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Celebrated international students from Asia
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Celebrated international students from Asia

Fri, Aug 28, 2015
Celebrated international students from Asia
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Waseda University Archives
Mizuki Hiwa

Waseda University has welcomed large numbers of international students from Asia since the pre-war period.

Sanae Takata and Masasada Shiozawa with Qing international students

The first student to graduate was Hong Seok-hyun from the Korean peninsula. Hong was exempt from tuition fees and graduated from Tokyo College’s (Waseda University’s predecessor) School of Politics. During his time at Tokyo College, he arranged social gatherings for Korean international students and after graduating, served in important positions such as headmaster for Seoul’s national high school. Eight other Korean students graduated between1897-1907. In 1915, three Taiwanese students including Liu Shi-zheu graduated.

In 1899, the Qing Dynasty dispatched five students from China to Tokyo College (renamed Waseda University in 1902). They included Tang Bao-e, Ji Yihui, and three students introduced by Qian Xun. Waseda University proactively recruited Qing students and in 1905 established the School for Qing International Students. The School was active until 1910 and accepted approximately 2,000 students during its five-year existence.

Waseda University saw a dramatic increase in Korean international students following Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910. Including students from Taiwan, the University referred to these students as “students from outside territories,” rather than the more inclusive “international students.” The University had two separate education systems, one for students from colonized territories and the other for students from within national borders. Furthermore, the government limited overseas voyages, causing hardship for international students. Despite these circumstances, many international students came to study at Waseda and became active in their home country after graduating.

Graduation photo from February 1936

Other international students include author of the declaration for “self-determination” for the “March 1st Movement” in 1919 Choe Nam-seon and founder of the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper, Korea University, and second prime minister of Korea Kim Seong-su. Communist Party of China founders Li Ta-chao and Chen Tu-hsiu, proponent of diplomatic relations between Japan and China after World War II Liao Chengzhi, and pioneer of the socialist movement in Taiwan Wang Min-chuan were also students at Waseda.


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