Aleishea Yamaoka captures Toyama Cup Grand Prize

Senior from Kalaheo, Kauai wins top honor at annual Japanese speech competition.

Pacific University student Aleishea Yamaoka won the grand prize at the annual Toyama Japanese Speech Contest in Portland on April 15.

A senior from Kalaheo, Kauai, Hawai'i and double majoring in Japanese and International Studies, Yamaoka prevailed against peers from universities and colleges throughout Oregon.

She developed the winning speech, titled "Japanese and American Intermarried Couples," from her senior thesis.

"Aleishea gave a wonderful, very heartwarming speech on this topic," said Kazuko Ikeda, Yamaoka's advisor and chair of the University's Japanese Language Program. "She also demonstrated good sense of humor and gave the audience a good laugh."

The contest was established to promote a stronger relationship between the peoples of Toyama and Oregon by promoting Japanese language education in Oregon universities and colleges.

It is sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Oregon, Consulate-General of Japan and the Association for Teachers of Japan in Oregon.

In capturing 1st place, Yamaoka earned a free trip to Japan as Honorary Friendly Envoy to Toyama.

Posted by Joe Lang ( on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

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