All SPICE News News August 17, 2021

Japan Day: Recognizing Top Students in Stanford e-Japan and the Reischauer Scholars Program

Congratulations to the 2020 Stanford e-Japan and 2021 RSP honorees.
Japan Day honorees Zoom image
Japan Day honorees with Deputy Consul General Higuchi and their instructors

On August 9, 2021, a virtual award ceremony was held to honor SPICE’s Spring and Fall 2020 Stanford e-Japan honorees and 2021 Reischauer Scholars Program honorees. The honorees performed at the highest levels of their courses as determined by Stanford e-Japan Instructors Waka Brown and Meiko Kotani, Reischauer Scholars Program Instructor Naomi Funahashi, and research paper review committees.

Spring and Fall 2020 Stanford e-Japan Program Honorees and Their Research Paper Topics

  • Coco Kawaguchi (Keio Girls Senior High School, Tokyo), “To Infinity and Beyond! National Survival in the Era of Venture Space Development”
  • Sotaro Kunieda (Suwa Seiryo High School, Nagano), “Fostering Social Enterprises in Japan: Lessons from the United States”
  • Yun-Tzu (Allison) Lin (Canadian Academy, Kobe), “Nuclear Deterrence Theory: An Evaluation of Its Effectiveness in Preventing Future Deployment of Nuclear Weapons”
  • Minami Matsushima (Senri & Osaka International Schools of Kwansei Gakuin, Osaka), “The Price We Pay for Men to Be Men: Toxic Masculinity in the United States”
  • Yuna Naoi (Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School, Tokyo), “Online Secondary School Education in Japan and the U.S. Amid the COVID-19 Crisis”
  • Kenta Yoshii (Shukutoku Junior and Senior High School, Tokyo), “In Search of a Realistic Substitute for U.S. Extended Deterrence for Japan”

Honorable Mentions: Risako Nomura (Yokohama Senior High School of International Studies, Kanagawa); Satoru Uchida (Tokyo Metropolitan High School, Tokyo)

2021 Reischauer Scholars Program Honorees and Their Research Paper Topics

  • Erica Cai (The Harker School, San Jose, California), “The Darkness in Pursuing Lightness: Western Perspectives on Japanese Colorism”
  • Kristine Pashin (Notre Dame High School, San Jose, California), “The Rite of Rights: An Examination of Socio-Cultural Precedent in Japanese Law”
  • Kasha Tyranski (St. Petersburg High School, St. Petersburg, Florida), “Gastrodiplomacy: Examining the Soft Power of Food in U.S.–Japan Relations”

Honorable Mentions: Noah Kurima (Sage Creek High School, Carlsbad, California); Kalia Lai (The College Preparatory School, Oakland, California); Benjamin Thomas (Garfield High School, Seattle, Washington)

Deputy Consul General Higuchi headshot

The Honorable Keiichi Higuchi, Deputy Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, made opening comments. “I commend each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication to complete your program in spite of your regular school responsibilities,” he remarked. “You have demonstrated your initiative and determination to further your understanding of Japan and the United States. However, this should not be the end but just the beginning of your journey. I strongly encourage you to continue your studies, and I hope that your experiences in these programs will inspire you to think about a career involving Japan and the United States. I look forward to the day when I hear that some of you will be actively engaged in furthering the Japan–U.S. relationship in your careers and in your lives.”

He continued, “I would like you to know that the special expertise and knowledge that you gained makes you uniquely qualified to take a leading role in promoting Japan–U.S. relations… With young people like you, I have full confidence that the Japan–U.S. relationship will continue to grow and thrive for many years to come.”

Following Deputy Consul General Higuchi’s comments, the student honorees made presentations based on their research papers and expertly fielded questions from the audience.

Yu Higashisawa, Osaka University North American Center for Academic Initiatives, commented, “It’s been a pleasure and honor to be invited to Japan Day for several years. It’s wonderful to see that SPICE has provided a platform for high school students in Japan and the United States to exchange ideas and build relationships remotely. The presentations by the honorees of the RSP and Stanford e-Japan always amaze me and open my eyes to new perspectives. They are ready to go out into the world and make changes in our future!”

Funahashi hopes that her students will someday have the opportunity to study abroad at universities like Osaka University, and Brown and Kotani hope that their students will someday have the opportunity to study abroad at universities like Stanford in the United States.  

The Yanai Tadashi Foundation is the current supporter of Stanford e-Japan, and Daisuke Kato represented the Yanai Tadashi Foundation during the ceremony. SPICE is grateful to Tadashi Yanai for his generous support and to Daisuke Kato and Chikano Shiroma of the Yanai Tadashi Foundation for their regular correspondence and encouragement. Naoaki and Yuka Mashita are the current supporters of the Reischauer Scholars Program, and SPICE is thankful to them for their generous support. These courses and the ceremony would not have been possible without them.

The Reischauer Scholars Program’s next application period will begin September 6, 2021. Stanford e-Japan’s next application period will begin mid-November 2021.

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