The Oregon Cup English Presentation Contest is coming up!

During the Toyama Prefectural Governor’s visit to Lewis & Clark College this summer, Governor Nitta shared that this year, the Toyama Prefectural Government would be hosting an Oregon Cup English Presentation Contest with university students from Toyama. Not only is it open for anyone to watch online, but the contest is also looking for students from universities in Oregon to serve as advisors for the student presenter groups. If you are interested in helping Japanese university students with their English, please feel free to apply!

Contest Date/Time: Saturday, December 17th , 2022, 4:30-7:30 PM, PST

Who is eligible to participate: Undergraduate and graduate students of private and public colleges and universities in Oregon and Southwest Washington who are English speakers and are preferably currently learning Japanese at their school.

Information for participants: Each presentation team will consist of about three to four members. (At least one of them will be a student from the Oregon side. Oregon participants will be recruited separately, and the organizers will randomly form groups with students from the Toyama side.) Participants from Toyama will prepare a 7-minute presentation in English based on the topic “Creating the Future with SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)” (For more information on SDGs: https://sdgs.un.org/goals#goals). Participants from Oregon will support those from the Toyama side by advising them on correct English sentence construction, pronunciation, and ways to make their presentation effective and appealing to an Oregonian (American) audience. Presenters on the day of will only be from Toyama.

How to apply: Please apply by October 21st (Fri.) using the following application form: https://shinsei.pref.toyama.lg.jp/MFx6YKCq

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The Toyama Prefectural Friendship Delegation visited the State of Oregon!

As you know, Toyama Prefecture and Oregon State greeted the 30th anniversary of their friendship agreement last October. However, due to COVID-19, exchanges between the governors of Toyama and Oregon were conducted remotely.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, a group of approximately 50 officials from Toyama Prefecture, including Governor Nitta, heads of many Toyama-based corporations from the Toyama Association of Corporate Executives, and prefectural employees from the International Affairs Division and other offices, came to Oregon from July 31 to August 6.

The delegation’s goal was not only to celebrate the 30th anniversary with a commemorative banquet, albeit a year later, but also to make connections with Oregon’s business community. This gave the delegation the opportunity to visit institutions connected with entrepreneurship in Portland, such as the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) and the Art Design Exchange (ADX), as well as connecting with local companies such as Hitachi High-Tech America, Nike, and Shredding Systems, Incorporated. There were also opportunities for education-focused exchange, with a lecture and Q&A with Director Arsh Haque from the Portland State Business Accelerator, and a visit to Lewis & Clark University. Finally, the delegation was able to experience Oregon culture firsthand through a tour of the Portland Japanese Garden and a winery with connections to Toyama located in McMinnville.

Governor Nitta and Oregon’s Governor Brown met at the State Library of Oregon in Salem to formally meet in person, and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to expand economic relations between Toyama and Oregon that they had previously agreed upon. The two also exchanged words about plans for the future, including Governor Brown’s upcoming visit to Asia this fall. Governor Nitta remarked that he would be pleased to welcome her to Toyama. The previous day, he had also been able to meet with Barbara Roberts, the former governor of Oregon who signed the original friendship agreement in 1991. Both the attendees from Toyama and those from Oregon who assisted and met with the delegation were able to broaden their horizons regarding the future of US-Japan relations through this long-overdue week of learning and exchange. The strong ties shared on both sides has us excited for the next 30 years of the Toyama-Oregon friendship.

Congratulations to the winner of the 26th annual Toyama Cup!

On Saturday, April 23rd, Toyama Prefecture and the Japan-America Society of Oregon held the 26th annual Toyama Cup. The speech contest was held online for the third year in a row, and Oregon or Southwest Washington-based students from the University of Oregon, Pacific University, Lewis & Clark College, Reed College, and Willamette University participated this year. The speech topics included theater, biculturalism, V-Tubing, the four seasons, and the upper division winner, Ada Martin from Willamette University, spoke on environmentalism and her experience with the recycling culture in Japan. Her interest in wanting to share Japan’s system of trash sorting and recycling to those in foreign countries showed through clearly in her speech, and we hope to welcome her to Toyama soon and share even more about life in Toyama and Japan as a whole. Congratulations to Ada and to all the other participants of the 26th Toyama Cup!

