From left, JiaJie He, Deputy Consul General Takayuki Shinozawa and Yunmi Kim (Photo by Lisa Sakamoto)

Two University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students are the only U.S. award recipients of the Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). JiaJie He and Yunmi Kim are Japanese language majors in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Both are also graduates of Hawaiʻi public high schools.

The Deputy Consul General of Japan in Honolulu presented He and Kim with the scholarships, which provide tuition, living expenses and stipends.

He, a junior double-majoring in Japanese and travel industry management, will study at Nagoya University in Japan. He moved from China to Hawaiʻi about 10 years ago and graduated from Roosevelt High School. He values and admires Japanese omotenashi (hospitality) and hopes to apply that same high standard to the travel industry. He plans to use what he learns from Japan and the Monbukagakusho scholarship experience in future endeavors—in Japan or the United States.

Kim, a senior double–majoring in Japanese and biology, will study at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Born in Japan, she moved with her family to the U.S. when she was just two years old. A graduate of McKinley High School, Kim developed a keen interest in biology because of its pathway to the medical field. She understands the need for bilingual medical professionals for Japanese–only speaking patients and she hopes to learn about the Japanese medical profession.