Grant fosters peace studies
A UH endowment honors a Japanese Honokaa store owner
A $135,000 endowment in honor of an immigrant Honokaa store owner will fund scholarships to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for students to promote volunteer activities and research into world peace and friendship between the United States and Japan.
The Goto Foundation of Hiroshima, Japan, is donating the money to create the Fumiko Kaya Endowed Scholarship Fund, according to a UH Foundation news release.
Kaya, a physician and survivor of the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima, created the Goto Foundation in 1993 in honor of her uncle Katsu Goto.
In 1899, Goto, a 27-year-old store owner in Honokaa, was lynched after working to help Japanese laborers understand their rights.
Members of the Kaya family and Goto Foundation officials traveled from Japan to attend the check presentation ceremony in May.
The endowment will generate between $5,400 to $6,750 annually for students in the American Studies Department of UH-Manoa who are pursuing studies to foster volunteer activities and research that will contribute to world peace and Hawaii-Japanese friendship.
The first scholarships will be awarded next year.
"Dr. Kaya strongly believed it indispensable to promote mutual understanding and good will among people with different skin colors, different cultures and different languages," said Hiroyuki Hata, chairperson of the Hiroshima Committee, Goto of Hiroshima Foundation, in a written news release. "She wished to prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate incident as that of her uncle. We decided to make this gift because we thought the University of Hawaii would be the most suitable institution to which we can entrust this work to fulfill Dr. Kaya's will."
Dennis Ogawa, professor of American studies and member of the Goto Foundation Hawaii selection committee, said, "Dr. Kaya never forgot those who needed help. Our department is very honored to help fulfill her goals, which were centered on peace and mutual understanding."