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2023 Judges’ Comments

This is the 15th year of the Video Matsuri Short Film ContestThank you to all the teachers and parents for participating 

We have received 58 entries this year and the Junior Secondary division again received the most entries. We are overwhelmed with the quality of the submissions from all levels, and we would like to congratulate all the students, teachers, and parents who have been involved and/or given support in the video production.     

 This year’s contest signature item was 「はみがきこ」or ‘toothpaste.’ The judges were thoroughly captivated to discover how toothpaste appeared or embedded into the story. In some cases, toothpaste made a subtle appearance, while others choose to make it the main theme. 

 Across all categories, friendship, romance, horror, and comedy were popular genres this year. 

 We were delighted to see so many submissions showing original story lines with interesting plots and students creatively expressing themselves in Japanese. Video editing skills were particularly high this year, with subtitles and smooth transition of scenes visible. 

Many submissions were extremely well-choreographed, using music and sound effects to create suspenseful, romantic, or exciting ambience. 

 In the Primary division, the winning video ‘School Life in Australia’ displayed great teamwork. The students highlighted their Japanese skills they knew/learnt in class based on the theme of daily routine with well-rehearsed lines. The judges were pleased to see how much they enjoyed performing together using Japanese throughout. 

 In the Junior Secondary division, there were so many high-quality submissions. The judges finally chose two winning videos, ‘Breath Taking Adventure’ and ‘Our Morning Memories.’  

‘Breath Taking Adventure’ had an easy to follow humourous storyline which was acted in a well-paced tempo which captured the viewer’s interest to the end. The camera work and editing techniques such as the timing of using of black and white were outstanding. 

 The second winning video on the Junior Secondary division, ‘Our Morning Memories’ had a storyline about looking back on memories of a lost mother and was highly commended for its quality of animation and originality. The animation had conveyed warm but sad nostalgic feelings which resonated with the judges’ hearts.  

 In the Senior Secondary division, the winning video ‘HAMIGAKI TARO’ showed great imagination. The students went into creating a heroic story about mouths using toothbrushes and toothpaste, which the judges thought was brilliant. The animation is hand-drawn and technically may not seem as highly polished as some of the other anime style entries, however appeared to follow the style of drawing manga.  

 In the Tertiary division, the chosen winner ‘Toothpaste Tycoon’ showed excellent camera techniques to convey an interesting storyline of a fired worker joining the mafia. The use of language was appropriate for university students and was easy to understand. The judges highly regarded the plot which also touched on environmental issues. 

  Thank you again for participating for this years’ Video Matsuri especially the teachers, family and friends who supported the project. We hope that this video contest will continue to give students the opportunity to showcase their Japanese and other skills and reflect on their own learning.  

 All entries are available to be viewed on-line. We hope that students and teachers enjoy sharing their work and their learning of Japanese through video with friends, families and beyond.  We continue to encourage entrants to use subtitles in their entries so that the videos can be appreciated by a wider audience. 

 We look forward to seeing your amazing videos next year!  


The Video Matsuri Judges 

Division Winners


School Life in Australia

Park Lake State School (QLD)

Junior Secondary (Shared)

Breath Taking Adventure

Junior Secondary (Shared)

Our Morning Memories

Rossmoyne Senior High School (WA)

Senior Secondary


Cumberland High School (NSW)


Toothpaste Tycoon

Monash University (VIC)

Special Mentions


But Don’t Eat it!

Enkindle Village School (QLD)


Job MINT-erview


School Surprise

Hornsby Girls High School (NSW)


Forever My Friend

Strathfield Girls High School (NSW)

Junior Secondary

Super Toothpaste

The Armidale School (NSW)

Junior Secondary

The Tales of Toothpaste Shenanigans

The Armidale School (NSW)

Senior Secondary

Super Historical Matchmaker

Senior Secondary

Hamigakiko (Toothpaste girl)

Otago Girls’ High School (NZ)

Senior Secondary

Translate Mishap

Wellington High School (NZ)


Shougakusei no watashi ga hamigakiko to wakareta?!

University of New South Wales (NSW)

View All 2023 Video Matsuri Entries

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