Bangalore Tomonkai

About the Bangalore Tomonkai

“You’re a Waseda Alum too?”
Sometime in the middle of 2013, we began to hear this phrase more and more frequently within the Japanese community here in Bangalore, which at that time numbered just under 1000 people. As a result, a number of Waseda Alums in the area decided to get together and host a small gathering.

“Though we meet and part, and change from year to year” are the famous words from the old school song, but this fact of life becomes especially apparent when you live abroad in a place where the turnover of friends and colleagues is quite rapid. In such an environment, we felt it was especially necessary for overseas alums to have a place to reconnect with their roots, and in March of 2014, 17 Alums joined together to found the Bangalore Tomonkai.

Currently (March, 2016) we have 33 members on our roster. Every few months, we get together with members stationed in Chennnai as well as any student interns in the area to talk about recent developments, reminisce about our student days, or else talk about our experiences here in India. At such gatherings under the blazing sun of India, we are able to recreate a little bit of the old Waseda spirit and lose ourselves, if only for a moment, in a shared moment of camaraderie and friendship.
Chihiro Nishida(Graduated 1990, School of Political Science and Economics)


A group photo

The attractive points of Bangalore

What first comes to mind when you think of India? Wild dogs, wild cows and wild people…Cars driving the wrong way down one-way streets and motorbikes driving up on the sidewalk…Beggars swarming around stopped cars and mountains of trash piled in empty lots…Maharajas…Tech millionaires… the snow-capped Himalayan mountains…Beach resorts ringed with palm trees…the Taj Mahal…Smoggy Cities…

Trying to encapsulate all of India in one word is almost impossible; one can only say it is truly a world unto itself. And within this dazzling world lies the microcosm of Bangalore (known officially as Bangaluru). Although the southern half of India is well known for its sweltering temperatures, thanks to an elevation of almost 1000 meters above sea level, Bangalore enjoys a steppe-like climate of cool summers and mild winters.

In addition, the sale of alcohol is not as restricted as it is in other large Indian cities, and as a result a culture of home brewing and microbrew pubs has taken hold in recent years. Indian wine has recently gained a cult following as well and can hold its own against any of the world’s other major wine-making regions. Further still, beef, that beloved staple of the modern Japanese diet, can be purchased and eaten freely in Bangalore.
Akinori Maejima (Graduated 1985, School of Commerce)


Mysore palace in the second largest city in Karnakata State

Monuments at Hampi, a world heritage site.

Message from the Chairman

I was dispatched to the city of Bangalore in the south of India at the end of 2012. And it was only a few short months later when, having met and befriended a number of wonderful alums in the area, we decided to start a Tomonkai here. Our meetings are always very lively and well attended, which we owe largely to the constant and diligent efforts of our managing committee.

While I personally may not have always been able to uphold the “eternal aims” and “high ideals” mentioned in the school song, the fact that our members still carry Waseda’s “lofty mission” on their shoulders and in their hearts is of great reassurance to me. Since the founding of this organization, a number of members have left Bangalore for other pastures; but thanks to a steady stream of newly appointed alums, as well as current Waseda students studying or interning abroad here in Bangalore, each meeting always brings in fresh faces along with familiar ones.

“Her students change from year to year, /Meet and part with youth’s delight, / Yet all alike we seek to share/ These ideals and their light.” Singing these words together with fellow alums under the Tomonkai banner always makes me proud to be a Waseda graduate.
Shin Nakajima (Graduated 1981, School of Science and Engineering)


Vidhana Souda (The seat of the legislative assembly of Karnakata State)

Messages from the Members

Bangalore is often called the “Silicon Valley” of India and, as such a name suggests, the IT industry here is thriving. Thanks to large scale investment from IT companies worldwide, Bangalore is a gathering place not only for Indians, but for engineers from all over the world.
Recently, due to the rising number of entrepreneurs breaking down the old barriers of age and nationality, “Diversity” is becoming ever more the watchword here. In the same spirit, the Bangalore Tomonkai strives to include members from across departments and generations, members who will greet the dawn with a drink and a school song in the midst of this high tech city.
Yohei Hayakawa (Graduated 2000, School of Law)

Three years have passed since my husband was transferred to Bangalore. For me one of the biggest attractions of living in Bangalore is the thriving Indian film industry. At any one time there may be as many as 40 different films being screened in not only the official Hindu language but in the local south Indian Kannada language as well.

The Kannadiga film industry is often called “Sandalwood” due to the fragrant wood that the area is also famous for. The strip in front of the Bangalore City rail station is the traditional emblem of “Sandalwood” and features a number of large movie houses and huge billboards featuring cutouts of current stars. Going and looking at these cutouts in anticipation of the latest release is just one of the many small pleasures of living here in Bangalore.
Mamiko Oka (Graduated 1990, Graduate School of Science and Engineering MS)


A billboard featuring a cut out of the latest “Sandalwood” star

“Even lone wolves must sometimes gather” was a motto that was created around the time the Tomonkai was founded. Under one pretense or another, we find time to gather at one of the area’s few Japanese restaurants and transform it into a place you might even find in Takadanobaba today. Last year we held our first regular meeting with the local Mita-Kai. We gave a good showing in both participant numbers and spirit, and gave a rousing rendition of “Konpeki no Sora” at the end. Living in this culture and this climate is understandably challenging for many of our members, but even after knocking back a few drinks, there are few grumbles or complaints. United by the “Waseda Spirit” that transcends the generations, our members are always striving to deepen their ties to Waseda and to each other.
Tomoharu Oe (Graduated 1989, School of Commerce)

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Japanese Branches

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Asia
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai /
Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Oceania
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Europe
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Africa
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Japanese Branches
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch