Obuchi Student Scholarship

2022 Obuchi Scholars
2022-23 Obuchi Scholarship recipient with Project Specialists Bob Nakasone (right) and John Tasato (left) 

Obuchi Student Scholarships are part of the Graduate Degree Fellowship program and support students from Okinawa for master's or doctoral degree study at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (UHM) in fields deemed beneficial to Okinawan development needs. These scholarships are offered through a joint partnership of the United States and Japanese governments, specifically through the East-West Center and the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The program's mission is to help Okinawa develop and strengthen its human resources in order to take a proactive role in Asia Pacific intellectual, research, and business activities. Priority in the student selection process is given to those studying in fields of benefit to Okinawan development.

For information on the Obuchi Scholarship in Japanese, please visit

Obuchi Student Scholarship Application Documents for Master's or Doctoral Degree Study

The East-West Center and the University of Hawai‘i, located in a unique island setting with a distinctive multicultural heritage, offer premier resources for studies on Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. Through East-West Center affiliation, awardees become part of a growing network of students and alumni forging the shape and substance of the world's most vibrant region.

Obuchi student fellows have opportunities to enhance their degree studies by participating in Center internship and leadership development projects.

Undertaking degree studies at the UHM or joining the APLP through an Obuchi Student Scholarship is not merely about receiving a financial aid scholarship. Since the basic purpose of the East-West Center is to build a sense of Asia-Pacific community and prepare for future leadership roles, Obuchi student fellows and other EWC graduate student fellows live together and interact with each other in both intellectual and social activities. They are from the very outset an identifiable group committed to the notion of building an Asia-Pacific community. Through team-building activities, leadership development projects and internships, learning about the Asia Pacific region, cultural exchange, educational enrichment gatherings, community service and service learning projects, Obuchi fellows and other EWC graduate degree fellows establish friendships and lifelong ties to a network of people committed to positive change in the Asia Pacific region.

Fellowships are awarded annually in an international competition. The application period for the 2022-23 academic year has now closed. Please check back in August 2022 for the next competition. 

  1. Application Handbook (interactive website)
  2. Application Checklist (pdf)
  3. Diagram of the Application Process for EWC and UH (jpg)
  4. Academic Letter of Reference & Instructions (form-fillable Word doc)
  5. Civic Engagement Letter of Reference & Instructions (form-fillable Word doc)

Important Note:  applicants will need to show eligibility for this scholarship by submitting a copy of permanent domicile in Okinawa or a certificate of residence for Okinawa.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Application Handbook and Frequently Asked Questions page. Please check back in August 2022 for the next competition.

If you are unable to access these application materials, email [email protected] for further assistance. 


The Obuchi Student Experience:  Alumni Perspectives

Click here to read testimonials from Obuchi alumni.

Contact Us

Obuchi Program Advisor

2015-2017 Obuchi Student Scholars (from l. to r. Yuichiro Masuda, Akino Oshiro and Rika Inamine) met at the East-West Center, where they formed a cultural performance group called "The Polka Dots."

The following EWC alumni are available to meet with applicants who wish to learn more about the Obuchi Program and opportunities at the East-West Center:

Prof. Kinuko Maehara-Yamazato (East-West Center Obuchi Program Advisor)
Global Languages and Cultures Program, Faculty of Law & Letters
University of the Ryukyus
1 Senbaru, Nishihara
Nakagami, Okinawa, 903-0213, JAPAN
[email protected]
Tel. 098-895-8269

Daniel Chinen (EWC Okinawa Liaison Office)
University of the Ryukyus
[email protected]
Tel. 080-1760-6620 

Ms. Yuki Miyazato (Okinawa PR Desk)
Ekistics EpiCenter, Inc.
4-17-11 Jitchaku
Urasoe, Okinawa 901-2122, Japan
[email protected]
Telephone: 81-98-870-0680

East-West Center Registar's Office Staff

For specific questions regarding the application forms or process, please contact:  [email protected]. Please put the Obuchi Student Scholarship in your subject line in order to facilitate a quick response.

Obuchi Scholarship Application for the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP)

In addition to scholarships for graduate degree study, the Obuchi Scholarship also offers funding for the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP), a non-degree leadership training program. The Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) is the center of excellence for leadership education in Asia Pacific and a signature program of the East-West Center. Visit their website to learn about the program, application, and deadline.