Stanford e-Japan enrolls exceptional high school students from Japan to engage in an intensive study of U.S. society and culture. The Reischauer Scholars Program enrolls exceptional high school students from the United States to engage in an intensive study of Japanese society and culture. Both courses underscore the importance of U.S.–Japan relations. The Yanai Tadashi Foundation is the current supporter of Stanford e-Japan, and the Japan Fund at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) is the current supporter of the RSP.
On August 8, 2022, an award ceremony was held to honor SPICE’s Spring and Fall 2021 Stanford e-Japan student honorees and 2022 Reischauer Scholars Program student honorees. The honorees performed at the highest levels of their courses as determined by Stanford e-Japan Instructors Waka Takahashi Brown and Meiko Kotani, Reischauer Scholars Program Instructor Naomi Funahashi, and the research paper review committees.
Spring 2021 Stanford e-Japan Program Honorees
Yura Amaya, Toyama Chubu High School, Toyama
Akira Fukutomi, Yaeyama High School, Okinawa
Yuto Kimura, Waseda University Senior High School, Tokyo
Fall 2021 Stanford e-Japan Program Honorees
Yohei Kiguchi, Chiba Prefectural Chiba Senior High School, Chiba
Mio Kobayashi, Shirayuri Gakuen, Tokyo
Tomoka Matsushima, Senri International School, Osaka
Honorable Mentions: Ayuki Ichikawa (Keio Senior High School, Kanagawa), Risei Ko (Ikeda Senior High School attached to Osaka Kyoiku University, Osaka), Saya Miyake (Keio Girls High School, Tokyo), and Moe Shimizu (Shibuya Senior High School, Tokyo)
2022 Reischauer Scholars Program Honorees
Cindy DeDianous, Scarsdale High School, New York
Yurika Sakai, Greenwich High School, Connecticut
Riyana Srihari, Nueva School, California
Honorable Mentions: Sora Shirai (Hanover High School, New Hampshire) and Colin Cham (Nueva School, California)
The program began with welcoming comments from the Honorable Hajime Kishimori, Acting Consul General of Japan in San Francisco. “I would like to recognize this year’s honorees for their outstanding academic performance and to congratulate all the participants for completing the programs. I believe that through these programs, your understanding of Japan and the United States has been deepened, and I hope that it will inspire you to consider your future study and career involving Japan–U.S. relations.” He continued, “I am glad that we have platforms such as the Reischauer Scholars Program and Stanford e-Japan where young people from both countries learn about each other’s country and mutual history and have a chance to engage in direct exchanges."
Following Acting Consul General Kishimori, Chikano Shiroma, Deputy Secretary General of the Yanai Tadashi Foundation, made opening comments. She noted, “First of all, I would like to congratulate the Reischauer Scholars Program and Stanford e-Japan students who are participating today… Our Foundation has supported Stanford e-Japan since 2018, so I am happy to be able to hold this ceremony in person in Japan… Our Foundation’s President, Mr. Tadashi Yanai, is also the founder of Uniqlo and also President of Fast Retailing, the holding company of Uniqlo and other fashion brands. The Yanai Tadashi Foundation supports talented Japanese high school students to have the opportunity to pursue higher education at universities in the U.S. and U.K. so that they can contribute to the future development of Japan worldwide.” She continued, “Our main business is a scholarship program for Japanese students who wish to enter universities in the U.S. and U.K.—universities that are ranked among the top 60. We have provided scholarships to approximately 200 students. Among them are many students who have taken the Stanford e-Japan program so if you seek to apply for universities in the U.S. or U.K., we encourage you to apply for our scholarship program… Our Foundation hopes that what you learn about the relationship between Japan and the U.S. through Stanford e-Japan will be helpful in your future careers, and we hope for your international success in the future.”
Following the welcoming and opening comments, Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi gave introductions of their courses. The student honorees made presentations based on their research papers and expertly fielded questions from the audience. While listening to the presentations, I reflected on the tremendous impact that Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi have had on their students over many years. The RSP and Stanford e-Japan are about to enter their 20th and 8th years, respectively. Many of the alumni are now engaged in various fields related to U.S.–Japan relations and continue to give back to both programs by being guest speakers or mentors to the current students. Also, in their comments, Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi profusely thanked their guest speakers, many of whom have remained unwavering in their support since the launch of the programs.
Takayuki Enomoto, Teacher at Waseda University High School in Tokyo, kindly made arrangements to host the Stanford e-Japan honorees at Waseda University High School. Reflecting on the event, he noted, “As someone who shares a common goal in educating young people, the SPICE team receives my respect and appreciation for nurturing our students with a broad perspective in U.S.–Japan relations… The e-Japan students will certainly make a significant difference in the future.” Following the formal event, the student honorees—most having met each other in person for the first time—had the chance to enjoy lunch together and visit sites in Tokyo. It is the hope of Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi that the Japanese and American student honorees will someday have the chance to gather in person when it is safer to do so.
SPICE is grateful to President Tadashi Yanai for his generous support of Stanford e-Japan and to Chikano Shiroma and Daisuke Kato of the Yanai Tadashi Foundation for their regular correspondence and encouragement. SPICE is also thankful to the Japan Fund committee at FSI for its generous support of the Reischauer Scholars Program. These courses and the ceremony would not have been possible without them.