Meet the 2022 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Winners!

(click here to watch a recording of the Scholarship Awards Ceremony)

The Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) announced 16 winners of JAVA’s annual scholarship award program for 2022. 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 Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship honoring the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of military and civilian public service was awarded to Kiera Hirayama, of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. The granddaughter of Robert Takashi Hirayama, 442nd RCT, Kiera is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Case Western Reserve University with a focus on nursing educational leadership. She received her Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Management at Columbia University in New York and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University in Nebraska. Kiera is working as an RN in the NICU at New York Presbyterian Medical Center. She is also a clinical instructor at Columbia University School of Nursing.

$3,000 Ishio Founder’s Scholarship named for JAVA’s founder, the late Colonel Phil Ishio, his wife Constance, and their son Douglas Ishio. It is awarded to a student who has completed 2 or more years of college/university. The Ishio Founder’s Scholarship was awarded to Elizabeth Uno, of Sacramento, California. The granddaughter of Iwao Henry Tamura, 442nd RCT and Dick Uno who also served in WWII. Currently, Elizabeth is pursuing a Master of Public Policy with a focus on Educational Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She has a Masters of Arts in Education from UC Davis and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA.  Elizabeth has been a teacher, consultant, and researcher.

The Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship, a $2,000 award in honor of a longtime patron of JAVA, is awarded to a student who has completed at least one year in college/university.  This scholarship was awarded to Nicole Tanaka, of San Gabriel, California. She is the daughter of JAVA member and Gulf War veteran John Tanaka. Nicole is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design Media Arts as a 3rd-year student at UCLA.

The following JAVA Memorial Scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors, each in the amount of $1,500:

Madeleine Doi received the Staff Sgt. Mum Arii Scholarship, in honor of Mamoru “Mum” Arii who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Madeleine is the grandniece of Hiroshi Kamimura, 442nd RCT. From Playa del Rey, California, Madeleine will attend UCLA in the fall and pursue a degree in Bioengineering.

Ryson Ujimori received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Dr. Americo Bugliani and his liberator, Paul Sakamoto, 442nd RCT. Ryson is the great-grandnephew of Katsumi Kometani, 100th Battalion. Ryson is from Aiea, Hawaiʻi, and will attend the University of California, San Diego, in the fall.

Claire Nelson received the Carolyn Namie Furumoto Scholarship in honor of Carolyn Namie Furumoto, the wife and partner of JAVA member and Vietnam veteran Tak Furumoto. Claire is the granddaughter of Takashi Torakawa, MIS, and is from Exeter, California. She will attend the University of California, Davis, and plans to study Nutrition.

Daniel Shintaku received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Ranger Grant Jiro Hirabayashi, MIS. Daniel is the grandson of Takeso Shintaku, MIS, and the son of JAVA member Michael Shintaku. From Altadena, California, Daniel will attend the University of Southern California and plans to study Political Science and Economics.

Taleen Sample received the Izuno Family Scholarship, in honor of JAVA member and Korean War veteran, Dr. Takumi Izunowho served in the U.S. Army 511th Military Intelligence Service. The great-grandniece of Howard Ogawa, MIS, and JAVA member Elaine Sample, Taleen is from Denver, Colorado. She will attend Brown University in the fall and plans to study Political Science and Economics. 

Kai Moriyama received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of U. S. Army Colonel Jimmie Kanaya, a three-war veteran – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Kai is the son of JAVA members LTC Heather Moriyama, USA (Ret), and LTC Richard Moriyama, USA, and is from Kaneohe, Hawaiʻi. He will attend the University of Southern California and plans to study Neuroscience.

Natalie Sipress received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of CWO4 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai, MIS and CIC. She is from Washington, DC, and is the granddaughter of Shigemitsu Nakashima, MIS. Natalie will attend Oberlin College in Ohio, and study Sociology.

Madeline Chun received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Sergeant Ben Kuroki, a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 505th Bombardment Group. Madeline is the great-granddaughter of Samuel Sakamoto, 100th Battalion. From New York, New York, she will attend Yale University and plans to study Ethnicity, Race, and Migration.

