10 years has passed since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami broke out.
Here at Waseda University, we are committed to not letting the tragic incident pass by as a memory.
Instead, we are employing the experience to contribute to education, research, restoration and the better good of society.


Waseda at the time of disaster

Great East Japan Earthquake hits

Disaster Response Headquarters is established.


Campus facilities such as the Okuma Auditorium and Building No. 63 at the Nishiwaseda Campus serve as temporary shelters for approximately 2,500 people who could not return home. Drinking water, food, blankets, etc are provided.

A day after the earthquake

Policies for new and current students who were affected by the earthquake, such as providing financial assistance, are announced.

Tohoku Regional Pacific Coast Earthquake Disaster Response Headquarters established

The Tohoku Regional Pacific Coast Earthquake Disaster Response Headquarters is established.

Cancellation of events

Cancellation of AY 2010 Graduation Ceremonies and the pre-graduation event organized by the Alumni Association are announced.


Cancellation of the AY2011 Entrance Ceremonies and change in class dates are announced.


Cancellation of the AY2011 Entrance Ceremonies and change in class dates are announced.


The University announces special measures, etc. for students who plan to enroll but are affected by the disaster.

Financial support and donations

①Financial aid for students affected by the disaster (new students included)→ Collected by the Waseda Supporters Club
②Donations for affected areas →Donation from mainly students, faculty, and staff given to the Japanese Red Cross Society
③Waseda University Alumni Association Great East Japan Earthquake Assistance Fund → Split between alumni from affected areas and students affected by the disaster

Lending facilities to law degree students from the Tohoku region

Until the national bar examination, Waseda Law School announces to accommodate law degree grduates of March 2011 from Tohoku University Law School and Tohoku Gakuin University Law School by allowing facility use, etc.

Cancellation of the AY2010 Graduation Ceremonies

In response to the cancellation of the AY2010 Graduation Ceremonies, President Kaoru Kamata sends out a message to graduates.

Cancellation of the AY2011 Entrance Ceremonies

In response to the cancellation of the AY2011 Entrance Ceremonies, President Kaoru Kamata sends out a message to new students.

Volunteer training sessions

Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC) holds training sessions organized by Waseda Rescue for volunteers being sent to affected areas.

Establishment of Office for Aiding Reconstruction

Office for Aiding Reconstruction is established to support recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Distribution of Earthquake Manual

Pocket-sized Earthquake Manual for Students is distributed.

A month after the earthquake

WAVOC sends student volunteers to Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture ( ~ 4/12).

Sending students volunteer groups to affected areas

WAVOC sends student volunteer groups to Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture for recovery support (Total of 154 volunteers, ~ 4/28).
WAVOC sends student and alumni volunteers to Tanohata village in Iwate prefecture, where the student group Shiinomorinokai has been active for a long time (~ 4/25).

Distribution of Earthquake Manual

"Response manual for faculty when an earthquake occurs during class (Japanese/English)" and "Illustration of temporary evacuation areas on campus (Japanese/English)" are placed in all classrooms. "Response manual for students when an earthquake occurs" and "Evacuation route for classrooms" are placed in all classrooms at the Waseda Campus.

Calculation of electricity consumption

Calcuation of electricity consumption on the Waseda Campus starts.

Earthquake Manual (Phase 1) drafted

Based on a university-wide survey conducted by the General Affairs Division, the Earthquake Manual (Phase 1) is drafted.

Research Center established

Waseda University Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake is established.

Three pillars of activity presented

Office for Aiding Reconstruction presents its three pillars of activity: Aid, especially scholarship funding, for affected students; support for affected areas, such as volunteer work and recovery donations; and support through research into recovery and rebuilding. The Waseda Supporters Club sets up a scholarship for students from affected areas.

Participate in mud-raking/debris-removing activities

WAVOC starts to receive requests from alumni from affected areas as well as local social welfare councils to participate in mud-raking/debris-removing activities (Total of 319 volunteers, ~ 7/10).

The Electricity Conservation Team created

Given the shortage of electricty in the summer due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, the University decides to cut electricity usage in comparison to the summer from the previous year (2010) by 15%. The Electricity Conservation Team was created under the Disaster Response Headquarters.

Measuring radiation

Radiation is measured every month at all campuses.

Matching student clubs with requests from the local areas

As part of the student volunteer activities during summer vacation, the Student Affairs Division and WAVOC call for cultural activity ideas from student clubs, such as a cultural perofrmance or spending time with children/the elderly, and match them with requests from the local areas (~ 6/30).

Announcement of AY2012 tuition reduction/exemption

AY2012 tuition reduction/exemption is announced for AY2012 applicants on the Admission Center website.

Website on the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support Project launched

WAVOC launches a special website on the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support Project. Information regarding recovery/reconstruction is frequently updated.

President visit affected areas

President Kaoru Kamata visits affected areas, such as Iwate and Fukushima prefectures. He speaks to student and alumni volunteers and participates in volunteer activities himself. He promises to contribute to recovery from the earthquake (~ 7/3).

Sending off spirits on lanterns

International students participate in an event in Natori city in Miyagi prefecture to send off spirits on lanterns.

Volunteer Acapella Concert

WAVOC presents the Great East Japan Earthquake Volunteer Acapella Concert. More than 20 singers, including the famous acapella group the Gospellers, sing in front of a full audience in the Okuma Auditorium.

