In 1899, a 27-year-old general store owner in the plantation town of Honokaʻa on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi worked hard helping Japanese laborers understand their rights. He knew his actions jeopardized his personal safety - and his fears were justified. In a stunning display of the racial hatred, prejudice and ignorance of the time, Katsu Goto was lynched.
In 1993, Goto's niece, Dr. Fumiko Kaya of Hiroshima, Japan, established the Goto Foundation of Hiroshima to honor the memory of her uncle and to transform a tragic event into a force to foster peace and understanding.
Building on this vision, the Goto Foundation established the Fumiko Kaya Endowed Scholarship Fund in the American Studies Department at the UH Mānoa College of Arts and Humanities. This scholarship supports students who are pursuing interdisciplinary studies that foster volunteer activities and research which will contribute to world peace and the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between the people of Hawaiʻi and Japan.
Dr. Kaya, herself a hibaksha, or atomic bomb survivor, died in 2004. During her lifetime she was committed to the mission of the foundation, not only to honor the past but to contribute to international understanding and better U.S. - Japan relations.