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JLfest 2024
Japanese Comedy

Story Telling Competition

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The competition aims to enhance the oral skills of Japanese language learners by cultivating their interest in reading and their appreciation for the language and Japanese comedy (Rakugo).

It also encourages learners to inculcate good values through telling or listening to the story.

This year, the competition was held on June 15, 2024, and 12 contestants competed by retelling the story 「時プロウンミ―」in their style. The story was adapted from the popular RAKUGO story 「時そば」.

1st Prize Winner:

Yuvahneetha Bai a/p


SMK (P) Methodist Klang, Malaysia

2nd Prize Winner:

Mohd Zafrol Nizam bin

Mohd Nazorl Hanizam

SMK Maktab Sabah, Malaysia

3rd Prize Winner:

Nadia Nurdiana bt Mohd Faizal

Self-study, Malaysia

MERIT Prize Winner:

Hareez Zaqwan bin Hazrin

Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia


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Edward LEE




Dr Rokiah Paee

Senior Lecturer


Photo_Yasujiro Takei (1).jpg

TAKEI Yasujiro

Visiting Lecturer




Nirmala Beletambi

 Retired Japanese Language Teacher



     "Listening for 3 hours to our grandparents' same old stories repeatedly or the teacher's repetitive nagging would freak us out and make us turn to a deaf ear. However, not when listening to these 12 contestants. Listening to them telling the same story not twice or thrice but 12 times was nothing but a pleasure. Each contestant brought in their interpretation of the characters, drawing us to different angles of the story, and amusing us with a variety of gestures and facial expressions. It was as if they were telling us 12 different stories! Had our grandparents told their stories or our teachers nagged creatively like these 12 contestants, we would have listened to them attentively. Hats off to all the contestants!

   The 12 finalists were selected from the 30-second original and interesting self-introduction videos submitted for this competition. Many were indeed very creative and witty. Unfortunately, we were not able to show them. The two earlier workshops on how to make impactful and meaningful self-introductions did pay off! Perhaps, we should have a competition for a 'self-introduction' video competition in the future! 

    Although there were flaws among the winners (mainly due to nervousness), their live performances were so captivating that we ignored these little flaws. They were indeed great storytellers! I admired the first-prize winner who has matured into an enchanting storyteller. She first joined this competition in 2021 and since then each year she has made remarkable improvement in her articulation, gestures, and facial expressions. She deserved to win this competition. The rest of the winners were first-timers but they delivered their performance like old-timers! The second winner was great with voice play and energetic performance, especially his devious smile! The third winner was a natural storyteller.  She brought a new angle to the story by showing us more of the presence of the noodle chef. Her facial expressions and the tone of her voice were captivating.  The merit prize winner was very creative. I laughed at his ingenuity in turning a mistake he made when delivering the story into making us believe that it was part of the story.  What's a great strategy! Congratulations to all the winners.

    A small piece of advice. DO NOT FALTER when delivering an important line or mispronounce one of its words. Counting the coins aloud is the most critical moment in this story. Faltering or mispronunciation will negate the effects and disappoint your audience. Therefore, do not overlook the importance of accuracy and fluency in speaking."


     "As a judge for the storytelling competition, I was very impressed by your performances. Many of you had clear voices and good gestures, which made each version of the story unique and interesting. Even though I heard the same story eleven times, your different styles kept it fun to listen to each time.

      However, sometimes it was hard to tell which character was speaking. For future performances, please work on making the characters and roles clearer. You can do this by changing your voice more, using clearer body movements, and changing your speed to show different characters or important parts of the story.

      Overall, your creativity and passion were clear, making this competition a joy to judge. Keep practising your skills and finding new ways to connect with your audience."





​  今日審査員をしたことで、日本語学習者の努力を目にしたのと同時に、落語の奥深さも感じました。」


  "It was a great pleasure to be the judge for this competition again.  The contestants showed their own creativity in presenting their stories. Although I listened to the same story many times, it was pure entertainment as the contestants came out with interesting ways or styles of presenting the story. Congratulations to all the participants. You had taken this competition to higher level. My only suggestion to all the participants is to concentrate more on the pronunciation and intonation. Do practice more on these elements. 

    Thank you to JLSM for organizing this event as it has become a perfect platform for the Japanese Language learners to enhance their language abilities as well as indulge themselves in the Japanese Culture."


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