Students place in regional Japanese speech contest

Brynne Herzfeld, Voice Editor

Three CRHS Japanese students competed in the 27th Annual Houston Regional Japanese Language Speech Contest on Feb. 13, with two students placing within the top three of their event.

Danna Najjar placed second in Free Speech–Aurora  and will attend the state competition at Rice University on March 12. Camilla Chen placed third in Haiku.

Free Speech–Aurora requires students to memorize and recite a speech. Once recitation is complete, the judges and contestant engage in a question and answer session in Japanese. Entrants are judged on pronunciation, creativity and other speaking skills in the most advanced event category, Division 5.

Haiku, a Division 2 event, has entrants memorize and recite a provided haiku, explain it in English or Japanese and recite a self-written haiku. The provided haikus are all related to a certain season and contestants have one minute to explain the translation.

“We explain how it connects to a haiku we wrote and say our haiku,” Chen said. “I think the best way to win it is to incorporate emotions and movement.”

Contestants are also judged on their understanding of the provided haiku and the creativity of their own.

“If you move the judges, you’re most likely going to place,” Chen said. “You’ve just got to go out there, say it and smile.”