Students offered chance to experience Japanese culture

The winning student will get the chance to experience traditional Japanese culture, including tea ceremonies.
The winning student will get the chance to experience traditional Japanese culture, including tea ceremonies.

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

Initiated by the Japan Society of Scotland 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.

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.

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.”

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management: “Aberdeen Asset Management is proud to support this scholarship for the fifth year. The scholarship is an excellent way of encouraging Scottish students to experience Japanese education, industries and culture which can differ greatly from our own. It is a wonderful opportunity to forge new partnerships with the country, which has one of the world’s largest economies. We hope that the next scholar will follow in Glover’s footsteps and help to bring eastern and western cultures together.”

More about the scholarship can be found at and

Application forms can be downloaded from 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, the deadline is January 31, 2013.