From left: Grant Eshima, Stephanie Doi, G. Kase, Kenneth Kitahata, Keith Eshima. The students are 2017 Kase Program interns.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) is pleased to announce that applications are now available for the 2021 Kase Nikkei Community Scholarship Program (Kase Program).

The Kase Program offers students a $5,000 scholarship to support their college education. It also provides college students an opportunity to intern with and support the work of the JCCCNC, a community nonprofit organization located in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Participants will gain professional experience, enhanced skills in various areas, and personal development and guidance during an 11-week summer internship. The goal of the program is to support the development of the next generation of community leaders.

The Japanese American community has a vibrant history spanning more than a century and over several generations. Japanese Americans have the tremendous task of defining and addressing the present community’s needs to ensure its future vitality.

“Preparing our youth to meet the challenges of our Japantown community is essential if we want to build future leaders in our community who are creative, competitive and capable,” says JCCCNC Executive Director Paul Osaki.

Kase Program participants will also participate in the statewide Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) Program while interning at the center. Interns gain valuable experience in community service, cultural preservation and networking with various community members.

One day of each week is reserved for interns to visit Japanese American organizations and meet with community leaders to expand their knowledge of available services, resources, opportunities and issues the organization may be facing.

Important information about the Kase Nikkei Youth Scholarship Program:

• Program dates: June 10 to Aug. 20, 2021

• The internship is to take place at the JCCCNC and is dependent on updated health and safety regulations.

• Japanese ancestry is not a requirement, but a strong background of involvement in the Japanese American community is essential and a desire to learn about Japanese American culture, heritage, and the San Francisco Japantown community.

• To be eligible for the 2021 program, the applicant must be a continuing college student in the fall or have recently graduated and been 18 years of age at the start of the program (birthdate on or before June 10, 2003)

• Up to five participants will be selected based on application, letter of recommendation and interview.

• Applications are due on Friday, April 23.

The Kase Program application is a two-step process. After initial application and letters of recommendation have been received, qualified applicants will be invited to a personal interview, and participants will be selected by May 7.

Applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted to:

Attn: Kase Scholarship Program
1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94115

For more information or to download the application, visit or contact Lori Matoba at (415) 567-5505 or

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