Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®

What is Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl?

The Japan Bowl® is a Japanese language and culture competition for high school students who are studying Japanese. The Japan-America Society of Washington DC organized and hosted the first Japan Bowl in 1992. The competition has since been expanding overseas and is now held in Poland, England, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Bulgaria, France, etc. The inaugural Canadian Japan Bowl® was held in Vancouver in 2018.

Teams comprise of 2 to 3 members. During the competition, questions are read out verbally in both English and Japanese. The top three teams from the Preliminary Round will proceed to the Championship Round.

Check out these two videos to get an overview of the Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl:  Introducing MVJB and Scenes from MVJB 

Where and when does this take place?

The Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® is usually held the second weekend of March at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Center in Burnaby, BC.

How to join?

Team Applications are to be submitted by the teacher.


Canadian students who study Japanese at the high school level are eligible to compete at the Japan Bowl.

    • Students who are native speaker of Japanese or who use Japanese at home are not eligible to compete.
    • Students who have had significant exposure to Japanese language and/or culture outside the high school curriculum are not eligible to compete. For example, students who have spent a cumulative total of three months or more in Japan might not be eligible to compete.

Application Process

    • Students form teams of two or three.
    • Applications are submitted by teachers on behalf of students.
    • Schools may register up to a maximum of TWO teams. Each team will need to be registered separately.
    • Registration opens in early January.
    • Application deadline: Last Friday in February

2024 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®

The 2024 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® will be held Saturday March 9, 2024 at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Center.

Previous Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®

6th Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – March 11, 2023

For the 6th Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl, over 70 students from 14 schools competed on 27 teams.  Students answered challenging questions on a wide range of topics that went beyond Japanese language and grammar, such as history from 800 CE to 1600 CE, the Shikoku and Chugoku regions, green technology, and manga.  Throughout the day, students enjoyed different cultural activities including a koto performance by Pico Masaki, a traditional ‘rajio taiso’ warmup, a captivating kyudo (Japanese archery) demonstration by Stephanie Mathura, a lively performance and workshop by APPARE Yosakoi group led Yuehi Shimada, and an exciting round of anime trivia.  Steve Chevalier from the Consulate also introduced various work and study programmes opportunities supported by the Government of Japan.  Ultimately, ‘Katsudon’ from Centennial Secondary School in Coquitlam won the competition.  The day ended with Consul General Kohei Maruyama of the Consulate-General of Japan in Vancouver offering his own humourous mini-quiz about the Consulate’s history before congratulating the participants and expressing his gratitude to the event organizers.

5th Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – March 12, 2022

The 5th Annual Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® (MVJB) offered a fun day of Japanese language and culture for high school students at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre (Burnaby, BC). Abiding by provincial COVID-19 restrictions, over 85 people attended, including 14 teams representing seven schools from around the Lower Mainland. Special guests included the Consul General Takashi Hatori and Consular staff Steve Chevalier and Ryosuke Nakazawa; Vancouver Okinawa Taiko; and Urasenke Tea instructor Yasuko Takahashi. “The Pillar Men” from Coquitlam’s Centennial Secondary School took first place for the 2022 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®.

4th Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – March 13, 2021

In response to the ongoing global pandemic, the organizing committee transitioned the competition online. This shift enabled student participation from Vancouver Island and a broader audience, where non-local guests tuned in from the US as well as Japan. In total, 38 students from 7 schools participated in the fourth Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®. Special guests included the Consul General Takashi Hatori, Consular staff Steve Chevalier, and the Columbus Koto Ensemble. Students participated in one of three workshops – Calligraphy, Origami, and Wagashi. Team サヤインゲン from R.A. Mc Math emerged as the winner of the 2021 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®.

3rd Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – February 23, 2020

The 3rd annual Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® was held at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby, BC. It was a year of new records with 66 students from 10 secondary schools forming 23 teams. Special guests included Consul General Takeshi Hatori, Canada Miyake Kai, Ms. Yurie Hoyoyon, and Sasuki Kai. Team 釣り人 from Port Moody Secondary was crowned the winner of the 2020 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®.

2nd Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – March 9, 2019

In a celebration of Japanese culture, the second Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® was held on March 9, 2019. Coming from across Metro Vancouver, 34 students formed 12 teams from six different secondary schools. In addition to the competition, attendees enjoyed performances by Dahaza Taiko and Kumori, as well as an aikido demonstration by Shomonikai. 華麗なカレー from Port Moody Secondary was the winner of the 2019 Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®.

Inaugural Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl® – February 24, 2018

In spite of a snowstorm the day before, over 60 people gathered at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre for the first-ever Japan Bowl® in Canada. 32 students formed 11 teams from five schools. In addition to the competition, students enjoyed an energetic mid-day taiko performance by Taiko 55 from Richmond, which included an interactive component where student volunteers were invited to join in the performance. A team from Killarney Secondary School delivered an outstanding performance and won the inaugural Metro Vancouver Japan Bowl®.