Global Classmates Video Competition is a contest where schools participating in our virtual exchange program, Global Classmates, create unique short videos that offer their distinctive perspectives on a central theme. The students in Japan narrate their video in English and the U.S. students narrate in Japanese.
We began this competition in 2014, in an age where impactful videos and stories can instantly spread across the world, to help nurture in students the ability to create valuable and globally appealing content.
It is not easy for students to come up with a succinct and compelling storyline for a short 3-minute video, as well as follow through the numerous steps it takes to complete their product. However, we are continually impressed by the high quality videos submitted that showcase the creativity, teamwork, and dedication that went in to making them.
Judging of videos consists of Kizuna Across Cultures first selecting eight top videos, after which a team of external judges, consisting of global leaders with a strong background in U.S. and Japanese culture and education, evaluate the videos on a variety of factors to select four winning videos, two from each country. One video is also selected for top honors – the grand prize.
Students participating in Global Classmates can view all submitted videos, allowing learning to happen for all. We continually receive student feedback such as, “I realized the diversity of the partner country and my own country,” and “I was inspired by the creativity and skills of the other schools’ students.”
Winners of 2022 Video Koshien
Grand Prize & 1st Place Japan: Okayama Korakukan High School (Okayama)
The video does a great job displaying the various reasons we need connection as humans for all types of emotions, whether happy or sad. Highlighting these reasons for connection as opposed to only settings in which we connect sets this video apart. (Chadwick Eason / Consultant, Deloitte; Co-founder & COO, NABEA)
This video made me feel the internal changes that the high school students went through during the pandemic and the importance of people-to-people exchanges. The students’ expressions were natural and great too. (Taichi Kaneshiro / Counsellor of Education, Embassy of Japan)
1st Place US: Stuyvesant High School (New York)
The three-minute video was well organized and drew me right in. I was impressed by how good everyone’s Japanese was. The message that connection from the class extends to the whole world and that’s the human experience really resonated with me. (Kyoko Shimomura / Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.)
The production quality of this video was really strong, and I liked that the students highlighted how they feel connected through their various school activities. Their Japanese was also very good! (Sara Cook / White House Producer, CBS News)
2nd Place Japan: Fukushima Minami High School (Fukushima)
I liked the storytelling through the introduction of a new student to the school and it was a great introduction to school life in Japan. I really enjoyed seeing how many students were involved. I can see the effort the students put into this video. (Danielle Reed / Founder, PinPath, LLC)
Using a transfer student as the main character and portraying the connections he makes at his new school worked really well. I also liked the fact that there were many lines in English. (Misako Ito / Secretary-General, CULCON)
2nd Place US: Hickman High School (Missouri)
I liked the innovative storytelling and the unexpected use of camera work and materials. The ending, in which the American pen pals were connected to each other in Japanese, was really well done in just a few minutes. (Misako Ito / Secretary-General, CULCON)
The depiction of the deepening of emotional connections through communication by letter was very well done. I was also impressed by the beautiful Japanese characters written in the letters. (Kenji Ono/ Director of Test Planning Division (Former Director of Office for Promoting Foreign Language Education, MEXT), The National Center for University Entrance Examinations)
Judges (in alphabetical order)
Chadwick Eason / Consultant, Deloitte; Co-founder & COO, NABEA
Misako Ito / Secretary-General, CULCON
Taichi Kaneshiro / Counsellor of Education, Embassy of Japan
Kenji Ono/ Director of Test Planning Division (Former Director of Office for Promoting Foreign Language Education, MEXT), The National Center for University Entrance Examinations
Danielle Reed / Founder, PinPath, LLC
Kyoko Shimomura / Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.
Pope Thrower / Public Diplomacy Coordinator, U.S. Department of State