Statue of Girl Praying
Chiran Speech Contest
The annual Chiran Speech Contest began in 1990, and the
number of applicants in the adult division peaked in 1995, the fiftieth
anniversary of the end of World War II. Interest in the contest continues at a
high level, with over 100 applicants each year. Contest entrants submit speech
drafts with topics related to the preciousness of life and the importance of
peace. The selection committee chooses four finalists, who give their speeches
in Chiran Town on August 15.
The contest's adult division receives entries from all over
Japan, with residents of 37 of Japan's 47 prefectures submitting draft speeches
for the 2004 contest. The prefectures with the most entrants were Tokyo,
Kagoshima, Shizuoka, and Hyogo.
This web page shows a statue of a girl praying, located in
the Japanese garden next to the entrance road to the Chiran Peace Museum for
Kamikaze Pilots. The Chiran Speech Contest web site, which publishes winning
speeches from prior years, displays this statue since it symbolizes peace.
Hiroyuki Yamasaki, who lost his brother in a kamikaze mission, made the statue.
Kazuo Hayashikawa, a Chiran native, donated this statue to the Chiran Peace
Museum in 1986.
The Chiran Speech Contest's first-prize winner receives a
prize of 300 thousand yen (US$2,700). The second-prize and two third-prize winners
receive 200 thousand yen and 100 thousand yen, respectively. Each winner also
gets a certificate of commendation and a bronze trophy.
This web site presents English translations of selected winning speeches from