Japan America Society of Southern California

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The 9th Annual Japan Bowl of California has been postponed.

The health and safety of our student participants, volunteers, and staff are our top priority. After careful consideration, and in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, we are postponing our in-person competition to March 2023. In lieu of the annual competition, JASSC will host a series of virtual webinars to help students prepare for the Digital National Japan Bowl. We remain excited to host the competition in 2023! We look forward to seeing you at our BENKYOUKAI!

   The Japan America Society of Southern California Presents

The Japan Bowl® of California "Benkyoukai" is Back by Popular Demand!

What is the "Benkyoukai?"

The Japan Bowl® of California "Benkyoukai" is a virtual study session hosted by the Japan America Society of Southern California 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 competition.

This year, the Japan America Society of Southern California will be offering the "Benkyoukai" sessions to student of ALL LEVELS!

Take a look at our trailer below to see how much we had fun at Benkyoukai 2021!

2022 Session Schedule*

 Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Cultural Day
March 11, 2022 (Friday)
March 18, 2022 (Friday)
March 25, 2022 (Friday)
March 31, 2022 (Friday)
 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (PST) 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (PST) 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (PST) 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (PST)
*Schedule subject to change

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 Details

Students competing in Levels 2, 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 any level 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.

What is "Cultural Day?"

Cultural Day is the final session of Benkyoukai 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 virtually.

Photos from Benkyoukai Cultural Day 2021



Click Here to Download the Student Application

Click Here to Download the Event Flyer

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

Presenting Sponsor

Silver Sponsors



Ruth & Stacy Cromidas

Prize Sponsor

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 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 21-22, 2022.
Find out more about National Japan Bowl®.

Past Japan Bowl® of California

2021 Japan Bowl® of California Benkyoukai

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

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