WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC) is excited to announce that the 31st National Japan Bowl competition will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 13-14, 2023, at the University of Maryland College Park Campus.

For the past 31 years, JASWDC has organized the Japan Bowl to recognize and encourage students across the United States who have chosen Japanese as their foreign language. The National Japan Bowl, America’s only nationwide Japanese-language competition, is vital for inspiring students and reinforcing their teachers’ and school districts’ efforts and investments. Among the National Japan Bowl alumni are tomorrow’s leaders of our diplomatic, commercial, security, and cultural relations with Japan. Many credit the Japan Bowl as an important motivator in their endeavors.

After three years of successful online competitions, the National Japan Bowl returns to an in-person format for the first time since 2019. The Society looks forward to welcoming approximately 200 students and teachers from around the country to participate in the two-day competition.

The Championship Rounds and Awards Dinner will occur on Friday, April 14, and will be broadcast the following week on the JASWDC YouTube channel. Viewers can expect appearances from Japan Bowl Honorary Patron Her Royal Highness Princess Takamado and other Japan Bowl supporters alongside surprise VIP guests to be announced closer to the date.

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC has supported the creation of twenty regional Japan Bowl competitions across America and worldwide, giving the program a global impact.

The National Japan Bowl is proud to be a “participating event” of Washington DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Participating Schools

  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, VA
  • Liceo Mexicano Japones, MX
  • Ocean Lakes High School, VA
  • Eastern High School, KY
  • Center for Global Studies at Brien McMahon High School, CT
  • Lynbrook High School, CA
  • Cupertino High School, CA
  • Lake Braddock Secondary School, VA
  • Paint Branch High School, MD
  • St John’s School, GU
  • Townsend Harris High School, NY
  • Maggie L Walker Governor’s School, VA
  • Stuyvesant High School, NY
  • The Woodlands High School, TX
  • Stevenson School, CA
  • Langley High School, VA
  • Hayfield Secondary School, VA
  • Montgomery Blair High School, MD
  • Gretchen Whitney High School, CA

Summary of the Event

The Japan Bowl is not just a challenging and fun competition; it also allows students to experience Japanese culture firsthand and meet other students who share their interest in Japan and its language.

Competitors are divided into three levels during the competition based on how long they have studied Japanese. Each school sends a team of two to three students to compete at each level. Over two days, teams tackle 90 questions and a conversation round. Finally, the top three teams from each level will face off in the championship rounds to determine who will be crowned this year’s national champions.

Students will enjoy live workshops between rounds, including origami, tea ceremony, and Japanese cooking demonstrations. Students and teachers can also network with each other and various Japanese cultural organizations, universities, and sponsors to learn more about study abroad programs and Japanese language and cultural opportunities outside the classroom.

The National Japan Bowl’s top winners travel to Japan for a week of cultural experiences with host families and Japanese students and an audience with dignitaries, including Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, the National Japan Bowl’s honorary patron.

Contact Information

For more information about the National Japan Bowl, contact Elece Smith at [email protected]. For media access and press coverage of the event, contact Olivia Kent at [email protected].

About the Japan-America Society of Washington DC

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC is a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in the US capital of Washington, DC, which fosters the grassroots relationship between the United States and Japan and its citizens. The Society promotes this friendship through more than 70 annual programs and events, from cultural activities such as the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival, the nation’s largest celebration of Japanese culture, to educational events such as the National Japan Bowl, an annual Japanese language competition.

Press Contacts

For more information, please get in touch with Olivia Kent at [email protected].