Daiwa Scholars 1991

Daiwa Scholars 1991

Daiwa Scholars 1991 completed their Scholarship in April 1993.

Between them, the seven Daiwa Scholars 1991 studied at three different universities from across the UK- Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College, London. Their studies encompassed Natural Sciences; Computer Sciences and Management Studies; English and Pottery; History; Mechanical Engineering and Management Science; Archaeology and Anthropology; and Engineering Science.


About the scholars

Joshua BERKE

Joshua Berke was awarded a B.A (HONS) in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1991. His interest in Japan was sparked by kendo and go, as well as Japanese art.  Joshua’s homestay in Japan was in Shiroshi City in Miyagi Prefecture.

In his year in Japan he did research in the Neurophysiology Department of the University of Tokyo.

He  went on to do a PhD at Harvard University, and was Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan.

He is currently Schmid Distinguished Professor at the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry and Director, Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction at the Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the  Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.


Jason Creak was awarded a B.A (HONS) in Computer Science and Management Studies at Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1991. He had visited Japan several times before and had hosted two Japanese exchange students in England. He wished to further his knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

While in Japan his homestay was in Sapporo City in Hokkaido and  his work placement was at the Japanese heavy industries company IHI. In December 1993 he passed Level 1 of the Japan Foundation Japanese Language Proficiency Examination (JLPT), and he was about to take up a post in Management Consultancy. He now works as an IT Professional in Sydney, Australia.

Professor Edmund de WAAL OBE

Edmund de Waal was awarded a B.A (HONS) in English by Trinity College, Cambridge in 1986. He was then awarded a City and Guilds Certificate in Adult Education by Parson Cross College of Further Education, Sheffield, in 1989. Subsequently he became a self-employed potter. Edmund’s homestay in Japan was in Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture. During his year in Japan he worked at an independent pottery studio. After completing his Scholarship, he continued his career as a potter, including exhibitions in the United Kingdom and Japan. (More recently he wrote ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ in 2010 and “The White Road” in 2015).

You can read more about Edmund in the “Scholars Experiences” section of the website.


James Harding was awarded a B.A (HONS) in History by Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1991. He was interested in learning the Japanese language and being immersed in the Japanese culture. He also wished to promote a better understanding for Japan in the future by writing.

James’s homestay in Japan was in Kushiro City in Hokkaido Prefecture. During his year in Japan he worked in the office of Mr Koichi Kato, a Japanese politician. After he completed the Scholarship, he completed a “stage” at the European Commission, Brussels, and became a journalist at the Financial Times.

In December 2007, he was named editor of The Times, its youngest ever editor.

He became the BBC’s director of news and current affairs in 2013.


Leo Shapiro was awarded a M.Eng (HONS) in Mechanical Engineering and Management Science by Imperial College, London, in 1989. He had previously spent 10 months working at a Japanese company, Harmonic Dove Systems.

Leo’s homestay in Japan was in Morioka City in Iwate Prefecture. During his year in Japan he worked at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. After completing his scholarship he became a staff member at Bain and Company. He is now working with Cambridge Assessments.

Professor Anthony SINCLAIR

Anthony Sinclair was awarded a B.A (HONS) in Archaeology and Anthropology in 1985, then went on to complete a PhD in Palaeolithic Archaeology in 1991, both at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He was also a temporary lecturer in Archaeology at Cambridge. Having previously made some contact with Japanese Archaeologists, he wished to learn more about Japanese prehistory, and thus contribute to the growing dialogue between Japanese and British Archaeology.

His homestay in Japan was in Hanamaki City in Iwate Prefecture. In his year in Japan he worked at the Institute of Archaeology, Meiji University. He then became a part-time lecturer at Reading University. He is Professor of Archaeological Theory and Method and Associate Head of School for Education, School of Histories, Languages and Cultures  at the University of Liverpool.

Alexander STURT

Alexander Sturt was awarded a B.A (HONS) in Engineering Science at Jesus College, Oxford in 1991. Having previously spent a month in Japan on holiday and taken a Japanese course at Oxford, he was interested in learning more of the Japanese language, which could be useful for his career in Engineering.

Alexander’s homestay was in Niigata City in Niigata Prefecture. In his year in Japan he worked in the Tokyo office of Ove Arup and Partners. In December 1993 he passed Level 1 of the Japan Foundation Japanese Language examination. He was then seconded from Over Arup and Partners to the Japanese Research Institute in Tokyo.

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