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March 6th 2021

Online Ohio Japan Bowl

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Ohio Japan Bowl!


LEVEL 2 - Marysville Early College High School


LEVEL 3 - Marysville Early College High School


A recording of the finals of both levels is available below. 

Thank you to the following sponsors for helping to make the 2021 Ohio Japan Bowl possible:

  • Japan Marketplace

  • Mashiko International Exchange Association

  • Nihongo-de-Columbus

  • The Consulate General of Japan in Detroit

  • The Ohio State University Institute for Japanese Studies

  • THK Manufacturing of America

  • Union County/Marysville Economic Development

  • Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP


Information about the 2022 Ohio Japan Bowl will be released in Fall 2021.

2021 Ohio Japan Bowl Information


2021 Ohio Japan Bowl Level and Eligibility Information


The 2021 Ohio Japan Bowl is open to full-time students currently enrolled in second- and third-level Japanese language classes in a high school in Ohio, and will feature two levels of competition:

  • Level II, for students enrolled in Japanese 2 or an equivalent class

  • Level III, for students enrolled in Japanese 3 or an equivalent class

We will be following the study guidelines established by the National Japan Bowl. Please see the section below to learn about the topics that will be covered at the Ohio Japan Bowl, along with the required kanji and Japanese expressions.


Please note that the participation level is based on the Japanese language course level, and not the student’s school level. For example, a high school junior who began Japanese language study in junior high school might be studying at a level IV equivalent (such as Japanese 4 or AP Japanese) and therefore would NOT be eligible to participate in Level III of the Ohio Japan Bowl. However, a sophomore or senior enrolled in third year high-school level Japanese language study are eligible to participate in the Ohio Japan Bowl at Level III.

About Japan Bowl Teams

All team members must be studying Japanese at the same level at the same high school.

Students do not need to be in the same class.

A team must consist of two or three students. One student is not a team. We strongly encourage schools to form a team of three students instead of two.


There is no limit to the number of teams that may be sent by one school.

However, a student cannot be a member of more than one team.


Participation Eligibility


2021 Ohio Japan Bowl Applications

Applications must be received by the JASCO office by Friday, February 12, 2021.


JASCO must receive for each team:

  1. The Team Application, which must be signed by the students’ Japanese teacher or advisor

  2. Student Applications, one for each student on the team, with each form signed by the student

​*One application packet must be submitted per team per level.

2021 Ohio Japan Bowl Study Guide & Topics

In determining the questions for the Ohio Japan Bowl, JASCO will follow the guidelines established by the National Japan Bowl for Level II and III competitions. Please download the below study guide for more information.


2020 Non-Language Topics As taken from the Japan Bowl Study Guide:

Geography Basics

  • Map of Japan and major regions

  • Climate, natural environment, and population

  • Locations and general information about places in level-specific kanji lists

Seasons in Japanese culture

Names of seasons and common seasonal allusions, seasonal events​

Manners and body language

  • Etiquette at home and in the community

  • Gestures used for non verbal communication

いただきます     バツ     自分を指す     指数え

ごちそうさま     おじぎ     つの出す

Daily customs and home life

Rites of life

Home, school, work, community customs

Current Events

Major events, news in Japan in the 12 months before the National Japan Bowl


Major events, figures, terms, cultural products

- Unification and Edo Period, 1560~1868


Public services, practices

  • Medical, police, fire

  • Trash/recycling

  • Disaster preparedness


Contemporary culture

  • Entertainment -- anime, manga, games, music, films in the 21st Century

  • Sports -- major events, athletes 2020-21

Japan's regions

festivals, sites, history, products

Hokkaido and Kyushu

Please note that while the National Japan Bowl Study Guide includes information about a Conversation Round, there will NOT be a Conversation Round at the Ohio Japan Bowl. However, we have included it so that you may be aware of what is required of participants in the National Japan Bowl.

Language Topics




About the Japan Bowl

The Japan Bowl® is a Japanese language competition created by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC in 1992. The Japan Bowl tests the achievements of Japanese learners throughout the US and other countries. The Japan Bowl in the United States focuses on high school students.


What makes the Japan Bowl unique is that it goes beyond language and asks students about their knowledge of Japanese culture, society, daily life, history, geography, and current events. Participants compete as members of 3-person teams, based on how many years they have studied Japanese.


The Japan Bowl is not an exam; it uses a “quiz bowl” format. Students hear – and don’t read — the questions. They are given a timeframe, usually 30 seconds, within which to respond. The questions are asked in both Japanese and English and answered in a variety of ways.


The Japan Bowl was first held as a local competition for high schools in the Washington DC area. Within a few years, high schools from other parts of the nation joined the competition in Washington, and it became the “National Japan Bowl.” In addition to the National Japan Bowl in Washington DC, there are Japan quiz bowl competitions throughout the United States. Beyond the Ohio Japan Bowl, there are also official Japan Bowl competitions in Illinois, Wisconsin, Utah, and California.


The Japan Bowl seeks to motivate students to higher levels of academic achievement. It strives to impart the kind of real-world communications skills and cultural knowledge that will help students in their high school years and beyond. Most Japan Bowl participants say they plan to continue to study Japanese during their college years, and almost all hope to study abroad in Japan.


Japan Bowl participants say they hope to have a “Japan connection” in their adult lives, whether in business, academia, the arts, or public service. No matter which profession they choose, the knowledge and skills they acquired as Japan Bowl competitors will help them become future leaders in the US relationship with Japan.

About the Ohio Japan Bowl

The Ohio Japan Bowl is being organized by the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, and the Ohio Association of Teachers of Japanese.