In addition to the competition, Toyama Prefectural JET Programme participants, including two former ALTs from Oregon, introduced their favorite parts of the prefecture, their experience on JET, and how they were able to use their Japanese to secure jobs in Japan. Finally, a networking session between contest participants, JETs, and members of the community from both sides allowed for a discussion on furthering the Toyama-Oregon relationship.

Every year, Toyama Hot News publishes an issue about the winner’s stay in Toyama, and we will do the same this year! For more information about the Toyama Cup, please visit: http://jaso.org/toyama-cup-2/

The 25th Toyama Cup Japanese Speech Contest

Every year, in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Oregon, Toyama Prefecture holds the Toyama Cup, a speech contest for university students studying Japanese in Oregon and SW Washington. The winner of the highest level contest is awarded a week-long visit in Toyama by the prefectural government. This year’s Toyama Cup will once again be held online, which means that subscribers to the Toyama Hot News newsletter can watch the event live and support Toyama-Oregon friendship no matter where they are! Sign up at the following link:

Japan-America Society of Oregon – 日本語スピーチコンテスト「第25回富山カップ」視聴申し込み (wildapricot.org)

Date: April 24 2021 from 4pm to 7pm (Oregon Time)

Location: Online using zoom

Spaces: 15

Every year, Toyama Hot News publishes an issue about the winner’s stay in Toyama, and we will do the same this year! For more information about the Toyama Cup, please visit: http://jaso.org/toyama-cup-2/

Cosmos Flowers in Tonami

Tonami City is famous for its tulips, but every fall, cosmos flowers brighten the slopes of the Tonami Yume no Taira ski resort. Many families from around the prefecture come see this beautiful spectacle. With over a million flowers and stunning views of the Tateyama Mountain Range and Toyama Bay, the Cosmos Watching event is a must-see every year.

Toyama Hot News Update

Here is a quick update about the Toyama Hot News Blog!

In addition to information about international exchange and relations with Oregon, I will also be posting very short articles about hidden places to see and things to do in Toyama Prefecture! This blog will be updated minimum twice a month. Feel free to leave comments about what you would like to see posted in the future!

 

The winner of the 23rd Toyama Cup visited Toyama!

Every year, in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Oregon, Toyama Prefecture holds the Toyama Cup, a speech contest for university students studying Japanese in Oregon and SW Washington. The winner of the highest level contest is awarded a week-long visit in Toyama by the prefectural government.

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Lewis and Clark College’s Ronan Hall won this year’s Toyama Cup and stayed in Toyama Prefecture for a week in early July. She paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General before embarking on a trip that showed her some of the beautiful sites of our prefecture.

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She visited the Kurobe Gorge and Gokayama, but also got to interact with students at Toyama Prefectural University, and even participated in a summer festival in the neighborhood where she was staying with her host family.

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We hope that Ronan’s experience will drive exchange between Toyama and Oregon, and we look forward to welcoming the next speech contest winner!

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For more information, please visit: http://jaso.org/toyama-cup-2/

The Oregon Booth at the JET World Festival 2019 and the 23rd Toyama Cup

Originally written for the Vol.12-No.5 edition (March 22, 2019) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.

The Oregon Booth at the JET World Festival 2019

Every year, Toyama Prefecture Coordinators for International Relations organize the JET World Festival, a festival focusing on international exchange and multicultural understanding, with the help of Assistant Language Teachers working in the prefecture. For its 24th edition, this year’s festival was held on February 17th at the Toyama International Conference Center.

The festival featured a stage with cultural performances, and international café with tea and snacks, a kids’ corner, a multicultural experience workshop area, and most of all, the international booths, where volunteers introduced the diverse places they are from. This year’s international booths once again featured the Oregon booth, where Corvallis-native and 4th year ALT Anthony proudly showcased his home state to the over 700 visitors. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce Oregon, Toyama Prefecture’s sister state, to residents here.

