Japanese American Veterans Association


Vol. 5, No. 63, July 22, 2023

Meet the 2023 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Winners!

The Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) announced 12 winners of JAVA’s annual scholarship award program for 2023. 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 Elaine Oyama, of San Antonio, TX. The granddaughter of George Oyama, 442nd RCT, Elaine is pursuing a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Texas, San Antonio. As evidence of her commitment to her professional goals, Elaine has served as a Peer Mentor as well as a Victim Advocate at the Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center.  

$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 two or more years of college/university. The Ishio Founder’s Scholarship was awarded to Justin Abe, of Honolulu,Hawaiʻi, the great-grandnephew of Seichi Tsugawa, 442nd RCT. Currently, Justin is attending medical school at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi. 

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 ToriAnn Abe, of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. She is the granddaughter of Frank Tokio Inouye, 100th Battalion, Company C. ToriAnn is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at the University of Southern California and hopes to work in Occupational Therapy.

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

Cody Gima received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Dr. Americo Bugliani and his liberator, Paul Sakamoto, 442nd RCT. Cody is the grandnephew of Shinye Gima, 308th Intelligence Service Department/MIS. Cody is from Kula, Hawaiʻi. He will attend the University of Portland, Oregon and plans to study Computer Science.

Carlos Shimabukuro received the Tak Furumoto Scholarship sponsored by JAVA member and Vietnam veteran Tak Furumoto. Carlos is the son of JAVA member LCDR Carlos A. Shimabukuro, USNR, and is from Stafford, Virginia. He will attend the College of William and Mary and plans to study Business.

Jameson Johnston received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Ranger Grant Jiro Hirabayashi, MIS. Jameson is the son of JAVA member George Johnston. From Culver City, California, Jameson will attend Santa Monica College in California and plans to study Environmental Science. 

Ian Yogi received the Izuno Family Scholarship, in honor of JAVA member and Korean War veteran, Dr. Takumi Izuno, who served in the U.S. Army 511th Military Intelligence Service. The grandnephew of Matsuichi Yogi, 442nd RCT, Ian is from Mililani, Hawaiʻi. He will attend the University of Portland in the fall. Ian plans to study Biology and eventually attend medical school. 

Brian Kamemoto received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of U. S. Army Colonel Jimmie Kanaya, a three-war veteran - WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Brian is the grandson of Harry Ishibashi, 442nd RCT, and is from Seattle, Washington. He will attend the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and plans to study Business Administration.

Emi Goto received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Sergeant Ben Kuroki, a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 505th Bombardment Group.  Emi is the daughter of JAVA member CAPT (Dr.) Mark Goto, MC, USN (Ret). From Gulf Breeze, Florida, Emi will attend the University of Texas at Permian Basin (Odessa) where she will study Business.

Brayden Lawrence received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Victor Matsui, MIS, and his wife Teru Matsui. Brayden is the great-grandson of Tadashi Frank Mouri Inouye, 442nd. From McKinney, Texas, he will attend the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita and pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre.

Mischa Mikami received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of past JAVA President and Korean War veteran, Robert Nakamoto. Mischa is the granddaughter of Joe Mikami, 442nd RCT, and is from Sacramento, California. She will attend the University of California, Berkeley, and plans to study Data Science.

Kyle Yamazaki received a JAVA Memorial Scholarship in honor of Major Orville Shirey, 442nd RCT, and his wife Maud Shirey. Kyle is the great-grandson of Dave Kawagoye, 442nd RCT. From Torrance, California, he will attend Chapman University in Orange, California, and plans to study Business and Finance.

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; Mr. Kaison Tanabe, Friend of JAVA; CAPT (Dr.) Cynthia Macri, MC, USN (Ret); and LTC Robert Vokac, USA (Ret).

Click here or here to watch a recording of the Scholarship Awards Ceremony!

To learn more about our JAVA scholarships visit our website at https://java-us.org/JAVA-Memorial-Scholarship-Program.

Elaine Oyama, San Antonio, Texas

University of Texas, San Antonio

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship

Justin Abe, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi 

Ishio Founder's Scholarship

ToriAnn Abe, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

University of Southern California

Kyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship

Cody Gima, Kula, Hawaiʻi

University of Portland, Oregon

Dr. Americo Bugliani Scholarship

in honor of Paul Sakamoto, 100th Bn

Carlos Shimabukuro, Stafford, Virginia

College of William and Mary, Virginia

Tak Furumoto Scholarship

Jameson Johnston, Culver City, California

Santa Monica College, California 

Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship

Ian Yogi, Mililani, Hawaiʻi

University of Portland, Oregon 

Izuno Family Scholarship

Brian Kamemoto, Seattle, Washington

California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Colonel Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship

Emi Goto, Gulf Breeze, Florida

University of Texas, Permian Basin (Odessa)

Sergeant Ben Kuroki Scholarship

Brayden Lawrence, McKinney, Texas

California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita

Victor and Teru Matsui Scholarship

Mischa Mikami, Sacramento, California

University of California, Berkeley 

Robert Nakamoto Scholarship

Kyle Yamazaki, Torrance, California

Chapman University

Major Orville and Maud Shirey Scholarship

Updates from past JAVA Memorial Scholarship Awardees!

