Video Koshien is a program-wide competition where students create unique short videos that offer their distinctive perspectives on a central theme. Normally students only engage with their partner school during the program, but Video Koshien allows them to watch the videos of students from other schools and explore new approaches to presenting their ideas using video and sound, all while learning about and deepening their understanding of the diverse cultures of their classmates from Japan and the U.S. Participation is not mandatory; however, most schools take on the challenge every year!
Widespread use of the internet has given people the ability to easily and instantly spread their thoughts and ideas to the world. Video is one of the most powerful mediums to do that, offering limitless possibilities for visual expression. Through Video Koshien, KAC hopes to develop and nurture students’ ability to articulate and disseminate information in today’s world.
Every year we ask global leaders with a strong background in U.S. and Japanese culture and education, such as individuals from the U.S. Embassy and in Japan from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to judge the competition. They evaluate the videos not only on language ability, but also on a variety of factors to select the winning videos. It is a lot of work to create the videos but that makes completing the video and winning an award all the more exciting. We receive comments from teachers and students how glad they were to have participated each year. The theme changes annually: the first year (2014) students created videos on “My School Introduction” and the second year (2015) students created videos on “My Culture, My Pride.”
It is not an easy task for students to come up with an idea for the video on their own and use a non-native language to present it; however, we are always left speechless at the quality of videos submitted. We are always impressed by the creativity and uniqueness of the high school students’ ideas, as well as their ability to have fun and work together.
2015 Video Koshien Winning Videos
Grand Prize & 1st Place：Asaka Kaisei High School (Fukushima）
Outstanding video for both presentation and content. I couldn’t believe the drone shot and the originality of having the camera “bow!” Plus, the content- focusing on one word and showing how it is used and its cultural significance- was great.John R Malott／Former President, Japan-America Society of Washington DC ）
I liked that this video showed how a deep value of the Japanese culture “bowing” is expressed in school. The videography was done well, especially showing the view from the person who is bowing. （Marion Friebus-Flaman/TOMODACHI Initiative）
2nd Place：Matsue Commercial High School（Shimane）
I enjoyed watching this video that focused on Japanese food culture. From table manners to fun obento designs, I think it showcased a lot of interesting things for people outside of Japan. (Kyoko Shimomura/ Wife of Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology )
I could see that a lot of creativity went into the format of this video, such as using good and bad table manner examples. They used both video and still images to effectively showcase a lot of information in a short amount of time. (Hideaki Kogo/ Senior Specialist for Curriculum, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
1st Place：Langley High School（Virginia）
Very sophisticated video of “culture” and very impressive command of Japanese. Everyone seems to have fun in this! (Yuuki Shinomiya/ Former Executive Director of International Student Conferences, Inc., Director of Strategy at Septeni Global)
Good theme and seamless presentation! It had great class participation from many students and very good Japanese pronunciation. (Nick Harling/ Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; Host of Let’s Talk Japan; Former JET Program Assistant Language Teacher)
2nd Place：Cass Technical High School（Michigan）
It was interesting to see how popular anime and cosplay are and I could see from the video that the students study Japanese very hard. (Kyoko Shimomura/ Wife of Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology )
The photo board video concept was used effectively to present the narrative and showcased Detroit in an interesting way. (Nick Harling/ Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; Host of Let’s Talk Japan; Former JET Program Assistant Language Teacher)
Judges (in alphabetical order)
Marion Friebus-Flaman TOMODACHI Initiative
Nick Harling Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; Host of Let’s Talk Japan; Former JET Program Assistant Language Teacher
Hideaki Kogo Senior Specialist for Curriculum, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ambassador John R. Malott Former President, Japan-America Society of Washington DC
Kyoko Shimomura Wife of Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Yuuki Shinomiya Former Executive Director of International Student Conferences, Inc., Director of Strategy at Septeni Global