Video Koshien is a competition 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. 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.
Winners of 2023 Video Koshien
Theme: The Future We Want To Build
Grand Prize & 1st Place U.S.: Woodinville High School (Washington)
It was an ambitious video that showed that a considerable amount of time had been spent on it. In the world that feels increasingly divided by race, income, religion, etc., I liked the strong central message of the video that we should start by accepting and understanding the culture of those around us. It must have been difficult to come up with the Japanese dialogue, but it was very well done. (Kyoko Shimomura / Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.)
The video did a great job in using real life examples of students’ backgrounds and families to tell a story of a future in which we appreciate each other’s cultures. Using real life photos and videos of their families and classrooms allows the viewer to relate to the future even more. (Chadwick Eason / Co-founder & COO, NABEA)
1st Place Japan: Okayama Korakukan High School (Okayama)
Included English Subtitles and had good usage of English throughout. They clearly stated the theme, and each individual scene was well thought out. I think that using a school report format as the way to share these themes was effective. I really enjoyed that they chose to focus on these universal themes of acting with compassion, personal responsibility, as well as themes about discrimination and participating in politics. The visuals were well acted and thought out. In the end they showed a case of compassion through a silent exchange with narrated English that was very well done and moving. Good message, good class involvement. Good video editing. I think they hit every mark! (Danielle Reed / Founder & CEO, PinPath, LLC)
The format of the video using the keyword “progress” as a roadmap to the future and each group doing a presentation, addressing diversity, was great. I also enjoyed the visual and audio elements that also conveyed a positive bright outlook. (Misako Ito / Secretary-General, CULCON)
2nd Place U.S.: Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest (New Jersey)
I really liked the creative storyline with the visitor from the future, the visuals, and the imaginative look at building a better future while teaching a lesson about bullying. (Sara Cook / Producer, CBS News)
2nd Place Japan: Ueda Nishi High School (Nagano)
I really liked the creativity of showing SDG issues in a before and after using great visual and sound effects. The drawing to introduce each issue was also great. The video showed that the students are thinking deeply about the SDGs through their daily school life. (Taichi Kaneshiro / Counselor, Embassy of Japan in the United States)
Special Senpai Award: Otemon Gakuin High School (Osaka)
Great job with the video! We loved the editing and how so many of the students were involved.
We also thought it was wonderful that it offered a different perspective from the other schools. The issue of smartphones is indeed a social problem, and we also feel that the time we spend interacting with people has decreased due to the use of smartphones, so we were drawn to the approach of Otemon High School’s class. -KAC Senpai (Bryson, Haruka, Shelbie, Siyu, Sofi, and Yui)
Judges (in alphabetical order)
Chadwick Eason / Co-founder & COO, NABEA
Misako Ito / Secretary-General, CULCON
Taichi Kaneshiro / Counsellor, Embassy of Japan
Danielle Reed / Founder & CEO, PinPath, LLC
Kyoko Shimomura / Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.