Left to right: Masao and Mayumi Oka, Violet Needham, Justin Scott, and Allison Alexy. Photo by Marc-Grégor Campredon.

This scholarship was established thanks to the generosity of Mayumi Oka and her husband Masao Oka to provide support for students’ Japanese language study. Prior to her retirement in 2020, Oka-sensei taught Japanese in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures' Japanese Language Program for 20 years, and served as head of the Japanese Language Program for 16 years. She has authored and co-authored 13 books in Japanese language education, including the "TOBIRA" textbook series.

The inaugural recipients of this scholarship are:

Violet Needham, LSA International Studies, Sociology, Asian Studies (Japan)

Justin Scott, LSA Asian Studies (Japan)

Both Violet and Justin plan to study abroad in Japan during the 2022-23 academic year. CJS thanks the Okas for their commitment to supporting Japanese language study at the University of Michigan.

Founded in 2010 with a grant from the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, the William P. Malm Award for Outstanding Student Writing in Japanese Studies seeks to encourage and recognize exceptional writing on Japan and honors Professor Emeritus William P. Malm, a long-time faculty member of the Center for Japanese Studies and the leading ethnomusicologist of Japan. Two awards are given annually, one for an outstanding paper by an undergraduate, and the other for an outstanding paper by a graduate student. 

Undergraduate: Robert Pobocik, UM-Flint, Economics and Actuarial Mathematics
The Link Between Culture and Economics: How the Bubble Economy and Subsequent Lost Decade Influenced Japanese Culture

Graduate: Karen Weldon, Masters in International and Regional Studies, Japan
Japonic Fields: Cultivating National Identity in Small Town Japan

In addition to the above, CJS has also awarded the following scholarships:

Dr. Hiroyuki and Mrs. Helen Rinehart Uete Fellowship in Japanese Studies 

2021-22: Karen Weldon, Masters in International and Regional Studies, Japan
2022-23: Chase Boyer, Masters in International and Regional Studies, Japan

Richard K. Beardsley and Robert E. Ward Scholarship for Japanese Language

Summer 2022: Isaac Wittenberg, Masters in International and Regional Studies, Japan