All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest
The Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest (高円宮杯全日本中学校英語弁論大会; takamado nomiyahai zennihon chū gakkō eigo benron taikai) is Japan's largest English speech contest. It is hosted by Yomiuri Shimbun and the Japan National Student Association Fund (JNSA Fund) every November. Princess Takamado, is the honorary president.
The contest began in 1949 as 高松宮杯全日本中学校英語弁論大会 but after Prince Takamatsu's death in 1987, Prince Takamado and his wife became honorary presidents. The competition changed its name to the current form in 1999. When Prince Takamado died in 2002, Princess Takamado became the sole honorary president.
The competition is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MEXT, NHK, Prefectural Boards of Education , and 都道府県英語教育団体。
The competition is held over 3 days. The semi-finals are held on the first 2 days, and the final is on the last day.
The purpose of this Contest is to provide middle school students with opportunities to master English as an international language and to become internationally minded, thereby contributing to further enhancing the Japanese culture and to fostering friendship with peoples of the world.
Prefectural Contests and Central (Semifinal and Final) Contests
The Prefectural Contests shall take place in each of the 47 prefectures throughout Japan to be conducted by respective Prefectural Boards of Education or branch offices of The Yomiuri Shimbun in each prefecture. The participants chosen as finalists of these Prefectural Contests are eligible to participate in the Semifinal Contests in Tokyo on November 28 and 29 and the Final Contest on November 30 to compete for the Prince Takamado Trophy.
Date and Place The date, the time and the place shall be decided by each prefectural contest organizer.
Qualifications for Participation
- Students enrolled in middle schools in Japan who are recommended by their school principals.
Students who fall under (a) ~ (d) below are not eligible to participate:
- Those who, subsequent to their fifth birthday, resided in English speaking areas for a total of one year or more, or continuously for six months or more.
- Those who were, for over six months, enrolled in schools which actually provide education in English beyond the English language course (including International Schools, American Schools, or any other schools where over half of their curricula are conducted in English), irrespective of whether such schools are located within Japan or overseas.
- Those whose guardians or relatives from English speaking areas are residing in the same domicile.
- Those who won the 1st to 3rd places in any previous Prince Takamado Trophy's Final Contest.
- Those who have entered the Contest in violation of the above provisions shall be disqualified.
- As regards the question of qualifications in individual cases, the authority for the final decision rests with the JNSA Fund. In case of a doubt, please consult the Prince Takamado Trophy Secretariat of the Fund.
Terms and Qualifications for Application
- An application form for H.I.H. Prince Takamado Trophy Contest and two copies of the speech draft must be submitted to the prefectural contest organizer by the deadline specified by the organizer.
- Theme: Open.
Speeches should be those that reflect the opinion or message of the speakers in English, which have not yet been presented elsewhere. Speeches used in any of the preliminary contests related to the Prince Takamado Trophy, however, are allowed. Plagiarizing is strictly prohibited. Quotations must expressly be so stated. Speakers who violate these rules will be disqualified.
- Time Limit: Five minutes.
Exceeding the time limit results in deduction of points from the speaker's final score.
- Copyright: The copyright of the speeches of the prefectural representatives is reserved by the organizers of the Prince Takamado Trophy, the JNSA Fund and The Yomiuri Shimbun, as referred to below.
- Participants are not allowed to use any amplification equipment.
- Use of any eye-catching tools, excessive gestures and/or performance is prohibited.
- Standing in front, or by the side, of the lectern when delivering the speech is in principle prohibited, unless the contestant is considered to have justifiable reasons such as prohibiting physical conditions.
- Violation of one or more of the above rules may result in deduction of points from the final score.
The rules applicable to the Speech Division are mutatis mutandis applied to the Recitation Division. The participating students and/or their teachers should contact the respective prefectural contest organizers for information on application methods, title, time limit and other pertinent rules and guidelines. This Division is held at the prefectural level only; no central contest is organized.
English speaking areas
The term "English speaking areas" refers to the countries/regions which use English as
- their primary language,
- official language, or
- semi-official language.
The following 70 countries are listed as English speaking areas by the https://jnsafund.org/info/shikaku/ JNSA Fund website] May 2019.
The list has changed since 2010; Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and South Sudan were added, while Lebanon and Vanuatu were removed.
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