2019
17th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest

Sponsored by Onkyo Corporation
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education
Special Supported by The Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers

 
Purpose

Audiovisual manufacturer Onkyo Corporation, Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education, and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers established the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest in 2003 to build a bridge to the world of the visually challenged people who very closely feel the warmth of the people. In 2004, the scope of the contest expended with the addition of the International Category; starting with the 9th contest held in 2011, the name of this annual event has been changed to the "Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest."
The 17th contest held this year invited entries from Japan for the Japanese Category as well as entries from 85 countries for the International Category: 21 countries and regions in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) under World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBU-AP),23 countries in West Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East under Asian Blind Union (ABU), 41 countries in Europe under European Blind Union (EBU). As an international essay contest, the event promotes cross-cultural communication and serves as a bridge across an increasingly complex global community.


= Selection Results = (honorific titles are omitted)

Japanese Category The number of entries:108
Otsuki Award

Tokyo City

Tomoe Kigawa (52)
(Adult Group)
* Excellent Work

2nd grade, Advanced Physical Therapy Course,
Tottori Prefectural Tottori School for the Blind

Akemi Takeuchi (54) Japanese essay
* Fine Work

Tokyo City

Rio Sekiba (23) Japanese essay
(Student Group)    
* Excellent Work 3rd grade, Senior High School General Course,
Shizuoka Prefectural Hamamatsu Special Needs Education School
for the Visually Impaired
Kenta Kawashima (18) Japanese essay
* Special Prize (awarded to elementary school and middle school students)
 

5th grade, Elementary School, Osaka Prefectural Osaka Kita
Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired

Hinata Osaka (11) Japanese essay
(Supporting Group)
* Excellent Work Tokyo City Jun Komatsuzaki (35) Japanese essay
* Fine Work Nagoya City Mariko Fukuta (42) Japanese essay
     
Lyric Award 2nd grade, General Course of the High School at Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama School for the Blind Ryo Usa (17)
   
Selector’s Comments Kaoru Tamaoka
  Yuriko Matsumura

  * These essays link to Japanesse web site.

International Category
(Asia-Pacific Region) The number of entries: 54 entries from 13 countries
Cooperation: WBUAP (World Blind Union Asia-Pacific)
Otsuki Award Malaysia Kong Hwei Zhen (25; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work China Ma Gaoliang (55; male)
Fine Work Myanmar Ma Khaung Bram Nan (50; male)
  Korea Kim Jongsim (53; female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work China Zhao Houren (15; male)
Fine Work Thailand Werut Bulbon (16; male)
  Vietnam Luong Thi Tra My (17; female)

(West Asia, Central Asia, Middle East Region) The number of entries: 43 entries from 11 countries
Cooperation: ABU (Asia Blind Union)

Otsuki Award Kyrgyzstan Julia Yanvanchinova (34; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Pakistan Ester Jane (36; female)
Fine Work United Arab Emirates Abeer Abdullah Ellala (45; female)
  Iraq Khalil Muhammad Ibrahim (76; male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work India Sumera Khan (21; female)
Fine Work Afghanistan Esmaeel Meerwais (24; male)
  Lebanon Faten Jouni (24; female)

(European Region) The number of entries: 28 entries from 11 countries
Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Russia Tamara Andreeva (88; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Norway Nan Snarheim (41; female)
Fine Work Switzerland Alain Décoppet (66; male)
  Spain Ángeles Lafuente de Frutos (59; female)
(Junior Group)
Fine Work Poland Borys Kowalczyk (8; male)


(Award Ceremony)
For the Japanese Category, the presentation ceremony was held from 3:00 pm on November 7, at Onkyo抯 Tokyo Office. The prize of 200,000 yen was granted to Ms. Tomoe Kigawa or the winner of the Otsuki Award, and the prize of 50,000 yen was granted to Mr. Ryo Usa or the winner of the Lyric Award, besides a plaque and the Onkyo mini component system as an extra prize. The ceremony was attended by Ms. Kigawa and Mr. Usa as winners, in addition to vocalist, musical composer, and arranger, Mr. Akihito Tokunaga who composed music for the lyric which won the lyric award. In the venue, the award-winning song was played live.
For the International Category, winners will receive a plaque, prize, and a commemorative gift from the secretariat of each region.

>Japanese

Rich Life Brought by Person-to-Person Connections

photo:Mr.Naoto Otsuki
Onkyo Corporation Honorary President
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education Chief Director
Naoto Otsuki


 Even after so many impressive stories introduced in the past 16 Onkyo World Braille Essay Contests, the essays that we have received this time from all of you brought us fresh new surprises and discoveries in the various environments surrounding the visually impaired, and we have been deeply moved and encouraged by the fresh thoughts and insights of the writers. In the Japanese Category, I was impressed by the way people interact with each other to enrich their lives. In the International Category, I was made to think about the environment surrounding the award winners.

 Ms. Tomoe Kigawa, who won the Otsuki Award of the Year in the Japanese Category, wrote in her essay that a friend of hers from junior high school, more than 30 years ago, had achieved her dream of becoming a teacher at a school for the blind. Her irreplaceable relationship with her friend was vividly depicted, and it was a very heartwarming work.

 From the work of Ms. Kwon Weitzen (Malaysia), who won the Otsuki Award in the International Category for the World Blind Union - Asia Pacific (WBU-AP) Region, we learned that, based on the firm belief that “Disability does not Prevent Success”, she was able to achieve high goals one after another. And we were encouraged by Kwon’s efforts to improve the environment surrounding the disabled and to grow the community. Ms. Yulia Wan Nochinowa (Kyrgyz), winner of the Otsuki Award in the International Category for the Asian Blind Union (ABU) Region, looks at the future brought about by changes in the digital society. And those are the changes that could happen to everyone. The question of how each of us would view and respond to the changes made me think too. Ms. Tamara Andreeva (Russia), winner of the Otsuki Award in the International Category for the European Blind Union (EBU) Region, wrote about how a braille board literally saved her life. It was such a spectacular story as if I had just watched one movie. I was overwhelmed by the connection between her life and a braille board that she had never let go even for a moment in a harsh environment.

 In the Japanese Category, the Lyric Award was selected by Poet Yuriko Matsumura for three outstanding works with the help of Mr. Tokunaga, who composed music for the lyric. It reminds me of a scene where the writer was trying hard to type one letter at a time using the unfamiliar braille, hoping the letter would convey his thoughts about the beloved one. In these days when it is easy to get through email, it was fun to imagine what kind of person received the letter written by Mr. Usa with all his heart and the person who received it would be particularly happy.

 In closing, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have delivered wonderful works that resonate with me this year. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to The Mainichi Newspapers, the Braille Mainichi, WBU-AP, ABU, EBU, and those who have supported us in their respective countries for accepting entries, screening, and awarding the works.

 As globalization advances, I feel that it is increasingly important to build a world in which people from various positions understand each other and coexist, and to build a world where people can live peaceful and compassionate days for the future. I sincerely hope that this contest will continue to contribute to the promotion of such world and to the development of cross-cultural communication.



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>Japanese

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