Ema Johnson ’16 has recently been awarded the competitive Reitaku Foundation of America Scholarship for one year of fully funded study at Reitaku University, near Tokyo. Johnson is one of only two winners chosen from among applicants from all over the United States.
“I was extremely surprised that I was able to receive this scholarship as a first year and I am very excited to study abroad in Japan for a whole year,” says Johnson, who is an Asian studies major concentrating on Japan.
“Ema is a wonderful student who is passionate about Japanese culture,” says her adviser Assistant Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa. “Not only is she intelligent and diligent, her language skills are exceptional. In academic excellence, she follows in the footsteps of my recent advisees who have gone on to postgraduate studies at places like Columbia University and Keio University.”
Johnson has benefited from the Asian studies offerings at the Colleges. As a first-year student, she has already studied Japanese philosophy and religious thought, advanced Japanese, East Asian environment and development, and foundations of Asian civilizations. Johnson works as a research assistant to Yoshikawa, who is writing a book on early 20th century Japanese historians.
Among her goals for the Reitaku experience is becoming fluent in business Japanese as she hopes to work in Japan after graduation. “I want to learn about Japanese culture and be able to share my experience with others at HWS upon my return,” she says.
Reitaku University is a private university that grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects ranging from comparative cultural studies to economics. The scholarship’s goal is to promote educational and cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. Johnson will spend the 2013-2014 academic year at Reitaku.