Canon U.S.A. Supports 18th Annual Japan Center Essay Competition at Stony Brook University

The competition recognizes students for highlighting different aspects of Japanese culture, connecting to personal experience

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 2, 2023 – Demonstrating its commitment to empowering students and supporting education, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, proudly sponsored and participated in the 18th Annual Japan Center Essay Competition Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 29th, 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 program encourages students to think creatively and critically about their lives in relating experiences to aspects of Japanese culture to help broaden horizons and promote global citizenship through the thought-provoking essays.

"The essay competition provides students with an opportunity to develop a better understanding of cultural activities related to Japan, and we are proud to partner with Canon U.S.A. on this endeavor," said Dr. Iwao Ojima, the President of Japan Center at Stony Brook University. “The students wrote powerful compositions and we congratulate them for their great work."

Two hundred and six high school and college students submitted essays for the competition. Contestants were asked to write about one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals. A panel of Stony Brook faculty judges selected four winners, who received awards including a Canon camera.

High School Division Best Essay Award

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

“Japan: Unlikely Gateway to My Educational Future” by Aidan Sargent (West Hempstead High School)

2nd Place Best Essay Award

“Hope Takes Flight” by Keya Annam (Stuyvesant High School)

3rd Place Best Essay Award

“Sakura: The Essence of Immortality” by Nicola Hsu (Millennium High School)

Uchida Memorial Award

“Memoirs of a Bento Box” by Kaytie Tanoue (Stony Brook University)

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. This was the annual event’s first in-person ceremony since 2019, having been held virtually for the past 3 years. 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. Junichi Furuyama, senior vice president and general manager, Finance and Accounting, Canon U.S.A., Inc., spoke at the awards ceremony and congratulated the winners.

“As I read each essay, I was very impressed by the students’ work,” said Furuyama. “It is important for all of us to understand and appreciate the differences in the various cultures around the world. Developing a mutual understanding is not always easy, but it is worth the effort. That is why this essay contest is so valuable.”

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 $30.3 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), as of 2022 has ranked in the top-five overall in U.S. patents granted for 37 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 follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA.

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

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