Shanghai Tomonkai

Message from the Chairperson

Since March 2014, the eight years that I have been appointed Chairperson of the Shanghai Tomonkai have gone by in the blink of an eye. The Shanghai Tomonkai was established in April 1988 when former Waseda University President Haruo Nishihara visited Shanghai. Since then, we have held regular face to face meetings on the third Wednesday of every month. During the height of the COVID – 19 pandemic in 2020, we were not able to meet in person but continued our monthly meetings on Zoom. As of October 2021, we have been back to our regular in person meetings.

In 2020, Shanghai’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was clear. To avoid spreading the virus, all persons arriving in Shanghai faced a two week mandatory quarantine in a hotel. Also, all passengers of public transportation were required to wear masks in order to enter and ride. One of our alumni had a unique firsthand experience of the strict pandemic management policies. After returning to China and just completing the mandatory two week quarantine, while departing the quarantine hotel, he mistakenly stepped into an elevator specified for people who were entering into quarantine. Though it was a mistake, because he stepped into the wrong elevator, quarantine authorities required our fellow alumni to return to quarantine for an additional two weeks. Though these strict policies have been enforced, for the most part, we have lived fairly regular lives in Shanghai with bars and restaurants full with people until late at night, and people could go to their offices as long as their temperatures are checked and masks are worn.

I would like to briefly introduce you to the city of Shanghai. Shanghai has a population of approximately 24 million and covers an area roughly the same size as Tochigi or Gunma Prefectures. Shanghai is not only an international city, but it is also the birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party. Two of the first Secretaries of the Chinese Communist Party, Chen Duxiu, and Li Dazhao, were both exchange students at Waseda University. Known in China as “South – Chen and North – Li, founding the Party together”, they were very influential people who involved in the foundation of modern China.
As such, Waseda University is very well-known throughout China. I have even run into taxi drivers who knew about “Zao Dao Tian (Waseda) University”.
We, the Shanghai Tomonkai, together with the study-abroad alumni from China, hope to strengthen the bonds between fellow members, and contribute to further enhancing the good standing of Waseda University by maintaining it’s positive image.
Toshihiro Sakuma(Graduated in 1971, School of Political Science and Economics I)

Messages from the Members

I opened the curtains and voila, the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky! We spent days worrying about rainy weather, but fortunately, the Shanghai Tomonkai’s long-overdue outdoor barbecue event was held under the clear skies of autumn. The weather could not have been better! As an alumni organization, the Shanghai Tomonkai generally holds events only for graduates, but several times a year, we organize family events such as this outdoor barbecue. We sourced delicious meat and vegetables through the Tomonkai network, and grilled tasty thick-cut steaks the size of zori sandals! We also had a great time playing jump rope games and trivia about Waseda University.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has made it difficult to travel easily between Shanghai and Japan for over two years, and many of our overseas alumni have spent this time wishing to visit their families, fiancé(e)s, and friends. Japan is so close, yet so far! While thinking of Japan, we, the Shanghai Tomonkai, will continue to stay positive trying to make the best of our situation under the same blue sky.
Akiko Miyake(Graduated in 1995, School of Law)

Food for the BBQ was also supplied via the Tomonkai network!

We have around 60 members in the Shanghai Tomonkai golf group which includes men and women of ages ranging from their 20s to 70s, and beginners to single-digit handicap golfers, who all enjoy playing golf together. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 Shanghai All Japan Inter-University Golf Tournament, a major annual event held every spring, was canceled. In 2020, The Six Universities of Tokyo League Golf Tournament and other intercollegiate golf tournaments were canceled, but some tournaments resumed in 2021. While there are still restrictions on some domestic travel, golf activities have returned to fairly normal conditions while avoiding crowds. These deep exchanges not only within the Tomonkai but also with other university alumni through golf, has become a place to relieve stress amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has helped us deal with the difficulty in traveling home to visit friends and family. Despite the ongoing rush of core Shanghai Tomonkai members returning to Japan, Waseda’s underlying strength is proven by the continuous flow of new members joining us. We hope that 2022 will be the year that the 21st Shanghai All Japan Inter-University Golf Tournament is held and that we win it for the fifth time, which will be the most of championships amongst all participating universities!
Koike Yasuhisa(Graduated in 1994, School of Political Science and Economics)

The Six Universities of Tokyo League Golf Tournament was held in 2021 for the first time in two years.

In mainland China, the first wave of COVID – 19 infections mostly subsided in June 2020 with sporadic domestic infections having been contained by thorough aggressive testing and quarantine. To address the threat of spreading the virus the strict policy of mandatory quarantine for those entering the country has remained constant and consistent since the initial outbreak. As of November 2021, the mandatory policy for those entering Shanghai is 14 days quarantine in a government designated hotel plus seven days of home quarantine and medical observation. Other regions in China require up to 28 days of quarantine and medical observation before people can return to normal life.
I have experienced traveling from Japan to China two times during these times of strict policies. In November 2020, I returned to Shanghai on a flight from Japan via Hangzhou, and in August 2021, on a flight from Japan to Shanghai. Though there was a thorough pre-screening process required to prior to entering into the country, the transfer process upon landing until reaching the quarantine hotel in Shanghai, still took about 6 to7 hours. Once I was checked into my designated quarantine hotel, I could not step out of my room for 14 days. These were unprecedented life experiences though I felt like I was able to manage very well both times.
This was greatly helped by the reports of those who had experienced this process and by the sharing of information at the regular Zoom meetings of the Shanghai Tomonkai. I have also been contributing by sharing reports of my own experiences in Shanghai Tomonkai chat groups and exchanging information on social networking sites for those who are scheduled to be newly posted to China. This all has made me realize that this kind of connection and mutual support is a significant part of activities that only an overseas Tomonkai with local roots can provide.
Although I believe that it will continue to be difficult to travel to and from Japan in 2022, I hope we can continue to engage in activities to support each other locally.

Akiko Kaneko(Graduated in 1988, School of Literature I)

With the cooperation of alumni, the December regular meeting was held at the flagship store of “niko and …”, a popular brand among young people in China.

*The information provided is updated as of November 2021 and may be subject to change.

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Branches Located in Japan

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Alumni Association in China, Overseas Branch /
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 / Dubai Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Branches Located in Japan
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