Spring 2021 entrance ceremoniesThu, Apr 8, 2021
The spring entrance ceremonies were held for undergraduate and graduate students at Waseda Arena on April 1 and 2. As protective measures against Covid-19, the ceremony was divided into multiple sessions to spread out the total number of attendees over each session, and attendance was limited to new students only.
Approximately 8,600 new undergraduate students were welcomed at this year’s ceremony, as they embarked on their university journey as new members of the Waseda community. Additionally, approximately 3,000 new graduate students will further their education and strive to make great contributions to the university’s scholarship.
In his address to the new students, President Aiji Tanaka stated, “Let’s not only regret the negative impact of this pandemic on our lives, but also look ahead toward the post-corona era by utilizing what we have experienced and learned from it,” passionately encouraging each student “to develop ‘intellectual resilience’ and to foster ‘flexible sensitivity’ in order to become a global leader who will contribute to human kind around the globe.”
During the second session, Japan Tennis Association (JTA) Vice President Toshiro Sakai ’70 received the Award for Distinguished Service to Sports. After entering Waseda’s former Department of Physical Education in the School of Education in 1966, Sakai spent his first year as a Tennis club member, working diligently to become the team captain in his fourth year. He went on to win multiple singles and doubles matches at the All Japan Tennis Championships, going on to reach the third round in the Grand Slam Tournaments (The French Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon). At the 1974 Asian Games held in Tehran, Iran, Sakai became a triple crown winner with his gold-medal victories in singles, doubles, and team matches. After retiring from tennis, Sakai utilized his skills and experience as a member of the Japan Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, and currently serves as the vice president of the JTA.
In the third session, the Award for Distinguished Service to Art was presented to prolific Japanese writer Haruki Murakami ‘75. After graduation from Waseda’s School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I, Murakami went on to make his debut as an author with his novel Hear the Wind Sing, which won the 22nd Gunzo Prize for New Writers in 1979. After a string of popular novels, including the best-selling Norwegian Wood (1987) and 1Q84 (2011), Murakami solidified his place as a world-renowned author and forerunner of modern Japanese literature. Among countless awards under his belt, Murakami was also the first to receive the Waseda University Tsubouchi Shoyo Award in 2007.
Haruki Murakami’s Speech (English Translation)
(Note: The above translated speech will be available to view until Oct 31, 2021.)