Japan America Society of Southern California

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Are you a Japanese language learner who enjoys watching anime? The Japan America Society of Southern California welcomes high school students to join us for a fun and interactive workshop where you can experience what it's like to be a voice actor for an anime series! Practice your Japanese conversation and pronunciation skills with our veteran instructors and fellow language enthusiasts. 


 Asako Hayashi Takakura

Asian Languages & Cultures

 Kyosei Tsukui

Actor, Voice Actor,
Sound Director,Musician
81 Produce

 Session 1 - August 24 (Tue.) at 6:00 - 7:00 pm
 Session 2 - August 26 (Thur.) at 6:00 - 7:00 pm

 Session 3 - August 27 (Fri.) at 5:00 - 7:00 pm

 JASSC Members - FREE
 Non-Members - $10


About the Instructors

Asako Hayashi Takahashi
Asian Languages & Cultures

Asako Hayashi Takakura is a Lecturer in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. She has taught the Japanese language in K-16 settings for more than 20 years.

Her research interests focus on Japanese as a heritage language learners and immersion programs in the Los Angeles community. She is currently giving lectures at teacher workshops regarding language education and online learning all over the United States and Japan.

Kyosei Tsukui
Actor, Voice Actor, Sound Director, Musician
81 Produce

Kyōsei Tsukui, (津久井教生) is a voice actor from Tokyo currently working for 81 Produce. His most notable role is for Nyanchu from NHK's popular children's show, Nyanchu!Space! Broadcasting! which he's been voicing for 29 years.

Tsukui's career spans over 38 years. He has voiced characters in multiple media including anime, video games, tokusatsu, and American films.

   The Japan America Society of Southern California Presents


The Japan Bowl® of California "Benkyoukai" 2021

What is the "Benkyoukai?"

The Japan Bowl® of California "Benkyoukai" is a virtual study session hosted by the Japan America Society of Southern California along with the Japan America Society of Oregon to provide high school students who are competing in the Digital National Japan Bowl an in-depth look at some of the topics and themes which may appear in the Nationals competition.

The Japan America Society of Southern California will be offering the "Benkyoukai" sessions to Level 4 students and the Japan America Society of Oregon will be offering sessions to the Level 3 students.

Goals of the "Benkyoukai"

The goals of the "Benkyoukai" virtual study sessions are to build on the linguistic skills the students are gaining through their Japanese language courses in their classrooms by analyzing the specific topics and types of questions that may appear in the upcoming competition. We also hope to provide the students a safe and supportive learning environment by building a strong classroom community where students from many different schools can build networks with peers who have similar interests in Japan and the Japanese language. 

Session Schedule*

Session #1
Fri. March 5, 2021
5:00 PM-6:30 PM(PST)

Session #2
Fri. March 12, 2021
5:00 PM-6:30 PM (PST)

Session #3
Fri. March 19, 2021
5:00 PM-6:30 PM (PST)

Cultural Day
Fri. March 26, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (PST)

*Schedule subject to change

Session Details

Students competing in levels 3 and 4 will attend a total of three 90-minute virtual zoom meetings in which the instructor will cover some of the topics covered in the "National Japan Bowl Team Study Guide" made available through the Japan America Society of Washington DC. Each session will mainly consist of a lecture portion and a breakout session portion. During the lecture, the students will be given a chance to familiarize themselves with the types of prompts that may appear during the competition. In the breakout sessions, students will implement what they have learned by engaging in conversational exercises with their classmates. The fourth and final session will be dedicated to offering the students a cultural experience through "Cultural Day."

Students who attend all three sessions will receive a certificate of completion and a special Benkyoukai care package.

Who Can Participate in the "Benkyoukai?"

High school students who are registered to compete in the Digital National Japan Bowl at Levels 3 and 4 are eligible to participate in The Japan Bowl® of California Benkyoukai. Each eligible student must complete their application and submit their registration fee of $10 by the application deadline.  Please note, due to the limitation of space, student applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. Students who are competing in Level 2 are also welcome to participate in the Benkyoukai as obsevers for any of the sessions being offered through Japan America Society of Southern California and Japan America Society of Oregon.

Cultural Day

On the final session, we are hosting a special Cultural Day to celebrate a job well done for the participants by inviting special guests from Japan and the U.S.! All participants of Japan Bowl Benkyoukai as well as their families are all welcome to join us. 

Watch the Cultural Day Program Now

Guest Details


Yuki Marin (Yuki Origami)

Born and raised in Japan and living in Portland, Oregon, Yuki Martin is an artist, instructor, and writer with a special interest in origami. She has taught origami at schools, libraries, camps and events since 2007. Yuki is also the author of Super Cute Origami Kit (Tuttle Publishing).

