A Tidbit of a Story :
Memories of So-Kei Sen (Baseball match between Waseda and Keio University)

Hideyuki Yoshioka (Professor of Japanese Language Education Studies)

4th of June, celebration party in the night of So-Kei Sen.
4th of June, celebration party in the night of So-Kei Sen.

This season's Inter-University Baseball Tournament between 6 universities heated up for the first time in a long while. It was great pride for Waseda University to win the tournament by winning the game over Keio University. When I was a Waseda University student about 40 years ago, there were always students who waited in line from the previous night to see the match. In those days, it was not rare that the stadium was completely filled with spectators. Many students used to say that they realized they were Waseda University students for the first time when they sang the Alma Mater and cheering songs with everyone in Jingu Stadium.

Regardless who won the game, there was a yearly custom of Waseda University students to set out for Shinjuku and Keio University students to set out for Ginza and make a ruckus. Students in merry moods would sing the Alma Mater and parade through Kabuki-cho and some would dive in the small pool located in front of the Koma Theatre back then. When I think of it now, I realize that we were causing a lot of trouble for the local people, but interestingly, even the passers-by too congratulated us here and there. It was such a big event.

Time flies back to the So-Kei Sen of fall season in my 2nd year at university. When we set out for Shinjuku after the match was finished, an upperclassman announced that we were going to the area of rival party. We were surprised and looked at each other, but the senior student who was wearing a black hat (the one worn on the graduation ceremony) and high Japanese clogs was a person who liked to draw attention toward himself. Therefore, we were three, walking on streets of Ginza, very scared and unable to utter any words to each other. This was because of the fear that what would happen if we bumped into some Keio University students. It was near Ginza Yon-chome when we actually met a group of Keio University students coming from the opposite direction. They were really taken aback for a moment with surprise on seeing us. But the next moment, they were shouting “Wahhhh!” and were coming toward us. It was really frightening for us. They surrounded us and took hold of us. Then we realized what was going on. We were being tossed up into the air. They congratulated us for coming to Ginza and everyone shook hands with us.

Even after all these years, whenever I go to Ginza, I can feel the sense of my life's first toss into the air and the warmness of Keio University students. This can be a small thing, but for me this is a very important memory of So-Kei Sen.

Copyright (C) 2007 Student Affairs Division, WASEDA University. All rights reserved.
First drafted 2007 July 5.