International Essay Contest for Young People

2021 International Essay Contest for Young People

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 International Essay Contest for Young People.

This year the Essay Contest was held under the theme “What is Life?”
From among 28,217 entries from 161 countries, the following winners were selected. We take this opportunity to thank all of you who participated in the contest!

Watch the Virtual Award Ceremony below.

First prize winners presented their winning essays during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2021 “Creating a Future Beyond Our Imagination” scheduled to take place online on November 20, 2021.

Certificates and gifts for all prizes will be mailed to the winners in December 2021.

Guidelines for the 2022 International Essay Contest for Young People will be announced on this website and through the Goi Peace Foundation’s mailing list and facebook page by mid-February 2022.

"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?

List of Winners

(All ages are as of June 15, 2021.)

1st Prize

Children's category (1 entrant)

Youth category (1 entrant)

2nd Prize

Children's category (3 entrants)

Youth category (3 entrants)

3rd Prize

Children's category (5 entrants)

Youth category (5 entrants)

Honorable Mention

Children's category (25 entrants)

Youth category (25 entrants)

Best School Award (3 schools)

  • Joso Gakuin Junior & Senior High School, Ibaraki (Japan)
  • Fuji Sacred Heart School, Shizuoka (Japan)
  • Kagoshima Gyokuryu Junior & Senior High School of Kagoshima City (Japan)

School Incentive Award (66 schools)

  • Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School, Petaling Jaya (Malaysia)
  • Bookers International Schools, Ogun (Nigeria)
  • Brest Gymnasium No 1 (Belarus)
  • Bukhara region Karavulbazar district School N1 (Uzbekistan)
  • Çağdaş Bilim Anadolu Ve Fen Lisesi, Marmaris (Turkey)
  • Chicago Futabakai Japanese School-Saturday School, Illinois (U.S.A.)
  • Chitoku High School, Shizuoka (Japan)
  • Colégio Guilherme Dumont Villares, São Paulo (Brazil)
  • Colégio Vital Brazil, São Paulo (Brazil)
  • Drukgyel Central School, Paro (Bhutan)
  • Escuela Preparatoria No. 8, Universidad de Guadalajara (México)
  • FPT University (Vietnam)
  • Fukuoka Jyoto High School (Japan)
  • Ghiyasuddin International School, Male’ (Maldives)
  • Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Manila (Philippines)
  • Honjo Higashi Junior & Senior High School, Saitama (Japan)
  • Ibaraki Prefectural Koga Secondary School (Japan)
  • Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School, Alakashi, Lagos ( Nigeria)
  • International School of Milan (Italy)
  • Iskandhar School, Male’ (Maldives)
  • Japanese Supplementary School of Middle Tennessee (U.S.A.)
  • Jonan Gakuen Junior High School, Senior High School, Osaka (Japan)
  • Knewton Global Schools, Sarawak (Malaysia)
  • Koka Gakuen Junior and Senior High School for Girls, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Kyoto University of Advanced Science Junior & Senior High School (Japan)
  • Labuan International School, Labuan (Malaysia)
  • Liceul Mathias Hammer in Anina, Caras-severin (Romania)
  • Matsumoto Shuho Secondary School, Nagano (Japan)
  • Midori Elementary School of Itabashi City, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Mindlabs International Institution, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
  • Mukogawa Women's University Junior & Senior High School, Hyogo (Japan)
  • Nanhi Dunya, Dehradun, Uttarakhand (India)
  • Nobeoka Technical High School, Miyazaki (Japan)
  • Okinawa Prefectural Gushikawa High School (Japan)
  • Omori 6th Junior High School of Ota City, Tokyo (Japan)
  • Owada Minami Elementary School of Yachiyo City, Chiba (Japan)
  • PECHS Girls School, Karachi (Pakistan)
  • Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon Campus, Lanao Del Norte (Philippines)
  • Preparatoria num. 11 Universidad de Guadalajara (México)
  • Preparatoria Regional de Colotlán, Jalisco (México)
  • Rosary Sister School/Marj Elhamam, Amman (Jordan Amman)
  • Santo Tomas Elementary School-Annex, Laguna (Philippines)
  • Satriwithaya School, Bangkok (Thailand)
  • School 11, Cherkasy (Ukraine)
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sri Nipah, Kelantan (Malaysia)
  • Sekolah Kebangsaan Minden Height, Pinang (Malaysia)
  • Setagaya Junior High School attached to Tokyo Gakugei University (Japan)
  • Showa Women's University Junior-Senior High School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • SISA - School of International Studies in Sciences & Arts, Punjab (Pakistan)
  • SJKC Kong Min Cawangan Kedua, Penang (Malaysia)
  • SMJK Chio Min, Kedah (Malaysia)
  • SMJK Keat Hwa, Kedah (Malaysia)
  • SMK Jenjarom, Selangor (Malaysia)
  • St. Agnes' Junior & Senior High School, Hyogo (Japan)
  • St. George's School, Brunei Muara (Brunei)
  • Suma Gakuen Junior High School, Hyogo (Japan)
  • Sydney Saturday School of Japanese, New South Wales (Australia)
  • Taisho Elementary School of Omuta City, Fukuoka (Japan)
  • Tamana Girls High School, Kumamoto (Japan)
  • The Lao-American College (Laos)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Suginami Sogo High School (Japan)
  • Toyo Eiwa High School, Tokyo (Japan)
  • VII Kopernik High School, Slaskie (Poland)
  • Yamanouchi Junior High School of Yamanouchi Town, Nagano (Japan)
  • Yaroslavl College of Industry and Economy, Yaroslavl (Russia)
  • Zhodino Secondary School 6, Zhodino (Belarus)


Organized by

The Goi Peace Foundation

Under the auspices of

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc.

Supported by


Essay Contest 2021 Flyer (PDF)


Past Winning Essays