Visit the Yuki Origami Homepage

Follow Yuki Origami on Facebook

Follow Yuki Origami on Instagram


"Neo Japanesque is a Japanese and Western music instruments mixed band, we have a spirit of harmony and courage to challenge and send a message "cheerful Japan!" to the world. We play not only original songs, add high quality sound arrangements to classics, pops, and gospel songs, etc and play them as a neo sound. We also challenge collaboration with other fields and would like you to see the performance, too. In addition, we play our music in various places to share traditional Japanese culture for children."


Kazuya Ogawa - Drums and Percussion

Ryohei Katsu - Keyboard, Synthesizer, Flute

Shinkai Matsushita - Bass Guitar

Ryuichi Yogi - Guitar

Miyu Kobayashi - Shinobue (Japanese Traditional Transverse Flute)

Sota Asano - Wadaiko (Japanese Traditional Drums)

Hiroshi Takeuchi - Shakuhachi (Japanese Traditional Bamboo Flute)

Visit the Official NEO JAPANESQUE Homepage

Watch NEO JAPANESQUE perform a cover of LiSA's "Homura"


"Do You Know These Japanese Gestures?" Test your knowledge of some common Japanese gestures that may appear in this year's National Japan Bowl.

Answer: 1) Before the meal 2) No, there are no items left 3) She is mad

Click Here to Apply to the Japan Bowl of California Benkyoukai

Students competing in Level 3 please apply through the Japan America Society of Oregon homepage


Japan Bowl® of California Beknykoukai is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors

Presenting Sponsors


Silver Sponsors




Would You Like to Sponsor a Student?


You can sponsor a student who attends a Title 1 school for only $10!

Click on the "Donate" button below, and check "JASSC Educational Programs - Japan Bowl of California".

The Japan Bowl Benkyoukai is an independent program hosted by the Japan America Society of Oregon and the Japan America Society of Southern California. The Japan Bowl Benkyoukai is in no way sponsored or administered by the National Japan Bowl.

Inquiries should be sent by email to Joanna Metoki, Programs Manager, Japan America Society of Southern California at metoki@jas-socal.org

What is Japan Bowl?

In 1992, to make the study of Japan and the Japanese language both challenging and enjoyable, the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., launched the National Japan Bowl®, an annual competition that recognizes and encourages the nearly 70,000 high school students across the United States who have chosen to study Japanese as their foreign language. Over the years, the National Japan Bowl® has grown to become the pre-eminent venue for demonstrating American students’ knowledge of Japan, its language, its history, and its culture, focusing a national spotlight on the close, longstanding relationship between the two countries and their people. 

Japan Bowl of California is an academic competition that tests the achievements of high school students who are studying the Japanese language.  Its uniqueness stems from its dedication to test high school students not only on the language itself, but also on knowledge of “Japan, the country.”  Japan Bowl also recognizes and encourages these students, who have chosen to study Japanese as their foreign language.  The competition format is modeled on popular quiz shows such as “It's Academic.”  Teams of high school students will compete at three different levels, depending on how long they have studied Japanese. This will be a wonderful opportunity for the students to show their Japanese language skills and knowledge, and meet other students in California that share the same interest.


The Japan Bowl® of California will be modeled on the National Japan Bowl®. Given that one-half of all high school students studying Japanese in the U.S. live and go to school in Southern California, Japan Bowl® of California promises to be one of the most important regional contests of its kind.  

During the preliminary round of the competition, students will be tested with written questions, covering both language and non-language topics. Some non-language areas include history, arts and traditional and modern culture, geography, society and daily life, popular culture and current events.  Finalists are tested with verbal communication skills in the championship round. Throughout the competition, students must have a decent comprehension of kanji (including names of topics, people and places), idiomatic expressions, onomatopoeic expressions, and affective expressions. 

In addition to being an outstanding opportunity for students of Japanese language and culture to meet one another, immerse themselves in all things Japanese for a day, and publicly demonstrate the depth of their knowledge of Japan, the Japan Bowl® of California will serve as a preliminary round for the National Japan Bowl®, with the winning team representing California in the national championship. 

At the conclusion of the Japan Bowl® of California competition, the winning Level 2, 3 and 4 teams will be declared California Champions!

The Digital National Japan Bowl will be held on April 8 - 9, 2021.
Find out more about National Japan Bowl®.

Past Japan Bowl® of California

2016 Japan Bowl® of California

2015 Japan Bowl® of California

2014 Japan Bowl® of Southern California

2013 Japan Bowl® of Southern California

Highlight video from 2013 Japan Bowl of Southern California

Japan Bowl® is a registered trademark of The Japan-America Society of Washington, Inc. The Japan Bowl® name and logo may be used only with the permission of The Japan-America Society of Washington, Inc.

©2020 Japan America Society of Southern California
1411 W. 190th Street, Suite 360, Gardena, CA 90248

tel (310) 965-9050    fax (310) 965-9010   email info@jas-socal.org

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