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 (RSP) 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 7, 2023, an award ceremony was held at Stanford University to honor SPICE’s Spring and Fall 2022 Stanford e-Japan student honorees and 2023 Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) 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. The honorees are:
Spring 2022 Stanford e-Japan Program
Hana Kameyama, Seikei High School, Tokyo
Miyu Kato, Hiroshima Prefectural Senior High School, Hiroshima
Yuta Muraki, Matsumoto Shuho Secondary School, Nagano
Mona Abe, Urawa Akenohoshi Girls’ Senior High School, Saitama
Oki Sugiyama, Musashi High School, Tokyo
Fall 2022 Stanford e-Japan Program
Yukie Arashida, Yonezawa Kojokan High School, Yamagata
Yohkoh Hineno, Tokai High School, Aichi
Ami Osaka, International Christian University High School, Tokyo
Risa Fukushima, Senzoku Gakuen High School, Kanagawa
Kotaro Tomita, Shibuya Junior and Senior High School, Tokyo
2023 Reischauer Scholars Program
Adrien Bouvard, Riverdale Country School, New York
Oliver Cho, Nueva School, California
Sienna Yamashita, Lincoln High School, Washington
Elise Chin, Oak Ridge High School, California
Tara Hagerty, Harpeth Hall, Tennessee
Hanah Youn, Roslyn High School, New York
The program began with welcoming comments from the Honorable Yasushi Noguchi, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco. (Photo above courtesy Mia Kimura.) He commented,
Platforms such as the Reischauer Scholars Program and Stanford e-Japan are very important for our two nations. Through these programs, young people from both countries learn about the other country and mutual history, and have a chance to engage in direct exchange. To build a reliable and amicable relationship, mutual understanding is an essential factor. I believe that our young people’s deeper mutual understanding will enhance our two countries’ further cooperation and friendship.
Also in attendance from the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco were Noritoshi Kurokawa, Consul for Education, Science and Technology, and Yumiko Ishii, Advisor for Cultural and Educational Affairs.
Following the welcoming and opening comments, Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi gave introductions of their courses. The student honorees made outstanding presentations based on their research papers and expertly fielded questions from the audience.
One of the audience members was Jun Yamasaki, a recent graduate of Northwestern University who was a Yanai Tadashi Scholar and is now a PhD student at Stanford. (Photo courtesy Mia Kimura.) Yamasaki, who is originally from Tokyo, was a Stanford e-Japan honoree in 2017. Reflecting on the ceremony, he noted,
I am truly grateful for the continued interactions with the e-Japan program and its students over the years, and in particular, this opportunity to meet the honorees in person. I was very impressed by the unique perspectives from which they viewed the U.S.–Japan relationship, as well as the initiative, creativity, and rigorous thought they displayed in conducting the analysis. As I look back on Japan Day five years ago, I remember that my interactions with e-Japan and RSP students—who were intellectually curious and willing to discuss their opinions—solidified my decision to apply to U.S. colleges. I hope the students will continue to engage with each other and further build upon their cross-cultural awareness even after the conclusion of their programs.
The RSP and Stanford e-Japan are about to enter their 21st and 9th 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 the audience were Stanford e-Japan guest speakers, including Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. (Photo courtesy Mia Kimura.)
Following the formal event, the student honorees—most having just met each other in person for the first time—had the chance to enjoy lunch and a Stanford campus tour together. It is the hope of Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi that the Japanese and American student honorees will continue to strengthen their budding friendships and ensure that the U.S.–Japan relationship remains strong.
SPICE is grateful to President Tadashi Yanai for his generous support of Stanford e-Japan and to Chikano Shiroma of the Yanai Tadashi Foundation for her 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.