Booklet on Thinking about Post-Earthquake published

The first book of the series "Waseda University Booklet on Thinking about Post-Earthquake" is published. The series were published to provide the general public with the knowldge, thought, and activities borne out of research and aid projects post-earthquake by the faculty.

Drafting Earthquake Manual (Phase 2)

Assuming an earthquake of seismic intensity 5, the Earthquake Manual (Phase 2) and the Earthquake Manual (for admissions/ceremonies) are drafted.

The first charity marathon event

The first charity marathon event at the National Stadium is organized by the staff-run Hello! WASEDA Project team. 1,700 people participate, including family members of staff.

Cleaning photos

WAVOC starts a project on campus to clean photos (In Cooperation with Charades, a student photography club, and FUJIFILM Corporation, ~1/19/2012).

International students visit affected areas

WAVOC and ICC (Now known as the Intercultural Communication Center) organize a bus tour for international students and visit Kamaishi city in Iwate prefecture and Shiogama city in Miyagi prefecture (~2/6).

Presentation at an international seminar

Chika Hyodo, assistant professor at WAVOC, and a student gave a presentation at the U.S. and Japan Research Institute seminar "The Interaction of Young People in U.S. and Japan" held in Washington D.C.

A year after the earthquake

President Kaoru Kamata announces a message for the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The bells of the Okuma Auditorium is rung at 14:46 and the Waseda University flag near the main gate of the Waseda Campus lowers at half-mast (Since then, this has been done every year).

Distribution of Earthquake Manual

The Academic Affairs Division distributes the documents "Response manual for faculty when an earthquakes occurs during class," "Evacuation areas on campus," and "Information to be conveyed to students when an earthquake occurs."

The class "Great East Japan Earthquake Aid for Reconstruction" starts

Open Education Center starts the class "Great East Japan Earthquake Aid for Reconstruction."

Collaboration with universities in the Tohoku region

The Personnel Division and WAVOC conduct new staff training at Tohoku Gakuin University, Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, and Rikuzentakata city in Iwate prefecture (~5/10).

Events themed around aid for recovery during Tomonsai

Events such as symposium, concerts, and lectures themed around aid for recovery are held during Tomonsai. Development of University-Social Relations Liaison Office and WAVOC set up a booth to support recovery for the Sanriku area (An area which stretches for over 300 kilometers along the Pacific Coast of the Tohoku Region, spanning Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures) at Tomonsai, and the Kesennuma City Tourism Department also participates.

Distribution of the Booklet on Thinking about Post-Earthquake series

Office for Aiding Reconstruction distributes the "Waseda University Booklet on Thinking about Post-Earthquake" series to high schools and special-needs schools in Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki prefectures.

WAVOC book published

WAVOC publishes a book documenting the volunteer activities in the disaster affected areas.

WAVOC book published

WAVOC Assistant Professor Chika Hyodo publishes a book about her two years with high school students from Futaba High School and university student volunteers.

Establishment of Institutes

Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake/Composed Crisis Research Institute is established as an international research institute to conduct studies on tsunamis, high tides, earthquakes, and volcano eruptions.

Symposium organized

The Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake organizes a sympoisum on the future beyond recovery.


10 years of reconstruction and research

Inherit the past memories and
Employ them in research and technology
For the better good of society.


10 years of reconstruction and coexistence

From 2011 to 2021 and onwards.
Connect the experience from the appalling incident
Into future generations ahead.


Waseda and disaster in numbers

  • 3,000
    Approximate number of people who had to spend their night on campus on March 11, 2011
    • Around 1,000 stayed at the Okuma Auditorium.
    • Blankets and food (e.g. bread, can food, etc.) were distributed to those who stayed on campus.
  • 70,000
    Number of emergency kits stocked up
    • Emergency kits were prepared based on the guidelines provided by the Tokyo government.
    • Each emergency kit included one liter of water, six servings of biscuits and an emergency thermal blanket.
  • 352M JPY
    Total amount of tuition fee waived for students from affected areas
    • Including new and existing students between academic year 2011-2020 (449 applicants).
  • 215M JPY
    Total amount of money raised by Waseda University and the Alumni Association
    • Approximately 190,000,000 JPY was used to support Waseda students from affected areas and volunteering activities. (March 2011 – March 2013)
    • Approximately 5,700,000 JPY was donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help victims from affected areas. (March – December 2011)
    • Approximately 19,000,000 JPY was used to help Waseda alumni affected by the disaster. (March – December 2011)
  • 8,749
    Number of volunteers
    • Number of volunteers to affected areas by WAVOC from 2011 to 2019 (649 dispatches).
  • 10
    Dos & Don'ts
    Sign up for volunteer insurance (disaster plan).
    Do not work around the clock.
    In disaster areas, partner with people you can trust.
    Be a sympathetic listener.
    Do not choose tasks that disaster victims can do themselves.
    Stop any activity you find upsetting.
    Be clear about your limits.
    Do not become too emotionally involved or overly sympathetic.
    When playing with children, do not go overboard trying to please them.
    Do not criticize volunteer operations management.
    (Guidelines for student volunteers by WAVOC)

Facts & Photos

Record of reconstruction