Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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February 20, 2015

Houston Japanese Speech Contest ( February 7, 2015)




On Saturday, February 7th, Japanese language students from the Greater Houston area gathered at the University of St. Thomas to compete in the 2015 Houston Japanese Speech Contest.  52 participants competed in 6 divisions, including poetry recitation, skit, and free speech.  The competition was presented by the Japan-America Society Houston (JASH) and the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston. Additional support was provided by the Japanese Teachers Association of Texas; Dr. Hans Stockton, Director of the Center of International Relations at University of St. Thomas; and Ms. LaVerl Daily, Former President of Ikebana International in Houston.

During the Opening Ceremony, participants and guests were greeted by JASH Executive Director, Ms. Patsy Brown; Dr. Hans Stockton; and Deputy Consul-General from the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, Mr. Atsushi Iwasaki.  Mr. Iwasaki spoke about how the difficulties of learning a language is far-outweighed by the benefits of interacting with and touching the hearts of a new culture.

After the Finals were held, closing remarks were given by JASH President Mr. Bill Weiland. Mr. Weiland was very impressed by the participants’ hard work and skill during the competition and also heartily thanked the Japanese teachers who had supported their students’ efforts.  After his remarks, Mr. Weiland handed out certificates to the top placements in each category.

The Consulate-General of Japan in Houston is pleased to announce the top placements in each of the six divisions:

Division I: Poetry, Beginner
First Place:          Olivia Jones (Cinco Ranch High School)
Second Place:    Fiona Yeung (Bellaire High School)
Third Place:         Kenia Zavala (Bellaire High School)

Division II: Poetry, Intermediate
First Place:          Daniel Hingco (Westside High School)
Second Place:    Bernice Tsao (Bellaire High School)
Third Place:         Uche Okwo (Morton Ranch High School)

Division III: Skit 
First Place:          The Bus Stop: Mario Barrera, Desmond Davis, Emely Montiel, Elena Nichols (Bellaire High School)
Second Place:    Japanese Telemarketer: Janica Abella, Alan Barron, Anh Nguyen, Yenny Nguyen, Seiji Williams (Bellaire High School)
Third Place:         Gaijin: Andrew Giang, Will Jones, Michael Ramsey (Cinco Ranch High School)

Division IV: Free Speech with Text 
First Place:          Jaein Kim (Cinco Ranch High School)
Second Place:    Suji Hong (James E. Taylor High School)
Third Place:         Zahra Atzuri (The Woodlands College Park)

Division V: Free Speech AURORA Preliminary 
First Place:          Katherine Revels (Cinco Ranch High School)
Second Place:    Sonia Rivera (Cinco Ranch High School)
Third Place:         Innkuk Park (The Woodlands College Park)

Division VI: Free Speech College and University 
First Place:          Irielou Alaba (Texas A&M)
Second Place:    Joshua Goodpaster (Texas A&M)
Third Place:         Jessica Ramirez Trejo (Texas A&M)



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