Mike Mikawa, 2015 Ishio Founder's Scholarship

I am grateful and honored to have received a scholarship from JAVA that has allowed me the opportunity to pursue a career in public service. The JAVA Ishio Founder's Scholarship helped me earn my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2017. Since graduating, I have dedicated my career to public service. For almost five years I worked in our nation's capital in Washington, D.C. as an attorney ensuring fair competition in our economy at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. And now, I am a trial attorney helping enforce the federal competition laws in the U.S. Department of Justice in the San Francisco Field Office. I feel fortunate to have received such tremendous support from JAVA.

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 few 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.

Tomi Suzuki Eijima, 2019 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai Scholarship

I recently graduated from Occidental College where I earned my B.A. in Cognitive Science with a minor in Art History. I am currently interning at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC a.k.a. ‘the Center’) within the Programs department! ... It’s been a busy, yet rewarding time and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to serve San Francisco’s Japantown – the place and people who raised me. I am eager to become a Speech-Language Pathologist in the near future! Thank you to those who helped build JAVA and to those who continue to keep the organization and scholarship in operation. I am forever grateful.

Sophia Daniel, 2020 COL Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship

I graduated from Kapiʻolani Community College at the end of the Fall semester, and began my studies at UH Manoa in the Spring of 2023 – I am majoring in English. I worked two part-time jobs on KCC campus - one as a counselor to support incoming or first-year students and as an English tutor for the Lunalilo Scholars Program. Working and connecting with other faculty as well as outside organizations for club events has been great. I also served as the Ecology Club President, and I joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Taking courses has been a struggle sometimes while learning and growing has been enjoyable.  I am very thankful to God for all of the blessings and opportunities he has graciously given and to JAVA for selecting me as a scholarship awardee in 2020, for helping me to work toward achieving my goals and dreams. Congratulations to the new scholarship awardees!

Chloe Nelson 2020 Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship 

I will be a fourth-year Human Biology and Society major at UCLA next year. This past year I completed Japanese 4 and 5. I also worked as an editor for UCLA's Undergraduate Research Journal and just had a short segment on the applications of artificial intelligence to the human microbiome published in May. Outside of school, I volunteer with the Central Valley Project at UCLA and CAMP (College Advising & Mentorship Program), which assists high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing higher education. This summer I am interning at a non-profit called Mission: Cure, which is working to develop a cure for Pancreatitis.

Sarah Sakakihara, 2020 Betty Shima Scholarship

This past school year, I participate on Cal Poly's Concrete Canoe team as a Junior Mix Captain and was the Executive Vice President for Cal Poly's American Society of Civil Engineers chapter. The Cal Poly Concrete Canoe team defended its National winning title this past June with our canoe, named Oceana. Next year, I will be going into my senior year as the team's Project Manager. I am currently interning with Brown and Caldwell in their wastewater division. I am interested in pursuing a career in water resources and am learning a lot this summer!

Cassidy Hanano, 2021 Sergeant Ben Kuroki Scholarship

I am in my third year at Creighton University, where I study Psychology Pre-Med, and am planning on applying to medical school. This summer I am interning at the local community clinic and have been shadowing different physicians.  In the past, I have also worked as a nurse's aide which has provided me with valuable insights into the field of medicine. This fall, I will be participating in research, as well as tutoring organic chemistry. I look forward to what the future brings, and I wish the best to all the past and present awardees.

TJ Okamura, 2021 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship

I graduated from the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies with a Master's in Japan Studies in June 2022 as well as commissioning into the United States Army Reserve. After graduation, I began working for the Canadian Consulate General in Seattle while awaiting Orders for the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leader Course (MIBOLC) which I am currently at! Upon graduation in August I will become a fully-fledged Lieutenant in the Army Reserves, but until then, I will be melting in the Arizona summer heat.

As a past recipient of the Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship, I am proud to continue the service of the Scholarship’s namesake as well as that of my grandfathers and all other JA who have served since. Upon completion of MIBOLC, I intend on pursuing a civilian career in Foreign Policy.

Congratulations to everyone who was selected by JAVA, you make our community proud!

Madeleine Matsui, 2021 Ishio Founder's Scholarship

I graduated in May 2023 from Harvard Law School. I will be studying for the New York bar this summer. This past year, I worked as a research assistant for MIT Professor John Akula on Section 230 reforms. I also enjoyed participating in the Harvard Dispute Systems Design Clinic, where I worked with an American Indian tribe on a matter related to conflict management. I will be starting my job as an incoming associate at Gunderson Dettmer in January 2024.

