On March 26, 2021, a virtual award ceremony was held to honor SPICE’s Spring and Fall 2019 Stanford e-Japan honorees and 2020 Reischauer Scholars Program honorees. The honorees performed at the highest levels of their courses as determined by Stanford e-Japan Instructors Waka Brown and Meiko Kotani, Reischauer Scholars Program Instructor Naomi Funahashi, and research paper review committees.
Spring and Fall 2019 Stanford e-Japan Program Honorees
2020 Reischauer Scholars Program Honorees
The Honorable Toru Maeda, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, made opening comments and underscored the students’ critical roles as future leaders in both countries and key players in the U.S.–Japan relationship. He noted, “By enrolling in and completing these programs, you have demonstrated initiative and determination to further your understanding of Japan and the United States. I strongly encourage you to continue your studies. I hope that this experience will inspire you to consider a career involving Japan and the United States… The continued strength of our government, business, and culture relations will be determined by the coming generations.” Consul General Maeda’s comments perfectly set the stage for the presentations by the honorees.
The honorees’ presentations focused on their course research projects that included U.S.–Japan relations in the areas of technology, security, and economics; Japanese education-related topics such as language learning for foreign students and cross-cultural understanding; identity issues and Zainichi Koreans; and topics that are regularly in the news such as Hollywood films, nuclear power and energy policy, and immigration. Their presentations were followed by the presentation of plaques by Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi.
Professor Rie Kijima (PhD, Stanford ’13) of the University of Toronto commented, “There is no doubt that the honorees of Stanford e-Japan and the RSP will use the experience they gained from participating in SPICE’s programs to engage in further research and activities that will bring greater awareness of and appreciation for the social, economic, political, and cultural contexts unique to the United States and Japan.” She continued, “What I am most impressed about the honorees of the Stanford e-Japan and the RSP programs are the quality of their research papers and their persuasiveness in conveying their main argument to a larger audience.” Brown, Kotani, and Funahashi hope that their students will have the opportunity to study with scholars like Kijima in their college years—scholars who would encourage them to explore careers involving Japan and the United States, a hope expressed by Consul General Maeda.
I was in touch with each of the honorees following the ceremony and they all expressed their gratitude to their instructors and the supporters of the courses. The Yanai Tadashi Foundation is the supporter of Stanford e-Japan, and Chikano Shiroma and Daisuke Kato represented the Yanai Tadashi Foundation during the ceremony. Naoaki and Yuka Mashita are the current supporters of the Reischauer Scholars Program. These courses and the ceremony would not have been possible with their support.