UK Tomonkai

About the UK Tomonkai

I have stayed in London only for one year since last October. Far away from Japan, London was literally the very “different country” in terms of culture, atmosphere, and others. I found I regarded the city of London -which is not my home country- as “a place to return”. Probably, the existence of UK Tomonkai would make me feel like that.

UK Tomonkai has mainly 3 activities; 1) Izayoi-kai held at the pub rented out, 2) various study session, and 3) sports events. Izayoi-kai is bimonthly held, where Waseda graduates and active Waseda students get together and enjoy drinking beyond generation.

Izayoi-kai is a typical London-style drinking party; everyone talks until late at night with a one-pint glass of beer. Each study session gives us a chance to intellectually “play” London, inviting experts who graduated from Waseda University. In the City Walking Tour, for example, the tour guide is Kenji Sakatsugi (Graduated in 1985, School of Political Science and Economics) who studied the history of London while working at the financial institution in Japan and has a qualification of Blue Badge Guide. In UK Tomonkai, futsal is a main sport, where members ventilate their daily stress. From this March, under the instruction of Haruki Kamiyama who came to London aiming for soccer coach, members enjoy full-fledged futsal.

UK Tomonkai is an oasis for all the Waseda graduates.

UK Tomonkai website: https://sites.google.com/a/wasedainuk.com/wasedainuk/
Yuki Sakurai (Graduated in 2010, School of Commerce)


Izayoi-kai

Gathering of the Sports Event

The attractive points of London

London is called “the city of fog”. Soon after you get rain, you will get sunlight. It is hot during the day, and chilly during the morning and the evening. That is why people say “London has 4 seasons within a day”. First and foremost, the London’s attractiveness lies in its town scenery. Past and present mingle on the street; you see modern buildings just next to the magnificent cathedral. In the West End, the downtown of London, atmosphere of each street is totally different. Looking at such “imbalance”, I feel stubbornness of the town, and I am just taken aback by the depth of history built up for a long time.

I especially recommend the museum, National Gallery in a heart of the West End. You can see the whole array of paintings by Gogh, Cézanne, Klimt, Da Vinci, etc. In the museum café, you can enjoy the traditional afternoon tea. You see Trafalgar Square in front of the central gate of the museum, and the symbolic Big Ben stands on the back of the square. I even feel this scenery is more artistic than famous paintings.

We have many more attractions here in London; kind Londoners, musical, or… beautiful women of various nationalities walking around the street!? Anything is OK; you have only to savor the city of London as you like!
Yuki Sakurai (Graduated in 2010, School of Commerce)



Message from the Chairman

It has been more than 20 years since UK Tomonkai was established. The reason why I serve as a chairman of Tomonkai is because I have British nationality where I can never return to Japan. UK Tomonkai aims to promote friendship among Waseda graduates beyond generation, profession, and gender. All because of that, everyone enjoys every Tomonkai activity and event. During the bubble period in Japan around 1990, we had more than 300 members. Tomonkai is still active today. Especially for the past several years, the circle got more vigorous as young executive members emerged and the new activities/events were held.

The Great East Japan Earthquake was such an unprecedented devastating event for Japanese national after the defeat of World War II. Asking ourselves “As Japanese living in a foreign country, what can we do for the people in Japan?” we first started to collect relief money. Now that the amount is reaching the target of 5,000 pounds soon, we want to send the money through the Japan Society. Today, both UK and Japan…I mean the world is in a severe recession. Unfortunately, no ebullient voice or light of hope comes from anywhere. Despite such circumstances, we do have to manage to live courageously.

The year 2012 is the year of London Olympic Games. We want to help Olympians and Paralympians of Waseda graduates coming as a Japanese player. We can leave the official affairs to the British embassy or ministries/agencies in London, and we want to play a role by personally lending a hand to Olympians and Paralympians, such as helping them to buy something, or guiding them to some spots for sightseeing. Apart from win or loss in the games, we want them to enjoy London while doing their best in this big event.

UK Tomonkai has Tokyo Branch where many of those who returned to Japan actively participate in the events. I am happy to find that the friendship made during staying in London still remains in Japan.

See you in London in 2012!!
Toshiko Marks (Graduate in 1960, School of Political Science and Economics)


City Walking Tour

Message from the Chief secretary

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.

As shown in the above Waseda’s school song, UK Tomonkai is basically a horizontal organization. That “horizontalization” recently became more solid as we can now convey information in batch thanks to IT advancement. We aim to make this Tomonkai well-organized by placing the young members at the center. We are happy if the members intimately communicate with one another through Tomonkai and consider this circle as an oasis in London.

Besides what we introduced at “About the UK Tomonkai”, we have the traditional Waseda vs. Keio golf tournament. It is held at the end of every October. As many as 50 members living in London participate in and seriously play the game. It is a good opportunity to deepen ties between Waseda and Keio.

UK Tomonkai has more and more young members recently due to the increase of international students. We also have more expat members in their 30s who are at the frontline of business world. Therefore, the future challenge for UK Tomonkai is how to invigorate this circle from both formal and informal aspects.

Of “self-help”, “mutual help”, and “public help”, “mutual help” cannot be covered by either the government or individuals. We want to make efforts by ourselves to make UK Tomonkai a place of mutual help.

By the way, I visited University of Cambridge recently on personal business. This university marked its 500th anniversary, and I was moved by the spirit of university inherited from generation to generation. Why don’t we Waseda University graduates also succeed our “spirit of establishment” to the next generation!? I accepted an offer to become a chief executive of this Tomonkai to further enhance the tradition of Waseda and nurture young members. I say to all the Waseda graduates. Please fly to the world, not swayed by the title of “Waseda” while cherishing it! We are waiting for you here at UK Tomonkai, a home for Waseda graduates to come back!
Eiji Wakiwaka (Graduated in 1973, School of Commerce)

Message from the Members

In the early morning on the devastating March 11, 2011, I flew to London. Retiring from my 15-year position as a soccer player, I stepped forward to realize my long-desired dream, a soccer coach.

I asked myself “What should I do to be an excellent coach?” I entered a high school which has a famous sports coach, and I thought that a coach should be an educator as well. Then, I went on to the School of Education of Waseda University where I belonged to Waseda University Association Football Club to directly learn from would-be professional players. I could not afford to NOT be aware of foreign countries. It is Europe that is famous for soccer. I believed I would not be able to grasp the problems in Japanese soccer without seeing the European soccer on the spot.

It has been 7 month since I came to London. I spend much quality time here, discovering something new every day! However, there are sometimes hard days. It was Japanese people living here in London, especially the members of UK Tomonkai who supported me during my predicament. Tomonkai is such a precious place where I can communicate with seniors who are playing a part in various fields and get new knowledge and inspiration.

While I stay in London for study, UK Tomonkai is so important for me. I am sure it will be a foundation for my growth. Surpassing my great seniors….with the resolution in mind, I will make more efforts so that I can confidently meet those seniors again someday.
Haruki Kamiyama (School of Education)

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