Trisha Tanaka, 2022 Victor and Teru Matsui Scholarship

UCLA is tough but is going well! The classes are rigorous, but it's great to be studying something I'm interested in Biology. Outside of the lecture halls, I've been participating in an orchestra club, am starting on a research project, and am a part of my University's Nikkei Student Union chapter. It's been great being a part of NSU this year, and I hope to get more involved next year, especially with cultural night. I'm excited for what is to come and am grateful to be here and honor the legacy of Victor and Teru Matsui.

Elizabeth Uno, 2022 Ishio Founder's Scholar

With the help of the JAVA scholarship I received a year ago, I completed my Master of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy in May. I just started my full-time role at Curriculum Associates, an education technology company, in research strategy. In May I married my partner of 10 years, David. We are excited about our reception in September. Thank you JAVA for all your support!

Taleen Sample, 2022 Izuno Family Scholarship

I’m a rising sophomore at Brown University. I plan to concentrate in Economics on the Public Policy track and Art History. At school, I write weekly articles for the Brown Art Review, edit for the College Hill Independent, and contribute as a policy analyst to the Brown Initiative for Policy. This summer, I’ve been interning for the Voter Empowerment Project as we work to support frontline get-out-the-vote organizations!

Claire Nelson-Torakawa, 2022 Carolyn Namie Furumoto Scholarship

While at UC Davis, I have continued as a Nutrition Science major and plan to attend Physician's Assistant, PA, school. I am excited to say that I have joined several clubs like Alzheimer's Buddies, am the social chair for the Music Therapy Club, and will be serving as a cabinet member for next year’s JASS (Japanese American Student Society) board. Additionally, I have started working at a Nutrition Kitchen and Lab in which I study the effects of zinc intake on Blood Pressure. Apart from my academics and clubs, I have fostered several new relationships and experiences, none of which would be possible without the gracious gift of The Carolyn Namie Furumoto Memorial Scholarship. I will always cherish this generous gift, and I hope to make Carolyn and JAVA proud as I continue with my endeavors. Please relay my immense gratitude to the Furumoto Family.

Jack Wakatake Radovich, 2022 Shirey Scholarship

Last fall I started my freshman year at the University of Notre Dame, and I also became a cadet in the Army ROTC Fightin' Irish Battalion.  I began my classes in the school of engineering, and I became interested in ACMS (Applied Computational Math and Science), which is currently my chosen major.  I was selected by a group of upper class cadets as the only freshman to compete in the ROTC Ranger Challenge against 38 other colleges and universities.  Notre Dame had not won the Challenge since the 1980s, but we came in first place. … Studying and ROTC training leaves me little spare time, but I am active in my dorm (Alumni Hall) and in various clubs on campus.  Thank you to JAVA!

Kiera Hirayama, 2022 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship

Last year, I transitioned into a new role working full time as a nurse in the Transfer Center. I have also been continuing to teach at Columbia University in the School of Nursing. I am less than a year away from graduating with my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Educational Leadership Degree at Case Western Reserve University.  Yesterday I completed my doctorate proposal and will be conducting a quality improvement study over the next few months, focusing on the transition to practice and self-reflection in the population of new graduate nurses. Thank you again to JAVA for the support and for allowing me to continue my educational pursuits. 

Ryson Ujimori, 2022 Dr. Americo Bugliani Scholarship

My first year at UCSD went really well. I finished the spring quarter with a 3.1 GPA and with a 3.0 in the fall and winter quarters. On the baseball side of things, we won the Big West conference championship, which was the first Big West championship in school history. The season included exciting games against teams such as the University of Arizona, Tennessee, a victory over the University of Michigan, and I got the chance to play in front of family and friends when we traveled to Hawaii to play against the University of Hawaiʻi for a three game series. Now I am spending the summer playing baseball for the Peninsula Oilers located in Kenai, Alaska, in the Alaska Baseball League which is a collegiate summer baseball league. I will be heading into my second year of college in the fall.

Samantha Kanekuni, 2022 Daniel K. Inouye Scholarship

In May 2023, I graduated from University of Maryland Law School, magna cum laude, and will be starting as an attorney at WilmerHale in DC in November.

Nicole Tanaka, 2022 Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship

I transferred to UCLA this past year as a Design Media Arts major; since then, I have been getting used to the school, acting as a production designer for various student film shoots, and participating in the Design Club, Nikkei Student Union, and Alumni Scholars Club. I also work for UCLA Recreation. I am spending the summer back at home working on my Graphic Design portfolio as well as traveling.

Questions or Suggestions: Please contact Neet Ford, JAVA e-Advocate Editor, at javapotomac@gmail.com.

Japanese American Veterans Association:  Address: P.O. Box 341198, Bethesda, MD 20827 I www.java-us.org