Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee supported The 75th Speech Contest of School for the Blind (hosted by Mainichi Newspaper Co., Ltd. Tenji Mainichi) which was held on Oct. 20th , 2006 at “Hotel Awina Osaka” in Tennoji, Osaka. This speech contest has marked its 75th anniversary observing the tradition since its establishment in 1928. The 9 representatives of blind students between 15-73 years old, who had won the elimination contest, made a speech passionately about future dream, purpose of life and ordinary feeling with their own words, aiming for championship flag of Minister of Education and Science and Tenji Mainichi Cup.
The sharpened sense of blind students brought us what we had never noticed.
We received impression and power from their words sending the message of “Power to live.” The gist of this contest “Sending the message of our mind with our own words” is leading to our group message of Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee “Passing important values from people to people.”
The 1st-prize winner was Tokuko Takemoto, 73 years old from Okayama Prefectural Okayama Blind School. With the title “Live today without regret,” she made a speech breezily about fulfilling school life and stronger motivation for learning.
“With the concrete episodes of interaction with classmates and walking training, she expressed great joy in realizing her dream for the first time in 60 years, which she gave up once, to go on to the blind school. Her august speech, ‘Nothing is too late to learn with motivation,’ deeply impressed about 300 audiences at the venue.” (From the morning edition of The Mainichi Newspapers on Nov. 7th, 2006) Her speech was highly evaluated by the 7 judges including actress Kyoko Mitsubayashi,
“I’ve been greatly moved all the time since the beginning.
It was very difficult to judge and the result came out with our efforts.
All the speeches got to my heart. Specially, I was deeply impressed with Mrs. Sasaki who continued to speak about her gratitude for her husband even after she passed the time limit although she knew that her marks would be subtracted.” (From the review of special judge, actress Kyoko Mitsubayashi)
The 2nd-prize winner was Makoto Nishikame, 49 years old from Osaka Municipal Blind School, its title was “Never ever give up your dream.”
The 3rd-prize was Miki Imai, 16 years old from Gifu Prefectural Gifu Blind School. She made a speech enthusiastically with the title “Treasure hunt.”
Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee presented the 1st-prize winner with Sumitomo Group Cup. Moreover, 3 winners from the 1st to 3rd prize were presented with overseas study tour as supplementary prize. All the 9 participants were presented with the memento of portable CD player as the performance award.