Established by Shinzo Ohki, this scholarship will be awarded to a Columbia City High School senior. A letter must be written to the principal of Columbia City High School explaining the student’s intent and need for the scholarship.
Shinzo Ohki was a Japanese man, who came to Columbia City in the early years of the 1900’s and graduated from Columbia City High School in 1907. Mr. Ohki built a business that residents of Columbia City and Whitley County reminisce about even more than 40 years after his death. The Oriental Shoyu Factory, often called “Show-You,” located on Factory Avenue, Columbia City, made fermented soy sauce, mung bean sprouts, chow mein noodles, chop suey and Jiggs’ corn beef and cabbage. It was one of the first fermented soy sauce factories in the US.
In the middle of Mr. Ohki’s life came Pearl Harbor. Mr. Ohki, a Japanese subject, without US citizenship, would surely have been interned in one of the many camps where people of Japanese background were taken and kept until the end of the war. However, there was not a high level of anti-Japanese sentiment in Columbia City. Mr. Ohki was so loved and cared for by his friends in the Columbia City area, he was the object of a letter written and signed by many of these friends which testified to Mr. Ohki’s character and his life in Columbia City. It is believed this letter enabled Mr. Ohki to stay in Whitley County, not being interned, instead spending most of his days at Crooked Lake. Mr. Ohki was known for his beautiful gardens around his factory, his artwork, and his love of his fellow citizens, as this scholarship is truly a testament of this love.