Collection of award-winning essays
The Ministry of Justice has organized the annual National Human Rights Essay Contest for Junior High School Students since 1981. This program aims to help junior high school students, who will be major players in the next generation, to deepen their understanding of the importance and necessity of respecting human rights, and foster awareness of human rights, through writing essays on human rights issues.
In 2018, the contest received 933,992 essays from 7,342 schools across the nation. Almost 30% of junior high school students in Japan submitted an essay.
The panel of judges including writer Keiko Ochiai and film director Yoji Yamada judged overwhelming number of essays impartially. Students whose essays ranked among the top four were invited to the awards ceremony held at the Ministry of Justice.
Award-winners and Minister of Justice Takashi Yamashita
Award-winners，their families，judges，Jin-Ken-Mamoru-Kun and Jin-Ken-Ayumi-Chan
Here are the award-winning essays. The winners look at human right issues with fresh sensitivity and a sense of purity special to junior high school students. Readers will be deeply impressed by their essays.
We hope that as many people will read these essays and understand that Japanese junior high school students seriously think about human rights. It is also our hope that this program will help promote respect for human rights across the world.
(1) Award-winning essays in 2018
(2) Award-winning essays in 2017
(3) Award-winning essays in 2016
(4) Award-winning essays in 2015
(5) Award-winning essays in 2014
Each year, a collection of award-winning essays is compiled and distributed. In 2014, based on five outstanding essays selected from past award-winning essays, five animations were produced and compiled into a video titled “Mirai wo Hiraku Itsutsu no Tobira (Five Episodes for a Brighter Future) ”, which has been uploaded to a website and can be viewed online. In this way, this essay contest program plays a major role in publicizing the importance of human rights.
You can also watch other related videos at the link below (in Japanese)