LSA's Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) recently named the inaugural recipients of the Masao and Mayumi Oka Scholarship for Japanese Studies. Mayumi Oka served as the head of the Japanese Language Program for 16 years before her retirement in 2020. She and her husband established the scholarship in 2018 to support student experiences in Japan. At the time, she said, "I recently asked one of my upper-level classes if anyone had been to Japan. And only 8 out of 20 had been there. They are studying Japanese so seriously for years, but they don’t have a chance to go to the country."

"I want to support these students. Even just to visit Japan for one or two weeks would be great. If students can speak with some people in Japan, I think it can be such an instructive and enjoyable experience," Oka-sensei said of her family's gift. "If we can experience different cultures when we’re young, it can mean a big life change."

"It was my pleasure to announce the first winners of the Masao and Mayumi Oka Scholarship," said Professor Allison Alexy, CJS director of undergraduate studies. "Violet and Justin are incredible Japanese language students now able to go to Japan for the first time! I am so grateful for the Okas' generosity which will shape generations of students."

Read more about the Masao and Mayumi Oka Scholarship for Japanese Language Studies:

New Scholarship Established and Student Awards Announced at CJS

CJS is pleased to announce the recipients of several student awards for 2022, including the recipients of the new Masao and Mayumi Oka Scholarship for Japanese Language Studies.

A Champion for Japanese Language

Mayumi Oka has built a tradition of excellence as the director of LSA's Japanese Language Program. Now she and her husband are making a gift to build that program’s future. (2018)