Guest blog by Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation:

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is a UK charity supporting UK-Japan links through awarding Daiwa Scholarships. The Daiwa Scholarship is a unique approximately 19-month programme of language study, work placement and homestay in Japan, following a period of Japanese tuition in the UK. Daiwa Scholarships offer young and talented UK citizens with strong leadership potential the opportunity to acquire Japanese language skills, and to access expertise and knowledge relevant to their career goals.

The intensive Japanese language course (approximately a year) is held in Tokyo. Following the homestay, spent living with a family outside Tokyo, full-time work placements appropriate to each Daiwa Scholar’s career goals are arranged.

Timeline

  • Application deadline: 7 December 2017
  • Interviews (three stages in London): February/March 2018
  • Interview results: End of March 2018
  • Japanese language course (in the UK): Summer 2018
  • Departure: Autumn 2018
  • End of programme: March 2020

A Daiwa Scholar’s experience

James Fisher was a 2013 Daiwa Scholar. He graduated with a degree in Law in 2013 and took up his Daiwa Scholarship soon after. He says:

My Daiwa Scholarship was undoubtedly the most formative 19 months of my life so far. It has given me new skills, new friends, countless happy memories and many exciting opportunities for the future.

It was an incredible privilege to be able to devote 12 months to full-time study of Japanese (a language that continues to fascinate and frustrate me in roughly equal measure!) I owe all my Japanese abilities – and my continued determination to improve them – to the dedicated staff of the Naganuma School.

The Scholarship also gave me amazing opportunities for professional development. My work placement at the Tokyo office of leading global law firm Hogan Lovells enabled me to contribute to high-profile legal work for headline Japanese clients such as Nissan, Panasonic and Toyota.

On a personal level, I benefited immensely from the wit, wisdom and support of my fellow Scholars and sempai, who remain valued friends. I also connected with Japanese people of many ages and backgrounds, especially during my unforgettable month-long homestay in Kagoshima prefecture. I stayed with a truly wonderful family who showed me everything the region had to offer. Time away from Tokyo was an ideal chance to contribute to real-world Anglo-Japanese relations. I am unlikely ever to forget a month getting to know a motley crew of traditional potters, karate instructors, paragliding OAPs, and Zen monks-in-training (who incidentally make excellent vegan curry).

Following my Scholarship I took up a position as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo. I now teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses on English law and Japanese law. My research focuses on English private law but also includes Japanese constitutional law. I am currently working on the first in-depth comparative analysis of English and Japanese trusts. Thanks to the Daiwa Scholarship, there seems little chance of a future in which I am not closely involved with Japanese affairs both personally and professionally.

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