A look back: Japanese National Honor Society hosts first annual karaoke contest


Roshan Fernandez

Club vice president and junior Jadon Bienz was on edge. His team was about to perform Yatta!, a japanese song by the group Green Leaves. But after the performance, his face was filled with delight.

“It’s a very opening experience,” Bienz said. “A lot of other people are singing with you…[so] it’s not as scary as you think.”

One month ago, on Nov. 10, the MVHS Japanese National Honor Society (JNHS) hosted their first karaoke contest along with the other chapters of the JNHS throughout the FUHSD. After planning for weeks, meeting at Panera Bread and practicing their scripts and transitions, JNHS set up shop at Cupertino HS to hold the competition.

“I think we’ve planned this pretty well,” club president and junior Ethan Lin said. “Nothing too disastrous happened and I’m pretty happy with that.”

But for JNHS, this was only the first step. The club has plans to make the contest an annual event. Despite a couple of minor slip-ups, such as some of the audio not being able to be played, the contest ran smoothly, and the officers are already looking forward to next year’s contest.

According to both Bienz and Lin, the event was well planned, so in the future, they will only need to make minor changes. There was an impressive turnout for the contest that made the student organizers proud.

“It’s pretty cool seeing this many people here and actually enjoying themselves, spending their Thursday night at a karaoke contest that we planned out,” Lin said.

However, senior Hidetoshi Yoshimura and junior Ginga Sato both expressed concern over the amount of time that was put into the practice runs. After deciding on a song and working on the choreography about three weeks before the event, the team was only able to meet once to do a full runthrough of their performance due to the availability of the other group members.

“It was kind of hard in that sense,” Sato said. “And we were dancing too, and that [increases] the difficulty.”

Nonetheless, in the end the event was a huge success. The officers were very pleased with the result, and they look forward to making it into an annual performance. But for Lin and countless others, the event means more than just karaoke.

In addition to just the experience of memorizing a song in Japanese, awards were given out as well, and Lin’s group took home an award that night. There were two winning groups from MVHS in four cateogries of awards. The “Most Comedic” award went to the Kart Squad’s performance of Yatta!. The group consisted of juniors Lin, Bienz, Christian Wu and Victoria Xiao, along with Lynbrook HS junior Sasha Williams. The other award, in the category of “Best Overall Group”, went to the performance of Bittersweet. The group singing consisted of junior Ginga Sato, senior Kaito Kikuchi, senior Jun Muranaka, senior Ayaki Saito, and senior Hidetoshi Yoshimura.

“This event is really fun and the audience is very [supportive],” Lin said. “It’s a very positive environment and overall a really good experience to put yourself out of your comfort zone.”

Videos and photos by Shar Rahman and Om Khandekar