A Small Boy's Big Dream Part II

Kento Takeda
Nakabaru Middle School

I have a dream. It is to get another chance to try for The Prince Takamado Trophy Finals. I desperately want to be chosen again. Just one year ago, I was standing in this place like today and making a speech under the title of : "I am a small boy, but I have a big dream". I started my speech saying,"My body is small, but inside this tiny frame lies a tremendous goal".

I was born small and hold the position of one of the smallest in my whole school life. My complex was so big that sometimes I wondered what I was born for. My speech was about my complex and how I overcame it. I talked about how I studied English hard at school, how I practiced speeches every day, and about how my Karate training made my body and mind stronger. Both English and Karate made it possible for me to conquer my fear and complex and enabled me to develop my own self-confidence.

When my name was chosen to be one of the three contestants from Saga, I was on top of the world. The four days I spent in Tokyo was a wonderful experience. 151 middle school students came from all over Japan. Even though we were competing against one another for the same goal, there was an instant bond between us and it felt like we were one. I was sorry that I could not be one of the 27 finalists but the experience I had with the other students left me with no regrets. I still remember how we enjoyed our free time together, teaching one another our local dialects. In my case, "Gabai" , which means "very much.." was a great success. When they said to each other "Gabai, Gabai", I was very happy. When the time came to say good bye, they cheered me up by saying" Come back again next year, you can make it! ". I said to them, " I'll be back for sure". And so, this time round, it is not only a dream I'm after but also I have a promise to keep to the friends I made.

Coming back from Tokyo, I felt like a new person. I found myself involved in many new things and became very positive towards everything. I ran for the student leader in autumn and became a member of the student body. As an ex member of the table tennis club, I now practice with the younger years and adult groups on weekends and try to teach them the skills which have been shown to me. I still train at Karate as it keeps me focused on these new projects.

It is true that my life and attitude has changed but I still have that same desire to enter the Prince Takamado Trophy. The only problem was what to talk about. There were many topics of interest to me. I wondered, should I talk about communication and the dialects of Japan? Or should I talk about the unification of towns and villages, which is happening all over Japan. My own native town will loose its name next spring, as it becomes part of a new town, which will include all the villages in the area.

My final decision for the contest was to talk about myself and my journey. Different students speak about various subjects but nobody but me can talk about my experiences and my reasons for competing in this Trophy. There will be no "Small Boy's Big Dream Part 3" as this is my last year in middle school. But I promise you this. There will be more challenges ahead and the desire to chase a new dream will burn inside of me long after this day.

(3-17 Speech in 56th Contest, 2004)

(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun

All of the speeches are copyrighted material of JNSA FUND and The Yomiuri Shimbun, and are protected by the Japanese copyright law.

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