General Information

Deadline: 11:59 PM PST on Sunday, March 3, 2024
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 establishing the 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 engaging with community.  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. Applicants must also be an undergraduate student in the upcoming academic year, i.e, as an incoming freshman or a returning undergraduate. Special consideration will be given to incoming freshmen. The Minoru Tamesa and Bunshiro Tazuma Scholarships are both $3,000 scholarships that will be presented at the award luncheon.

  1. Applicant must be accepted and enrolled in an accredited college or university in an undergraduate program for the upcoming academic year.
  2. The applicant must be an undergraduate student during the upcoming academic year, such as an incoming freshman or returning undergraduate.
  3. Applicant must be of Japanese ancestry, an individual member of the Seattle JACL, or actively involved with the Japanese American community.
  4. Consideration will be given to applicants from Western Washington.
  1. Application and supporting documents must be uploaded by 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 3, 2024
  2. Notification of interview status – Week of March 25, 2024
  3. Online Zoom interview (required) – Saturday, April 20, 2024
  4. Scholarship winners are invited to attend an awards lunch – Saturday, May 4, 2024
Key Considerations
  1. How has the applicant demonstrated or how will the applicant 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: In 500 words or less, address the following questions: What does it mean to be Nikkei? How does the Nikkei experience define or influence who you are? 
  • A copy of your official high school transcript, and, if applicable, your college transcript(s).
  • A summary of your extra-curricular, work, and community activities. Please download and fill out this activities summary template.
  • Two recommendation forms: at least one recommendation must be submitted by a non-related teacher, counselor, school administrator, and/or employer; one recommendation can be submitted by a community leader.

The recommendation form can be downloaded here. Applicants are encouraged to download the form and send it to their recommenders.

Recommenders should submit the completed form on the Recommendation Form page: Forms must be submitted by the application deadline.


Step 1 of 2

  • Basic Information

  • Education

If you have questions about the application process, contact Mika Rothman at