Japanese School wins 11th consecutive award

The university’s Southern Indiana Japanese School received its 11th consecutive School Award in Writing from the Japan Overseas Education Services.

There are close to 300 Japanese schools abroad and only 20 of them are awarded this honor.

Keietsu Nishimura, principal of SIJS, said when the school started in 1997, he never could have imagined it would have the success it does now.

When the school first opened, only about 10 schools were receiving the school award as opposed to the 20 recieving it now.

“When I saw the names of the 10 schools I wondered what great schools (they had to be) that they would be awarded the school award,” Nishimura said. “It was our dream.”

There were also four individual students who won writing awards this year. 500 works were honored out of the 40,921 that were submitted.

The students honored were sixth-grader Ren Higuchi, first-graders Yuzuki Komatsu and Nana Kato and second-grader Rikuto Kadoshima.

“When students win the individual award we are very pleased,” Nishimura said.

He said in the beginning he wasn’t sure the school would be a contender for the honor because of its size.

The school started with seven students and has now grown to 58.

He said overall it was a big surprise, but he is very pleased that the school has won the award continuously.