Local Nikkei Community Scholarships

Open Local Japanese American Community Scholarship Application

Deadline: Required documents must be complete and be postmarked no later than March 1. 

Eligibility for the Community Scholarships is specified on the application form.

See local scholarships offered below

The “Local” Scholarship Application must be mailed to the address on the Japanese-American Community Scholarship Application.

Email any questions to

National JACL Scholarships

Students who are members of the Japanese American Citizens League can apply for National JACL scholarships.

Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple Art Award

High school students who have artistic talent in a Traditional Japanese Artform are encouraged to submit an application for the Traditional Japanese Art Award in addition to the Community Scholarship Application. See award details below.

Common Mistakes in Applying for a Scholarship

  • Filling out the scholarship application for the incorrect year. Each year a new application form is available.
  • Application is not postmarked by the due date. All applications that are late are rejected.
  • Filling out the wrong application form. Students have filled out the national application form for JACL when they intended to apply for the local scholarship.
  • Part of the application is missing.
  • All paperwork needs to be completed: application form, SAT/ACT scores, official transcript, two essays and one letter of recommendation
Local Scholarships Offered (may not be given annually)

Mabel Shoji Boggs Scholarship
The Portland JACL is honored to administer the scholarships provided by trust funds from the Mabel Shoji Boggs estate. She was a hard working Nisei all her life, laboring in the orchards and running a small business in Philomath, Oregon. Her lifetime generosity to high school seniors as well as to many Japanese American organizations has benefited the Nikkei community in countless ways.

The Art and Teri Iwasaki Scholarship
Art Iwasaki was a member of the 442nd Combat team during World War II and a founding member of the Oregon Nisei Veterans, serving as their commander a number of times. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Nisei War Memorial at Rose City Cemetery and a leader in building the memorial wall for the Japanese American Veterans at the Beaverton War Memorial Park. He offers this scholarship in memory of his loving wife, Teri.

Gresham-Troutdale JACL
The GT JACL is part of the oldest Japanese American civil rights organization in America. It serves not only to protest the rights Asians but also any minority. Locally, it nurtures the cultural heritage of the Japanese ancestry.

Yoshiko Kennedy Scholarship
Portland JACL has the honor of presenting the Portland JACL Leadership Scholarship to deserving high school students seeking to further their education in pursuit of a better tomorrow. This scholarship is offered in memory of Yoshiko Kennedy who utilized her talents as a seamstress and a master of Ikebana to ensure her children would receive a college education and find success in her adopted country. Yoshiko’s son Jim Kennedy was a board member of the Portland JACL.

Matthew Masuoka Scholarship
He was a Nisei dentist who was past president of the Portland JACL, 1952, and Pacific Northwest District Governor, 1953-55. Dr. Masuoka was born in Portland but moved to Japan as a child to be raised by his relatives during the hard times of the Depression. His childhood experiences helped shape his belief that the Japanese American community needed to work together and support each other. This scholarship is given in his honor by his daughter, Connie Masuoka.

Hide Naito Scholarship
This scholarship is given in memory of Hide Naito who immigrated from Kobe, Japan in 1917. He began a curio shop business, Norcrest China which has grown into retail and real estate investments. Mr. Naito was a creative entrepreneur and avid gardener who invented and marketed the invisible bobby pin and was the first to raise and sell exotic cactus plants.

Nikkei Fujinkai Scholarship
The Portland Nikkei Fujinkai is a Japanese Ancestral Women’s Association which was established in July 1935. They support community activities and cultural education.

Roger T Okamoto Scholarship
For over forty years, the Hisashi Okamoto Family has been providing a scholarship to honor their son, Roger Okamoto. Second Lieutenant Roger Okamoto was killed by a Viet Cong land mine in 1966 near the city of Da Nang, Vietnam, where he was serving as a platoon leader. The Oregon Nikkei Veterans proudly accepts the responsibility of selecting the recipient of this scholarship.

Portland Chapter JACL
The Portland Chapter of JACL is a membership based organization that was established in 1928 with an original purpose to fight social injustice directed toward people of Japanese ancestry and to preserve the cultural heritage and values of Japanese Americans. Its major programs include the graduation banquet and scholarship, it is also a major sponsor of the annual Mochitsuki festival, Day of Remembrance and the Nikkei Community Picnic, and the distributor of a community-wide monthly newsletter and calendar.

Shokookai of Portland
Shokookai of Portland was founded in 1966, as small group of Japanese companies. Representatives met to discuss common issues such as education and health care. Aiding social and business organizations, they facilitate business operation for Japanese companies in Oregon and South Washington and run a Japanese Language school.

State Farm Scholarship
State Farm Insurance has generously donated to the Portland Chapter JACL to help fund the programs the Chapter sponsors. Mariko Locke, local State Farm agent, is instrumental in securing these funds for our program in areas of civil rights preserving our cultural heritage and scholarships.

Mrs. Mark Sumida Awards
Alice Sumida was a long time supporter of the Japanese American Community. She and her husband owned and operated a flower seed and bulb business and later raised koi. Mrs. Sumida’s life has been portrayed by award winning children’s author, Allen Say in Music for Alice. Mrs. Sumida was a ballroom dancer and entered competitions throughout the United States and internationally as well.

Veleda Club
The Veleda Club is Portland’s oldest Nikkei women’s organization that is active in the Nikkei community today. The Veledas support community and cultural events. They promote the preservation of our Japanese American heritage and traditions.

The Henjyoji Shingon Buddhist Temple  – Traditional Japanese Art Award Scholarship.

The Temple was founded in April, 1940 and provides not only Shingon Buddhist services; but Japanese Cultural Arts studies such as Flower Arrangement (Ikebana), Tea Ceremony (Cha-do) and Japanese Calligraphy (Sho-do). This award honors a student pursuing one of the Japanese cultural arts. 

This award was established by the family of the late Rev. Kazuko Wako Henjyoji, in recognition of her lifetime of service strengthening cultural ties between the United States and Japan. She was devoted to education, teaching Japanese and Americans alike both the art of Japanese tea ceremony and the art of Ikebana, flower arranging.