Tomonkai’s global alumni networkFri, Sep 13, 2019
One of the things Waseda University is proud of is its strong alumni network, and this network goes beyond Japan. Currently, there are approximately 70 international Tomonkai chapters (Tomonkai is an alumni club organized by Waseda graduates). A listing of the international chapters can be found here.
Find out about some of the Tomonkai chapters around the world below.
The Cambodia Tomonkai was inaugurated in October 2016, and currently the number of members is about 60. Around 15 of them are former Cambodian international students who have studied at Waseda. Most of the members are young people in their 20s to 40s. However, there are very senior members including one who started a travel agency business in the 1960s in Cambodia, which was before the civil war (or the time of the Pol Pot administration). The activities of the Tomonkai include gatherings in Phnom Penh and events organized jointly by Keio and Waseda which are held around five times a year, and observation tours and gatherings in regional cities such as Siem Reap held once a year. We are aiming to become an organization in which new ties between Cambodia and Japan are born out of our “torch of Progress (shinshu-no seishin).”
Shoko Matsuda (Graduated in 2011, School of International Liberal Studies)
The Moscow Tomonkai is still quite new as it was established as recently as in 2007, and is a small community with only 37 members. The members consist of people with various backgrounds, of all ages from alumni who graduated in the 1970s to current students. We hold events including barbecues in the summer, bowling competitions in the winter, and regular gatherings in the spring and the autumn. When there is an event in which we expect only a small number of participants, we hold the event with the Moscow Mitakai. When we hold the events, the members become very lively, and happily cooperate to make the events exciting. That prompts us to imagine the days they spent at Waseda. We ask everyone who comes to Russia, regardless of the length of his or her stay here or the area he or she is staying, to become a member of the Moscow Tomonkai. We are sure you will be able to find friends and gather information useful in your daily life or work. Let’s have fun and survive the harsh winter here together!
Toshio Asazaki (Graduated in 1995, School of Literature)
Oi! Tudo bem? (Hi, how are you?) We casually greet each other like this in Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, and this is where the Brazil Tomonkai is based. During the 1950s when the postwar Japanese immigration begun, Waseda alumni gradually started gathering and enjoyed playing baseball games with the Mitakai. In 1977, the Brazil Tomonkai was formally inaugurated with the late Teruo Wakabayashi as Chairman and 122 members in all. Brazil is a huge country, which spans approximately 4,300 kilometers both north to south and east to west and is 22.5 times as large as Japan. Currently, the Brazil Tomonkai has 144 members, who are Japanese immigrants to Brazil who came on a government program which continued until the 1970s, expatriates of Japanese companies, other immigrants, volunteers, and international students. The age of the members varies greatly, ranging from seniors who are almost 90 years old to students in their 20s.
Our main activities include the annual general assembly, Waseda-Keio baseball games, tennis matches, and golf competitions held every year, welcome parties held when Waseda-related people come to Brazil, and other everyday gatherings. Also, we are always enjoying friendship with the Mitakais in Brazil, and we are expanding our exchanges with them while mutually working hard to achieve higher goals, maintaining our good relationships as both rivals and friends.
If you live in Brazil but have not become a member of the Brazil Tomonkai, or if you ever come to Brazil, please let us know.
Yasuhiro Aida (Graduated in 1954, School of Science and Engineering)
Inaugurated in 2001, the Nairobi Tomonkai had the opportunity to welcome then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori who was visiting Kenya. Afterwards, the feeling that we should formally register the Kenya Tomonkai gathered momentum among Waseda alumni living in Kenya. We started preparing for the registration of the Kenya Tomonkai in 2016. In 2017, the Kenya Tomonkai was inaugurated as the only registered Tomonkai in sub-Saharan Africa. Shunichi Kobayashi , former Chairman of the Nairobi Tomonkai (the predecessor of the Kenya Tomonkai) assumed the post of the honorary Chairman, and Sachio Yotsukura became the Chairman. Some of the former members moved to other countries in Africa after leaving Kenya, and now we have a network in Rwanda, Ghana, and other countries. Starting this year, we are holding Waseda-Keio gatherings in cooperation with the Kenya Mitakai.
Masayoshi Ito (Graduated in 1997, School of Political Science and Economics)