Students to compete in Japan Bowl

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Students enrolled in Japanese are getting ready to compete in the 2015 Japan Bowl competition to be held April 9 in Washington D.C.

The Japan-American Society created this rigorous competition in order to help students around the nation learn about Japan’s language, history, culture, and relationship with America. The competition tests the achievements of high schools around the United States in levels two, three, and four. The winning team of level four is declared National Champion and is also awarded with a free trip to Japan.

Japan Bowl lasts two days, and all participants compete in the preliminary round. The first day consists of a number of tests about Japan and its culture, including grammar, history, and daily society. The next day focuses on conversation.

“It is extremely competitive. TJ and Cupertino, a high school from California, are the powerhouses of the competition, and they’re very hard to beat,” former competitor senior Christina Bohnet said. “I would have to say the hardest part is knowing all the little tidbits of cultural information, especially things like J-pop and sports. As someone who does not listen to J-pop or follow sports, that part of Japan Bowl was hard for me.”

Only the top three teams at each level advance to the National Championship Round. It is modeled after the quiz show “It’s Academic.”

Aside from the competition itself, students have joined cultural workshops. These cultural workshops feature activities such as calligraphy and origami. Additionally, students have learned how to wear a kimono and play the koto. During last year’s 2014 Japan Bowl, competitors enjoyed a shamisen performance, saw a popular girl band from the Nara prefecture, and even met the man known as the Godfather of Sudoku, Madoka Kitao.

According to participants, this year’s competition is going to be full of fun surprises and adventures.

“I think this year’s going to turn out spectacular,” Japanese teacher Podell Sensei said.

If you take Japanese and are interested in participating, please stop by Podell Sensei’s room for more information.

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