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The families and students who came to the booth learned about how Toyama and Oregon both have active outdoor scenes and magnificent natural environments, with Anthony introducing many of the beautiful sights through pamphlets, maps, and the “Only Slightly Exaggerated” video from Travel Oregon. He also talked about the thriving craft beer industry in Oregon, and contrasted it with how that industry is growing here in Toyama.

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Anthony is one of the 5 ALTs from Oregon who are currently working in Toyama Prefecture through the JET Programme. Friendly relations with Oregon began in 1991 and since 1997, 42 JET Programme participants from Oregon have worked in schools and government around the prefecture.

Learn more about the Toyama JET World Festival here: https://toyamazing.wordpress.com/

The 23rd Toyama Cup Japanese Speech Contest

Every year, in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Oregon, Toyama Prefecture holds the Toyama Cup, a speech contest for university students studying Japanese in Oregon and SW Washington. The winner of the highest level contest is awarded a week-long visit in Toyama by the prefectural government. Every year, Toyama Hot News publishes an issue about the winner’s stay in Toyama, and we will do the same this year! For more information about the Toyama Cup, please visit: http://jaso.org/toyama-cup-2/

The winner of the 2018 Toyama Cup Japanese Speech Contest visited Toyama Prefecture!

Originally written for the Vol.12-No.3 edition (October 9, 2018) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.

The Toyama Cup is a Japanese speech contest held every year in Portland in cooperation with JASO (the Japan-America Society of Oregon) to recognize the fruits of Oregon students’ Japanese studies. It first began in 1996, commemorating the 5th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Toyama and Oregon. Jack Glenn from Willamette University won the Grand Prize for this year’s 22nd Toyama Cup, held on April 22nd. His prize included a week-long trip to Toyama where he visited the many sites that make our beautiful prefecture famous.

 

Jack’s stay in Toyama lasted from July 22nd to July 29th and he visited the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, as well as the Historic Villages of Gokayama World Heritage Site.

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On July 23rd, Jack visited the Prefectural Government Office and paid a courtesy visit to Mr. Kurahori, Director-General of the General Policy Bureau. We hope that he will use his experience here in Toyama to become a bridge between Toyama and Oregon, as well as between Japan and the United States. As a symbol of this hope, Director-General Kurahori conferred Jack the title of “Toyama Honorary Friendly Envoy.”

Kurobe Dam

After his stay in Toyama, Jack said that he would never forget the spectacular scenery of the Tateyama mountain range and the Kurobe Dam, and that the Toyama Bay Sushi was the best tasting seafood he had ever had in his life. According to him, Toyama has many experiences that simply cannot be had in Tokyo or Osaka, and since it is packed with all of the things that make Japan great, everyone should visit Toyama at least once in their lifetime.

Gokayama Washi

We hope that Jack’s experience will drive exchange between Toyama and Oregon, and we look forward to welcoming the next speech contest winner!

For more information, please visit http://jaso.org/toyama-cup-2/

Photo Source: Toyama Speech Contest Winners

The 2018 Toyama Cup Japanese Speech Contest

Originally written for the Vol.12-No.2 edition (June 18, 2018) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.

The Toyama Cup is a Japanese speech contest held every year in Portland in cooperation with JASO (the Japan-America Society of Oregon) to recognize the fruits of Oregon students’ Japanese studies. It first began in 1996, commemorating the 5th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Toyama and Oregon. Jack Glenn from Willamette University won the Grand Prize for this year’s 22nd Toyama Cup, held on April 22nd. His prize includes a week-long trip to Toyama where he will visit the many sites that make our beautiful prefecture famous. Jack will be coming in July, and join the many other Grand Prize winners who have made the trip from Oregon to Toyama over the years, continuing to build the bridge of friendship between our two regions. We look for new participants every year so if you happen to know someone who would be interested, encourage them to apply next year! For more information, please visit the JASO website here.