Josai University Educational Corporation


Josai Holds Picture Book Contest Award Ceremony Commemorating JIU’s 20th Anniversary

On February 11, 2012, Josai’s Kioicho campus hosted the 1st annual award ceremony presenting the Flying Whale Grand Prize for the National High School Picture Book Contest to commemorate JIU’s 20th Anniversary.

This contest was designed to give high school students the opportunity to realize new possibilities through picture books. Contrary to popular belief, picture books are not just for children, but are often employed by the Faculty of Social Work Studies as a source of strength and therapy for the elderly, children with disabilities, and adults in need. This contest considers not only standard bound books, but books created electronically, pop-up books, and other works that take an innovative approach to bookmaking. In addition, as befitting the host institution, the contest also has a special international category that invited a great number of entries from foreign countries such as China and Korea.
    The ceremony brought participants from all over the country, including the prize- winners and their families, Honorary President of the Japan Football Association, Kawabuchi Saburo, who served as one of the judges in the competition, as well as other judges.

Chancellor Mizuta opened the ceremony with introductory remarks, saying, “The existence of this contest is a product of the wide-ranging effort and support from not only the Faculty of Social Work Studies, but every university department such as the Faculty of Media Studies, and the Faculty of International Humanities. It is our hope that this contest can contribute to the expansion of the picture book field both on a domestic and international scale.”
    Next, Director Isobe of the Faculty of Social Work Studies presented the individual awards including Outstanding Achievement, Honorable Mention, Freeform, Best Effort, and Original Idea. The recipient of the International Award, Fang Yu Ling of Tianjin Foreign Studies University, delivered his acceptance speech in an impressive fluent Japanese.
    Chancellor Mizuta then presented the grand prize of the Flying Whale Award along with a commemorative plaque to Mayu Sakurai of Kyoai Gakuen High School in Gunma prefecture.

The prize-winning work, “To the One Who Cries,” is a coming-of-age story that depicts the subtleties of teenage interpersonal relationships in vivid color; it left a strong impression for its ability to express the author’s unspoken thoughts and emotions. Its very life-like depiction of personal interaction with beautiful detail made it a unanimous selection for the grand prize.
    As spokesman for the panel of judges, Kawabuchi Saburo remarked that the prize-winning work, “transcended the framework of conventional storybooks, opening the door for new possibilities in the medium.” Poet and picture book author, Arthur Bernard, added that, “This work was even greater than I’d imagined for its expert depiction of the sensitivity of two young people. I look forward to Ms. Sakurai’s continued growth as an author.”
    During the award ceremony, the Faculty of Social Work Studies introduced handmade picture books that were used at their International Children’s Christmas Party, an event directed at preschool-aged children and designed by students enrolled in the university’s Child Care course.

With the success of this year’s competition, one can expect even more exceptional achievements in the picture book field in future contests.


Mayu Sakurai accepts the Grand Prize from Chancellor Mizuta

Mayu Sakurai accepts the Grand Prize from
Chancellor Mizuta

Grand Prize winning work “To the One Who Cries”

Grand Prize winning work “To the One Who Cries”

Commemorative photo with participants

Commemorative photo with participants

Flying Whale National High School Picture Books Winners

   Award School Author Title
1 Flying Whale Grand Prize Kyoai Gakuen High School Mayu Sakurai To the One Who Cries
2 Outstanding Achievement Tomisato High School Sayuri Uchimura monster
3 Outstanding Achievement Bundan Daishin High School
(South Korea)
Lee Seung Yean The Ghosts of Nana & Momo
4 Honorable Mention Chiba Gakugei High School Hikaru Suzuki A Piece of the Sun
5 Freeform Narumi High School Manae Hoshino Happiness is . . .
6 Best Theme Okigakuen High School Himawari Yoshida Mommy’s Hand
7 Best Effort Okigakuen High School Yukino Ogasawara Starlight
8 International Award Tianjin Foreign Studies University Fang Yu Ling Happiness is in the Palm of Your Hand
9 Best Effort Tianjin Foreign Studies University Han Zhi Mei Meeting
10 Best Effort Tianjin Foreign Studies University Zhao Lu The Best View in the World
11 Best Effort Tianjin Foreign Studies University A Yi Bao Li A Customer from Afar
12 Best Effort Tianjin Foreign Studies University Wang Tian Ran The Love of an Iris
13 Best Effort Tianjin Foreign Studies University Jin Shuai One Person’s Romance
14 Original Idea Josai International University Gai Nakajima Spring . . .
15 Original Idea Josai International University Kazumasa Yumoto But for Today . . .
16 Original Idea Josai International University Mikako Ohta My Feelings

Page Top