Trisha Tanaka received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Victor Matsui, MIS, and his wife Teru Matsui. Trisha is the daughter of JAVA member and Gulf War veteran John Tanaka. From San Gabriel, California, she will attend UCLA and plans to study Molecular Biology.

Connor Malinger received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Colonel Virgil R. Miller, Commanding Officer of the 442nd RCT. Connor is the great-grandson of Sadami Katahara of the 100th Battalion. From Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, he will attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and plans to study integrated Business and Engineering.

Julia Pellei received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of past JAVA President and Korean War veteran, Robert Nakamoto. Julia is the daughter of JAVA member Steve Pellei and is from Richmond, Virginia. She will attend the United States Naval Academy and plans to study STEM/Engineering.

Rina Mok received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Betty Shima, lifelong partner of Terry Shima, 442nd RCT. Rina is the great-granddaughter of Thomas E. Ouye, 442nd RCT. From Campbell, California, she will attend the University of California, Davis, and plans to study Food Sciences.

Jack Radovich received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Major Orville Shirey, 442nd RCT, and his wife Maud Shirey. Jack is the son of JAVA member COL Kay Wakatake, USA (Ret). From Tacoma, Washington, he will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to study Mechanical Engineering.

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; MAJ Kay Izumihara, USAR; CAPT (Dr) Cynthia Macri, MC, USN (Ret); and LTC Robert Vokac, USA (Ret).

To learn more about our JAVA scholarships visit our website at

Kiera HirayamaHonolulu, HawaiʻiCase Western Reserve University  U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth UnoSacramento, CaliforniaGoldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley Ishio Founder’s Scholarship
Nicole Tanaka, San Gabriel, CaliforniaUCLA
Kyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship
Madeleine DoiPlaya Del Rey, CaliforniaUCLAStaff Sgt. Mamoru “Mum” Arii Scholarship
Ryson Ujimori, Aiea, HawaiʻiUniversity of California, San Diego Dr. Americo Bugliani Scholarshipin honor of Paul Sakamoto, 100th Bn
Claire Nelson, Exeter, CaliforniaUniversity of California, Davis Carolyn Namie Furumoto Scholarship
Daniel Shintaku, Altadena, CaliforniaUniversity of Southern California Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship
Taleen Sample, Denver, ColoradoBrown University Izuno Family Scholarship
Kai Moriyama, Kaneohe, HawaiʻiUniversity of Southern CaliforniaColonel Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship
Madeline Chun, New York, New YorkYale UniversitySergeant Ben Kuroki Scholarship
Trisha Tanaka, San Gabriel, CaliforniaUCLAVictor and Teru Matsui Scholarship
Connor Malinger, Honolulu, HawaiʻiLehigh UniversityColonel Virgil R. Miller Scholarship
Rina Mok, Campbell, CaliforniaUniversity of California, DavisBetty Shima Scholarship
Jack Radovich, Tacoma, WashingtonNotre Dame UniversityMajor Orville and Maud Shirey Scholarship

Updates from past JAVA Memorial Scholarship Awardees!

Mike Mikawa, 2015 Ishio Founder’s Scholarship
In 2015, I received the JAVA Founders Scholarship in memory of Phil and Doug Ishio and it helped me earn my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2017. Since graduation, I have continued to dedicate my career to public service. I have spent over four-and-a-half years in our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. as an attorney ensuring fair competition in our economy while working at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. And a few months ago with my wife and a one-and-a-half-year-old in tow, I moved to San Francisco to serve as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. I am extremely grateful and honored to have received a scholarship from JAVA and intend to continue to use my privilege to serve others. 

Kelsey Ichikawa, 2015 Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship

I graduated from Harvard in 2020 with an AB in neurobiology and philosophy. Currently, I am a lab manager at the Harvard GenderSci Lab. In 2021 I also had the chance to work with San Jose Nikkei Resisters and Vigilant Love and connect with local Japanese American political work in California.

Andrew Mitsuhiro Chun, 2015 Major Orville and Maud Shirey Scholarship

Thanks in part to the JAVA scholarship, I attended the University of Michigan, which was quite a change of climate after growing up in Hawaiʻi. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 2019. 

