Suzhou Tomonkai

About the Suzhou Tomonkai

The Suzhou Tomonkai was established in March 2017. Under the leadership of the first Chairperson Yuji Matsuoka and the second Chairperson Yoshitaka Ishii , about 50 members of all ages and both genders have been deepening friendship regardless of nationality, generation, or occupation. The members include expatriates of Japanese companies (there are about 1,800 Japanese companies in Suzhou) and Chinese nationals including Suzhounese who have experienced studying at Waseda (many graduates of Suzhou High School have come to Waseda to study).

The main activity is the gathering held every month. We hold a joint gathering with the Suzhou Mitakai every six months. In the future, we hope to make the Suzhou Tomonkai even more active, expecting it to act as a bridge between Suzhou, China, and Waseda by deepening exchanges through events such as a party where we try a Suzhounese specialty dish “Chinese mitten crab” (the crabs are called Shanghai-gani (Shanghai-crabs) in Japan, but they actually come from Suzhou), a golf competition in the Lake Taihu area which is a representative area of Suzhou, a city of water, and a barbecue party overlooking the Yangtze River.

I would like to invite Waseda alumni to participate in one of the events at the Suzhou Tomonkai when you happen to visit Suzhou. Let’s make “Miyako no Seihoku” resound through Suzhou!
Masakazu Kawasaki (Graduated in 2006, School of Political Science and Economics)

Farewell party for the former Chairperson

The attractive points of Suzhou

Suzhou city in Jiangsu province is a large city located about 100 kilometers from Shanghai city, with a population of about 10.5 million. The area of the city including that of surrounding regions such as Kunshan and Changshu is approximately 8,500 square kilometers, about the same size as Hiroshima prefecture. In China, Suzhou has been said to be a beautiful city since ancient times, as can been seen in the saying, “Just as there is paradise in heaven, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth.” It is called “Venice of the East” as the water transportation system is well-developed here. It is a city with a long and distinguished history which has developed as a city of silk since ancient times. It is known for having many UNESCO world heritage sites including the Classical Gardens of Suzhou. Recently, the city has been rapidly developing as an industrial area because of its convenient location, and many Japanese companies have started operating here. The number of Japanese people living in the city is about 6,700, the third largest in China after Shanghai and Beijing. A total of about 350 students are studying at full-time Japanese elementary and junior high schools. As Suzhou is safe and convenient for shopping or dining out, it is a place where Japanese people can live quite safely. I would like to invite Waseda alumni to come to such a wonderful city, Suzhou.
Tatsuya Sugiyama (Graduated in 1990, School of Political Science and Economics)

Shanghai-crabs produced in Suzhou (not in Shanghai)

Shang Tang Jie where an old streetscape still remains along the canal

Message from the Chairperson

Da jia hao (Hello, everyone)! We are the Suzhou Tomonkai, which has just recently been inaugurated.

Suzhou is located about 100 kilometers from Shanghai, which is about a two-hour drive, or a little over 30 minutes by China Railway High-speed (CRH) train, a bullet train. As there are many Japanese companies here, the number of Japanese living in the city is one of the largest in China. I suppose there are many Waseda alumni here. However, the number of members of the Suzhou Tomonkai is still small partly because it was inaugurated just recently. Currently, our main activity is regular gatherings. We hope to further deepen exchanges among members through hobby-related events and recreational events, and make this Tomonkai an association that many more alumni will join. We hope that this Tomonkai will be a place of relief for many alumni who are playing an active role in Suzhou in pursuit of the “ideals and their light” for each.
Yoshitaka Ishii (Graduated in 1988, School of Social Sciences)

Messages from the Members

Although I am well past my 40th birthday, I still have a nightmare a few times a year in which I fail the entrance exam of Waseda University. The despair I feel in the nightmare is more than overwhelming, and the relief I find when I wake up is a sheer joy. I was transferred to Suzhou last summer, and became a member of the Suzhou Tomonkai without a moment’s hesitation. Afterwards, I was assigned the post of Secretary General (also known as a person in charge of drinking parties) and we are holding gentlemanly meetings (also known as drinking parties) every month. It is as if we were having a drink at Seiryu on Sakae Street in Takadanobaba. We all become friends regardless of age or occupation by the time we loudly sing “Konpeki no Sora” and “Miyako no Seihoku” in the end. We would like to invite you to sing along with us!
Hitoshi Nakamura (Graduated in 1997, School of Commerce)

There are many expatriates of Japanese companies in Suzhou, and many alumni associations of universities are actively holding events. After I was transferred here, I was wondering why there was no Tomonkai in this area. Then the Suzhou Tomonkai was suddenly inaugurated. I am belatedly grateful for Waseda, as I can interact with friends who share the same alma mater and the experiences as expatriates. If you are ever transferred to Suzhou, please come and join our Tomonkai. We are looking forward to having you!
Hideaki Shiga(Graduated in 2004, School of Political Science and Economics)

I was told to join some kind of community, and opened a free magazine “Whenever.” There I found a feature article on the Suzhou Tomonkai. I participated in one of its events, and enjoyed its nostalgic atmosphere. Although the members “change from year to year, Meet and part with youth’s delight,” we are joyfully deepening friendship. The Suzhou Tomonkai is a wonderful group where we can interact with each other simply because we are Waseda alumni. If you ever have a chance to stay in Suzhou, I recommend you become a member as it will help you make your life even more fulfilling.
Haruka Ito (Graduated in 2009, School of Science and Engineering)

I never even dreamed of being able to hold in Suzhou a Waseda-Keio competition, which I enjoyed so much when I was a Waseda student. I do not mean a battle where we are dressed in a red-and-black uniform (of Waseda) or a black-and-yellow uniform (of Keio) and fiercely tackle each other as in a rugby game; a battle here is more amiable where we are playfully arguing which alumni association has a larger flag and laughing together. The battle of the student days is over, and the referee has called no side! We are enjoying the cozy atmosphere. We cherish the gatherings including those with the alumni association of other universities. I hope to make the Suzhou Tomonkai an even more pleasant group! Please let us know if you are ever in Suzhou!
Takuya Ozaki (Graduated in 2009, School of International Liberal Studies)

Waseda-Keio competition where we fight against the Suzhou Mitakai

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