The 2nd Xavier Cup Japanese Speech Contest held online with success on 5th December
The Xavier Cup speech contest was held online for the first time, with students from more universities than last year. Total of 13 speakers (excluding two speakers who were absent on the day) from Aoyama Gakuin, Dokkyo, Rikkyo, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Waseda and Sophia made presentations online.
Each speaker chose one subject from "Challenge for me in Japan", "My discovery in Japan" or "My proposal to Japan". Living and studying on one's own in Japan is itself a challenge for many speakers, and each presentation showed the speaker's sincere attitude living and studying here.
This year's judges were:
Ms Kazuko SHIRAISHI, former ambassador to Lithuania, Mr Masao TORII, President of Sophia Alumni Association, Ms Junko HIBIYA, Vice President of Sophia Alumni Association, Prof. Mitsuru HISATA, Vice President of Sophia University, Ms Maria ŻURAWSKA, Instytut Polski, Mr Hitoshi OHNO, former member of Japan Men's National Rugby Team, Mr Chander MEHRA, Manager, Indian Restaurant Tandoor.
All procedures of judging were conducted online. After long discussions, winners of the top three awards (below) and other awards were announced.
1st Place: Khoo Tzu Shien, Singapore, Sophia University
2nd Place: Fu Wenxia, People's Republic of China, Waseda University
3rd Place: Tian Shilan, People's Republic of China, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
The 1st place winner Khoo Tzu Shien's speech started with, "In Japan, every day is the day of some celebration. Today, the 5th December is International Volunteer Day." Then he moved on to Matsuo Basho, a prominent haiku poet in Edo era, then to his own travels in Japan with many discoveries.
Ms Kazuko Shiraishi, head of judges, gave commentary:
"Judgment process was hard because of the excellent level of your speeches. Your 'challenges' have started when you decided to come and study in Japan. I was very impressed that you all have been working hard to improve till now, to change weakness you think you have inside. Then, your 'discoveries' in Japan, thank you for showing things even unknown to us Japanese people. Thank you for choosing to come to Japan. Next year, see you face to face in Yotsuya!"
Thanks to the contest held online, speakers' family members back home watched the presentations; one speaker made the presentation from her home in Beijing; a speaker from last year gave a comment from South Korea: "Having made a presentation in Japanese to many people last year was one of the highlights of my experience. It gave me confidence and encourages me."
To all participants from overseas, this speech contest - another challenge in Japan - hopefully would be an experience that enriches the years ahead.
The 2nd Xavier Cup Japanese Speech Contest is available on YouTube: