15th 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 15th 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.

In addition, since 2015, we have established a new prize, “Lyrics Award”, with an eye to fusing lyrics with music. We hope that this new prize will be promoted more widely together with the “Supporting Group” established in 2014 to make the general public know more about the efforts of family members, schools, work places, and local supporters of and related to the visually disable people. As in the case in the previous time (2016), Akihito Tokunaga, a vocalist and composer/arranger, composed a lyrics award-winning song. We hope that the people will learn how the visually disable people in and out of Japan think, feel, and live by reading their essays and a harmony of living and working together will sound in our society.

= Selection Results = (honorific titles are omitted)

Japanese Category The number of entries:182
Otsuki Award


Yuki Kobayashi (45)
(Adult Group)
Excellent Work Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired, University of Tsukuba Bolot Kyzy Shirin (26)
Fine Work Hyogo Prefecture Miyako Ishii (49)
(Student Group)    
Excellent Work A third-year student of Hyogo Prefectural Special Needs Education School (High School Section) Kazuki Matsumura (17)
Special Prize (awarded to elementary school and middle school students)

Sixth grade at Obatake Elementary School, Yanai city, Yamaguchi

Maho Kawamura (11)
(Supporting Group)
Excellent Work Third-year student, General Course, High School Department, Ibaraki Prefectural School for the Blind Tsubasa Ootaka (17)
Fine Work Saga Prefecture Masako Yamada (67)
Lyric Award Nara Prefecture Yui Tsujimoto (13)
Selector’s Comments “A Sign of Hope” Kaoru Tamaoka
  “Free and Joyful Words” Yuriko Matsumura
  Japanese Category review Naoto Otsuki

International Category
(Asia-Pacific Region) The number of entries: 20 entries from 7 countries
Cooperation: WBUAP (World Blind Union Asia-Pacific)
Otsuki Award


Lim Yew Yi (33; male)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Vietnam Pham Van Dang (37; male)
Fine Work Vietnam Tin Moe (44; male)
  Indonesia Teow Cheng Poo (57; female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work New Zealand William Wu (15; male)
Fine Work Myanmar Nguyen Dinh Hanh Nguyen (22; female)
  Malaysia Nur Syarif Ramadhan (24; male)

(West Asia, Central Asia, Middle East Region) The number of entries: 41 entries from 13 countries
Cooperation: ABU (Asia Blind Union)

Otsuki Award India Yadav Manoj (29; male)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Afghanistan Sher Ali Umera (27; female)
Fine Work Lebanon Rola Damaa (47; female)
  Oman Masoud Al Ismaili (27; male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Pakistan Mohammad Iqbal (24; male)
Fine Work Sri Lanka Nimesh Yasintha (16; male)
  Kyrgyz Republic Azat Toktombaev (25; male)

(European Region) The number of entries:51 entries from 19 countries
Cooperation: EBU (European Blind Union)
Otsuki Award Italy Marina Valenti (57; female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work Hungary Boldizsar Szentgali-Toth (26; male)
Fine Work Spain Francisco Javier Garcia Pajares (26; male)
  Sweden William Lyons (90; male)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work Russia Oleg Suvoin (13; male)
Fine Work Slovakia Zuzana Fahrerova (21; female)
  U.K. James Scoles (24; male)

(North America and Caribbean Region) The number of entries: 17 entries from 3 countries
Cooperation: WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and Caribbean)
Otsuki Award U.S.A. Jessie Mabry (33;female)
(Senior Group)
Excellent Work U.S.A. Tammy Frost (52; female)
Fine Work U.S.A. Jennifer Spears (28; female)
  U.S.A. Jamie Lloyd (28; female)
(Junior Group)
Excellent Work U.S.A. Kristen Steele (20; female)
Fine Work Jamaica Fernando Reyes (10; male)
  U.S.A. Hannah Neils (16; female)

(Award Ceremony)
The award ceremony for the Japanese Category was held from 3 PM on November 6 at the Onkyo Yaesu building in Chuo-ku, Tokyo. On behalf of all recipients, cash prize of 200,000 yen was presented to the Otsuki Award winner, Yuki Kobayashi and 50,000 yen to Lyric Award winner, Yui Tsujimoto along with an award certificate and a mini stereo system by Onkyo for each winner as extra prizes. At the ceremony, in addition to the award winners, Ms. Kobayashi and Ms. Tsujimoto, Mr. Akihito Tokunaga, a vocalist and composer/arranger, who composed it to the award-winning song, also attended. In the ceremony, his live performance of the award-winning song was shown. The winners in the International Category will receive their award certificates (in English), cash prizes, and additional gifts from their respective local office.

This brochure is donated by Onkyo Corporation and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers to public libraries, schools for the blind, braille libraries, and other relevant institutions across Japan for the purpose of widely conveying messages of the visually impaired to the public in Braille and writing. This compilation of award-winning essays in Japanese Braille is also translated into English Braille and donated to organizations for the visually impaired in 180 countries around the world.


Resonant with our fulfilling lives

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

We are very happy that this Contest has marked its 15th year from its inauguration. As in the cases in the previous years, we conducted screening while being excited about a number of works of great efforts in this year as well. For the Otsuki Award and others and in every one of the Groups, the works matched each other in our discussions. However, at the end of the day, works leading to every juror’s consent were selected as prize-winning works.
We were all awed by the scenic beauty expressed in the work by Yuki Kobayashi, the Otsuki Award winner. We were impressed by the situations where the strong will and acts of courage put into the work changing herself as well as people around.
Lim Yew Yi, WBU-AP (World Blind Union Asia Pacific) Otsuki Award winner, Malaysia, told in her work that her encounter with words of Hellen Keller has greatly supported and encouraged her independent and fulfilling life and we felt her strong-mindedness in that she has kept maintaining a stance to overcome difficulties and keep learning every day. Manoj Yadav, ABU (Asian Blind Union) Otsuki Award winner, India, deeply examined the necessity of education and its contents in his work and also made proposals regarding roles to be fulfilled by educated people in light of the global situation. I also would like to keep asking myself as to what can be done to realize world peace. Marina Valenti, the EBU (European Blind Union) Otsuki Award winner, Italy, told her agonizing story in her work that while she felt to be capable of carrying an independent life by using braille characters, she got involved with persons who denied it and she ended up in a situation where she was unable to freely use braille characters and also, she strongly appeals for the necessity of braille characters. We pray with all our heart that her thoughts will be delivered to people around her. Jessie Mabry, the WBU-NAC (World Blind Union North America and Caribbean) Otsuki Award winner, America, told her story in her work that one day, she came to notice a short essay for university entrance examination. In the essay, Braille was pointed out as the most important invention made and the writer mentioned that the writer’s life had become fulfilling by Braille and expressed gratitude to Lois Braille, the inventor of Braille. Her work reminded us of how much Braille is important to live a fulfilling life again. For the “Lyrics Award”, as in the case in the last year, Ms. Yuriko Matsumura, a poet, selected three excellent works. In addition, Mr. Tokunaga, who gave the music to the winner lyric, also helped her select the excellent works. The winning lyric created by Yui Tsujimoto narrates her school life vividly using simple words so much so that it made us cheered up while just reading. Mr. Tokunaga selected a woman vocalist to sing and he finished up a very lovely work.
Last but not least, I am deeply grateful to all the people who brought me all these brilliant works this year too. I also greatly appreciate Mainichi Newspapers and Braille Mainichi for their long years of support as the sponsor and WBU-AP, ABU, EBU, and WBU-NAC and the supporters in each country or region for all the arrangements of this Contest, including advertisement for works, screening, and awarding in their respective country. As globalization continues, it is quite easy to imagine that people want a world where peoples of various positions and ideas understand each other and live together more than before. We need to create a better future full of peace and considerateness. I deeply wish that this Contest will help create such an ideal world, widely spread braille, and promote intercultural communication.

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


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