Organized by Japan Center at Stony Brook University, the Essay Competition Awarded Five Students Who Showcased Different Aspects of the Japanese Culture Connected to Their Personal Experiences

MELVILLE, NY, April 26, 2021– As part of its continued commitment to empowering young leaders and education, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proudly sponsored and participated in the virtual 16th Annual Japan Center Essay Competition Awards Program on April 24, 2021. The goal of the competition is to provide young American students with the opportunity to think creatively and critically about their lives by relating to some aspect of Japan and Japanese culture in an effort to help broaden their horizons and encourage global citizenship. Embodying that goal, five students were recognized for their eloquent essays with prizes including Canon products.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. and the Japan Center at Stony Brook University have a longstanding collaboration that was launched in 2005 by the late Kinya Uchida, the Canon U.S.A. President and Chief Executive Officer at the time. The Essay Competition, now in its 16th year, is an example of this collaboration. Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of the Imaging Technologies & Communications Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., spoke at the virtual awards ceremony and congratulated the winners.

“The collaboration with the Japan Center at Stony Brook University is a direct reflection of Canon’s corporate philosophy of Kyosei, which means ‘all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future,” Mr. Kano said. “Supporting youth, education and our neighboring communities has always been a staple within our corporate social responsibility initiatives. I’m especially proud of the work of the Japan Center as well as all the students who wrote such passionate essays showcasing their understanding of Japanese culture as it relates to their personal lives.”

Among the 142 essays submitted by students from high school to college undergraduates in the New York metropolitan area, five winners were selected by a committee of judges and received awards including a Canon camera. In addition, the First Prize winner received a Webcam Accessory Kit & Hand Grip Tripod. Each essay focused on one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, history and society, which connected to their personal experiences, views, and future goals. The winners are:

High School Division Best Essay Award:

  • 1st Place Best Essay Award and Consul General of Japan Special Award
    • “Kaka Murad: A Tale of Ikigai” by Faiqa Ali (Hicksville High School)
  • 2nd Place Best Essay Award
    • “A Kintsugi Life” by Jessie Roth (Professional Performing Arts High School)
  • 3rd Place Best Essay Award
    • “The Way of Hanabi” by Yucheng Yang (Syosset High School)

College Division Best Essay Award

  • “Space” by Lucy Yin (Stony Brook University)

Uchida Memorial Award

  • “The Hidden Secret of the Sky-blue Chawan” by Wenting Li (Binghamton University)

“We are very proud to have a great and established collaboration with Canon U.S.A. as they have been supporting us to promote education and research in the study of Japanese culture,” said Dr. Iwao Ojima, the President and Chair of the Board of the Japan Center at Stony Brook University. “The essay competition connects back to the purpose of the Japan Center at Stony Brook University, which is to create a bridge between the university and the local community to promote education, research and cultural activities related to Japan and we are so honored to have Canon U.S.A., Inc. sponsor this competition again this year. We also congratulate the winners of this year’s essay competition for their amazing 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 3,218 submissions from 251 schools.

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

About Japan Center at Stony Brook University
The Japan Center at Stony Brook University was established in January 2003. It is operated by university faculty members, alumni and influential members of the local community. The Center organizes symposiums, lectures, workshops, performances, film festivals, educational events, and outreach programs. The aim of the Japan Center Essay Competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons.

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 $30.4 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2020† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2020. 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.

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