The Japan-America Society of Washington DC organizes the National Japan Bowl each spring and supports other Japan Bowls across the country to recognize and encourage high school students who have chosen Japanese as their foreign language.

While there are many Japan Bowls and Japan quiz bowls across the United States, the National Japan Bowl® is the “Super Bowl” of Japanese language learning. Today it is widely recognized as the premier national academic competition for high school students of Japanese.  Each spring the gathering draws over 200 high school students from across the nation to compete in Washington DC.

The National Japan Bowl tests the achievements of high school students throughout the US who are studying Japanese. Students represent their schools and compete as members of 3-person teams, based on how many years they have studied Japanese.

Over the course of two days, students are asked at least 90 questions about the Japanese language as well as Japanese culture, society, daily life, history, geography, and current events. The also take part in a “Conversation Round” that assesses their ability to communicate effectively with a native Japanese speaker.

The National Japan Bowl is a “total experience package” for students. In addition to the academic competition, students watch Japanese cultural performances, meet with Japanese and American role models, take part in hands-on activities, learn about Japan-related study opportunities at American and Japanese universities, and meet other students from across the nation who share their passion for the Japanese language and culture.

The National Japan Bowl is held just before the Japan-America Society’s Sakura Matsuri, which gives students a chance to enjoy the largest one-day Japanese cultural festival in the country.

The Japan-America Society also organizes a special two-hour meeting during the National Japan Bowl for teachers to share professional information.

The National Japan Bowl has enjoyed support and encouragement over the years from the United States-Japan Foundation; the Embassy of Japan; the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; the Japan Foundation; and the American Association of Teachers of Japanese.

In 2007 Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado kindly became the Honorary Patron of the Japan Bowl, and she meets each year with the National Championship Team during their trip to Japan.