Tak Furumoto Scholarship 

a JAVA Memorial Scholarship for High School Seniors

JAVA is pleased to announce a new scholarship, the Tak Furumoto Scholarship, sponsored by JAVA member and Vietnam veteran Tak Furumoto. The Tak Furumoto Scholarship is one of many $1,500 JAVA Memorial Scholarships that will be awarded to a high school senior who is entering a two or four-year college or universtiy in the fall. Application information can be found at the end of the article and on the JAVA website.

Carolyn and Tak Furumoto Photo: Courtesy of the Furumoto Family. 

Tak Furumoto

Tak Furumoto is no stranger to adversity nor to its flip side, resilience. Born on October 20, 1944, at Tule Lake Segregation Center on October 20, 1944, Tak drew his first breath from air saturated in hardship and despair. His father, an immigrant from Hiroshima with only an 8th-grade education, but who had built a thriving grocery business, lost everything with Executive Order 9066. The family of seven – parents Sam and Yoshi, four daughters, and son Tak, tried to make the best of difficult circumstances while incarcerated. When the Furumoto’s were released from Tule Lake in the fall of 1945, they move back to Hiroshima to help family devastated by the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. Realizing that America still held promise for them, the Furumoto’s gathered their strength, and in time made their way back to the U.S., settling in South Central Los Angeles, a tough neighborhood, but still America!

Ever determined, Tak worked hard in school to make up for the lost time. He went on to graduate from UCLA with a Business Administration degree in December 1967. A few months later, in February 1968, he volunteered in the United States Army and was commissioned as Intelligence Officer at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Tak served in Vietnam from February 1970 to February 1971, as an Intelligence Officer and Advisor to the National Police CIA-sponsored sored “Phoenix” assignment) in Duc Hue District, Hau Nghia Province the on Borders of Cambodia. For his meritorious service in a combat zone, Tak was decorated with a Bronze Star medal in January 1971.

Invisible scars and ailments followed Tak back home. He suffered from PTSD was and exposed to the defoliant toxin, AGENT ORANGE. His PTSD made it impossible for him to hold a job. Carolyn, Tak’s wife of now 51 years, patiently helped and supported him during those challenging times, and together in 1974 they opened Furumoto Realty with a $ 100-a-month basement office in Fort Lee, NJ. Once again, hard work turned adversity into success. In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, many Japanese nationals were establishing businesses in New Jersey and commuting to New York City. Furumoto Realty blossomed and Tak and Carolyn were embraced by the people in Fort Lee for bringing in prosperous Japanese nationals to the area. Next year Furumoto Realty will celebrate 50 years in business. 

Knowing firsthand that freedom requires sacrifice, Tak and Carolyn are working to make the U.S. and their community more just. They have tirelessly campaigned for the passage of Fred Korematsu Day in New Jersey. The law names January 30th, the birthday of Japanese American civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, to remember the American who was turned away from military service because of his Japanese ancestry, and who later refused to follow the mandate of Executive Order 9066 to move to an incarceration camp because he believed his civil rights were being violated. Tak’s efforts to make America and New Jersey better have not escaped notice. Last year, he received Human Rights Award from Bergen County, New Jersey, and the Emperor’s Award from the Government of Japan on Human Rights activities in the Tri-State area. Tak is also a Board member of the New York Japanese American Association., a Founder of Hiroshima-Kai of New York, currently, Honorary Chairman, and a founding member of the Japan History Council of New York (Digital Museum of the History of Japanese in NY), a member of VFW, Troop 2342, Fort Lee, NJ., and a Life Member of JAVA!

Recognizing the dark storms in his life have made the halcyon days all the more meaningful, Tak offers the following words to JAVA scholarship applicants:

“My life has been a whirlwind ride, but thanks to my father’s commitment to his children—all my siblings and I had a good education and were successful. And Carolyn who had stayed by my side despite my mental and physical state has been my life’s blessing. My message to the recipient of the Tak Furumoto Scholarship is GAMAN (Perseverance). Whatever comes your way, don’t give up. There is always light under the tunnel. In my case, Carolyn, and my father. And never forget and be proud of our roots. And be proud of our Country, our Constitution—it works, only when you protect it, like when we fought for Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and Constitution in the State of New Jersey, which was enacted on Jan. 30, 2023!

We are handing over the BATON to you—the next generation of AMERICANS!"

Tak Furumoto

Camp Survivor & Decorated and Disabled Vietnam Vet

Tak and Carol Furumoto in front of Fort Lee, NJ, Municipal Building in support of Fred Korematsu Day, January 30, 2021. Photo: Nick Hayashi.

JAVA Scholarship Eligibility and Applications


  • Descendants of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion or  descendants of Japanese American soldiers who served during World War II other United States military units, including the Women’s Army Corps or Army Nurses Corps are eligible and encouraged to apply. 
  • Current members of JAVA whose membership began prior to April 1, 2021, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Children of current JAVA members are also eligible and encouraged to apply if the applicant’s parent or guardian was a member of JAVA prior to April 1, 2021. 
  • Past or present members of the Army’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, ROTC, or U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship. 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 Sunday, April 30, 2023, to javascholarship222@gmail.com. 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 2023.
  • Awards will be presented at a JAVA scholarship awards ceremony in July 2023. 

    2023 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program Overview here.

    2023 U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship here.

    2023 Ishio Founder's Scholarship here.

    2023 Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship here.

    2023 JAVA Memorial Scholarships here.

    Questions or Suggestions: Please contact Neet Ford, at javapotomac@gmail.com.

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