Alumni drafted in wartime Japan speak: “Never again”

On October 21, Waseda hosted a symposium to commemorate the 72nd anniversary since Japan’s wartime government drafted students into the military and deployed them to the battlefields of the Pacific War. The symposium was part of Waseda’s annual Arts & Culture Festival and was held at Ono Auditorium, Waseda Campus. Approximately 150 students and visitors attended the event to hear from two alumni speak about their experiences being drafted into hard labor and the military.

In 1943, Japan’s wartime government deployed over 4,500 Waseda students to the battlefields of the Pacific War where many lost their lives. In 1990, Waseda built a commemorative plaque inside Okuma Garden where a flower offering ceremony is held on homecoming day to honor these alumni.


Alumni Shigeo Matsumoto and Motoya Hatta offer flowers to honor alumni that were drafted 72 years ago



Keynote address from Assistant Professor Mizuki Hiwa (Waseda University Archives)


Alumni Shigeo Matsumoto speaks about his experiences as a Waseda student in wartime Japan


Alumni Motoya Hatta speaks about his experiences as a Waseda student in wartime Japan



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