General Information

Deadline: 11:59 PM PST on Friday, March 6, 2020
Amount: $3,000 (Minoru Tamesa) and $3,000 (Tazuma)

Minoru Tamesa was a leader of the Heart Mountain Incarceration Camp “Fair Play Committee.”  This group resisted the WWII draft on the basis that although they wanted to serve in the army, this was not possible while Japanese Americans were incarcerated.  Tamesa was arrested and he took his case to the Supreme Court where he personally argued, “I believe that loyalty is like a covenant between a citizen and his country.  A man should fight for his country.  On the other hand, he should feel his cause is just, that he is accorded the full privileges of a citizen in a democratic nation.”  Upon Tamesa’s death, his father Uhachi Tamesa endowed a Seattle JACL scholarship in his son’s honor.

Bunshiro Tazuma was one of Seattle’s pioneer Issei, first generation.  He arrived in the US in 1908 and worked as a railroad hand, dishwasher, cook, and on a fishing fleet before opening his own restaurant in Seattle’s Nihonmachi and later established he Tazuma 10 Cent Store.  After the war and incarceration at Minidoka, Tazuma operated the Benson Hotel on the current site of the Seattle Sheraton.  Tazuma represents the very best of our immigrant Issei generation– hard working, sacrificing for family, and community engagement.  After his death, Tazuma’s four Nisei children established a scholarship in their father’s name to keep his legacy alive.

The Minoru Tamesa and Bunshiro Tazuma scholarships are available to applicants who are of Japanese ancestry, individual members of the Seattle JACL, or active in the Japanese American community.  The Minoru Tamesa and Bunshiro Tazuma Scholarships are both $3,000 scholarships that will be presented at the luncheon.


  1. Applicant must be accepted and enrolled in an accredited college or university in an undergraduate or graduate program for the fall of 2020.
  2. Applicant  must be of Japanese ancestry, or an individual member of the Seattle JACL, or actively involved with the Japanese American community.
  3. Consideration will be given to applicants from Western Washington.
  1. Application and supporting documents must be emailed by 11:59 PM PST on Friday, March 6, 2020
  2. Notification of interview status – Week of March 23, 2020
  3. Face to face interview (required) – Saturday, April 4, 2020
  4. Successful candidate must attend the scholarship luncheon – Saturday, May 9, 2020
Key Considerations
  1. How has the applicant demonstrated or will demonstrate involvement with the Japanese American community?
  2. How does the applicant demonstrate the strong moral ethics of Minoru Tamesa and/or Bunshiro Tazuma?
Required Documents
  • An essay of 500 words or less to address this question: What does it mean to be Nikkei? How does that legacy influence who you are?
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from faculty and/or a counselor and the other from someone from the community or one of your extracurricular activities. (Note to faculty or counselor: Please address the student’s character, community service, extracurricular activities and academic achievements.)
  • A copy of your official high school transcript, and, if applicable, your college transcript(s).
  • A list of your extracurricular and community activities which details the specific years and length of each activity, average amount of hours, and leadership positions in the activity. You may also include work experience or other pertinent activities.

Step 1 of 2

  • Basic Information

  • Education

If you have questions about the application process, contact