9th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest

Sponsorship: Onkyo Corporation
The Braille Mainichi (The Mainichi Newspapers)
Onkyo Corporation, an audio, computer and visual equipment maker, and the Braille Mainichi (The Mainichi Newspapers) created the “Onkyo Braille Essay Contest” in 2003, and it has been held annually since then. Through this contest, we hope to build a bridge between Braille and sound for the visually disabled who are extremely sensitive to the warmth that connects all people.
Now in its 9th year, the 2011 contest received entries from 108 countries in the International Category, which includes the Asia-Pacific region (21 countries and regions, not including Japan), the West Asia/Central Asia/Mideast region (21 countries), the European region (45 countries), and the North America and Caribbean region (21 countries) in addition to the Japanese Category. As an international essay contest, we are expanding the circle of cross-cultural communications and serving as a bridge across an increasingly complex global community.
We hope that the lives and thoughts of the visually disabled both at home and overseas will reach readers’ hearts and the harmony we create together will resonate throughout society.

= Selection Results =

Japanese Category 48 entries were received in total
Otsuki Award Yasuo Maeda, Tokyo (63, acupuncturist and masseur)
Excellent Work Minoru Egawa, Kanagawa Prefecture (68, acupuncturist)
Fine Work Minoru Nishida, Yokohama City (79, former NPO president)
Masaharu Yoshimatsu, Kitakyushu City (57, principal of special-needs school)
Review of Award-Winning Essays (Japan) Giichi Fujimoto(novelist)
(Student Group)
Excellent Work Risa Kaji, 17, 3rd Grade, High School, Fukui Prefectural School for the Blind
Fine Work Yuki Fujinawa, 17, 3rd Grade, High School, Toyama Prefectural School for the Blind
Special Prize (for Elementary and Junior High School Students)
  Koki Iyama, 14, 3rd Grade, Junior High School, Fukui Prefectural School for the Blind
  Yusuke Naraoka, 12, 1st Grade, Junior High School, Aomori School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

International Category
(Asia-Pacific Region) 18 entries were received from 7 organizations across 5 countries Cooperation: WBU-AP(World Blind Union Asia-Pacific)

Otsuki Award Lucita R. Manarpaac (23, female), the Philippines
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Rebecca Maxwell (71, female), Australia
Fine Work Maung Maung Soe (67, male), Myanmar
Analynne Baulita (36, female), the Philippines
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Le Trong Tuan (22, male), Vietnam
Fine Work Aine Kelly Costello (16, female), New Zealand
Pham Thi Thuy (24, female), Vietnam

(West Asia/Central Asia/Mideast region) 30 entries from 8 countries were received Cooperation: ABU (Asian Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Sabah El Khouly (29, female), Jordan
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Tej Singh Tak (male), India
Fine Work Urmil Sharma (52, female), India
Erandathie Swarnamala (female), Sri Lanka
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Prakhar Shrivastava (male), India
Fine Work Manoj Yadav (22, male), India
Ishara Lakmal Nuwansiria (25, male), Sri Lanka

(European Region) 44 entries from 15 countries were received Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Teresa Bornez Abascal (89, female), Spain
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Ana Maria Almeida Fontes (64, female), Portugal
Fine Work Nikolay Antonov (58, male), Russia
Marin Sandu (60, female), Romania
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Marine Delachaussee (19, female), France
Fine Work Davy Kager (22, male), Netherlands
Normantas Prusinskas (11, female), Lithuania

(North America and Caribbean Region) 12 entries from 2 countries were received Cooperation: WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and Caribbean)
Otsuki Award Kim Kilpatrick (45, female), Canada
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Allison O’day (50, female), USA
Fine Work Lori Miller (35, female), USA
Jason Meddaugh (30, male), USA
Khadija Mohamedbhai (31, female), USA
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Hannah Chadwick-Diaz (19, female), Canada
Fine Work Brittany Stovall (22, female), USA


"Our Heart to the World; Our Passion with People"

photo:Mr.Naoto Otsuki
Mr. Naoto Otsuki
Honorary President
Onkyo Corporation

We offer our deepest condolences to all the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred in March this year. There are essays among those submitted by contestants that feel concern for the earthquake victims. We wish the earliest possible recovery and rehabilitation.

This year the Braille Essay Contest celebrates its 9th anniversary since its start in 2003. This year the name of the contest was changed to the Onkyo World Braille Essay Contest, this naming in the hope of helping as many people as possible in the world connect each other through Braille and of diffusing the use of Braille in the world. The renamed content invited essays from 128 countries in the world anew.

Yasuo Maeda, the winner of the Most Excellent Otsuki Award, superimposed his own life and the townscape that has changed with the times on three maps and ended his essay by hoping human modesty and passion, which he realized anew from the experience with the maps, be of any help for restoration of the afflicted areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The more we read, the more scenes are aroused in our mind, and the more feelings come up from those scenes. I really feel this essay is a very profound wonderful piece of work.
Sabah El Khouly, Jordan, the winner of the ABU Otsuki Award, strongly advocates in her work that what is necessary for the visually challenged people is not compassion but equality. The wrong idea we have hurts the feelings of the visually challenged people who only wish to be normal and deprive them of their potential. After I read her essay, I became keenly aware of the need to eliminate such a situation.
After I read the essay of Lucita R. Manarpaac, the Philippine winner of the WBU-AP Otsuki Award, I understand that there are big hurdles on the road of the visually challenged people to becoming a musician, one of their dream careers, but that they take those barriers as a prime mover of their effort to make their dream come true with never-give-up attitude. She believes if they can be among great musicians, they can make a big difference in the way the people look at things. I sense an unyielding spirit there. I hope she continues to maintain her strong will power and never give up until she gets her wish.
The essay of Teresa Bornez Abascal from Spain, the winner of the EBU Otsuki Award, makes me feel various emotions she had in her life, starting from the disappointment she had as she was deprived of the opportunity to study because of war in her childhood to the sense of purpose of life Braille gives her despite her loneliness of being unable to take interest in anything in particular now she is 88 years old, and the gratitude she feels to Braille and its inventor Louis Braille. I hope she will live everyday with a purpose of life together with Braille for as long as possible.
Kim Kilpatrick from Canada, the winner of the NFB Otsuki Award, told in her essay about the happiness she feels from Braille that allowed her to do reading, one of her favorite things to do, and the joy of her being able to lead a full life thanks to the technological advancement. Those descriptions in her essay are so vivid I can imagine Kim with all smiles holding a book on her hand.

Last but not least, I really appreciate all those contestants and their essays that have greatly impressed and moved us. I would also like to thank all those cooperators, including Mainichi Newspaper Company and Tenji Mainichi, co-sponsors of this event, the staff of the Asian Blind Union (ABU), World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBU-AP), European Blind Union (EBU), and National Federation of the Blind (NFB), who invited contestants in their own countries or regions, screened them and awarded the winners, and all the supporters in those countries and regions.
All the present day people need to establish a world, in which people of various positions and from every walk of life help each other, for the future generations. I wish this contest serves as a supporter of further promotion of Braille all over the world and helps activate communication among different cultures.

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


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