Raymond DeLang and Jake Yasumori, Japanese language majors in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, were selected as recipients of the 2017–18 Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The Monbukagakusho Scholarship covers tuition, living expenses and a stipend.
The Consul General of Japan in Honolulu presented the scholarship awards to DeLang and Yasumori in a ceremony on August 30. The seniors will leave for Japan, where DeLang will be studying at Waseda University in Tokyo, and Yasumori will be studying at Doshisha University in Kyoto.
DeLang is from Mililani, but was born in Machida, Tokyo, and lived there until he was 10. He chose to major in Japanese (and economics) in order to bring his language skills to a professional level. “First and foremost, I want to improve my conversation skills,” said Delang. “I also hope to create life-long connections with students and professionals of Japan.” After DeLang graduates, he plans to pursue a juris doctorate degree and use his Japanese language skills in a professional settings.
Yasumori was born on Maui, raised in Kamuela on Hawaiʻi Island and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. After changing his major, Yasumori went on a solo trip to Japan. “I primarily did homestay around the Tokyo area and travelled frugally. It was an incredibly rewarding and crazy adventure.” said Yasumori. Upon graduation, he will apply to the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program to return to Japan.
Japanese Instructor and MEXT Coordinator Miki Ogasawara knows that DeLang and Yasumori’s experience in Japan will give them the best possible opportunities to gain the highest level of language proficiency. “Only a handful of undergraduates in the entire country are awarded this excellent scholarship, so being chosen in and of itself is a great achievement.”
Go the the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature’s news release for more information.
—By Karin Mackenzie