The Stanford University Scholars Program for Japanese High School Students or “Stanford e-Japan” is an online course sponsored by the Yanai Tadashi Foundation and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), Stanford University. This online course teaches Japanese high school students about U.S. society and underscores the importance of U.S.–Japan relations. Through Stanford e-Japan, ambassadors, top scholars, and experts throughout the United States provide web-based lectures and engage Japanese high school students in live discussion sessions called “virtual classes.” Stanford e-Japan is now in its 5th year and 8th session overall.
On March 15, 2019, 29 high school students across Japan were notified of their acceptance to the Spring 2019 Stanford e-Japan Program. The online course kicks off today and runs until August 23, and will include students representing Aichi, Chiba, Fukuoka, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Okinawa, Osaka, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tokyo, and Toyama. In addition to a diverse geographical representation within Japan, the students themselves bring a diverse set of experiences to the program, many having lived overseas in places such as Canada, China, the Philippines, and the United States.
The selected Stanford e-Japan high school students will listen to lectures by renowned experts in the field including Professors Emeritus Daniel Okimoto and Peter Duus, and Professors Katherine Gin Lum, Phillip Lipscy, and Kenji Kushida (Stanford University) on topics such as “Baseball Diplomacy,” “The Atomic Bombings of Japan,” “The Attack on Pearl Harbor,” “Religion in the U.S.,” “U.S.–Japan Relations,” and “Silicon Valley and Entrepreneurship.” Live virtual classes include guest speakers such as Ms. Suzanne Basalla (Toyota Research Institute), Ms. Maiko Cagno (U.S. Consulate, Fukuoka), and Mr. Andrew Ogawa (Quest Venture Partners).
Many Stanford e-Japan students in the current cohort (as well as past ones) have mentioned their desire to study in the United States. The Stanford e-Japan Program equips many students with the motivation and confidence to do so, in addition to many of the skills they will need to study at U.S. universities and colleges. In addition to weekly lectures, assignments, discussion board posts, and virtual classes, the program participants will complete a final research paper on a topic concerning U.S. society or the U.S.–Japan relationship.
“Through this course, we’ve raised Japanese students’ interest in U.S. society and U.S.–Japan relations, which is fantastic,” commented Brown. “I’ve encouraged them to seriously consider undergraduate studies in the United States and to look into opportunities like the Yanai Tadashi Foundation Scholarships.”
Stanford e-Japan is one of several online courses for high school students offered by SPICE, including the Reischauer Scholars Program, the China Scholars Program, and the Sejong Korean Scholars Program. For more information about Stanford e-Japan, please visit stanfordejapan.org.