February 2024

FCCJ dinner honors the latest winners of the Swadesh DeRoy Scholarships

The FCCJ held its annual awards dinner on January 10 for the Swadesh DeRoy Scholarship, the club's way of supporting the next generation of journalists with cash scholarships. We had a strong turnout not only by the applicants but also journalism professors, student club members, past scholarship winners … and a few bureau chiefs who came to scout the latest talent.

Named after a past club president, the scholarship awards ¥300,000 to student journalists who compete by submitting work in one of three categories: pen, photo and video. In the year just ended, the Scholarship Committee had submissions in two categories from seven promising young journalists.

Eru Ishikawa

In the pen category, the committee awarded the winner’s prize to Eru Ishikawa, who recently graduated from Keio University. Ishikawa wrote a deeply reported piece on the stigma in Japan given to tattoos, which are still seen as a sign of membership of yakuza crime syndicates. Some bathhouses continue to ban people with tattoos, despite the fact that many in the younger generation, both in Japan and abroad, now embrace them for more aesthetic reasons. The runners up were Ding Xiaolin, a student at Akita International University, and Jajoo Swastika from Tohoku University.

Read her piece

Song Linxiao

The Photo award went to Song Linxiao, a recent graduate of Waseda University, for her poignant photographs of children living in poverty in Cambodia. The committee felt that she captured the plight of these children while also humanizing them as more than just objects of pity. The runner-up was Amakata Himari of Sophia University. We also gave a shout-out to Alec Hirata-Redding, also a student at Sophia, for his multimedia submission on cultural appropriation.

See her photos

Martin Fackler is chair of the FCCJ Scholarship Committee