Japan scholarship

The search has been launched for candidates for the 2013 Thomas Blake Glover Aberdeen Asset Scholarship.

Initiated by the Japan Society of Scotland and sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, the scholarship enables Scottish students to study at a Japanese university as well as learning all aspects of Japanese language and culture, including traditional tea ceremonies and Japanese writing. The scholarship is now in its fifth year and has been extended to include Scots with up to five years’ post-graduate experience.

Applications are particularly sought from Scots with an interest in technology, for example, power systems and alternative energy. Application forms can be downloaded from www.japansocietyofscotland.org.uk and completed in either hard copy or digital form. Applications should be submitted to Hon Secretary of the Japan Society of Scotland, 4 Ravelston Park, Edinburgh EH4 3DX, or by e-mail to charliedmond@hotmail.co.uk, the deadline is January 31st 2013.

The scholarship was created in recognition of the work of Thomas Blake Glover, the Aberdeenshire-born entrepreneur credited with opening Japan up to the West.

After settling in Nagasaki in 1859, Glover established an agency for his employers, the Scottish trading house Jardine, Matheson and Co.

He played a critically important role in opening trade links and became known as the Scottish Samurai.

He introduced the first railway locomotive to Japan, started the Kirin Brewery and influenced the development of Mitsubishi as an industrial conglomerate. The scholarship aims to recognise these successes by providing young Scots with the opportunity to learn about business and culture in the hope of further improving Scotland’s historic links with Japan.

For twenty-five year old Jen Rourke, an illustration graduate from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and the most recent recipient, the scholarship built on an affinity to the Japanese culture she exemplified in her work. She says, “In my final year of university, my work focussed on Japanese prints and culture so it was a wonderful opportunity to visit the local museums and galleries to see the Japanese art up close.

“Thanks to the Thomas Blake Glover Aberdeen Asset Scholarship I now have a deeper understanding of the Japanese language and culture. I would definitely recommend that students who are interested in Japan apply for the scholarship as I have gained so much from the experience.

“I am always looking to try new experiences and I attempted to eat as many Japanese delicacies as possible.

“I enjoyed each meal as much as the last, from Yakitori to Udon and Ramen. But the only thing I didn’t enjoy was Natto, which is fermented soya beans.

“I have been told that it’s an acquired taste but it’s certainly not one that I acquired!”

Chairman of the Japan Society of Scotland, Professor Stuart Picken, says, “We aim to encourage more Scottish graduates to learn Japanese and gain work experience in Japan. By awarding the scholarship, the Japan Society of Scotland is providing a great opportunity for young Scots.”

More about the scholarship can be found at www.facebook.com/GloverScholarship and www.twitter.com/gloverscholar