Meet the 2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Winners!
(click here to watch a recording of Scholarship Awards Ceremony)
(click here to read JAVA President Gerald Yamada's remarks at the Ceremony)
The Japanese American Veterans Association is pleased to announce the 14 winners of the 2021 Memorial Scholarship Program. Outstanding students from around the country applied for the scholarships. The candidates for the JAVA scholarships were incredibly talented and accomplished, and all applicants would be worthy of receiving a JAVA scholarship to continue the legacy of the Nisei service to country.
The $3,000 memorial scholarship honoring the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of military and civilian public service was awarded to Samantha Kanekuni, of Baltimore, Maryland. The granddaughter of Isamu Kanekuni, 442nd RCT, Samantha is working towards a J.D. at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
The $3,000 Founder’s Scholarship named for JAVA’s founder, the late Colonel Phil Ishio, his wife Constance and their son Douglas Ishio, was awarded to Madeleine Matsui, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The granddaughter of Victor Matsui, MIS, Madeleine just completed her first year at Harvard Law School.
The Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship, a $2,000 award in honor of a longtime patron of JAVA was awarded to Jairus Iwasaki, the grandson of Shigetoshi Iwasaki, 442nd RCT, of Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Jairus is pursuing a B.A. in Education at the University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa.
The following JAVA Memorial Scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors, each in the amount of $1,500:
Malina Miura, received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Dr. Americo Bugliani and his liberator, Paul Sakamoto, 100th Bn. Malina is the grandniece of Douglas Tanaka 442nd RCT, and is from Culver City, California. She will attend the University of California, Irvine, and plans to work towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Kyle Kuwahara received the Tak and Carolyn Furumoto JAVA Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Tak’s late father Sam Kiyoto Furumoto. Kyle is the grandson of Keso Kuwahara, 6007th ASU, and the grandnephew of Kozu Kuroda, Kenzo Kuroda, and Goro Kuroda who all served in the 442nd RCT. Kyle is from Berkeley, California. He will attend the University of California, Berkeley, and plans to study Computer Science.
Juliana Ibaraki received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Ranger Grant Jiro Hirabayashi, MIS. Juliana is the granddaughter of Thomas Ibaraki, 100th Battalion, and is from Manhattan Beach, California. She will attend the University of Greenwich in London, and plans to study Public Health.
Garrett Tamura received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of COL Jimmie Kanaya, a three-war veteran - WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Garrett is the grandson of Kunima Tamura, MIS, and is from Torrance, California. He will attend California State University, Long Beach, and plans to study Mechanical Engineering.
Mari Kanemoto received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of CWO4 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai, MIS. Mari is the granddaughter of Harry Yoshio Ishibashi, 442 RCT/ 522nd Field Artillery, and is from Seattle, Washington. She will attend Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID, and study Nursing.
Cassidy Hanano received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Sergeant Ben Kuroki, a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 505th Bombardment Group. Cassidy is the grandniece of Charles Hanano, 442nd RCT, and is from Wailuku, Hawaiʻi. She will attend Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and is Pre-Med.
Micah Katahara received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Victor Matsui, MIS, and his wife Teru Matsui. Micah is the great-grandson of Sadami Katahara, 442nd RCT, and the son of JAVA member CAPT Michael Katahara, USN (Ret). He is from Great Falls, Virginia. Micah will attend the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and plans to study Economics.
Evan Haramoto received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Colonel Virgil R. Miller, Commanding Officer of the 442nd RCT. Evan is the great-grandnephew of George Ryoji Yamada, 442nd RCT, and is from Whittier, California. He will attend the University of California, San Diego, and plans to study Biology.
Ethan Murakami received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of past JAVA President and Korean War veteran, Bob Nakamoto. Ethan is the great-grandnephew of Seichi Tsugawa, 442nd RCT, and is from Kaneohe, Hawaiʻi. He will attend Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and plans to study Economics.
Nicholas Gima received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Betty Shima, lifelong partner of Terry Shima, 442nd RCT and former JAVA Executive Director. Nicholas is the grandnephew of Shinye Gima, MIS, and is from Kula, Hawaiʻi. He will attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, and plans to study Engineering.
Arisa Aloiau received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Major Orville Shirey, 442nd RCT, and his wife Maud Shirey. Arisa is the granddaughter of Hiroshi Kato, 442nd RCT, and is from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. She will attend the University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa, and plans to study Marketing.
JAVA thanks the Scholarship Committee - Mrs. Chris DeRosa, Chair; Ms. Dawn Eilenberger, JD, former Deputy Director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Major Kay Izumihara, USAR; and CAPT (Dr) Cynthia Macri, MC, USN (Ret).
The future of our nation is in great hands, knowing these young individuals will be at the forefront.
To learn more about our JAVA scholarships visit our website at https://java-us.org/JAVA-Memorial-Scholarship-Program.