Video Contest


The Terasaki Nibei Foundation announces the 1st video contest for Japanese language learners, sponsoredby the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies with the support of Japan Foundation Los Angeles


ビデオコンテスト 最終フライヤーアップデート


The Terasaki Nibei foundation( is a non-profit organization established by Dr. Paul Terasaki. It provides a variety of cultural, informative classes and performances directed by Japanese Americans. The foundation has become a hub of cultural exchanges for people with deep, fond roots in America and Japan. As a mission of the foundation being the promotion of mutual understanding between America and Japan, we would like to begin hosting annual video/script contests for Japanese language learners in America.  

Under the current COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese language learners have limited opportunities to showcase their learning outcome in and out of their class activities. The aim of the contest is to encourage learners who are studying Japanese to exhibit their language skills in a challenging context. The foundation expects this event will continue annually as far as there are enough applicants each year.The contest theme is “What is 日本 (Japan) for you?” The contestant will choose of these three themes;  


1) Traditional culture (History; 伝統文化、時代劇)


2) Anime-pop culture (Contemporary; 現代劇、日常)


3) Language related (Experience as Japanese learners; 日本語学習関連)


The product formats are either; video (mp4, mov or other audio-visual formats), script (word, pdf or other text formats), or fictional essay (word, pdf or other text formats) that would be used for making a short film in the future. 



  • Contestant may select his/her own favorite topic relating to 日本 (Japan).
  • Each project is done individually or in a group of 4 or less. 
  • The video project has to be around ten (10) minutes, maximum 12 (twelve) minutes.
  • The language used in the video is sorely Japanese. In case you use language(s) different than Japanese, the amount should not exceed 20% of the project and need to input subtitle in Japanese.
  • The script project is for ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes short film. 
  • The essay project is 5-10 pages (single space 12 fonts) to serve as an original story of a short film in the future. 
  • Winners will be determined by the judges appointed by the Terasaki Nibei foundation. 
  • The works of the winners will be uploaded to Japan Foundation Los Angeles website and awards will be sent directly from the Terasaki Nibei foundation to the winters. 


Restrictions : 

  • Applicants must be non-native speakers of Japanese who have enrolled into Japanese language/culture class last five years at accredited institution or native speakers of Japanese who live outside of Japan and have never been educated in Japanese school system longer than 3 years in their life. 
  • The maximum oapplication for each contestant is one per category.  
  • The work should be the original of the applicants. The use of any images/music/contents that are found from other publication is strictly prohibited. In case students would create their own animation using copyright free digital materials, the original resource should be cited.  
  • If the application exceeds 15 per categories, the organizer will ask applicants who submit multiple works to choose the best one for entry.



ぼしゅうさくひん:1)ビデオ(10分―12分)2)だいほん(スクリプト)は10分から15分のミニドラマようのもの 3)15分以上のドラマがつくれるものがたり(げんさく)



Terms: Submission due will be January 31,2021. The results will be out in early March, 2021. 

How to apply: Fill in the application form first. The organizer will send you the Dropbox link to upload your work. 


Read more


Lead Judges: 


Kundo Koyama 
Born in Kumamoto in 1964. While an undergraduate, he began his career as a 
broadcast writer, and to date, has planned and made a great number of Japanese 
TV programs including “Humiliation of Canossa,” “Iron Chef,” “Tokyo Wonder 
Hotel,” and “New Design Paradise.” He received Screenplay of the Year for the film 
Okuribito (Departures) at the 32nd Japan Academy Film Prizes.  
In addition to Scriptwriter, he also works as Kumamoto Prefecture Regional Project Advisor, Vice President of Kyoto University of Art and Design, Proprietor of Shimogamosaryo, and Director of Kyotokan. He is also known as the producer of “Kumamon”. 


Yuichiro Uno 
Born in Aichi in 1978. He received BA in policy management concentrated on media journalism from Keio University. He began his career as a program director of NHK in 2002. His major works include “Last NINJA” (Director/49min./2011), ETV-Special “Lost Technology YOHEN” (Director/60min./2016), and the reality show “Shigoto Hakkenden” which focusing on another life of TV stars. It became a regular program on the prime time in 2011-2014. (Producer/43min.×46). 
His recent work “Cheer players” has been nominated to Webby Award, 2020. 
He was a visiting researcher of UCLA Terasaki center for Japanese Studies in 2017-2018. 


QR contents for video contest




Q1: Should we submit the script of the video project?  

A1: No, you do not have to submit the script of the video project.  

Q2: Can we submit one work as three projects if we started with an essay, then wrote a script, and created a video? 

A2: No, you can only submit one per category. Please select the best format (essay, script, or video) for your project. 

Q3: Is it OK to record an individual presentation for the video project? 

A3: You can select any mode for the video project. However, it is not recommended the only one person speak for 10-12 minutes like a presentation for this contest. 

Q4: Can I use the work that was previously made? 

A4: You can submit the work that you already made unless the work was officially published. 

Q5: How many characters/roles (登場人物)can we use for a script project? 

A5: There is no restriction of the number of characters/roles per a drama. However, as explained in A3, the recommended genre is “drama” not a “presentation.” 

Q6: How do you determine the winner? Do you divide the contestants into certain age groups? 

A6: No, we will select the best work from each category and theme. The total of 9 winners would be awarded. We may create a “special award” if future sponsors is willing to select their own interests. 

Q7: Do you have a sample for each project? 

A7: The sample instruction to create the script project as project works in class is found in the following link.

Q8: Do I submit the registration form at the same time when I submit my video/script file? 

A8: No, you submit the registration form then we will send you the link to submit your file. 




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