Los Angeles Tomonkai

About the Los Angeles Tomonkai

Los Angeles Tomonkai is celebrating the 59th anniversary of its foundation this year, which makes it one of the oldest among the existing overseas Tomonkais. It has about as many as 140 members, 80% of which work for U.S. companies and 20% are employees of Japanese corporations temporarily stationed in Los Angeles. It is also notable that female members who account for approximately 20% of the group are quite active.Not only does the LA Tomonkai hold sports activities but it also engages in charity work such as tree-planting festivals and volunteer activities in cooperation with the alumni association of Yale University, and about 15 members participate in these events on average. These events are planned and run by the organizers who meet on the third Thursdays monthly to discuss future events, and it aims to hold an event every month to entertain and benefit all the members.

The LA Tomonkai holds welcome parties when our alumni or anyone affiliated to Waseda visit Los Angeles. For example, it welcomed successive presidents and vice-presidents including current President Kaoru Kamata and former President Katsuhiko Shirai; former Prime Ministers Toshiki Kaifu and the late Keizo Obuchi; former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yohei Kono; novelist Akiyuki Nosaka; journalist Soichiro Tahara; former professional baseball player Satoru Komiyama; and singer Kumiko. At the new year annual party held two years ago, the LA Tomonkai had an honor to have Waseda baseball team led by Yuki Saito (currently a member of the Nippon Ham) while the team was on a baseball camp in L.A. It is desired for the LA tomonkai to create the environment friendly and comfortable for its members.
Junpei Tomonaga (Chief Organizer, Graduated in 1990, School of Education)

Welcome Party for President Kaoru Kamata and Vice-President Katsuichi Uchida

Keio-Waseda Tennis Tournament

The attractive points of Los Angeles

Hello from “The Golden State” of California and “City of Angels”!

L.A. is located in the southern part of California on the west coast of the U.S., and is the second most populated city in the U.S with approximately four million people. Five counties surrounding the city make up an urban area called “Greater Los Angeles”, whose area is larger than that of Hokkaido. Obviously, the official language here is English; however, Spanish will also be understood in many places for geographical reason.

I think the most attractive point of L.A. is its climate. The average daytime highs are about 24 degrees Celsius, and the weather is mild and moderate throughout the year. It seldom rains. Therefore, it provides a perfect environment to enjoy watching major league baseball games or to enjoy sports such as golf and surfing. And you should never miss visiting Hollywood and the Disneyland, the first one of its kind established by the Walt Disney Company.

Furthermore, as people of various ethnic groups live here forming their own communities, L.A. has a very developed food culture. We can enjoy the food of any country here. We have Japanese food (we can find everything here) which is said to be more delicious than that in Japan, Korean food, Mexican food, and of course, American food including steaks and hamburgers. L.A. is developing continuously as one of the cities representing the whole world, and there are always new discoveries and encounters. We look forward to welcoming you here.
Kazuharu Abe (Graduated in 1990, School of Education)

Message from the Chairman

Los Angeles Tomonkai was established in 1954. It is historically a city with many Japanese Americans. Because of such history and tradition, the Tomonkai consists of a variety of talented members, and we are actively engaging in intergenerational exchanges between young and old, male and female. We have so-called “Ladies’ Tomonkai” here, and the active participation by female members is one of our strong points.

What happened during the aftermath of the East Japan Earthquake was very irritating even for those living overseas. However, we immediately collected donations to help students who were affected by the disaster, making use of our existing network. We also reconfirmed the tight bonds between Waseda alumni. As a phrase in our school song, “Atumari Sanjite”(Meet and part), we are seeking to hold events where the participants can feel it was good they were Waseda alumni, placing importance on the relationships that happened to be built in L.A. Because L.A. is a large, important city, many of the famous alumni and the people affiliated with Waseda, including current and former presidents, have visited here. We held a very harmonious welcome party when President Kaoru Kamata visited here in August this year.

Under the blue sky on the west coast of the U.S., the L.A. Tomonkai is waiting for your visit. Let’s loudly sing “Kon-peki no Sora”together!
Itsuji Araki (Graduated in 1979, School of Law)

Welcome Party for Waseda Baseball Club on their visit to L.A in 2010. The captain was Yuki Saito.

Joint Volunteer Activity with Yale University

Messages from the Members

I enrolled at Waseda with full of worries and hopes that you would feel when you are entering into an unknown world, especially since I had graduated from a women’s senior high school. The school of law had about 800 freshmen that year; however, among the 800, there were only 16 female students. I immediately joined a sightseeing club. We decided to go on a trip around the Kii Peninsula. On the first day of the trip, eight men and three women gathered at the Tokyo station. Although it was close to the departure time, one had not appeared. Just before departure, he came to us saying “Hi, thanks for waiting!” After departure, the man stood in the middle of the train car, and loudly began to make a speech. “My name is Keizo Obuchi. Nice to see you!” It did not matter whether anyone was listening or not.

At the end of the trip, we decided to take two-shots. When it was Mr. Obuchi’s turn, he said he needed to be placed in-between women. Then there was a short quarrel. However, the photo time ended peacefully with Mr. Obuchi placed in-between women. It was a very fun trip. I never thought that a man who made us laugh from the beginning to the end of the trip would become the prime minister. He was never arrogant, and I think that sort of his character made him become the prime minister. I wish he were still alive; I would love to have a long chat with him about our days at Waseda.
Sachiko Miura, President of the L.A. Ladies’Tomonkai (Graduated in 1963, School of Law)

Sayuri Yoshinaga was taking a ping-pong class as a part of the required practical physical education courses. We, the members of the ping-pong club at that time, were to finish our practice early and go home when there were ping-pong classes so that we would not be in their way. One day, I was late for some reason and was left alone in the changing room. Then, Sayuri came in. We were all alone in a small room. I thought I had to say something, but I was so surprised and my heart was aching with astonishment that I quickly ran out of the room. I was also asked by a friend, a big fan of Sayuri, to ask her to stop for my friend on a slope of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

It always feels great when I remember the college days when I played ping-pong all day every day, with full of happiness or sadness because of the game results as well as when I walked on the same slope as Sayuri every day.

For a long time, the L.A. Tomonkai has been holding memorable welcome parties whenever famous alumni playing active roles in various fields, including politicians, have come to the city. We have been given the opportunities to speak with Waseda alumni who are active in various fields and who we would never have the chance to see if we were living in Japan. We would like to thank Waseda for such opportunities.
Hiroko Kimura, Former Chairwomen of the L.A. Tomonkai (Graduated in 1971, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Welcome Party for Kumiko

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
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
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
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
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