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High School Students Awarded Japanese Tutoring in Drawing Contest


Japanese with Manga contest winning drawings

Many thanks to all of the talented students who submitted original drawings and artwork to Japanese with Manga, our competition organized in partnership with the Japan Foundation, Verbling, and VIZ Media, for the chance to win $500 worth of Verbling online tutoring with native Japanese speakers.

After careful review of all entries, the panel of VIZ Media judges have made their selection, and we’re very pleased to announce our two Grand Prize Awardees:

Xavier, from Texas, for his drawing of Itachi (above on the left), and

Sandra, from the state of Washington, for her drawing of the Naruto/Boruto mashup (above right).

This will be the first Japanese-learning experience for both of these high school students, but exploring the language isn’t the only dream they share! Both Xavier and Sandra tell us that they each aspire to become manga artists in the future, for which they know gaining Japanese skills now will be invaluable.

In their own words:

“Learning Japanese is important to me, because I would like to live in Japan one day and become a manga artist. […] Ever since I was 8 years old, watching my favorite anime Naruto has made me want to become a manga artist and has also influenced me to write my own manga.”  – Xavier

“Learning Japanese is important to me, because it’s my dream to make manga. If I knew Japanese, I would be able to use both Japanese and the English language to translate the manga I make, instead of have other people translate the manga. I’ve also wanted to go to Japan at least once, and it would be very important to know Japanese if I were to go to Japan. I want to be able to use Japanese to communicate with others and connect with others as well.” – Sandra

Congratulations to both awardees. We look forward to hearing about your tutoring experiences and to one day seeing your manga on shelves!

To see all of the contest entries, search #JapaneseWithManga on Instagram. Like what you see? Tell us what inspired you to learn your additional language by tweeting us @LeadWLanguages.

And for more information on programs, other scholarship opportunities, and stories about Japanese learners, check out our Lead with Japanese page.