Trenton Tanioka Awarded Iwasaki Scholarship


Trenton Tanioka receives the Teri and Art Iwasaki Scholarship. He is joined by, from left, Sharon Tani, father Kevin Tanioka, brother Ty, mother Joanne, and Susan Uyemura.

Japanese American Living Legacy announced that Trenton Tanioka is the recipient of the 2011 Teri and Art Iwasaki Scholarship.

“This is our third year awarding this scholarship and we had a record number of applicants,” said JA Living Legacy’s CEO, Susan Uyemura.

Chairperson Sharon Tani, Natalia Yamashiro-Chogyoji, and Barbara Ige comprised the Scholarship Review Committee. “To our surprise we had over 19 applicants. All candidates demonstrated academic excellence and outstanding community involvement.  Choosing just one was extremely difficult. That is why we elected to award two honorable mentions this year,” said Tani.

In 2008, the Iwasaki family of Oregon contacted JA Living Legacy to establish a five-year scholarship fund in honor of their parents, Art Iwasaki and his late wife, Teri. The Iwasaki children, Robert, Stephanie, Christie, Paul and Leslie, created the Teri and Art Iwasaki Scholarship. Art Iwasaki, is a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s I Company.

Tanioka is a fourth-generation Japanese American who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma. His grandfather, Bill Wada, served with the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) during World War II and is one of the founding members of the Kazuo Masuda VFW Post based in Orange County.

Tanioka was ASB president this past year as well as a varsity football captain and a varsity baseball captain. He served as president and religious chairman for the Orange County Buddhist Church’s Jr. Youth Buddhist Association. His participation in Boy Scout Troop 578 for the past 12 years earned him the highest rank of Eagle Scout. UC Irvine has accepted Tanioka as an education major.

The first honorable mention is Allison Coombs from Bothell, Wash. She is the granddaughter of Junwo Jim Yamashita, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, I Company, 4th Platoon. Her outstanding grades, community involvement with Nisei Veterans Council of Seattle and essay earned her an honorable mention. Coombs will be attending University of Washington at Seattle and will major in science.

The second honorable mention is Nolan Minoru Jimbo from Los Angeles. His outstanding academic performance, community involvement and essay also earned him this recognition. Jimbo has been accepted into Tufts University and will double major in international studies with an emphasis in art history and French.

“All of our candidates demonstrated academic excellence, outstanding community service and well-written essays,” the committee said. “Awards and scholarships are just a few ways we contribute to our community.”

If anyone is interested in setting up an award or scholarship through JA Living Legacy, contact the Awards and Scholarship Committee chair, Sharon Tani or (657) 278-4483.

The Teri and Art Iwasaki Scholarship will again be available in 2012. Application information will be available on the JA Living Legacy website beginning in January. Graduating high school students with a relationship to a Nisei World War II veteran are encouraged to apply.

JA Living Legacy is a California nonprofit 501.c.3 organization based out of CSU Fullerton. All of the board members, staff and advisors are volunteers. For more information on JA Living Legacy or Nikkei Writers Guild, visit the website at or call at (657) 278-4483.



1 Comment

  1. Robin Hennen on

    I am interested in the family of Captain Iwasaki of the Iwo Jima battle. I may have an artifact of his. Please contact me at (951) 922 – 9559. Thank you, Robin Hennen

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