It isn’t easy to get a Tazaki Scholarship. Of the many hundreds of Japanese students who apply, only the five most academically excellent are granted the Scholarship; and the lucky five are gifted a British education in its entirety, with their tuition fee, dormitory fee, and living expenses to attend both UK public school and their undergraduate degree all funded by the Tazaki Foundation.

The Foundation was established with the aim of supporting Japanese students’ study abroad in UK schools, which boast a long tradition and history. The UK’s academic and educational prowess continues to fuel international competition for such places.

For the five chosen students, it’s a life-changing opportunity that Founder and Chairman of the Tazaki Foundation, Tadasaki Tasaki, believes will benefit the future development of Japan. As a so called ‘global talent’, Mr Tazaki feels that allowing Japanese students to ‘interact with people around the world and experience different cultures’ lets Japan further ‘contribute to society worldwide.’ The scholarship also funds full English Language training in Japan.

All five students have been welcomed this September by Pippa’s Guardians and have begun their education in the UK; three at Christ’s Hospital in West Sussex and two at Kingswood in Bath, where Mr Tazaki himself attended – but before they flew out, the five had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Theresa May at the British Embassy during her visit to Japan. Academic Scholar Rin Watanabe, beginning her education at Kingswood, had this to say about her new school, her new host family, and meeting Mrs May.

‘I really loved the school. Especially, I love the green. And all the buildings were very lovely. My only concern is that it is so huge that I get lost in the middle of the school between lessons, but I’m sure I’ll be with my buddy until I’m settled in. And I feel that I’m really lucky to be hosted at Doris and Richard’s place. I love when we go shopping in the city. It’s just a 5-minute-walk to the city centre! I love Doris’s cooking too! And Richard helps me with my English and we three talk a lot about many things, which I like very much.’

‘I visited the British embassy the day before I flew to LHR. I had a short talk with PM, she asked me something like “what are you going to study in the UK?” and a few more things, which I don’t remember maybe because I was very nervous.’

And on her hopes for the future;

‘I’m going to study Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A Levels. After that, I haven’t decided yet, but I’d like to study economics and management in the university. In the following two years, I want to improve my ability to deal with non-Japanese people. The ways they express their opinions are very different from those of Japanese. And I think that all those differences are related to the cultural differences. These things are what I won’t be able to learn in Japan, so I’m very looking forward to have a lot of conversation and discussions with my colleagues and learn why those differences are made.’

Mr Tazaki with Rin and An outside the British Embassy in Japan

Mr Tazaki, pictured here with Scholars Rin Watanabe and An Nabeshima, had this to say about the scholarship;

‘Through the Tazaki Scholarship we deepen our understanding of tradition and culture of our country, coexist with people who are based on different cultures and history than ourselves…(we are) expecting students who are willing to work in international society. People who have the opportunity to learn in a privileged environment have their pride and awareness and will return their achievements to society.’

We are delighted to have the Tazaki Scholars join Pippa’s Guardians and look forward to supporting them as they begin their exciting adventure here.