Kayla Hensley, Lindsay Kageyama, Cassidee Kido, Madison Yamane


FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Seven California high school scholars dominated the awards announced at this year’s JAVA (Japanese American Veterans Association) Memorial Scholarship luncheon held on June 15 at the Harvest Moon Restaurant in Falls Church.

The remaining three scholarship winners reside in Arizona, Ohio and Washington state.

The selection of the awardees by the JAVA Scholarship Committee chaired by Dr. Ray Murakami was distinguished by the interesting fact that six of the awardees were males from California. In recent years, female applicants have tended to garner most of the $1,500 scholarships. Another significant difference this year was that no one from Hawaii was among the awardees.

The six male winners, listed alphabetically by name with residence, the school to which they have admitted, and the person in whose memory the prize was given, are:

• Keone Carrigan, Fresno, UC Davis, Douglas Ishio Scholarship

• Luke Hatanaka, Arcadia,  Gonzaga University (Spokane, Wash.), Dr. Warren Tsuneishi Scholarship

• Harrison Jung, San Marino, University of Southern California, Ranger Grant Hirabayashi Scholarship

• Wes Okuhara, Sacramento, UC San Diego, Betty Shima Scholarship

• David Satoda, Carlsbad, UC Berkeley, Mike and Etsu Masaoka Scholarship

• Jonathan Uesato, Saratoga, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), Victor and Teru Matsui Scholarship

The four female winners are:

• Kayla Hensley, Milford, Ohio, Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio), Phil Ishio Scholarship

• Lindsay Kageyama, Fremont, California Polytechnic Institute-San Luis Obispo, Joseph Ichiuji Scholarship

• Cassidee Kido, Paradise Valley, Ariz., Duke University (Durham, N.C.), Orville Shirey Scholarship

• Madison Yamane, Worden, Wash., University of Washington (Seattle), Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Scholarship

Dr. Murakami expressed particular appreciation that six of the families that have established scholarship funds were represented at the luncheon.

They included Mr. and Mrs. Michael Shirey, members of the family that provided JAVA’s first scholarship in honor of Orville Shirey, who served as an officer with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team continuously from its activation to its inactivation in 1946.

Another attendee was Terry Shima, a 442nd veteran and executive director emeritus of JAVA, who established a scholarship fund in memory of his wife, Betty.

Betty Tsuneishi, the widow of Dr. Warren Tsuneishi, was present with members of her family. Dr. Tsuneishi had been in charge of the Japanese Collection at the Library of Congress.

Connie Ishio represented her late husband, Phil Ishio, formerly with the Military Intelligence Service and the founder of JAVA. A scholarship was established in his name; in addition, the Ishios established a second scholarship in the name of their son, Douglas.

Distinguished attendees also included Susie Ichiuji, widow of Joseph Ichiuji, who served in an artillery unit that provided support to the 442nd; former Secretary of Transporatation Norman Mineta, brother of Etsu Masaoka; and Michelle Amano, granddaughter of Mike and Etsu Masaoka, who were icons in the Japanese American community. Mike Masaoka also served with the 442nd.

The committee responsible for judging the applications reviewed a total of 26 and reported that while it was relatively easy to identify the most likely winners, it was more difficult to decide the last few choices. The applicants were all very close in merit.

The contest officials also noted that this year’s competition had entries from two students who were first in their respective classes, and one applicant who had perfect scores in the Scholastic Assessment Test — 800 in critical reading, 800 in mathematics and 800 in writing.

Above: Keone Carrigan, Luke Hatanaka, Harrison Jung. Below: Wes Okuhara, David Satoda, Jonathan Uesato

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