The six teams and their teachers, who participated in the 19th annual JASH Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition and were awarded a trip to Japan.
The six teams and their teachers, who participated in the 19th annual JASH Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition and were awarded a trip to Japan. (Screenshot photo courtesy of JASH)


Congratulations to the 72 students who participated in the 19th Annual Japan-America Society of Hawaii Japan Wizards Statewide Academic Team Competition (JWC), held virtually this past February. The students were from 15 high schools throughout O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, comprising of three students and one teacher for each team, totalling 24 competing teams. The teams were tested on their knowledge of various Japan-related topics such as art, culture, food, geography, history and language. Teams were divided into two levels depending on their current Japanese language level. Teams competing in Level A were enrolled in Japanese I or II and teams competing in Level B were enrolled in Japanese III or IV.

Due to the pandemic, the JWC was held virtually again this year. The preliminary round took place between Friday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 20 through an online quiz that each team member individually took. The test scores were then combined towards the total team score. The highest scored teams then advanced to the final round of competition held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

On Monday, March 7, JASH congratulated and announced the following JWC winners:

• Level A: Hawaii Baptist Academy (private) and Mililani High School (public)

• Level B: St. Joseph High School (private) and King Kekaulike High School (public)

Hawaii Baptist Academy Level A team was also awarded the Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship and the International Christian University Special Award for achieving the highest score of the final round. The four teams won a trip to Japan, and will travel along with their teacher once it’s safe to experience what they studied in the classroom. In addition, Waiakea High School Level B team and King Kekaulike High School Level A team were also awarded a trip. A retired public school teacher, who chooses to remain anonymous, expressed how her former students benefited from the JWC and requested that a second public school from Level B Waiakea High School — also got a chance to travel to Japan. King Kekaulike High School Level A was randomly chosen from the top ten list of teams who had the highest score during the preliminary round of competition and sponsored by JASH Board member and Youth Education Committee Chair Jean E. Rolles. Rolles gave this award, named the Dr. Michael Leineweber award, in honor of Dr. Leineweber — a loyal JASH supporter — who passed away in 2014.

JASH would like to thank their title sponsor Hawaiian Airlines along with ABC Stores; Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation; Freeman Foundation; Halekulani Corporation; Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation; International Christian University; The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles; Jean E. Rolles; License Academy; Temple University Japan Campus; and their anonymous donor. A “huge mahalo” as well to the many competition panel volunteers who helped the JWC run smoothly and gave up their Saturday to participate in a training session. The volunteers hailed from organizations such as Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu, and Kapi‘olani Community College; as well as some volunteers who dialed in virtually from Japan. JASH would like to extend their thanks to all those who helped make the JWC possible. There would not have been a competition and a chance for these six teams to get to go to Japan without everyone’s help and support.

For more information about Japan-America Society of Hawaii and their many programs that help further connect and promote friendship between Japan and Hawai‘i, go to


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