Denmark Tomonkai

About the Denmark Tomonkai

Inaugurated in 2016, the Denmark Tomonkai is one of the youngest overseas Tomonkais. Although Denmark is a small country, it is famous for Hans Christian Andersen, a writer of children’s stories, and Royal Copenhagen, a ceramics company. As there are only a small number of Japanese people living here (about 1,600 as of June 2016), and a small number of Japanese companies coming into this country, there used to be no Tomonkais in Denmark. However, three current leaders of the Denmark Tomonkai, who are working mothers, had participated in Tomonkais in another country, and agreed to inaugurate a Tomonkai in Denmark. Although we had to start everything from scratch, many people including the members of the Sydney Tomonkai, where one of us used to be a member of, greatly helped us and finally we have reached a point where an article about our Denmark Tomonkai is carried in the Waseda Gakuho. We, the leaders of the Denmark Tomonkai, are all very happy about this.

At present, we have 15 members including current students at Waseda coming to Denmark as international students. The main activity of the Tomonkai is holding gatherings about once a month. We hope to further expand the scope of our activities and increase the number of members. Please let us know whenever you are in Denmark on private trips, business trips, or otherwise.
Nao Adachi (Graduated in 2002, School of Political Science and Economics)

The new-year party for 2017

The attractive points of Denmark

Denmark consists of many islands and the Jutland Peninsula located in the north of Germany. Its population is about 5.70 million, which is about 1/20 of that of Japan. Lego (toy) and Bang & Olufsen (audio equipment) are also from Denmark, although this fact is not very well-known. Denmark is also a welfare superpower. We are actually enjoying its generous social welfare benefits although we are foreigners. (Medical expenses are free, giving birth, including related checkups, is free, tuition after elementary school is free and, if you are a full-time university student, you will receive an allowance of about 100,000 yen.)

As it is located in the north, the winter is long; however, local people enjoy the dark, cold days in a warm room lit up by gentle candle lights. Such way of relaxing and making yourself comfortable is called Hygge (meaning something like “cozy” in Danish). In summer, local people enjoy the long days, sacrificing their sleeping time. The best season for sightseeing is spring or summer; however, I also recommend visiting Denmark in the winter time to enjoy the exciting Christmas time and Hygge here.
Nao Adachi (Graduated in 2002, School of Political Science and Economics)

Winter in a little town in the southern part of Denmark

At an event commemorating graduation from a local high school

Message from the Chairperson

“Try this, it’s good!” It is surprising to realize that these words, which remind us of the “ladies in the neighborhood,” are filled with so much affection. Last year, four exchange students from Waseda joined the Denmark Tomonkai, which had just been inaugurated. Although they had just arrived in Denmark, they all said they missed Japanese food. This makes me want to feed the young students with warm rice balls and a Japanese one-pot meat dish until they are full.

This reminds me of the time when I was a member of the Melbourne Tomonkai about ten years ago. I was a student then, and many people took very good care of me. I wonder if they were nice to me because they had the feeling which I currently have to the student members. I must thank them. Time went by, and now I am feeding the students with good food. And in the future, these students will be adults and be feeding their juniors alike. Such “circle of love” from the “ladies in the neighborhood” will be passed down and down to the younger members in the Tomonkai.

It was worthwhile to establish the Denmark Tomonkai just by discovering such unconditional love which extends throughout generations. I hope the Waseda alumni living abroad will participate in or establish a Tomonkai and extend such “circle of love.”
Eri Watanabe (Graduated in 2003, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

The year-end party for 2016. As it is expensive to eat out, we basically hold parties at home.

Messages from the Members

When I was a student at Waseda, I never imagined becoming an inaugurating member of a Tomonkai in Denmark. Living in a foreign country, the ties between Japanese people naturally become stronger; however, the effect of coming to know that you are speaking to a Waseda alumnus is great. You will immediately feel close to that person, and find the conversation with him or her exciting. That is when I truly feel that it was good I graduated from Waseda. I feel grateful for the fact that the people living in Denmark for various reasons including work, marriage, and study abroad can gather and have fun under the same keyword “Waseda.”
Yuka Harikai (Graduated in 2008, Graduate School of Social Sciences)

Denmark is famous in Japan for children’s stories, designed furniture, and toys. In addition, whenever I go back and forth Copenhagen and Tokyo, I truly feel that Denmark and Japan are greatly related in various fields including medical equipment, telegraph wires, and welfare models. I never expected that what I learned at Waseda and the fields in which I work including publishing and visual images will be the foundation for my job that links the two countries. I hope to continue to do my best to deepen the relationships between the two wonderful countries.
Esben Reona Ota Stokholm (Completed in 2007, Intensive Japanese Language Program at the Center for Japanese Language)

As an exchange student from Waseda, I am very much helped by the strong ties between the members of the Denmark Tomonkai. I chose Denmark as my destination for study abroad attracted by its advanced environmental infrastructure and technology, the level of local universities, and the national traits of the Danish people which are based on the Law of Jante. The life here is, however, full of troubles as this is the first time I experienced life overseas. I was able to solve many of these troubles with the help of the members of the Denmark Tomonkai. Furthermore, the stories I hear from Waseda alumni playing active roles overseas are both precious and instructive. I would like to thank the Denmark Tomonkai for welcoming a student who was only 19 at the time of becoming a member, and I truly would like to stay connected with the members even after I return to Japan.
Shunsuke Sawai (Sophomore at the School of Law as of March 2017)

I could not imagine what Denmark is like and how the local people’s lives are until I came to Denmark. After arriving here, I had the opportunity to listen to the stories of the members of the Denmark Tomonkai who live here, having relaxed dinner together. This was a very precious experience, as I did not have many opportunities to mingle with local people here. The atmosphere of the Denmark Tomonkai is good, and the gathering of the Tomonkai is cozy and comfortable.
Kento Morita (Sophomore at the School of International Liberal Studies as of March 2017)

Nyhavn, a sightseeing spot

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