10th Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest

Sponsored by Onkyo Corporation

The Braille Mainichi Shimbun

Audiovisual and PC manufacturer Onkyo Corporation, Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education, and the Braille Mainichi Shimbun 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. The Contest has been held every year since then.
The 10th Contest invited entries from 108 countries all over the world including the Asia-Pacific (21 countries or regions excluding Japan), West Asia, Central Asia and Middle East (21 countries), Europe (45 countries) and North America and the Caribbean (21 countries) in addition to the domestic entries. Known as a worldwide essay contest, the event expands spheres of smooth cultural communication and serves as a link between international societies going more and more complicated.

We hope what the visually challenged people in and out of Japan think and feel and how they live can be conveyed to the readers of the essays so that the warm harmony of living together will resound throughout our society.

= Results of Screening =

Japanese Category 44 entries in total.
Otsuki Award Tokyo Yoshinobu Gomi (44, acupuncturist and masseur)
(Adult Group)
Excellent Work KagoshimaPrefecture Masae Kubota (65, housewife)
Fine Work GunmaPrefecture Junko Ato (38, operator of acupuncture/massage clinic)
Tokyo Yukari Ishida (22, university student)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work 3rd grade, High School Division, SpecialNeedsEducationSchool for the Visually Impaired, TsukubaUniversity Rui Katsumata (18)
Fine Work 3rd grade, General Course, High School Division, Aomori Prefectural School for the Blind Yuki Chiyoya (18)
Special Prize (for Elementary and Junior High School Students)
  6th grade, Elementary School Division, NaganoPrefecturalSchool for the Blind Ayaka Yazawa (12)
  6th grade, WakayamaPrefecturalSchool for the Blind Rika Sugata (12)
Comments(Japan) ;Excellence of Our Mind's Eye Toshizo Nanba (novelist)

International Category
(Asia-Pacific Region) 24 entries from 6 countries
Cooperation: WBU-AP (World Blind Union Asia Pacific)
Otsuki Award Indonesia Deasy Tresnawati Sari Dewi (23, female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Philippines Mabel Soriano Gaerlan (36, female)
Fine Work Myanmar Dwe Ra (43, female)
  Australia N.L. Mules (47, female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Philippines Maria Teresa H. Tandiama (24, female)
Fine Work Vietnam Mai Thi Thuy Hang (17, female) jini
  Myanmar Aye Chan Aung (22, female)

(West Asia, Central Asia, Middle East) 30 entries from 8 countries
Cooperation: ABU (Asia Blind Union)

Otsuki Award India Tej Singh Tak (66, male)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Lebanon Nadeem Koussa (43, male)
  Pakistan Arshad Abbasi (31, male)
Fine Work Iran Elham Yosehi (31, female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Lebanon Nasser Balloot (20, male)
Fine Work Pakistan Zafar Mehmood Abbasi (20, male)

(European region) 48 entries from 14 countries
Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Spain Maria Jesús Sánchez Oliva (61, female)
  Spain Maria Jesús Cańnamares Muńoz (49, female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Russia Svetlana Dubrovskaya (49, female)
Fine Work The Netherlands Herman Kleton (54, male)
  Montenegro Fadil Mucic (73, male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Ireland Victoria D'Oliveira (12, female)
Fine Work UK Alexia Sloane (11)
  Finland Susanne Halme (15, female)
EBU Special Award Montenegro Miroslav Sindik (23, male)

(North American and the Caribbean) 37 entries from 1 country
Cooperation: WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and the Caribbean)
Otsuki Award USA Angela Orlando (38, female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work USA Jessi Kirchner (28, female)
Fine Work USA Tracy L. Bryant Bundy (38, female)
  USA Lisa Larges (48, female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work USA Zachary Sarbekian (17, male)
Fine Work USA Kiana Harlan (17, female)
  USA Ashley Bemard (17, female)

(Awarding Ceremony)
The awarding ceremony for the Japanese Category was held at the head office of Onkyo in Chuo-ku, Osaka on November 12. The award certificate, a cash prize of 200,00 and a sub-prize of Onkyo's mini component system were presented to the Otsuki Award winner Yoshinobu Gomi on behalf of all other winners. For the International Category, the award certificates in English and a cash prize and en extra prize will be delivered to each winner through their respective local secretariat.

