Japanese Speech Contest in 12th year



Mark your calendars for the upcoming 12th Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest on 4/26/14, from noon-5:00 p.m. at Pima Community College NW Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Rd. , Building G. Students studying the Japanese language in middle, high and college level compete for prizes.

The afternoon features: speech contest, cosplay contest (first ever), exhibitions and performances. You don’t want to miss it. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers and Suzuyuki Kai traditional Japanese dance group will be performing.

More info at:
Southern Arizona Association for Japanese Education.

Yours truly will be there “womaning” the table for our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC) of which I am the Editor, trying to spread the news about “all things Japanese” in our community (see our Calendar online).  In the past year I’ve been posting information about Japanese  wood block prints, origami, igo and hanafuda games, music & dance, tea ceremonies, shakuhachi flute & shamisen concerts, koi ponds, matsuri (festivals), animated films, taiko drumming, shiatsu massage, ikebana, manga & anime, internment camp information, etc.

New this year at our SAJCC table will be local Tucson author T. Martin Bennett selling/autographing his gripping new novel “Wounded Tiger” about the Commander of the Pearl Harbor attack Mitsuo Fuchida, and two other parallel stories taking place in Japan.

Hope you can join us at this speech contest/matsuri.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Amazingly authentic Cosplay costumes, soothing shakuhachi music, beautiful traditional dancers, athletic judo demos, and lively taiko drumming at the 12th annual speech contest. Exhibitor tables included calligraphy, origami, kyudo (archery), ikebana, cosplay, manga & anime, and Wounded Tiger author Martin Bennett who sold & signed several of his books. Congrats to the winners of the speech and cosplay contests.

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