The competition challenges students to write about aspects of Japanese culture, with a personal connection

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 23, 2024 – Highlighting its commitment to empowering students and supporting education, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proudly sponsored the 19th Annual Japan Center Essay Competition Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 20th, at Stony Brook University.

The essay competition, organized by the Japan Center at Stony Brook, honors students for work that demonstrates their awareness and understanding of the Japanese culture. The competition aims to inspire the students to think creatively and critically about their lives in relating experiences to aspects of Japanese culture, to broaden their horizons and promote global citizenship through the writing of thought-provoking essays.

“We are proud to partner with Canon U.S.A. on the essay competition, providing students with the opportunity to develop a better understanding of cultural activities related to Japan,” said Dr. Iwao Ojima, the President of Japan Center at Stony Brook University. “We congratulate the winners and every participant for their great work.”

233 high school and college students submitted essays for the competition. Contestants were asked to discuss one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal experiences, views, and/or future goals. A panel of qualified judges selected the winners, who received awards including a Canon product.

High School Division Best Essay Award

1st Place Best Essay Award and Consul General of Japan Special Award
“Reflections” written by Talia Beck (Hunter College High School)

1st Place Best Essay Award and Consul General of Japan Special Award

2nd Place Best Essay Award
“The Sound of Drums Behind a Stage” written by Anderson Maziero (Bethpage High School)

3rd Place Best Essay Award
“Embracing the Harmony of Silence” written by Arihunt Garg (The Brooklyn Latin School)

Uchida Memorial
“Sparks of Identity” written by Marisa Yamamoto (Syosset High School)

Canon U.S.A., Inc. and the Japan Center at Stony Brook University have a longstanding partnership, which began in 2005 with former president and chief executive officer of Canon U.S.A., Inc., the late Mr. Kinya Uchida. Attendees included the award-winning students, and representatives from the Japan Center at Stony Brook, Canon U.S.A., Inc., and Consulate General of Japan in New York. Each winner took to the stage and read their essay to the audience. Isao “Sammy” Kobayashi, president and CEO of Canon U.S.A., Inc., was an honorary judge of the competition.

“We are very proud of all the students who wrote so passionately about their experience and understanding of Japanese culture, connecting it to their personal lives in these captivating essays,” Kobayashi said. “The Japan Center does great work for the community, and Canon is honored to be a partner for this program.”

For a list of winners, finalists, and semifinalists, you can visit the Japan Center’s website. Award-winning essays will be posted in early May.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $29.4 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc., as of 2023, has ranked in the top-five overall in U.S. patents granted for 38 consecutive years†. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To learn more about Canon, visit us at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Source Canon U.S.A.