Singapore Tomonkai

About the Singapore Tomonkai

This year is the 42nd year since the Singapore Tomonkai was established. The number of members of the Singapore Tomonkai has increased with the development of Singapore. The members are of different age groups, were graduated from various of the undergraduate or graduate schools, and are actively playing their roles in various fields. This diversity is typical of Waseda University. The Singapore Tomonkai is an active organization and around 30 people participate in the regular gatherings held on the second Tuesday of every month. Alumni and sometimes current students of all ages participate, and we enjoy it as if we were all having a drink in Takadanobaba. We also enjoy other gatherings, Waseda-Keio alumni events like golf competitions, barbecues, Christmas parties, cleaning the Japanese Cemetery, walking rallies, bowling competitions, and golf competitions. When you visit Singapore, please feel free to participate in one of our events.
Shunsuke Takahashi (Graduated in 2002, School of Law)

A bowling competition where the members often bring their family as well

The attractive points of Singapore

Singapore is an island country located at one degree north latitude and the area is only about the size of the 23 special wards in Tokyo. However, many companies have established an office here which serves as their base for the Pacific region, because Singapore is enjoying significant growth as a business hub of Southeast Asia and has very easy access to its neighboring countries. Singapore is said to be the second safest country after Japan, and is peaceful. It is a multiethnic country, and you would hear a mixture of English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil, and other languages on the street. Singapore is vigorously promoting the sightseeing business, and it is creating new sightseeing spots and attractions one after another including Formula One races, casinos, the Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay.

The English language used by Singaporeans is called Singlish and is quite unique. They would put “lah,” a Chinese word used to stress the words before it, and would say something like “OK, lah.” They would also say something like “You go where (Where are you going)?” ignoring English grammar.

As people in Singapore are tolerant to dialects, if you are not so good at English but wish to try yourself in a foreign country, Singapore is my recommendation, lah!
Minami Obuchi (Graduated in 2007, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Marina area on Independence Day (August 9)

Boat Quay area, a nice restaurant area facing the river

Message from the Chairperson

The Singapore Tomonkai was established after we had gone through difficult procedures including filing reports to the authorities and searching for Waseda alumni in Singapore , where there are restrictions on association. We held the first Tomonkai gathering and the inauguration ceremony at the Apollo Hotel in the middle of December 1976. Five and a half years later on July 7, 1982, the Japan chapter of the Singapore Tomonkai was established.

I participated in one of the events of the Singapore Tomonkai for the first time in December 1983, when the Tomonkai was having a Christmas party. I remember more than 130 people including seniors and their families gathered in the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel for the party.

More than 30 years have passed since then. The number of Japanese people living in Singapore is increasing with the growth of Singapore, and the number of members of the Singapore Tomonkai is also on the rise. The largest change in recent years would be the increase in the numbers of young members and female members. It is easy to imagine that elegant and yet tough Waseda alumnae, who graduated from any of the undergraduate or graduate schools including the School of International Liberal Studies, are playing an important role in the internationalization of Japan.

In ever-developing Singapore, I hope the Singapore Tomonkai will continue to be a place where young people play their roles even more actively. I also hope that the Tomonkai will be a place where each of the members can grow with the people in Singapore, taking advantage of the strength built up in him or her as a result of surviving each day in an extremely diverse environment.
Masayuki Hannya (Graduated in 1983, School of Science and Engineering)

Messages from the Members

Singapore is a tropical country and there are many sports events throughout the year. Above all, you can enjoy golf not only within Singapore Island but also on nearby islands of Indonesia. We can also enjoy a one-day golf tour in Johor Bahru in Malaysia, and golf competitions are also popular. The Singapore Tomonkai has held the traditional Waseda Cup Golf Tournament more than 160 times, and has participated in Tomonkai golf competitions in neighboring countries. The Tomonkai has also participated in more than 10 competitions per year including the Singapore All Japan Inter-University Golf Championships, Tokyo Big6 Golf Competitions, and Waseda-Keio Golf Competitions, thereby deepening friendship among Waseda alumni and with alumni of other universities.
Yutaka Iitaka (Graduated in 1986, School of Commerce)

There are 457 members in the Singapore Tomonkai (as of December 2017), and there are 483 members in the Singapore Mitakai, the alumni association of our eternal rival Keio University. As such, the Tomonkai boasts a strong presence in Singapore as an alumni association of a Japanese university. Together, Tomonkai and Mitakai hold regular golf competitions (Division one, Division two ), softball games, tennis matches, and even singing contests, and promote exchanges between the two universities in a variety of ways. More than 100 alumni of Keio and Waseda participate in the joint gatherings of the Mitakai and the Tomonkai, and in Singapore we are strengthening both personal and professional ties between the alumni of the two universities, regardless of alma mater or generation.
Hiroki Ito (Graduated in 1992, School of Education)

I wanted to spread Japanese culture in a foreign country, as I used to belong to a Nogaku club called “KWANZE-kai” at Waseda. I looked for a safe, pro-Japanese country, and chose Singapore. Utilizing the connections established through the Tomonkai, I performed Noh commemorating the establishment of a company, and also taught how to wear a kimono. Thanks to the Singapore Tomonkai, I can lead this exceptional life which seems nearly impossible for other Japanese. Another appealing point of the Tomonkai is that we can organize women’s gatherings and we can ask for advice on problems which are unique to women, as there are many female members compared to the Tomonkais in other countries.
Minami Obuchi (Graduated in 2007, School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

The members of the Singapore Tomonkai have helped me in various ways since I became a member in the hope of meeting new people. The largest advantage of the Tomonkai is that the members are given the chance to talk with great seniors whom you would never be able to talk with otherwise, simply because we all graduated from Waseda. I am grateful for the fact that we are given the opportunity to listen to precious stories from seniors who have played an active role worldwide. A junior who has just graduated became a member at the end of last year, which was a good stimulus to me. I am grateful for such encounters, and as a member, I hope to continue to do my best in helping to make the Tomonkai even more active.
Akisa Ono (Graduated in 2013. School of International Liberal Studies)

The eighth women’s 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