The annual Japanese Olympiad of Indiana was held at Valparaiso University in Mueller Hall and the Christopher Center on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Over 150 high school students from over fifteen high schools across Indiana participated in teams of three in a quiz bowl style contest, complete with timed and “lightning” rounds. Their knowledge of the Japanese language was tested as they competed based on their level of study: second year, third year and fourth year. At their schools, their coaches and teachers helped them prepare for questions about grammar, vocabulary and writing systems, as well as questions about Japanese culture and history, proverbs, and Japan’s unique onomatopoeic expressions.
Bloomington North High School won for the second year level, Connersville High School won for the third year level, and Chesterton High School and Michigan City tied for the fourth year level.
Throughout the day, the participants had the opportunity to watch Japanese movies and participate in Japanese cultural activities lead by Rumi Mitsubayashi, the Japan Outreach Coordinator, and by members of the Japanese Club at VU. These activities included writing calligraphy, wearing yukata, making crafts, and playing Japanese games such as “karuta” and “jankenpon.” Two VU students, Sarah Louise and Adam Raynor, gave presentations about their experiences studying abroad in Japan. The Olympiad also gave the participants a chance to converse in Japanese and meet students from other schools who share their passion for the Japanese language and culture.
For news report of the Olympiad from Northwest Indiana TIMES, click here.
For news report of the Olympiad from Consulate General of Japan in Chicago, click here.