Toronto Tomonkai

About the Toronto Tomonkai

Our activities here at the Toronto Tomonkai consist mainly of golf matches and social mixers. In addition to the “Waseda Classic” golf tournament and various matches between undergraduate departments held each summer, we convene twice a year (Spring and Fall) with the local Mita-kai for Waseda-Keio matches which are always a big hit.

In 2011 the Waseda Tomonkai bested Keio both times and we toasted to our victory at a special celebration. In an effort to promote even greater esprit de corps among our members and encourage future success, we then commissioned a run of original polo shirts for our participants. The shirts feature the seal of the Waseda Alumni Association on the breast, and the word “Toronto” on the left sleeve along with a maple leaf, the very symbol of Canada. Now whenever we face off against Keio, we all make sure to don this special uniform.

Aside from golf matches, we encourage our members to deepen their respective friendships through various year-end parties, new-year’s parties, and post-golf get-togethers. At present, in order to support the further expansion of our organization, we are planning to put more efforts into recruiting new members through our facebook page.
Kenichi Iijima (Graduated in 1999, School of Political Science and Economics)


A scene from the “Waseda Classic” tournament

Members wearing the uniform of the Tomonkai

The attractive points of Toronto

Canada was one of the first countries to make multiculturalism, diversity and respect for other ethnicities part of its national policy. As a reflection of this, Canada’s largest city is a patchwork woven from many different races and cultures.

From Chinatown to Little Italy, Greek Town and Little Portugal, Toronto’s various ethnic neighborhoods each have their own unique flavor. Just by taking a walk down the block you can experience a whole world of different languages, foods and music. Toronto also holds cultural festivals year round, such as the Toronto Jazz festival, The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and summer’s Caribbean Carnival which celebrates the traditions and cultures of the Caribbean islands.

People who spend time in Toronto are always struck by the warm-heartedness and kindness of the people here. Torontonians are by-and-large quite respectful of cultural differences and treat each other equally without regard to race, religion or language. We hope you will all someday pay a visit to this bustling, internationally-minded city.
Shigeki Aoyama (Graduated in 1996, School of Commerce)


The symbol of Toronto: the CN tower

Niagara Falls

Message from the Chairman

Canada is the second largest country in the world by landmass and its largest city, Toronto, rests on the western shore of Lake Ontario (one of North America’s five Great Lakes) at roughly the same latitude as Asahikawa City in Hokkaido. Over 30% of Toronto’s population in the metropolitan area (5.5 million) speak a language other than French or English, Canada’s two official languages, and in total more than 140 languages and dialects are spoken here. Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities and welcomes roughly 55,000 new immigrants each year.

The Toronto Tomonkai was founded in 1968. On the day of 9/11, passenger planes that were unable to land at American airports were diverted to Toronto, where a great many passengers were forced to spend the night. In the wake of this incident, the Toronto Tomonkai went through a registration process that enables it to function as a contact network even in times of emergency.

Waseda’s traditions of unconventionality, humaneness and multiculturalism give its graduates a respect for others and an ability to cross over intercultural barriers that sends them all across the globe. These traits make a multicultural city like Toronto an especially fitting place for them. We hope that in the future the Tomonkai can continue to act as a bridge not only between Waseda graduates living in Toronto but also between Waseda graduates from all over the world.
Masaaki Dazai (Graduated in 1966, Graduate School of Science and Engineering)

Messages from the Members

I feel that living abroad has made me more aware of the other Japanese people around me. In the same way, after graduating from Waseda I have become ever more conscious of its presence in my life. Aside from meeting my future wife, I feel now that my time as an undergrad was rather uneventful; but still I feel a great sense of satisfaction whenever I’m with my friends from the Tomonkai. The friends I’ve made here differ from each other in age, nationality, industry, work―almost in every way imaginable. However, by gathering together for drinks or golf or even a spirited argument or two we are able to increase connections both between ourselves and between our families as well.

There is a line in Waseda’s school song about friends meeting and parting which I only started to fully understand after coming up here to Toronto. After 20 years of living and working abroad in 4 different countries I’ve come to treasure my fellow Waseda graduates and their warmth of spirit. Thanks to them, the forecast in Toronto predicts perpetual “Deep Blue Skies”.
Kazuto Ogawa (Graduated in 1981, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

I was posted to Toronto in the Spring of 2011. My original picture of Canada was one of huge open wildernesses and long, intense winters. However I was pleasantly surprised to learn how industrially advanced Canada is, and how many of the world’s leading technology firms, such as Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier call Canada home. Another surprise, which can perhaps be chalked up to global warming, was that my first winter here was Toronto’s warmest on record with hardly a sign of snow.

Similar to my past 2 posts overseas, here in Toronto I witnessed afresh just how varied and multifaceted Waseda graduates can be, which was naturally no surprise to me at all.
Hitoshi Oishi (Graduated in 1984, School of Law)   

The first time I attended one of the Tomonkai’s get-togethers, I felt as if it was the place I had been searching for all my life. I’m currently a fourth year PhD candidate, which is rather half-baked position somewhere in between a student and a teacher. However I have now feel optimistic about my future thanks to the warm reception I have received from the elder members here and the examples they set through their various successes. It will no doubt be a lot of work to turn this optimism into a reality, but I feel that thanks to my wonderful mentors here I can work towards my future without fear of failure or mistakes.
Sayaka Sugimoto (Graduated in 2004, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

In seemingly the blink of an eye, I’m already in my 27th year here in Toronto. Eleven years after sending me to found its Canadian branch, the head office of a certain Japanese manufacturer was planning to return me to Japan, but neither I nor my family wanted to go back! So instead of returning, I changed careers and started working at an overseas branch of a Japanese travel agency. And now, 14 years later I’m in charge of the tourism back to my old hometown of Tokyo.

Though it is the 4th largest city in north America by population and boasts a wealth of cultural resources, Toronto has a very relaxed feel and provides easy access to a large number of natural scenic spots such as Niagara Falls. It’s a truly wonderful feeling to be able to share a meal, a friendly chat or a round of golf with friends from Waseda.
Akira Tsushima (Graduated in 1971, School of Commerce)


A get-together with family and friends

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