Tehran Tomonkai

About the Tehran Tomonkai

Tehran Tomonkai was established in October 2011, and as of November 2014, there are 27 registered members. We are continuing to hold cozy gatherings including BBQs, lunches, and dinners with the members and their families including company representatives, students, housewives, and children. In July 2014, we held a first gathering with Mitakai (the alumni association of Keio University). As Japan’s commercial trade with Iran is restricted by sanctions against Iran, the number of Japanese living in Iran has recently decreased, and the number of participants in the gatherings is limited. Although the situations surrounding us is not very favorable, the “outstanding elites” (sugurishi-seiei) are full of fight and are strengthening ties among the members with “infinite eternal aim” (kuon-no-riso) in their hearts.
Ryuji Tanaka (Graduated in 2002, School of Political Science and Economics)

The attractive points of Iran

When we think about what are attractive about Iran, we think of historical remains such as Persepolis, exotic towns such as Esfahan, and the warmth of Persian carpets that can be found at any home across this country. However, it is Iranian people that make Iran an exciting place to be. Just by hearing that you are from Japan, they will respect you and treat you warmly. However, they will soon try to compete against you by showing the greatness of their ancient civilizations and the beauty of Persian literatures saying, “During the period of Achaemenid Empire…” They are very charming people but are full of pride.
Tarof, a lip service similar to modest words or flattery in Japan, make the talkative Iranians even more so. We sometimes have to quarrel as they hate to lose and to lose face. On the other hand, many of them are very easy to understand. So, although I feel frustrated at times, I cannot hate such Iranians as they are very attractive people.
Ayana Norimatsu (Graduated in 2003, School of Social Sciences)

Meidan Emam, Esfahan

Ancient Remains of Persepolis

Attractive Iranian people

Message from the Chairperson

I came to Iran for the first time in 20 years in the beginning of 2014 and have been living here as the Managing Director of the local subsidiary of my company. Iran is an Islamic Republic. Its size is about 4.5 times as big as Japan, and its population is about 77 million. The average age is a little over 30. It is blessed with natural and tourism resources, and is well-equipped with industrial infrastructure such as that related to oil, mine development, and automobile manufacturing. It is a country with exceptional industrial infrastructure compared to other countries in the Middle East, which makes Iran a country with extremely high potential.

The people call the country the “axis of evil”; however, the reality is actually very opposite. Here, younger people give precedence to older people, and places importance on exchanging greetings. They are very friendly. After the revolution which took place in 1979, Iran has been under economic sanctions for more than 30 years. Although the situation is very severe, Iranian traders, known for their notorious toughness, do not seem to be discouraged.

As the country is under sanctions, there are not so many Japanese people here, and as a result, the size of the gatherings of Tomonkai is rather small. However, all of our members are committed to work together to make Tehran Tomonkai as active as it can be, and we would like to ask for the support from Waseda alumni.
Akira Kobayashi (Graduated in 1982, School of Social Sciences)

Messages from the Members

In addition to the five years from 2001, I am living in Tehran again as the Managing Director of the Iranian overseas subsidiary of my company since April 2014. Iran has a long history and a profound culture. It is a big country with a population of about 80 million and is also number one in the world when it comes to natural gas and oil reserves. It is showing stronger presence in this unstable region. Japan could be an important partner for Iran, and I think if the members of Tomonkai try further with pride to act as a bridge between Japan and Iran, this will lead to strengthening the ties between the two countries.
Kazuo Inada (Vice Chairperson, Graduated in 1987, Graduate School of Science and Engineering)

When I was a student, I never thought I could have the chance to sing the school song “Miyako no Seihoku” overseas. I met and got much assistance from Chairperson Yasuhiro Aida and others at Sao Paulo Tomonkai from 2010 to 2012, and I enjoyed participating in the Keio-Waseda Competitions (in baseball, tennis, and golf) there. This time, Chairperson Akira Kobayashi contacted me right after I arrived at Tehran, and soon I was loudly singing the school song and “Konpeki no Sora” at a gathering of Tehran Tomonkai with other members.

I assume many members are thinking that Tehran is a dangerous place to be; however, recently the city has been quite safe and there are four seasons (we have snow in winter!), so it is a comfortable place to be if you once start living here (I might be a bit exaggerating…). At a place so far away from Japan, I hope to make the Tomonkai an active group in cooperation with Chairperson Kobayashi and other members.
Koshi Hirayama (Graduated in 1991, School of Science and Engineering)

I would say that most attractive thing about Tehran is the beautiful mountains behind the city. There are four seasons, and it snows and we can enjoy ski on the powdery snow in winter. Isn’t this surprising, considering the fact that we often think there are only deserts in the Middle East? There is also a 13-hole golf course covered with green grass. On weekends, Japanese ‘golf addicts’ gather to mow the grass. I am pushing myself to going out for golfing and skiing, which reminds me of when I was a student at Waseda, enjoying my life participating in the events of “So-dai NS”, a club I was a member of.
Takahiro Yamaguchi (Graduated in 1995, School of Commerce)

Two months after I came to Tehran, I was very happy to learn that there was a gathering of Tomonkai, the first ever appointment I was to attend in Tehran. After I graduated from Waseda, I went on to a medical school, and now it seems that this is a long-term vacation for me, after having worked full-time as a doctor. I can even take a nap while my two children are in school!

My children were not intimidated by the fact that they had to start learning English, German, and Persian at the same time in school. They are even practicing figure skating after school at a skating rink which opened in December 2013 for the first time in 30 years. I am planning to enjoy with my family skiing, playing tennis, golf, and even mah-jongg in a city where there are not so many recreational facilities.
Shizuka (Asahizawa) Wananjo (Graduated in 1996, School of Commerce)

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