April 1, 2023
Student Achievement

Celebrating Japanese Language and Culture: The Thirteenth Annual Five College Japanese Speech Contest

On April 1, 2023, a vibrant celebration of Japanese language and culture took place at the thirteenth annual Five College Japanese speech contest. This event brought together 15 talented participants from UMass and Mount Holyoke College, showcasing their language skills in front of an audience of nearly 100 people. With a panel of distinguished judges, including Consul Honda from the Consulate General of Japan in Boston, the competition was an exciting display of linguistic prowess and cultural appreciation. 

The participants captivated the audience with their diverse range of topics from school life during the pandemic to the soul of katana and cold winter in New England. Their passion and dedication were evident as they eloquently expressed their thoughts in Japanese. 

In the First-Year Level category, Haiyi Cai from UMass emerged as the winner, delivering a captivating speech about voice and voice acting. Jason Tse, also from UMass, secured the second-place position, showcasing his linguistic skills in his melancholy speech about an unfulfilled dream. Moving to the Second-Year Level category, Hsiang-Hsun Wang from UMass talked about his journey of learning Japanese and won the first prize. Yinzi Chen from Mount Holyoke College followed closely with her eloquent speech about history, achieving an impressive second-place finish. In the Third- and Fourth-Year Level category, Shoji Rinaldi expressed his sincere feeling about his identity and was selected to represent UMass at the Japanese Speech Contest organized by the Consulate General of Japan in Boston the following week. Also selected was Haiyi Cai, who subsequently triumphed over other college-level contestants in the intermediate division, securing the first prize. Her exceptional performance showcased the strength of the Japanese language program at UMass and the dedication of its students. 

Following the intense competition at UMass, participants and the enthusiastic audience were treated to a delightful reception. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as attendees mingled, sharing stories and experiences related to Japanese language and culture.  

The Five College Japanese Speech Contest was a remarkable showcase of linguistic talent and cultural appreciation. The dedication and hard work of the participants were evident in their speeches, covering diverse topics that demonstrated their love for Japan's language and culture. Congratulations to all the participants for their outstanding performances, and special recognition to Haiyi Cai, Jason Tse, Hsiang-Hsun Wang, Yinzi Chen, and Shoji Rinaldi for their remarkable achievements.