After graduation, I got a position as a software engineer working on autonomous driving with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which happened to merge into Stellantis right as I was getting started. Later, I moved on to a different software engineering position back in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Lindsey Sugimoto, 2016 Ishio Founder’s Scholarship
Thank you for awarding me with one of the JAVA scholarships back in 2016.  It helped me tremendously in law school.  I was able to focus more on studying and spend less time worrying about my expenses.  I still am humbled to have received the JAVA scholarship because it reminds me of yet another blessing that I received from my grandfather and the Nisei war veterans, as they provided for their country, community, and future generations through their unrelenting sacrifice, honor, and commitment.
Since receiving the scholarship back in 2016, I graduated from Berkeley Law in May of 2019 and began practicing as a litigation associate at Latham & Watkins about six months before COVID started.  It seems surreal how fast and slow time went during these last two years.  During that time, I’ve become more confident in and made headway in defining my legal career, as well as learned how to juggle my work commitments so that I can continue my passion of giving back in the community.  I am active in Go For Broke’s Torchbearers and the Japanese American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Group and hope to continue to get involved in more community organizations.  Thank you again JAVA for the impact you have had on my life trajectory.
Sarah Nakasone, 2016-17 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship
Sarah Nakasone graduated with Masters from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar. She has returned to DC after two years in the UK and recently finished a stint as the aide to the Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Mike Bosack, 2018 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship

Since my last update two years ago, my day job has not changed much. I continue to work for the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission where I advise on negotiating and communicating with the Korean People’s Army. It is complex but rewarding work that allows me to work with North Korean counterparts and colleagues from all over the world.

Things have been a bit more eventful outside of my formal government work. I founded the Parley Policy Initiative (, a nonpartisan project focused on expanding knowledge and understanding of negotiation, crisis management, peacekeeping, and postwar policy. My work for Parley Policy has been focused deeply on Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In a collaborative project between the Parley Policy Initiative and the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies, I published a book entitled “Negotiate: A Primer for Practitioners.” “Negotiate” is a product of everything I learned about negotiation throughout my military, government, and academic careers, presented in a way that is meant to be useful, readable, and easy-to-reference. It is meant to provide readers with the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed to succeed in intergovernmental negotiations. Because I wrote this in hopes of fostering cooperation and mitigating conflict throughout the world, the digital version is free while the hardcover is available for purchase at a modest price (all proceeds from the sales go to benefit YCAPS programming).

Despite these other activities, I continue to maintain my connections to Japan, providing analysis and commentary on Japanese politics and security for the Japan Times. I recently reached a milestone of 100 articles published for the news outlet.

All this was made possible by the JAVA scholarship, which enabled me to complete my academic studies and inspired me to tackle new projects. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to represent JAVA and the legacy of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye.

The attached photo is from a security symposium this past May. I delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion about the prospects for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula alongside U.S. Charge d’affaires Chris Del Corso. Wishing you all the best from Pyeongtaek

Fiona Koye, 2019 Tashio Scholarship 
I am currently a senior studying natural resource management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. In my free time, I am the club officer for two environmental stewardship groups: ESF Friends of Oakwood Cemetery and ESF Friends of Recreation, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship. I also perform with my school’s acapella group the Ecotones and as a solo vocalist and I like to post my performances on YouTube for my family to listen to. I am currently working for the Department of Agriculture this summer and have been helping them maintain the People’s Garden in D.C. 

T.J. Okamura, 2020 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship

Though bittersweet, I just completed my M.A. degree with a 3.89 GPA from the University of Washington in Japan Studies. Like many other recent graduates, I am on the hunt for a job in the International Relations field (so if you are hiring, let me know!). Concurrent with graduation, I put down my sham shield and picked up a butter bar, commissioning into the Army Reserves as a Second Lieutenant with B. Co. 373rd Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion. A fun fact is my current unit shares the Reserve Center with B. Co 100th BN/442nd IN! Lastly, I plan on attending a kendo promotion exam in August.

Camille Tom,  2020 Victor and Teru Matsui Scholarship
Since receiving the JAVA Scholarship, I’ve completed my first two years of college at Biola University where I’m studying as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major. I hope to become a speech pathologist in the near future, and this scholarship has helped me become one step closer to achieving this goal. I recently started working as a gymnastics coach for one of my former gymnastics coaches, and this has been taking up most of my summer. I love being able to work with the kids and see the joy it brings them! I’ve also been spending my summers traveling with family, hanging out with my friends, and volunteering at my church.

Grace Bost, 2020 Major Orville and Maud Shirey Scholarship

I am a rising Junior at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Law & Society. I was elected for a leadership position in the Pre-Law Fraternity I joined my Freshman year, and served as Director of Internal Affairs this past year. I also served as Vice President for the UCSD Club Gymnastics Team and will maintain a leadership role next year as Treasurer. As a student-athlete, I received an Academic Excellence award for my 4.0 GPA; only the 10 athletes with the highest GPAs received this honor. I have been a Writing Consultant on-campus for over a year now and am continuing it this summer into the next academic year. Advancing in my legal career path, I recently obtained my first legal internship as a legal researcher/writer for a law firm. I also began studying for the LSAT this past spring and will continue into the next academic year before I apply for law school in the fall of my Senior year.

Chloe Nelson, 2020 Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship
I just declared into the Human Biology & Society B.S. major at UCLA and am preparing to start my upper division courses. I also completed my first year of Japanese language study and am looking forward to starting Japanese 4 in the fall! This past year I have been involved with a pre-med organization and will serve as the finance director and a pre-med mentor next year. I also served as a scientific editor for my school’s undergraduate neuroscience journal, Grey Matters, and on the Event Planning Committee for the Undergraduate Math Council. Thank you so much to the Hirabayashi family and JAVA for supporting me in my education with the Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Memorial scholarship. I will never forget what this scholarship represents. Congratulations to this year’s JAVA scholarship recipients!
Samantha Kanekuni, 2021 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship
On November 2, 2021, we celebrated my grandfather, 442nd Veteran, Isamu Kanekuni’s 100th birthday. Here is a photo of us in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. This summer I am a Summer Associate for WilmerHale in Washington, DC, and looking forward to finishing law school this year. Congratulations to all the new scholars!
Madeleine Matsui, 2021 Ishio Founder’s Scholarship
Madeleine Matsui is currently a rising third-year student at Harvard Law School (HLS). She is spending her summer at Gunderson Dettmer’s New York office where she is hoping to focus on intellectual property work. This past year, she served as the Political Chair of the HLS Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and enjoyed her roles as a Student Editor at the Journal of Law and Equality and as Technical Editor at the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. Outside of school, she enjoys catching up on fiction and movies, as well as spending time outdoors and practicing yoga. 

Garrett Tamura, 2021 Colonel Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship

Since receiving the 2021 JAVA scholarship, I have been working on my Pre-Mechanical Engineering degree requirements at Cal State University Long Beach and will be declaring Mechanical Engineering as my major this upcoming Fall. The money from the JAVA scholarship was put to good use helping me pay for the books necessary for my classes, as well as helping cover the costs for a required chemistry course that I completed over the summer. My first year of college was a great experience. I participated in an engineering program for incoming Freshmen called the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST) program. I became friends with many upperclassmen and faculty from Cal State Long Beach College of Engineering who mentored the BESST participants. This made my first year of college much more enjoyable. Being part of the BESST program was the highlight of my year, and truly made me feel like a part of the College of Engineering. I was notified that I made it onto the President’s Honor Roll both semesters. I am so very grateful to your organization for making all these new experiences possible through the generosity of your JAVA scholarship.

Malina Miura, 2021 Dr. Americo Bugliani Scholarship
I just completed my first year of college at the University of California, Irvine. I am planning to double major in Urban Studies and Psychological Sciences. I also got an on-campus job as an Assistant Graphic Communications Designer for the Transportation and Distributions Services at UCI. This summer, I am taking a UX design community college course and am looking into that career path.