Ohio Japan Bowl

The Japan Bowl is a registered trademark of the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC. Logo used with permission.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Dublin Integrated Education Center, Ohio University Dublin Center, Dublin, OH

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Handbook

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Level and Eligibility Information

The 2020 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

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Team Application

Applications must be received by the JASCO office by Friday, January 31, 2020.

The application packet must include the following items, available in two separate documents:

  1. The Application Cover Sheet, which must be signed by the students’ Japanese teacher or advisor
  2. Student Agreement Forms, one for each student on the team, with each form signed by the student and his/her parent or legal guardian

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Application Cover Sheet

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Student Agreement Form

2020 Japan Bowl Application Cover Sheet.docx 2020 Japan Bowl Student Agreement Form.docx

One application packet must be submitted per team per level.

2020 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.

Japan Bowl Study Guide


2020 Non-Language Topics

As taken from the Japan Bowl Study Guide:

History Classical/Medieval Era
Nara~Sengoku Periods

Major events, people, and terms
Social Sciences Industry, technology, and infrastructure
  • Major industries, companies, and technologies
  • Information, communication, and transportation networks
  • Tourism and regional products
Daily Life & Society
  • School culture
  • Work culture
  • Rites of life
  • Religious practices
Arts and Culture
  • Traditional performing arts (theater, music, comedy, etc.)
  • Martial arts
Popular Culture
  • Olympics/Paralympics
  • Sports
  • Tourism, travel, and souvenirs
US-Japan Relations The US-Japan connection: Interaction between the two countries in the topics listed above
Current Events Major events and developments in Japan’s politics, economy, international relations, and society during the 12 months prior to the Japan Bowl.

Note: Current events questions will be asked only during the Championship Round.

Language Topics

The following language topic guide is taken from the National Japan Bowl Team Study Guide. Students should be able to read, write, and understand the kanji listed in the document. Level 3 students are responsible for both Level 2 and 3 lists, and should expect to see kanji from both lists during the Japan Bowl.

Japan Bowl Japanese Language Topics


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.



  • Members of the first-place Level II team will each receive a prize valued at $100. 
  • Each member of the second-place team will receive a $30 gift certificate.


  • The first-place team (plus chaperone) will receive an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the National Japan Bowl in Washington, DC, April 2-3, 2020, and compete to win a free trip to Japan. Following the National Japan Bowl, they will be able to attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 4, 2019.
  • Each member of the second-place team will receive a $50 gift certificate. 

Third place teams in both levels will get a special trophy.


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.

Volunteering at the 2020 Ohio Japan Bowl

Interested in helping out at the Ohio Japan Bowl? Visit our Volunteer page and select Japan Bowl on the form!

2020 Ohio Japan Bowl Sponsors

The 2020 Ohio Japan Bowl is made possible through the support of the following organizations and individuals:


 Shoko Yoshitake  

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor for the Ohio Japan Bowl? Contact us at jasco@jas-co.org.

2019 Japan Bowl Winners

First Place: Marysville High School

Second Place: Dublin Coffman High School
Third Place: Fort Hayes Arts & Academic High School

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©2019 Japan-America Society of Central Ohio | (614) 300-3054  | jasco@jas-co.org

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