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 2019 Video Koshien
Grand Prize: Toho High School (Tokyo)
It was so unique and original to express friendship through hip-hop music. The concept and their ability to express it, along with their dance skills and storyline made this video great. (Kyoko Shimomura/ Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.)
Using music and dance unique to the youth, the video presented friendship in an original style. Amazing concept and presentation skills! (Hiroyuki Takai/ Board of Director, JCAW Foundation, Inc. ; General Manager, Washington office, Sumitomo Corp of Americas)
2nd Place: Keisen Jogakuen High School (Tokyo)
I could really feel the students enjoying high school life from the video. I can also tell that they are studying English very hard. (Kenji Ono/ Director, Office of the promotion of foreign language education bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan)
It was very fun to hear honest thoughts about what friendship is from different types of students. I was able to understand from this video that there are infinite definitions of friendship. (Takehiro Shimada/ Minister for Communications and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Japan, Washington, DC)
1st Place: Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (Virginia)
By interviewing people and showing many different aspects of school, it made me feel like I was part of the group. (Kenji Ono/ Director, Office of the Promotion of Foreign Language Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan)
Baking a cake together on the path to friendship and gathering ingredients of friendship from different groups was very creative. I was impressed by their high level of Japanese as well. (Danielle Reed/ Senior Program Director, S&R Foundation)
2nd Place: Elkhorn High School (Nebraska)
Great use of clips from all over school and nice integration of teachers. Great production! (Daniel Tani/ Director, US-Japan Foundation)
It was a unique idea to use everyday scenes from school life and narrating over it. The last part where two teachers express what friendship is in English would make a great educational material for Japanese students! (Misako Ito/ Secretary-General, CULCON)
Judges (in alphabetical order)
Kenji Ono/ Director, Office of the promotion of foreign language education bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan
Danielle Reed/ Senior Program Director, S&R Foundation
Takehiro Shimada/ Minister for Communications and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Japan, Washington, DC
Kyoko Shimomura/ Advisor, Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.
Hiroyuki Takai/ Board of Director, JCAW Foundation, Inc. ; General Manager, Washington office, Sumitomo Corp of Americas
Daniel Tani/ Director, US-Japan Foundation