New Supplemental Scholarship Established for Okinawan Students at the East-West Center


EWC Okinawan projects specialist Bob Nakasone
establishes $50,000 endowment in parents’ honor


Top: Matsuro and Tsuruko Nakasone.
Below: Bob Nakasone with 2015 Obuchi Scholarship recipient Akino Oshiro.

HONOLULU (March 15, 2016) – Mr. Robert T. Nakasone, East-West Center adjunct Okinawan projects specialist, has given a $50,000 gift to EWC to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of his late parents. The Matsuro and Tsuruko Nakasone Endowment Fund will help Obuchi and Worldwide Uchinanchu Business Association award recipients at the Center cover partial travel and educational expenses. 

“The East-West Center is very grateful to Bob Nakasone for all his efforts over the years to help bring Okinawan students to the Center,” said EWC Director of External Affairs Karen Knudsen. “This new endowment in honor of his parents will be much appreciated in helping to defray travel and other expenses that can present a difficult financial strain for our participants.”

Mr. Nakasone’s father Matsuro emigrated to Hawai‘i from Okinawa, worked on a plantation field, married Tsuruko and later became a cook at the Lanai Plantation. The family moved to Honolulu where they started a hot dog stand on Hotel Street. With hard work they developed a successful small business and raised five sons and one daughter who all graduated from college. Matsuro died in 1995 at 92 years old and Tsuruko died in 2011 at 101 years old. Education and their Okinawan heritage were very important to them.

The East-West Center Foundation offers a variety of ways donors can contribute to the Center’s work, including individually named scholarship funds. For more information, please contact Development Officer Gary Yoshida at +1 808-944-7196 or [email protected].