Seattle Tomonkai

About the Seattle Tomonkai

The Seattle Tomonkai was established in March, 1988. It started when a dozen volunteer alumni here hastily set up a committee and held a welcome party when the then members of Waseda University High Society Orchestra visited Seattle while they were on a US concert tour. Today, there are more than 30 members, and we regularly hold New Year parties and summer barbecue parties. Other than those, the members freely plan parties and camping trips, and recently, we visited central Washington, enjoyed hiking at Mt. Rainier, and went on a camping trip to Belfair. Not only the members of the Tomonkai, but also their families, friends, and even alumni of other universities and colleges, and international students, participate in such activities. As we accept messages using Facebook, please feel free to contact us whenever you are in Seattle.

Barbecue party in the summer

The attractive points of Seattle

There are many attractive points such as food and music in Seattle, however, what is most special about Seattle is the expanse of nature surrounding the city. To the south, there is Mt. Rainier which is one of the highest mountains on the US mainland. To the west, there is Olympic National Park, a World Heritage Site. To the north, there is Mt. Baker which boasts one of the largest amounts of snowfall in the world. To the east, if you head for central Washington, there are large expanses of desert and hilly terrain. In addition to camping and mountain climbing, water sports are very popular as the city is adjacent to the sea and dotted with many lakes. I have lived in Seattle for seven years now, but there are still many places I have never been although one of my hobbies is mountain climbing, and there are still many activities I have never experienced.

In Seattle, there are the headquarters of some global companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, and Starbucks. The scale of its economy is about the same as those of Singapore or Hong Kong. It is an international city where various types of people gather from all over the world. In the office, you will encounter on a daily basis people talking in languages other than English. The economy of Seattle is still growing, and you can expect the city to develop further in the near future.

Daichi Yamaguchi (Graduated in 2008, School of Science and Engineering, Graduated with master’s degree in 2010, Graduate School of Science and Engineering)

Overlooking downtown Seattle from the bay

Mt. Rainier with its peak covered by glaciers

Message from the Chairperson

I took over the position of Chairperson in 2017. The Seattle Tomonkai has been functioning as a place to deepen friendship among alumni, and its main activities have been holding New Year parties and summer barbecue parties. I hope to make it not only a place which welcomes and supports the lives of international student members in accordance with Waseda’s policy to internationalize further, but also a place which helps young people, who play active roles in main or supporting positions at well-known companies in Seattle, exchange information and develop through friendly competition. We also need to do more to recruit new members. I believe there are hidden Waseda-related people around us. I hope Waseda people from around the world who happen to be coming to Seattle on business, for sightseeing, or for other purposes will let us know.

Yasufumi Tajima (Graduated in 1968, School of Commerce)

Messages from the Members

In June 2018, I came to Seattle to study for a year at the University of Washington. Looking back at those days, that was my first long-term stay abroad, and I feel what I learned from the members of the Tomonkai is equal to, or even more than, what I learned at the university. Each member of the Tomonkai had unique and precious experience and knowledge, and I felt that I was able to gain a broader perspective through interactions with them and was able to get broader knowledge and deeper insight. In the classrooms at the university, I learned that the source of creativity was diversity after seeing the process where the professors and students respect the opinions of each other, combine them, and come up with excellent ideas. I think the Tomonkai is rich in diversity, although it is a group of alumni of Waseda. In today’s world where creativity is being sought after, I believe the Tomonkai will be more meaningful than ever.

Ryo Yano (Graduated in 2011, School of Social Sciences)

I was sent to the University of Washington from my company in March 2018 and have been studying there to acquire an MBA since then. When I was stationed in Seoul, I was Chief Secretary of the Seoul Tomonkai. In Seoul, the ties between people related to Waseda are strong and close, and I was able to enjoy many precious encounters with people of all ages and nationalities. I decided to participate in the Seattle Tomonkai, looking for opportunities to meet Waseda alumni in a similar manner in the “Northwest of the Capital” (Miyako no Seihoku) of the US. Thankfully, I was able to meet many people, and was able to go on a road trip to the Grand Canyon and other places with people related to Waseda, and make wonderful memories. I think it is extremely helpful that the Waseda network extends broadly even to countries other than Japan. I am happy that I am a Waseda alumnus!

Shinichi Takenaka (Graduated in 2007, School of Social Sciences)

Almost a year has passed since I was sent to Seattle as an expat. There are four seasons and many kinds of marine products just like in Japan, and I do not feel inconvenience in my daily life at all. In my office, I often use English as the ratio of Japanese people is only 30%. However, I have gradually became used to the environment, and now I can speak business English without any problems. I heard that there are many kind and serious people in Seattle compared to those in other cities in the US, and actually, I rarely feel stressed in my office. Everyone concentrates on their tasks and does their job efficiently. I get the impression that everyone is good at switching between work mode and vacation mode, as everyone takes, for example, summer vacation for as long as two weeks, using their vacation all at once. In the US where we accept and respect the differences in each other’s culture, I hope to learn as much as possible and do my best in work that contributes to society.

Masato Watanabe (Graduated in 2009, School of Law)

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Social gathering

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