2021 JAVA Scholarship Program

14 Scholarships Totaling $24,500 Awarded!

(click here to watch a recording of the ceremony)

(click here to read JAVA President Gerald Yamada's Remarks to Awardees)

The Japanese American Veterans Association announced the 14 winners of the 2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program in a ZOOM ceremony on Saturday, July 17, 2021.  Congratulations to all!

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. In her essay, Samantha. wrote, “I was inspired to pursue a law degree to continue my passion for protecting vulnerable children and families. My vision for the future is to use my law degree to advocate for those who are most vulnerable in our population. In doing so, I hope to help create a more equitable and just society for all.”

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. In her application, Madeleine wrote, “…it is more critical than ever that we work together as a society to mitigate the barriers that stand in the way of human progress and freedom. The past year has exposed our society’s grave shortcomings, but has also revealed the potential for change and rethinking. I hope to use my time in law school and my legal career to lead change and benefit others, as Colonel Ishio did when he founded and grew JAVA into the       nationally respected organization it is today.”

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 at Manoa. He has made the Dean’s List every semester and after he finishes his degree, his goal is to teach in rural Hawaiʻi. In his essay, Jairus shared, “When Hurricane Iselle hit the Big Island in 2014, … one 4-H group held a food drive, and our Hilo Youth Video 4-H club created a publicity video PSA.  The drive was a success. Over 2500 lbs of food & two truckloads of non-food items were collected and distributed…Serving our community gave us a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The outreach experience inspired me to pursue education.”

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, 100 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).  Micah is from Great Falls, Virginia. He 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 granddaughterof 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.  


2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program:  Celebrating the Legacy of World War II Nisei Military Service

The Japanese American Veterans Association is excited to announce its annual Memorial Scholarship Program for 2021.   The scholarships will benefit a range of graduating high school seniors, undergraduate students, and post-graduate and professional education students. 

The scholarships include The U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship ($3,000) honoring the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of military and civilian public service;  the JAVA Founder’s Scholarship ($3,000), awarded in memory of JAVA’s founder, Colonel Sunao Phil Ishio, U.S. Army,  his wife Constance and their son Douglas Ishio; the Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship ($2,000),  a tribute to Ms. Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin, a longtime supporter of JAVA; as well as JAVA Memorial Scholarships ($1,500), honoring Nisei veterans, JAVA members and/or their family members. The 2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarships are:

  • Dr. Americo Bugliani Scholarship in honor of his liberator, Paul Sakamoto, 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd RCT veteran.
  • Tak and Carolyn Furumoto Scholarship in honor of Sam Kiyoto Furumoto, Tak’s late father, whose tenacity, industry, and positive attitude continue to inspire and shape Tak and his family today.

  • Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship in honor of Ranger Grant Jiro Hirabayashi, MIS.
  • Colonel Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship in honor of Colonel Jimmie Kanaya, U.S. Army, a three-war veteran – WW II, Korean and Vietnam.
  • Mitsugi Kasai Scholarship in honor of CWO 4 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai, MIS veteran.
  • Ben Kuroki Scholarship in honor of Sergeant Ben Kuroki, a gunner in the US Army Air Corps, 505th Bombardment Group.
  • Matsui Scholarship in honor of Victor Matsui, MIS veteran, and his wife Teru.
  • COL Virgil R. Miller Scholarship in honor of Colonel Virgil R. Miller Scholarship, Commander of the 442nd, who the led the Nisei soldiers in their rescue of the Texas "Lost Battalion" in the Vosges Mountains of France during WWII.
  • Robert Nakamoto Scholarship, in honor of past JAVA President and Korean War veteran, Bob Nakamoto.
  • Betty Shima Scholarship, in honor of Betty Fujita Shima, lifelong partner of 442nd veteran, Terry Shima.
  • Shirey Scholarship, in honor of Major Orville Shirey, 442nd veteran and wife and Maud Shirey.

Descendants of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service,  1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion or  descendants of Japanese American soldiers who served during World War II in other United States military units to include the Women’s Army Corps or Army Nurses Corps. 

Current members of JAVA whose membership began prior to April 1, 2019 are eligible to apply.  Children of current JAVA members are also eligible to apply if the applicant’s parent or guardian was a member of JAVA prior to April 1, 2019.

In addition, past or present members of the Army’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Reserves are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship. Also eligible are individuals enrolled in a ROTC or U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course.  Applicants should demonstrate their lifelong commitment to public and uniformed service leadership for the nation.

Applicants should first review published rules and forms.  Applications and supporting documents must be electronically submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021, to  with either “2021 Inouye Memorial Scholarship,” “2021 Founder’s Memorial Scholarship,”  "2021 Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship," or “2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarship” and the applicant’s name in the subject line.  Applications not received by that date or that fail to meet the submission requirements will NOT be considered. Applicants will be notified of a decision by early June 2020.  Awards will be presented at a JAVA scholarship awards ceremony on July 17,  2021. 

2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program Overview here.

2021 US Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship here.

2021 JAVA Founder's Scholarship here.

2021 Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship here.

2021 JAVA Memorial Scholarships here.



JAVA Scholarship Program to Award 14 Scholarships

To learn more about some of the the amazing individuals JAVA scholarships honor, click on the named scholarships listed below.

Dr.  Americo Bugliani Scholarship

Tak and Carolyn Furumoto Scholarship

Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship

Inouye Memorial Scholarship

Colonel Phil Ishio - Founder's Scholarship

Colonel Jimmie Kanaya Scholarship

CWO 4 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai

Ben Kuroki Scholarship

Matsui Scholarship

Colonel Virgil R. Miller Scholarship

Robert Nakamoto Scholarship

Betty Shima Scholarship

Shirey Scholarship

Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship

 US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, 442nd

Colonel Sunao Phil Ishio, MIS

Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin, JAVA Patron

Americo Bugliani and Paul Sakamoto, 442nd

Sam Kiyoto Furumoto, father of Tak Furumoto

Ranger Grant Hirabayashi, MIS

Colonel Jimmie Kanaya, Three-War VeteranCWO 4 Mitsugi Murakami Kasai, MIS

Sergeant Ben Kuroki, US Army Air Corps Teru and Victor Matsui, MISRobert Nakamoto, Korean War Veteran

COL Virgil R. Miller, 442nd 

Betty Shima, Wife of Terry Shima,442ndMajor Orville Shirey, 442nd

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