Skip to main content
Portland scholarship recipients included (top row, from left) Madeline Masog, Justin Kwong, Euri Kashiwagi, Kayla Hondo, Mina Yamasaki and Braden Yokota and (front row, from left) Sophia Kawata, Meredith Loy, Abigail Matsushima, Madison Lamont, Naomi Sakaguchi, Zack Ragozzino and Julius Shellmire.

By P.C. Staff

The Portland Japanese American community held its 68th annual Japanese American Graduation Banquet on May 3, and this year, 14 high school seniors from within the Portland metropolitan community were honored for their academic achievements as well as their artistic talent and extracurricular activities.

The tradition of the Japanese American Graduation Banquet began in 1948 when Misao Hayashi, wife of Rev. Francis Hayashi of the Epworth Methodist Church, held a reception for the local Japanese American graduates at the Broadway Theater, where the students also watched the movie “Go for Broke” featuring Van Johnson.

This year’s graduate honorees included Emi Hirsh of Grant High School, who was awarded the Shokookai of Portland Scholarship. She is a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

Additional winners included Madeline Masog of Scappoose High School, recipient of the Yoshiko Kennedy Scholarship; Justin Kwong of Cleveland High School, recipient of the Mabel Shoji Boggs/State Farm Scholarship; Euri Kashiwagi, also of Cleveland High School, who was awarded the Henjyoji Buddhist Art Award; Kayla Hondo of Southridge High School, who received the Art and Teri Iwasaki Scholarship; Beaverton High School’s Mina Yamasaki, recipient of the Hide Naito Scholarship; and Braden Yokota, a student at Jesuit High School, who was awarded the Tsuya Minamoto/Veleda Club Scholarship.

Also honored were Sophia Kawata of Clackamas High School, who received the Alice Sumida Award; Meredith Loy from Oregon Episcopal High School, who won the Portland JACL-Kiyoko Yumibe Scholarship; Abigail Matsushima from Grant High School, who not only was presented the Nisei Veterans’ Athletic Trophy but also won the Matt Masuoka Scholarship; Lake Oswego High School’s Madison Lamont, who was awarded the Gresham-Troutdale JACL Scholarship; Tigard High School’s Naomi Sakaguchi, recipient of the Lt. Roger T. Okamoto Scholarship; Zack Ragozzino of Lake Oswego High School, who was presented with the Satsuki Azumano Scholarship; and Julius Shellmire from Grant High School, who received the Alice Sumida Award.