This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.
* This program is an activity within the framework of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030).
“What is Life?”
What does life mean to you? Have you had an experience that made you think about the meaning of life? What kinds of things can you do to cherish and invigorate your own life and all life on earth?
Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 15, 2021) in one of the following age categories: a) Children (ages up to 14) b) Youth (ages 15 - 25)
Essays must be 700 words or less in English or French, or 1600 characters or less in Japanese. Essays must be typed, with your name and essay title included at the top of the first page.
There are no particular rules regarding formatting (font style, size, line space, etc.). However, essays must be submitted in either MS Word (DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.
* Your name and essay title are not included in the word count limit.
Entries must be submitted online. To send your essay online, you must go to the online registration page, and follow the required steps. Entries submitted by postal mail or e-mail are not accepted.
Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group by creating an ‘account for school/organization entrant’ on the online registration page.
* Only one entry per person is accepted. * We are unable to confirm receipt of essays.
Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarized entries will be rejected.
Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
Copyright of the essays entered will be assigned to the organizer.
If you have questions, please consult the FAQs section below.
Entries must be received by June 15, 2021 (23:59 your local time).
The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively: 1st Prize: Certificate, prize of 100,000 Yen (approx. US$900 as of March 2021) and gift ... 1 entrant 2nd Prize: Certificate, prize of 50,000 Yen (approx. US$450 as of March 2021) and gift ... 3 entrants 3rd Prize: Certificate and gift ... 5 entrants Honorable Mention: Certificate and gift ... 25 entrants
* 1st to 3rd prize winners will be invited to the Winners Gathering to be held online. * Additional awards (Best School Award, School Incentive Award) will be given if applicable. * All prize winners will be announced on October 31, 2021 (Japan time) on this website. Certificates and gifts will be mailed to the winners in December 2021. * We are unable to answer individual inquiries concerning contest results.