Special Prize (Japan)
“Looking Back the Braille Competition”
Yusuke Naraoka, First Grade, Aomori Prefectural Junior High School for the Blind

Do you know a Braille competition? The Braille competition is composed of three events.
The first one is 50 kana writing, the second is transcription, and the third is dictation.
The 50 kana writing is a competition in which participants compete in writing as many hiragana letters in Braille as possible within two minutes.
The transcription is a competition of writing a problem statement as precisely as possible in two minutes.
The dictation is a competition of writing a problem statement you heard as perfectly as possible in two minutes.
Participants compete in these three events and are ranked in the total score.
I participated in this competition last year for the first time.
To begin with, I started practicing for the 50 kana writing. At first, I practiced accurately writing two rows. I often omitted writing the "ra" row after finishing the "ya" row. So I started reciting the 50 kana in my mind while typing for practice.
I also practiced transcription and dictation for about 10 minutes at home everyday.
As the competition day drew nearer, the joint practice started. I tried very hard to prove myself after all those hours of practice at home. Thanks to the practice, my score went up every time I practiced.
On the day before the competition, I did my very best as it was my last practice. To my surprise, I got 130 points in the 50 kana writing. I told to myself that I would surely do tomorrow like I did today.
Now the real competition came. As I was just determined to do my best, I didn't realize the tension and nervousness. When I came to myself, because of excessive stress, the competition had ended.
The outcome is not satisfactory; I was placed the 20th out of 40.
Looking back how I did for the Braille competition, I realized what was wrong. For example, the lack of exercise and the nervousness. I particularly regretted the lack of exercise; I should have input more time on exercise at that time! I did practice for ten minutes everyday for this competition.
When I was practicing, I believed 10 minutes a day was a lot of exercise.
But in the competition, I noticed others must have practiced much more. To get a higher score, I have to do more exercise.
My goal this year is to get 190 points in the 50 kana writing. To this end, I intend to practice everyday at home by measuring the exercise time with a watch.
Last year, my practice time was 10 minutes a day. This year I will extend it to 30 minutes a day.
I am going to get busy with the school study and the club activities from now, and I may feel I want to have a break from time to time. If that idea comes up, I will shake it off and continue exercise by remembering the regret I had last year.


These web pages should be compatible with text-reading software. However, users may experience some difficulties. Thank you for your understanding.