16th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest

Sponsored by Onkyo Corporation
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education
The Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers


Audiovisual manufacturer Onkyo Corporation, Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education, and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers established the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest in 2003 to build a bridge to the world of the visually challenged people who very closely feel the warmth of the people. In 2004, the scope of the contest expended with the addition of the International Category; starting with the 9th contest held in 2011, the name of this annual event has been changed to the "Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest."
The 16th contest held this year invited entries from Japan for the Japanese Category as well as entries from 108 countries for the International Category: 21 countries and regions in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) under World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBU-AP), 21 countries in West Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East under Asian Blind Union (ABU), 45 countries in Europe under European Blind Union (EBU), and 21 countries in North America and the Caribbean under World Blind Union North America and Caribbean (WBU-NAC). As an international essay contest, the event promotes cross-cultural communication and serves as a bridge across an increasingly complex global community.

= Selection Results = (honorific titles are omitted)

Japanese Category The number of entries:130
Otsuki Award

Kyoto City

Haruka Takeyasu (22)
(Adult Group)
Excellent Work

Nagano Prefecture

Rieko Hirosawa (59)
Fine Work

Nagasaki City

Mutsumi Fukagata (48)
(Student Group)    
Excellent Work Second year in Junior High School Program, Fukuoka Prefectural Kitakyushu School for the Blind and Visually Impaired  Kouse Miura (13)
Special Prize (awarded to elementary school and middle school students)

Sixth grade in elementary program, Ishikawa Prefectural School for Visually Impaired

Rise Yokoyama (12)
(Supporting Group)
Excellent Work Miyazaki Prefecture Yukari Hoshino (43)
Fine Work Nara City Yasuko Okawa (42)
Lyric Award Aomori City Hirosato Fukui (72)
Selector’s Comments “Greatness of imagination” Kaoru Tamaoka
  “Wealth of ideation” Yuriko Matsumura
  Japanese Category review Naoto Otsuki

International Category
(Asia-Pacific Region) The number of entries: 23 entries from 8 countries
Cooperation: WBUAP (World Blind Union Asia-Pacific)
Otsuki Award China (Tibet) Kyla Jila (33; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Vietnam Cao Van Than (67; male)
Fine Work Myanmar Aye Chan Aung (28; female)
  Indonesia Ardynal Purbowo (34; male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Vietnam Nguyen Thao Dan (18; female)
Fine Work New Zealand Renee Patete (19; female)
  Philippines Maricor D Book (22; female)

(West Asia, Central Asia, Middle East Region) The number of entries: 54 entries from 13 countries
Cooperation: ABU (Asia Blind Union)

Otsuki Award India Ashish Dubey (26; male)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Lebanon Doha Kharroub (27; female)
Fine Work Kyrgyzstan Julia Yanvanchinova (34; female)
  United Arab Emirates Emtithal Awad (27; female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Yemen Asma’a Sharaf Addain (23; female)
Fine Work Pakistan Muhammad Iqbal (25; male)
  Tajikistan Siyovush Ilyasov (24; male)

(European Region) The number of entries:51 entries from 20 countries
Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Netherlands Annette Akkerman (56; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Turkey Eylem Yurtsever (27; female)
Fine Work Croatia Darijo Anusic (33; male)
  Spain Carlos Andres Vallejo (66; male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Ireland Jordan Mahony (20; male)
Fine Work Spain Andrea Munoz Fernandez (19; male)
  U.K. Alexia Sloane (18; female)

(Award Ceremony)
For the Japanese Category, the presentation ceremony was held from 3:00 pm on November 13, at Oval Hall in Kita-ku, Osaka-shi. The prize of 200,000 yen was granted to Ms. Haruka Takeyasu or the winner of the Otsuki Award, and the prize of 50,000 yen was granted to Mr. Hirosato Fukui or the winner of the Lyric Award, besides a plaque and the Onkyo mini component system as an extra prize. The ceremony was attended by Ms. Takeyasu and Mr. Fukui as winners, in addition to vocalist, musical composer, and arranger, Mr. Akihito Tokunaga who composed music for the lyric which won the lyric award. In the venue, the award-winning song was played live. For the International Category, winners will receive a plaque, prize, and a commemorative gift from the secretariat of each region.


The new world that opens up with braille

photo:Mr.Naoto Otsuki
Onkyo Corporation Honorary President
Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education Chief Director
Naoto Otsuki

Many compositions received this time are about the important roles that braille is playing for visually impaired people to widen their opportunities and gain chances to participate in society. They reminded us of the original spirit of this contest.
The composition by Haruka Takeyasu who won the Otsuki Award for the domestic division, discussed how important braille was for her as she had encountered the joyful world of reading books with braille, felt the kindness of valuable friends, and wished to become a braille teacher for children in the future, stressing how braille helped her finding her dreams and hopes.
The composition by Kira Gira (Tibet, China) who won the World Blind Union-Asia Pacific (WBUAP) Region’s Otsuki Award stated that she had learned braille when she was 12 and started studying at the first facility for the visually impaired in Tibet that was ran by the Braille Without Borders. She then became able to help herself in her daily lives and eventually established a kindergarten to support other people with visual impairment. We have nothing but respect for her strong commitment to keep working to reduce bias and prejudice against people with visual impairment around her. The composition by Ashish Dubay (India) who won the Asian Blind Union (ABU) Otsuki Award discussed how visually impaired people can gain independence. Independence can be achieved as physical independence and spiritual independence. To achieve both, he discussed that the use of braille as well as new and advancing tools such as talking book, screen reader, smart cane, and smartphone would become useful and effective. He also emphasized the importance of having commitment and confidence to reach independence without being defeated by the lack of understanding of other people. The composition by Annette Ackerman (the Netherlands) who won the European Blind Union (EBU) Otsuki Award described the growing process a girl she met in Zimbabwe who improved the learning process as she practiced braille since Annette’s sister who also had visual impairment had learned braille in a special-need school and gained independence. We are deeply impressed to learn how effective braille is for people with visual impairments to gain knowledge and venture into a new world. We are also amazed to see that so many people are willing to tell other people with visual impairment about what they are learning using braille. We sincerely hope that you remain optimistic and keep going to realize your dreams.
In the end, for the Lyric Award, Ms. Yuriko Matsumura, a poet, selected three outstanding compositions with the help of Tokunaga, who composed the song. The lyric of Hirosato Fukui, the winner of the Lyric Award, expresses sceneries and sensations using short words conveying the warm and cheerful personality of Mr. Fukui. Tokunaga composed the song so that it will be a motivating, refreshing, and strong song.
In the end but not the least, we are truly grateful for everyone who submitted impressive and wonderful pieces for this year’s event. We would also like to express our heartfelt appreciation toward the Mainichi Newspapers and the Braille Mainichi which have been supporting us in great deal as cosponsors over many years, WBU-AP, ABU, and EBU which are gathering, reviewing, and awarding compositions from participating countries, as well as people who are supporting us from around the globe.
  As the globalization progresses, we feel that it would become increasingly important for people in different positions to understand each other and build a world for everyone to coexist and maintain peaceful and courteous lives for the future. We sincerely hope that this contest will be helpful in achieving such goal and spreading multi-cultural communication and interaction.

1st Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
2nd Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
3rd Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
4th Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
5th Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
6th Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
7th Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
8th Onkyo Braille Essay Contest
9th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
10th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
11th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
12th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
13th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
14th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest
15th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest


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