This brochure is donated by Onkyo Corporation and the Braille Mainichi Shimbun to public libraries, schools for the blind, braille libraries and other related facilities all over the country to widely convey to Japanese society messages from the visually challenged people in braille and writing.
This collection of winner essays in Japanese is also translated into English and donated to organizations related to the visually impaired in 180 countries in the world.


Continuing Thought and Spreading Ties

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

The Braille Essay Contest established in 2003 celebrated its 10th anniversary. This Contest, which was originally started for the Japanese people, now invites entries from all over the world, or 108 countries. The organizers continue this event wishing we could be of any help to promoting communication among as many people as possible in the world by means of braille. It is amazing our effort has been continuing for 10 years now. We wish this small contribution will further continue and that the ties of the people will be promoted wider in the future.

Entries we received from various age brackets in Japan are very rich in variety. The screening committee had a very hard time selecting the winners. Yoshinobu Gomi, the winner of Otsuki Award, vividly depicted the scenes of just one of those daily happenings, or a walk to see a nearby street flanked with cherry trees. The essay excellently made the readers feel what he saw and felt on his way to the cherry blossom street and back to home. The readers can also vividly imagine the feelings and even facial expressions of the people who appeared along the way. What is particularly great about the essay is that the readers are surely given a very important suggestion about how we lead our life, or always have a happy thought and feel relaxed enough to enjoy our life and lead a full life.

Deasy Tresnawati Sari Dewi, the WBU-AP Otsuki Award winner, Indonesia, told in her work that she found happiness in staying with music and playing a musical instrument even though she lost her vision and finally mastered the technique by herself. She found a beautiful way toward her future by herself and made her dream come true, and I'm sure that her strength must encourage a lot of people around her. Never let your dreams go away and try hard to make your dreams come true. This strong commitment is certainly conveyed to us as we read her essay.

ABU Otsuki Award winner, Tej Singh Tak, India, described a detailed multi-faceted analysis of the superiority of the braille despite the fact that the visually challenged people nowadays can learn to read letters and characters with the help of the rapidly advancing new technology such as computers and portable terminals. The readers can vividly feel his strong feeling toward the braille that has been used by so many people for so many years and remains as an important tool for the visually impaired in the future as well as his respect and appreciation of braille.

Two essays were selected as the Otsuki Award winner in EBU this year. Maria Jesus Sanchez Oliva, Spain, and Maria Jesus Cannamares Munoz, Spain, impersonated braille and vividly made a narrative description of the roles of braille, various opportunities given by use of braille, and a feeling of gratitude for this writing system for the blind. The readers can excitedly enjoy the essay and are so enticed by the unprecedentedly fresh expressions that we can't wait for happenings to occur and stories to be told ahead. The essay also lets us realize anew the importance of braille.

Angela Orlando, USA, WBU-NAC Otsuki Award winner, tells her story of sudden plunge into agony, hardship and desperation. As a reader, I also felt hurt. But the essay also revealed that she kept focused on connection to the outside world, tried hard to increase what she can do little by little, and finally came to feel happiness from connecting to many people. All those results were achieved because of braille. The potential of braille is limitless probably because the will of a person who wants to achieve something by using it is limitless. Conveying this powerful message, the essay is very impressive.

Last but not least, I greatly thank all the people who offered such wonderful essays to this Contest. I also feel grateful to the Mainichi Newspapers, the Braille Mainichi Shimbun which have been supported us for 10 years, ABU (Asia Blind Union) which conducted accepting, reviewing essays and awarding to the participants, WBU-AP (World Blind Union Asia Pacific), EBU (European Blind Union), WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America & the Caribbean), and all the supporters in all those countries for their great assistance and cooperation for as many as ten years.

We, the people living in this modern society, need to establish a world where people of different positions help each other and live together for our future generations. We sincerely hope this Contest help further promotion of braille and smooth communication among different cultures in the world.

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


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