Audiovisual manufacturer Onkyo Corporation, Japan Institute of Scientific Research for Education, and the Braille Mainichi, Mainichi Newspapers established the Onkyo Braille Essay Contest in 2003 to build a bridge to the world of the visually challenged people who very closely feel the warmth of the people. In 2004, the scope of the contest expended with the addition of the International Category; starting with the 9th contest held in 2011, the name of this annual event has been changed to the “Onkyo International Braille Essay Contest.”
The 14th contest held this year invited entries from Japan for the Japanese Category as well as entries from 108 countries for the International Category: 21 countries and regions in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) under World Blind Union Asia Pacific (WBU-AP), 21 countries in West Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East under Asian Blind Union (ABU), 45 countries in Europe under European Blind Union (EBU), and 21 countries in North America and the Caribbean under World Blind Union North America and Caribbean (WBU-NAC). As an international essay contest, the event promotes cross-cultural communication and serves as a bridge across an increasingly complex global community.
Last year, we started a new prize in the domestic category, Lyrics Award, with an eye to fusing lyrics with music. This year the winner lyric was given the music to give it a finishing touch. We hope that this new prize will be promoted more widely together with the Supporting Group established two years ago to make the general public know more about the efforts of family members, schools, work places, and local supporters of and related to the visually disable people. We hope that the people will learn how the visually disable people in and out of Japan think, feel, and live by reading their essays and a harmony of living and working together will sound in our society.
Learn more and read the winning entries here.