Vancouver Tomonkai

About the Vancouver Tomonkai

I’ve heard that in the 1980s, alumni who lived in Vancouver started to organize meetings and social gatherings, and this was the start of our Tomonkai. In 1991, these gatherings officially became the Tomonkai. During the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, we had our 20th anniversary, so we had a big celebration, the Olympics as our excuse.

There are less and less alumni that live abroad and now the number of members has dropped to about 40 people, but there are many young people that come on a Working Holiday or to study English. We invite these young people to our events too and this makes the events more enjoyable.

Within the year, we start with a New Year Party, seasonal events like barbecues, golf and hiking in the summer, wine tasting in the fall, and karaoke in the winter. The barbecue in the summer is especially popular, and Professor Yoshihiko Otsuki who is usually in Vancouver during the summer attends the event too. He has sent us this message: “Thank you for letting me participate in your Tomonkai barbecue this year again. The party was a great time, especially being in a beautiful forest. There are more and more participants every year. There are even participants that have not graduated Waseda. I am so happy to know that the Tomonkai is this popular amongst even other schools.”

Also, this is not every month, but on 4th Thursdays we host a casual gathering called “Yonmoku”, and of course, we hold gatherings with the Mitakai. These gatherings bring us together.

Tomonkai is a home for many Waseda friends. Drinking together, singing our school song together, and meet new people. I continue to be grateful to the Tomonkai in a foreign country.
Chairman Shuzo Yano(Graduated in 1968, School of Law)



The attractive points of Vancouver

“All the big cities in the world used to be like Vancouver.” This is a phrase used often to explain Vancouver. Even after it has become urbanized, the city maintains is nature, and in a survey taken about all the big cities in the world, Vancouver’s living comfort is one of the best.

This charm attracts not only Canadians, but immigrants from all over the world, and this is why Vancouver is known as an “Immigrant City”. Before, there were so many immigrants from Hong Kong, that the city was nicknamed ‘Hongcouver’. Nowadays there are many wealthy Chinese that have moved to this city and they have brought a new power and presence with them. In these ways, it can be said that this city is heavily influenced by Chinese culture.

One good thing about having many immigrants from Asia is that the food is great. There are many dishes that are so delicious, many people say they taste better in Vancouver than in their own country. ‘Sushi’ is also very good here, and very popular amongst the young generation.

There is a lot of nature and you can use time freely in this city. On top of that the medical technology and education levels are very high, so one of the best things about this city is that the quality of life is very high. Vancouver is especially nice in the summer. By 5 a.m., it is light outside, the temperature is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity is low, and the sun sets at 9 p.m. In the great nature, you can do many activities, such as golf, hiking, fishing, barbecuing, etc. Please come visit us in summer. We welcome you.
Tokikazu Otani(Graduated in 1974, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)



The 20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony

It is the 2nd time that our Tomonkai appears in a Waseda school gazette. The last time was in 2006. In 2010, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our Tomonkai with a big party.

This was a chance not only to reminisce about the past years, but to motivate the Tomonkai for the future, so we started to plan the celebration 6 months prior. The idea of connecting the Tokyo chapter seemed reckless at the time, but in the end with the cooperation of the hotel staff, we were able to connect to the Tokyo chapter via Skype, on a big screen.

On the day, the first Chairman Kazuo Kazumi (Graduated in 1952, School of Humanities and Social Sciences) flew in all the way from Miami, and spoke about how the Tomonkai was established. There were 35 people who attended, including current Waseda students studying abroad in Vancouver, and many special guests.

On the other side of the world, in Tokyo, 20 people gathered in a karaoke box in Shibuya in the middle of the day and participated in the celebration. Many old faces reunited via Skype and were excited to speak to each other.

The climax of the party was a slideshow that showed photos of the Tomonkai for the last 20 years. On the screen, there were many photos capturing great memories, along to our school song. Everyone laughed and reminisced of old times. Everyone that participated really felt the greatness of the Vancouver Tomonkai. With this 20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony, we were motivated to continue being an enjoyable, friendly Tomonkai.
Mariko Baba(Graduated in 1987, School of Political Science and Economics)




The Tomonkai New Year Party

Contrary to Christmas, the New Year creeps up to us in Vancouver. New Year’s Eve come with some celebration, but instead of the temple bells, there are some plain fireworks. However, the New Year Party (and the general meeting) at the Tomonkai is the biggest event of the year. In the 2 decades we have held the party at various locations. Sometimes at fancy restaurants courtesy of the members, sometimes at Japanese culture centers.

We finished the general meeting fairly quickly, and we start to drink wine and sake, eat delicious food, and do games and quizzes. Everyone is always happy to see souvenirs and gifts at the door. We go back to the old times. This year, we had a great view of the city, and had Canadian ‘koto’ musicians perform, which made our party a unique one.

The best part of the party however, is that there is no end to the interesting conversations that take place, from politics and sports to personal experiences. Also, in the end all members: from the young new members to the old senior alumni, put arms around each other’s shoulders and sing our school song. The world is a big place, but I doubt if there are many other alumni associations whose members are so close. Waseda’s soul lives in Vancouver too.
Kyoko Yamaguchi(Graduated in 1973, School of Education)

The Tokyo Chapter of the Vancouver Tomonkai

There is a Tokyo chapter of the Vancouver Tomonkai where people who have returned from Vancouver to Japan gather. The number of members are increasing so much that it is catching up to the original Vancouver Tomonkai. Most of the activities include the Year End and New Year parties. Other than that, when Vancouver members return to Japan, social gatherings are hosted. We also have a golf competition planned.

The members who have returned from study abroad and Working Holidays and the OBs and OGs gather in Japan and discuss many things, and sometimes these gatherings become new work opportunities. Even after moving back from Vancouver, the connections made there have become important for some members. If you plan to come to Vancouver, we can connect and trade information of new and old information about our city. Please get in touch with us.
Kazumine Ohwaki(Graduated in 1990, Graduate 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