The competition, organized by the Japan Center at Stony Brook University, recognized seven students for showcasing different aspects of Japanese culture that connects to personal experience

MELVILLE, NY, April 25, 2022 – Extending its commitment towards empowering students and supporting education, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proudly sponsored and participated in the 17th Annual Japan Center Essay Competition Awards Program on April 23.

The essay competition, organized by the Japan Center at Stony Brook University, honored seven students for work that demonstrated their awareness and understanding of the Japanese culture. The program encourages students to think creatively and critically about their lives in relating experiences to aspects of Japanese culture to help broaden horizons and promote global citizenship through the thought-provoking essays.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. and the Japan Center at Stony Brook University have a longstanding partnership, which began in 2005 with former President and Chief Executive Officer of Canon U.S.A., Inc., the late Mr. Kinya Uchida. Contestants were asked to write about one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals.

Isao “Sammy” Kobayashi, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Hybrid-workplaces Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., spoke at the virtual awards ceremony and congratulated the winners. Kobayashi said working with the Japan Center helps bolster Canon’s corporate philosophy of Kyosei, which means “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future.”

“It’s important to support youth, education and our communities, and our continued collaboration with Stony Brook University’s Japan Center helps demonstrate the benefits of local social responsibility initiatives,” Kobayashi said. “The Japan Center continues to do great work, and we are very proud of all the students who wrote so passionately about their experience and understanding of Japanese culture as it relates to their personal lives.”

Among the 140 essays submitted by students from high school to college undergraduates in the New York metropolitan area, seven winners were selected by a committee of judges and received awards including a Canon camera.

The winners from each division are:

High School Division Best Essay Award:

  • 1st Place Best Essay Award and Consul General of Japan Special Award
    • “Hitofude Ryuu: The Meaning Behind Tradition” by Sally Chen (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts)
  • 2nd Place Best Essay Award
    • “Cabinet of Porcelain” by Mohammad Fahad (Deer Park High School)
  • 3rd Place Best Essay Award
    • “Ichi-go Ichie-e – Once, a Meeting” by Tara Isabel Lago (Staten Island Technical High School)

Uchida Memorial Award

  • “The Tears We Shed” by Devin Overend (Stony Brook University)

Special Award

  • “Furoshiki: An Understanding of Japan, the World and Self” by Martin Kordas (Stony Brook University)
  • “The Glass Half Full: A Story of Perseverance” by Ashlin Benny (New Hyde Park Memorial High School)
  • “The Magic of Yokai” by Nolan Jin (Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School)

“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Canon U.S.A. and are thankful for the support in promoting education and research in the study of Japanese culture,” said Dr. Iwao Ojima, the President of Japan Center at Stony Brook University. “The essay competition provides a means to promote education and research and develop a better understanding of cultural activities related to Japan. Canon’s support in sponsoring this competition is always appreciated. We congratulate the winners of this year’s essay competition for their great work.”

The first Japan Center Essay Competition, organized by Stony Brook University in New York and supported by Canon U.S.A., was held during the 2005-2006 school year. Since its inaugural year, there have been 3,358 submissions from more than 250 schools.

Each of the winning essays can be found on the Japan Center’s website.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $30.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), as of 2021 has ranked in the top-five overall in U.S. patents granted for 36 consecutive years and was one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2022. Canon U.S.A. was featured in Newsweek’s Most Loved Workplaces list for 2021, ranking among the top 100 companies for employee happiness and satisfaction at work. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA.

Source Canon USA