The Hagio Prize: 20th Anniversary
The Hagio Prize is a £5000 annual travel award intended to promote international understanding of Japanese culture and society. The Prize is endowed by The Atsushi and Fumiko Hagio Fund and supported by Thomson Reuters Foundation and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS). The award is open to students who successfully complete the SOAS Diploma in Communicative Japanese Full-time.
First offered in May-June 2000, the Hagio Prize has been an extremely inspirational award for our students of Japanese. Since then the award has made it possible for 19 students to realise their dream of visiting Japan.
Approaching the 20th anniversary of this unique and generous award, we have asked past winners to reminisce about their time spent in Japan, as well as how the experience has affected their lives.
Below are the reports from past winners of the Hagio Prize.
- Ms Sarah King - 2nd year winner
- Mr Jonathan Mann - 4th year winner
- Ms Catherine Laurence - 6th year winner
- Mr Sebastian Schubert - 8th year winner
- Ms Emma Boardman - 9th year winner
- Ms Loren Lam - 10th year winner
- Ms Kasia Zaton - 11th year winner
- Mr Matthew Turnbull - 13th year winner
- Ms Elena Bartolomeo - 14th year winner
- Mr Gilles Villeneuve - 15th year winner
- Ms Rebecca Steltner - 16th year winner
- Mr Rohit Gupta - 17th year winner
A Message from the Director of SOAS Language Centre
The Hagio Prize, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is an award specifically dedicated to rewarding students of the Diploma in Communicative Japanese course at SOAS Language Centre for their outstanding work in studying Japanese language and culture and their genuine efforts in promoting mutual understanding and Anglo-Japanese relations. For the past decade, the Hagio Prize has provided the initial yet a most valuable opportunity for the award winners to visit Japan, a life changing experience for all of them.
SOAS Language Centre is proud of the achievements that our students have made during the Diploma in Modern Japanese course. We are very grateful to Mrs Hagio and the Thomson Reuters Foundation for their unremitting support for this award as it has made a huge contribution to the course as well as to the lives of the award winners. I am confident that the Hagio Prize will continue to encourage and inspire our students to follow the steps of the previous course participants.
Finally I wish the Hagio Prize a very happy 20th Anniversary in 2020.
Message from the Japanese Language Specialist
The Diploma in Communicative Japanese is an intensive one-year course with a steep learning curve through the year. This course brings complete beginners to the level of competency equivalent to pre JLPT level 2 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test - 日本語能力試験 ) in 500 contact hours from September to July. Naturally, the students must work as many, if not more hours outside the class as well, thus making this course challenging but ultimately a very rewarding experience.
We are extremely lucky to have the Hagio Prize for this course. The award not only inspires and motivates students to achieve a high level of Japanese language, but it also allows them to put the skills they acquired on the course to the real test once they are in Japan. The award started 20 years ago, when Mrs Hagio put her inspired idea into this fantastic gift, and it has so far helped 19 students to visit Japan upon completing the Diploma course. Many of them would not have been able to visit Japan if the award had not been available. It makes a valuable contribution to promoting and deepening Anglo-Japanese relationships.
We would like to thank our colleagues in Thomson Reuters Foundation who organise the award very efficiently every year, and a very special thank you to Mrs Hagio, for her generosity and warm support.