General Instructions

All entries must be URL links to your files stored in cloud space (e.g., Google Drive). Instead of uploading your file, you provide a URL link that is accessible to the judges. A student may submit one entry per track, but not more than one for the same track. They may submit multiple entries for different tracks, but are not allowed to use the same work in more than one track.

    UK students who are enrolled in Japan-related courses during Fall 2023 and/or Spring 2024. Ask your teacher for the passcode.

    April 14, 2024

    $25 gift certificate

    The winners of each track will be announced at the end of April. The awarding ceremony will follow at the end of the spring semester.

Track 1
Translation (fixed topic)

This year's topic is Yorushika's "Shayō" (lyrics). Translate the lyrics into English. Translation must be typed and double-spaced.


Track 2
Translation (free topic)

Choose a text originally produced in Japanese—linguistic, visual, or audio—of your liking and translate it into English, or vice versa (original English text translated into Japanese). The length of translation should amount to 3 to 5 pages, typed and double-spaced. An entry must include the original text (not counted toward the 3 to 5 pages), in addition to a brief (250 words) explanation of why you chose it.


Track 3
Photo Essay or Video Presentation: "Why Study Japanese?"

Compose a photo essay (8–10 photos, accompanied by a roughly 500-600 word essay) introducing and explaining why you study Japanese. Photos used in this entry must be your own. The essay can include personal narratives, experiences of Japan Studies courses at UK, interviews with people, travelog, or other materials that would facilitate understanding of why you study the language. Alternatively, you may produce a 3 to 5-minute video presenting why you study Japanese. Preferred language to be used in the entry is English. The exceptional entries will be posted to UK Japan Studies' website and sent to local high schools to spark interest in Japan Studies with the creators' permission.


Track 4
Academic Paper (free topic, anything related to Japan)

Submit an academic paper written in English that is demonstrative of your intellectual engagement in Japan Studies. The paper must be 5 to 10 pages in length, typed and double-spaced. You may submit a paper completed for Japan Studies-related courses during the academic year (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024).


Track 5
Creative Research Project

Submit a project that combines research/scholarship and creative applications of the concepts learned in JPN courses or independent studies. Written work should not exceed 10 pages (typed and double-spaced), audio-visual work 10 minutes. An entry must include a brief (250 words) explanation of the project.


Track 6
Artistic Inquiry

Any Japan-related or Japan-inspired piece that does not fall under the previously listed tracks could be submitted to this track. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, creative writing, independent film/animation/music videos, performance, and so forth. Written work should not exceed 10 pages (typed and double-spaced), audio-visual work 10 minutes. An entry must include a brief (250 words) explanation of the entry.


🏆 Past Award Recipients


Track Awardee Honorable Mention
Fixed Topic Translation Davis Best Jacquelyn Wilder
Free Topic Translation Anna Gutierrez Nikki Southall
Academic Paper Jacquelyn Wilder Lynn Robertson
Creative Research Project Zachary Belle Isle Grace Wong
Artistic Inquiry Ricky Case Irene Zheng


Fixed Topic Translation Victoria Ballengee Sidney Huang
Free Topic Translation Ian Winters Andrew Hauber
Academic Paper Jessica Khoury Ian Winters
Creative Research Project Ricky Case Jessica Khoury