Bangkok Tomonkai

About the Bangkok Tomonkai

It is said that there are more than 6,000 Japanese companies in Thailand and more than 2,000 Japanese restaurants in Bangkok. Due to the high demand, already there is a figure of 3,000 students enrolled in the Japanese elementary and middle schools. According to the Japanese embassy, currently, there are more than 50,000 Japanese residents in Thailand including those who temporarily stay. However, unofficial sources suggest that doubling this figure would be a more accurate analysis. It could be said that there are probably hundreds of Waseda alumni living and working in this country.

Although detailed records are not found, the Bangkok Tomonkai should have a history of more than 40 years, as the first Keio-Waseda golfing tournament was held in 1972. At the end of January 2014, the number of members stands at 153. We are a very active organization welcoming alumni with all ages, nationalities, both males and females.

Currently, about 30 alumni aged 23 to 79 participate in the gatherings which are held almost every month. The gatherings are a valuable opportunity to exchange opinions on politics, economy, culture, and business in a friendly atmosphere. We hold six golfing tournaments per year including two Keio-Waseda ones. During the festive period, we hold joint Christmas parties with the Mitakai. In these gatherings, we truly welcome walk-in participants who happen to be in Thailand at the time of the gatherings.


A Gathering in October, 2013

Above, the 150th commemorative Keio-Waseda golfing tournament held in May 2012, 48 people participated resulting in a win for the Tomonkai against the Mitakai.

The attractive points of Bangkok

While it is early spring in Japan, in Bangkok, you can enjoy delicious fruits at the markets here including durians, mangos, and mangosteens. It is fun just to see them, but have a bite and you will become crazy about them. Beautiful sea and green mountains are just about one hour by car from the city. You can fish at the sea and there are also many good locations for scuba diving. In the wilderness park in the mountain area, you will be able to see various animals including elephants.

There are also many wonderful golf courses in the suburbs. Many male visitors to Thailand enjoy one of the typical courses for tourists – playing golf in the morning, relax with Thai massage in the afternoon, then enjoy a little-hot Thai cuisine at night.

In a large, dynamic city like Bangkok where people come from all over the world, you can enjoy delicious cuisine from around the globe including that of Japanese and Italian. Many people come not only to come for business or to go sightseeing but also to make use of Bangkok’s attractive medical services.

Shopping is also fun in Bangkok, as local products and famous brands are fully displayed in large shopping centers within the city. Bangkok is now a city which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Sachio Hayashi (Graduated in 1977, School of Commerce)


Remains in Ayutthaya

Remains of the “Japan Town” in Ayutthaya. Many Japanese people including Nagamasa Yamada used to live here.

Message from the Chairman

Bangkok is a lively city. The members of the Bangkok Tomonkai are playing active roles in truly diverse fields as employees of private companies, government officials, young entrepreneurs, singers, lawyers, certified public accountants, managers of local professional soccer teams, restaurant owners, teachers, owners of kindergartens, and professionals in other areas. When we are together, we always enjoy discussing various topics regardless of age, sex, or background.

As the directors and managers are all volunteers, we help and cooperate with each other so that the members can easily participate in the events and will not feel that the events are too much of a burden. As we have increased the number of gatherings we hold, the number of participants has increased. The management has become smoother as the procedures to hold the gatherings have become routine. We are thinking of improving this Tomonkai further so that we can utilize more effectively the wonderful talents and assets that each member has.

There are still many alumni who are not members of the Bangkok Tomonkai. We would like to further expand the Tomonkai by recruiting new members and advertising the Tomonkai. No matter whether you live in Japan or anywhere else in the world, when you visit Thailand and there is one of our gatherings, we would like to welcome you to be part of our community.
Hisao Nishida (Graduated in 1975, School of Political Science and Economics)

Messages from the Members

I was studying at Waseda when I was an undergraduate. I experienced Japanese culture for the first time and everything I saw was new to me. I remember such feeling I had as a student every time I participate in the gatherings of the Tomonkai. The Tomonkai is like a “rejuvenating fountain” to me.

Thirty four years have passed since I started to work for the Thai-Japanese Association School. Currently, I am in charge of managing the school as the Director. I am working hard every day so that the children who leave this school will become a saphan jai (bridge) between Thailand and Japan.
Phasuk Prakasukarn (Graduated in 1970, School of Commerce)


Ms. Phasuk Prakasukarn, a member of the Bangkok Tomonkai, has considerably contributed to education at the Thai-Japanese Association School. In May, 2012, she was given The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays at the official residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Thailand.

I graduated in March, 2013 and started working in Bangkok from June to establish a new business. Although Thailand and Japan are both a part of Asia, I often become a little bewildered at the culture that I have never experienced before. However, I am learning many things from kind and interesting seniors at the Tomonkai. There are a wide variety of people in the Tomonkai including those who are here as overseas representatives, who have started a business, who are working at government agencies, and who have been living here since a decade before I was born. I am very grateful to have been able to get to know everyone. Finally, after graduation, I am realizing the true greatness of Waseda University for the first time in my life.
Erina Koyasu (Graduated in 2013, School of International Liberal Studies, a Swimming Club Alumna)

I studied at Waseda University and a graduate school at UCLA, returning to my home country just two years ago. Due to the fact that I participate in the gatherings every month and help organize the Keio-Waseda Christmas Parties, I am known as a ‘Thai with crimson blood’.

The Bangkok Tomonkai is a comfortable gathering spot which consists of Alumni in their 20’s to 80’s. Although the people at the Tomonkai are from different place and of a different generation, we enthusiastically discuss politics, economy, culture, and our experiences, and close the gatherings singing the school anthem. I am grateful that through such activities we are bound tightly together by the ties of Waseda.
Promjawan Udommana (Graduated in 2002, School of Education)

14 years have already passed after returning to Thailand from Japan. After finishing the graduate school as a Monbusho Japanese government-sponsored international student, I worked for a company in Japan, and returned to Thailand. On that same year, I joined the Tomonkai. At that time, most of the members were seniors that I should truly respect; however, now, more and more juniors are joining as members.

At twice-a -year Waseda-Keio golfing tournaments with the Mitakai, we become united and produce exciting games. At the dinner parties held once every two months, we welcome many new members and always it is a very hard task every time to remember all their names. As I am a Thai, I will never leave the Bangkok-Tomonkai for the reason that I won’t be returning to Japan for rest of my life (hopefully). I hope to do my best to contribute to promote friendly relationships between Japan and Thailand until I become very old senior man in Tomonkai.
Wim Manopimok (Graduated in 1997, School of Commerce (Master Degree))

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