PRESS RELEASE: February 4, 2013 – Vol. VIII, No. 2


Calvin Ninomiya, Esq.

Bethesda, Maryland. The highly successful JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, will provide a total of ten $1,500 awards to winning applicants to this year’s competition.

With tuition and residence costs at most colleges and universities showing no signs of decline, Dr. Ray Murakami, the chair of the Program, observed that the Japanese American Veterans Association’s 2013 program can again help awardees meet a small part of their formidable educational expenses. He observed that although the prizes will make only a small dent in their college costs, in addition to the money, the JAVA program provides participants a special dividend – it links them to those from whom their eligibility is derived.

Dr. Murakami also pointed out that since the scholarships are available to a relatively limited universe of applicants, the chances of a receiving an award, given the number available, are likely better than ever before, and certainly higher than is the case for most similar programs. Last year, nine scholarships were finally awarded; this year the number will be one more. The JAVA scholarships are, for the most part, memorials that the families and friends have established to cherish the memory of loved ones who have passed on.

A new name among the funds established is that in memory of Betty Shima. Her husband, Terry, was Executive Director of JAVA for a number of years, and still serves on its Executive Council.

The memorial fund in the name of Orville Shirey, former intelligence officer with the 442nd RCT, continues to head the list of continuing scholarships.

Two scholarships, for father and son, in the names of Sunao Phil Ishio and Douglas Ishio, are again available. Colonel Ishio was the founder and first president of JAVA.

Another individual in whose name a scholarship will be awarded is Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin, of Portland, Oregon. The Association was a principal beneficiary of her estate.

Separate scholarships honor Grant Hirabayashi and Joseph Ichiuji. Both served during World War II and were distinguished JAVA members.

An iconic name in the Japanese American community will be remembered with the Mike and Etsu Mineta Masaoka scholarship.

The family and friends of Victor and Teru (Kamikawa) Matsui have generously established a scholarship in their joint names. Mr. Matsui, a JAVA member, had an illustrious career in the foreign service.

A particularly fitting scholarship is in the name of Dr. Warren Tsuneishi, a former JAVA member. He served with the MIS and was for a number of years responsible for the Japanese collection at the Library of Congress.

The rules that applied to last year’s competition will govern the 2013 competition. To be eligible, (l) the entrant must be a graduating high school student in 2013; (2) he or she must be directly related to a person (e.g., as son, grandchild, etc.) who served in one of the famed Nisei battalions or teams during the second World War, and their associated units; the MIS; or, a Japanese American who has or is serving in our nation’s armed services. Eligibility extends to graduates who are lineally related to a member of JAVA, e.g., children or direct descendants.

Because of the eligibility rules, JAVA has found that most applicants in recent competitions have been grandchildren of qualified Japanese American veterans. Overall, as the rules limit the pool of applicants, it increases the chances for receiving one of the scholarships.

The competition is now open, and eligible applicants are urged to submit their entries as soon as they are able to meet the criteria. One of requirements is that the application must be accompanied by documentation showing that the entrant has been admitted to an accredited college, university, or some other institution that provides post-high school education or training in 2013. This means that unless the applicant has been awarded early admission, the likelihood is that his or her application will not be submitted until mid-spring.

Since the Program has attracted applications from around the country, the JAVA judges have experienced difficulties in comparing the records of the applicants. To help differentiate between very competitive applications, each entrant must submit an essay of 500 words or less on the subject: “What winning a JAVA scholarship award will mean to me.”

The panel that will be reviewing the entries are: Sue Okubo, a Ph.D. economist, formerly with the Department of Commerce; Ed Wakayama, Ph.D., who is an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health & Human Services, and Calvin Ninomiya, formerly a Chief Counsel in the Department of the Treasury.

The deadline for the receipt of completed applications is May 1, 2012. This date permits those students who are awaiting admission information from institutions that provide notification as late as April l5, to include such documented advice with their entries. Any applicant who has been admitted to more than one institution and is uncertain about his or her final choice, should provide the admission information already received, and agree to furnish information about the school selected as soon as a decision has been made.

Complete details about the Program and the terms and conditions of the contest can be found on the JAVA website, the JAVA “Round Robin”, and its quarterly newsletter, The Advocate. The official application form should be downloaded from the website.

Individual inquiries may be sent to Dr. Raymond Murakami, JAVA Scholarship Program Chair, 6921 Pyle Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 [].



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