Third Place: Ciel Morrill of Willamette University

Level 2

First Place: Lucas Carmichael-Tanaka of Reed College

Second Place: Emily Zuber of Willamette University

Third Place: Eric Lane of University of Oregon

2023 Event Day Schedule (this may change)

4:00-4:15 PM                     Welcome and Zoom Etiquette
4:15-4:20 PM                     Greeting from Toyama
4:20-4:25 PM                     Toyama Cup Guideline
4:25-4:55 PM*                   Level 1 Speech
5:00-5:30 PM*                   Level 2 Speech
5:30-6:10 PM                     Networking with guests from Japan
5:30-6:10 PM                     Judge’s Evaluation
6:10-6:40 PM                     Judges Commentary, Presentation of Awards                                                        
*Please note that times may vary.

2023 Winner – Lucas Carmichael-Tanaka from Reed College Read speech here.

2022 Winner – Ada Martin from Willamette University Read speech here.

2021 Winner – Tanner Arakaki from Pacific University Read speech here.

2020 Winner – Rey Takahashi from Willamette University Read speech here.

2019 Winner – Ronan Hall from Lewis and Clark College. Read about Ronan’s trip here.
2018 Winner – Jack Glenn from Willamette University. Read the news article here.

2017 Winner – Natasha Milligan from Willamette University. Read Natasha’s Trip Blog here.
2019 PhotosView here.

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors:

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors:

Thank you to our Bronze Sponsors:

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