KCP Holds August Speech Contest

On August 1, KCP student Bethany employed her Japanese oratory skills in KCP’s speech contest. She also participated in a costume-play entertainment segment. Bethany is a student from the University of California, Irvine, and is attending KCP through a program with Western Washington University.

Bethany at far left, wearing a samurai costume and a hachimaki. |KCP at Flickr

Hachimaki (“helmet scarf”) is a Japanese headband that was made infamous by the kamikaze pilots in WWII who were known to crash their planes into enemy aircraft. They were also known as suicide attackers. It symbolizes perseverance in the Japanese culture by anyone who wears it. It is worn tosymbolize taking pride in one’s work. It typically displays the symbol of the rising sun on white or red cloth.

A KCP student gives a speech. | KCP at Flickr

Most of the students were nervous about speaking in public in a language they are still in the process of learning. Cheers and encouragement from fellow classmates were a source of inspiration to get through the challenge. It was a proud moment for the students after many hours of studying and learning about the Japanese language and culture.

As a breather from the mounting tension from students about to say their speeches in the Japanese language, another student exhibits his talent in the martial arts of Kung Fu. This display made it easy to put smiles on the faces of the audience. | KCP at Flickr

Many students are awarded prizes and commendations for their wonderful performances in the speech contest. It goes to show that the many hours of studying and learning have finally reaped rewards. | KCP at Flickr

More students share what they have learned from the Japanese culture by singing Japanese songs. | KCP at Flickr

KCP students wear yellow ribbons to demonstrate the Yosakoi dance. In the Japanese tradition, a yellow ribbon is a Medal of Honor that recognizes professionals who are considered role models for the public through hard work. | KCP at Flickr

Yosakoi (“come at night”) is a Japanese dance that originated in Kōchi, the main city in Shikoku Island, Japan, in 1954.  The style of Yosakoi dancing involves traditional Japanese dance, energetic moves, and modern music. Happi coats (a traditional straight sleeved Japanese coat) and Yukatas (a summer kimono made of cotton) are worn when dancing Yosakoi. It has become increasingly popular with many Yusakoi festivals being held all across Japan.

Check out more photos of the speech contest at our Flickr site!