The 11th Japan Spelling Bee Postponement

The Japan Times Logo

The Japan Times, Ltd., the official local sponsor of The 11th Japan Spelling Bee, originally scheduled for March 7, 2020, has made the reluctant decision to reschedule the event to Saturday, May 9.

This decision was made after careful consideration and close consultations with Scripps and stakeholders following the concerns and uncertainties arising from travel disruptions and other circumstances due to the COVID-19 situation. We will still be monitoring the coronavirus spread as the days go by and in the event the level stays the same or increases, we may have to completely cancel this event.

We seek the understanding of participants and their families who had looked forward to attending the competition in March and regret any inconvenience this has caused.

We will let you know as soon as the venue is confirmed. Thank you very much for your understanding.


The 11th Japan Spelling Bee Program
Venue: Josai University, Tokyo Kioicho Campus, Building #3.
2-3-20 Hirakawacho Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0093


What is Japan Spelling Bee?


Under spelling bee rules, each speller must spell their word out loud, and they can request the definition, the language of origin and an alternate pronunciation as well as hearing the word used in an example sentence. Spellers cannot go back and change the order of their spelling once they have spelled a letter out loud.

History and purpose

The spelling bee has a history of over 90 years. It first started in the U.S. in 1925 when nine newspapers joined together to host a spelling bee. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase vocabulary, learn concepts and develop correct English usage.

In addition to a deeper appreciation for language, it also gives participants important lessons on the value of hard work and memories that will last a lifetime.

Past champions and participating schools