Students receive $1000 scholarships for promoting Japanese culture

KAHULUI, Hawaii - KAHULUI, Hawaii - The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui awarded $1000 scholarships to Peytynn Kubo of Maui High School, and Lexi Yokote and Zhenni He of Baldwin High School for their involvement and efforts in promoting the Japanese culture.

Peytynn Kubo has performed taiko for Zenshin Daiko for more than ten years and now teaches and helps grow the organization. She served as president for the Maui High School Japanese Club since 2017 and led the club in winning the Maui Mikoshi design this year, which allowed them to participate at the Honolulu Festival.

Lexi Yokote has also performed for Zenshin Daiko for about eight years, which allowed her exposure at various community events on Maui, and in Japan. Lexi wrote about the importance of preserving the culture on Maui in her essay, noting diversity in the community as its strength.

Moving to Maui from China, Zhenni He’s interest in the culture began with watching anime. Through her involvement in the Japanese Club at Baldwin High School, she has participated and helped promote mochi making, taiko workshops and hanafuda tournaments, while learning the Japanese language.

2019 Scholarship
L-R: Peytynn Kubo, Lexi Yokote, Zhenni He and JCSM President Deron Furukawa at the 2019 Maui Matsuri.

JCSM President Deron Furukawa presented checks to the 2019 scholarship recipients at the 19th annual Maui Matsuri held at the University of Hawaii Maui College on Saturday, May 25.

“The students could have opted for other worthy endeavors, but they chose to have active involvement in the Japanese culture, which is why we want to support their desire to further their education to help keep traditions alive,” Furukawa said. “I want to thank our selection committee and all of the applicants this year. We will strive to raise more funds towards the program to support more students.”

Each year, funds raised at the shave ice and beverage booth at the Maui Matsuri go towards JCSM’s scholarship program. The scholarship awardees were selected primarily for their record of involvement in promoting and perpetuating the Japanese culture.

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