J.LIVE 2016 Report


Watch the competition on Youtube (video by Brayboy Creative Video)

The second annual J.LIVE Talk 2016 was held on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at the George Washington University. With an emphasis on 21st century communication skills, J.LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk 2016 invited college level Japanese learners to showcase their presentation skills. The contest encouraged contestants to make use of audio-visual materials, audience interactions, and other innovations to enhance the messages they delivered in Japanese. Q&A sessions with the judges and audience members also allowed the contestants to display their interpersonal skills.

This was the first year that J.LIVE Talk opened its door to colleges and universities beyond the East Coast. The contest received over 40 entries from 18 schools in 12 states, from locales as diverse as California, Minnesota, and Texas. The 9 finalists and an alternate* who came to Washington, DC for the event had been selected a month prior to the event through a preliminary round of video presentations.

At J.LIVE Talk, a panel of five judges evaluated each finalist’s presentation by taking into consideration not only his or her linguistic proficiency, but also the vision and dynamism he or she displayed, and the level of audience engagement that he or she was able to achieve. Each finalist’s presentation, which was accompanied by PowerPoint slides and audio-visual clips, was followed by 2 to 3 questions from the judges and the audience. (Only the judges’ Q&A session had an impact on the contestants’ score; the Q&A with the audience was not scored.) Mr. Tamaki Tsukada, the Minister for Public Affairs of the Embassy of Japan, served as a judge. He said that that selecting awardees from amongst the finalists’ excellent presentations was a “very tough call.” After careful consideration, the following decisions were announced in the Award Ceremony.





Category I: Intermediate Low- Mid Level

  • Gold Award Winner: Brigette Faula A. Labastida, Old Dominion University: フィリピン系アメリカ人学生会 “Filipino-American Student group.”
  • Silver Award Winner: Tyler Burton, George Washington University: 効果的の勉強法:生きた経験の大切さ “The effective way to study: Importance of life experiences.”
  • Bronze Award Winner: Kenneth Mercado, California State University at Sacramento: ディズニーイマジニアになる “I will become a Disney Imagineer.”


Category II: Intermediate High- Advanced Low Level

  • Gold Award Winner: Kexin Ma, the College of William and Mary: 黒い茶碗の中の世界 “The world inside a black tea cup.”
  • Silver Award Winner: Sumrestar Beauchamp, The University of Findlay: 子供の目を持ちましょう! “Let’s live through children’s eyes!”
  • Bronze Award Winner: Hyung Jin Cho, the University of Maryland, College Park: マイクになってください “Please become the microphone.”


Category III: Advanced Mid- Advanced High Level

  • Gold Award Winner: Robert Duanmu, Cornell University: 中国語を勉強しろ! “Study Chinese!”
  • Silver Award Winner: Jong In (Joe) Chey, the University of Virginia: “Vision.”
  • Bronze Award Winner: Tak Chi Wan, Emory University: より充実した日々を送る方法 “How to live your days with more fulfillment.”

Cash awards of $300, $200, and $100 were presented, respectively, to the Gold, Silver, Bronze award winners in each category. Gold award winners also received additional exciting prizes. The Category I Gold award winner, Ms. Brigette Faula A. Labastida, received a scholarship to study at a six-week summer intensive Japanese language course at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, along with an ANA round-trip ticket from the U.S. to Japan and a living stipend of $2,700. The Category II Gold award winner, Ms. Kexin Ma, received a scholarship to study at a six-week summer intensive Japanese language course at the Naganuma School, along with an ANA round-trip ticket from the U.S. to Japan and a living stipend of $2700. The Category III Gold award winner, Mr. Robert Duanmu was offered a choice between an all-expenses paid tour of Japan from January 9-16, 2017 (as part of the Kakehashi Project organized and sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and an ANA round trip ticket from the U.S. to Japan.

The audience was impressed by the high quality of the presentations, as well as the depth of Q&A sessions this year. Also notable this year were networking opportunities for everyone involved. The “Breakfast Greetings” session served as a venue for Japanese language educators and supporters of Japanese education in America to meet each other and to exchange their views.  The  “Students’ Networking Tables”, hosted by the Japan Commerce Association of America and the Embassy of Japan, gave students the chance to meet and speak with representatives from the Japanese Embassy and various Japanese businesses and organizations. All attendees were invited to peruse booths set up by the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, Kinokuniya Book Stores of America, Naganuma School Tokyo, Nanzan University, and the recruiting company TOP NY. The event concluded with a raffle for which many prizes were donated by the following local and national Japan-related businesses (in alphabetical order): Bourbon Foods USA Corporation, Hana Japanese Market, Izakaya Blue Ocean, KIE/Kintestu International Travel, Kinokuniya Book Stores of America, Nikkei Asian Review, and Sushi Express.



Media Coverage



The J.LIVE Talk 2016 was made possible with generous support (in alphabetical order) from: All Nippon Airways, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, GW, The Embassy of Japan in the United States of America, George Washington University, Dr. Shoko Hamano, Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC, Inc, Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC, Foundation, Inc, Japan Foundation Los Angeles, Language Center, GW, Naganuma School, Nanzan University, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GW, Sojitz Foundation, TOP NY, Washington Japanese Heritage Center.