The 2019 Winning Essay/Logo
Kaila Nakamura
​​Henry M. Gunn High School
The 2018 Winning Essay
Stacy Shimanuki
The 2017 Winning Essay
Alyssa Cortez

For additional information, please contact the KCC-JEE office at (847) 386-7661, or e-mail us at

The 2014 contest was sponsored by private donors.

2020  Essay Contest Application Materials:
Information for Japanese Teachers
Application Form
Poster for Display


February 3


Write an Essay Responding to Prompt in English in 500 Words or Fewer and

Win a Trip to Japan Next Summer!

Kobe College Corporation-Japan Education Exchange is seeking high school students who will be at least 16 years of age by June 1, 2020 and have formally studied Japanese language for at least one year, to write an essay in English in 500 words or fewer responding to the prompt below:

Choose a story about Japan that has been in the news within the last few months. If you were in Japan and living with a host family when this story broke, how would you use this story as a springboard to discussing cultural differences, the global economy, or Japan-U.S. relations? What would you want to talk about or ask your host family? What do you think your host family's perspective would be? Summarize the story briefly (in 50 words or fewer) and then elaborate. 


How to Enter the Contest

Submissions must be received before midnight on February 3, 2020. One winner will be selected by judges and contacted by telephone and announced on our website. In order for your entry to be submitted and reviewed by our judges, all entries must:

 Include a completed application (with proper signatures), emailed directly to no later than 11:59 pm (CST) on Monday, February 3, 2020.



  • Entries must include a completed application and essay in order to be reviewed.

  • Winner must be able to obtain a passport and travel independently to Japan in the summer of 2020.

  • Contestants agree that KCC-JEE may publish their name and essay on our website.



One winner will be selected and prize includes roundtrip airfare to Japan, four weeks of Japanese language study at the Kyoto Japanese Language Institute, and room and board with a homestay family. There is no cash prize for this contest.



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Suite 3335
Northfield, IL 60093
(847) 386-7661
Fax: (847) 386-7662

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