Beijing Tomonkai

About the Beijing Tomonkai

The relationship between Waseda University and China dates back to 1899, when Waseda started accepting government-financed Chinese students. Since then, many elite Chinese figures of various sectors who are part of modern Chinese history have come to Waseda to study.

The Beijing Tomonkai has been active in Beijing since the 1980s, soon after the Chinese reform and opening-up policy began. It started as a voluntary organization where one can enjoy the atmosphere of Waseda. The members include expatriates, students on a study abroad program from Japan, and Chinese alumni.

The Beijing Tomonkai has a long history with over 600 members in total so far. One third of the members are Chinese. Many students on a study abroad program have been participating in the activities of the Tomonkai since Waseda University established an office within Peking University in 2005 and started the double-degree and TSA programs with the university.

We hold gatherings regularly every other month. We are also deepening friendship with the Beijing Mitakai through such events as Keio-Waseda golf competitions in spring and autumn, summer parties, and New Year parties. Moreover, recently we have actively been holding joint alumni reunions with the alumni of Keio University, Oxford University and Cambridge University in the UK, and Yonsei University in South Korea. The Japan chapter of the Beijing Tomonkai composed of former members of the Beijing Tomonkai who have returned to Japan holds gatherings in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.
Osamu Matsumoto (Graduated in 2010, School of Law)

Joint summer party with Keio University. Both young and old are united as one

The attractive points of Beijing

People tend to consider Beijing to be the city of diplomacy and politics; however, Beijing is still experiencing rapid economic growth, which can be observed through the expansion of the consumer market utilizing smart phones, and development of skyscrapers in areas including Guomao. Recently, a variety of service innovations by young entrepreneurs have been born in Beijing, especially in the Zhongguancun area.

Beijing is characterized by its historic sites such as the Tiananmen Square, Gu Gong (former imperial palace), and the Summer Palace; traditional and cultural architecture such as the hutongs and the siheyuans; Chinese food which comes in a rich variety; and friendly people who are kind to children. Each aspect of Beijing which has previously been unknown to us now becomes more familiar through new services such as bicycle sharing. Beijing is very attractive as it is a city where a variety of new services are introduced while it maintains its traditional culture.
Osamu Matsumoto (Graduated in 2010, School of Law)

Guomao area where buildings as high as 300 to 500 meters are planned to be built

Bicycle sharing service provided throughout the city

Message from the Chairperson

What makes the Beijing Tomonkai so special is that our members include not only Japanese alumni living in Beijing but also current Waseda students studying in China and many Chinese nationals who had studied at Waseda and have come back to Beijing. We are deepening the relationships with each other and holding events together.

I think this is because Waseda University has been accepting Chinese students since the 1800s, soon after its establishment. I hear that, as of today, the university has well over 2,000 such students. Furthermore, many current Waseda students are coming to Chinese universities including Peking University on a study abroad program.

Many Chinese students who studied at Waseda became founding leaders of China, or contributed to the normalization of diplomatic relations or the promotion of friendship between China and Japan. There are also many Waseda alumni who contributed to fostering friendship between China and Japan as Japanese leaders, including former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yohei Kono. Waseda boasts a particularly strong presence in Beijing.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. I would be more than happy if the Beijing Tomonkai has been and will continue to be a place for grassroots interaction between China and Japan, and a help in promoting friendship between the two countries.
Ken Kanamori (Graduated in 1980, School of Law)

Messages from the Members

For the past two and a half years, I could actually feel the shift in the power balance among countries which resulted in the world with two superpowers, China and the U.S. I could also observe the process whereby China has come to show a strong presence in the financial and economic fields. Life in Beijing as an expatriate is filled with excitement. In our daily lives, I am very surprised to see China making life easier at a breathtaking pace by providing services – bicycle sharing, for example – which have spread quickly and have minimized small inconveniences. The fact that we can enjoy discussions regardless of age on various topics with highly experienced seniors is one of the benefits of being a Waseda alumnus.
Osamu Matsumoto (Graduated in 2010, School of Law)

I am currently studying at Peking University on the double-degree program. The students at Peking University are highly motivated to study and their attitude makes me feel that I must work hard every day. Though I came to Beijing just recently, I have already had many chances to feel the kindness of people here. The Beijing Tomonkai provides a precious environment where students and working adults can enjoy interaction. I would like to make my student life here even more fulfilling by valuing not only academic activities but also the connections created through the Beijing Tomonkai.
Kisho Okamoto (Sophomore at the School of Political Science and Economics)

I was transferred to Beijing in the spring of 2015. When I still did not know much about Beijing or the Beijing Tomonkai, luckily I was invited to take up a post of Chief Secretary. Two years have already passed since then. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Beijing Tomonkai who are always watching over me and supporting me, although I am still quite inexperienced. The chief asset of the Beijing Tomonkai is obviously the members, the people. Above all, the gatherings of the Tomonkai in the cold winter time in Beijing are truly like a fireplace which is cozy and warms you up. Let’s “Meet and part with youth’s delight” at the Beijing Tomonkai which is open and will continue to develop while maintaining such a warm atmosphere; and let’s contribute to the promotion of friendship between the two countries and the development of the Waseda brand!
Hitoshi Tanida (Graduated in 1995, School of Science and Engineering)

Half a year after I came to Beijing, I decided to join the Beijing Tomonkai. After attending two regular gatherings, I became one of the organizers. At the Beijing Tomonkai, I am planning and participating in various events. The Beijing Tomonkai shows home-like warmth and broad-mindedness, and both Chinese and Japanese alumni of various ages and occupations are connected together as very good friends under the “Waseda spirit.” I learned that there are about 70 Tomonkais throughout the world. As I love travelling, I would truly like to visit the overseas Tomonkais. I feel Beijing through the Beijing Tomonkai; I feel the world through the overseas Tomonkais.
Li Wenjin (Graduated in 2013, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies master’s degree program)

Even in Beijing, singing the school song comes at the end of the gatherings

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