With its history and culture cultivated over more than a century, Waseda University not only has a distinguished academic reputation, but also a strong legacy. This legacy is evident in its hundreds of thousands of alumni thus far, and the many more to come. Waseda’s alumni are active in many different fields such as politics, business, journalism, entertainment and sports. In fact, seven of Japan’s prime ministers are Waseda University alumni, and many of the top global corporations were or are also headed by Waseda University alumni. For example, Kun-Hee Lee of SAMSUNG, Masaru Ibuka of SONY, and Takuya Okada of AEON.
Graduating from Waseda University means belonging to a prestigious group with strong and numerous networks. The Waseda University Alumni Association currently has over 630,000 living alumni, with 48 district chapters in Japan, and 64 overseas chapters and Tomonkai (alumni groups voluntarily organized and managed by Waseda University Alumni).
Some of Waseda University’s most well-known alumni are:
Yoshihiko Noda is a former Prime Minister of Japan – the 95th Prime Minister. He graduated from Waseda University’s School of Political Science and Economics in 1980, and consequently enrolled in the prestigious Matushita Institute – an institution aimed at grooming Japan’s future leaders. In 2010, Noda was Japan’s Minister of Finance, and subsequently in 2011, became Japan’s 95th Prime Minister.
Graduated from the Waseda University’s School of Law, Chie Shimpo is known for being Japan’s first ever female president of a bank. This was a watershed moment for Japan’s male-dominated financial sector. Nomura Holdings, Japan’s biggest brokerage, selected Shimpo in 2014 as the President and CEO to lead its banking division – Nomura Trust and Banking in Tokyo. Previously, Shimpo was Nomura Holding’s youngest-ever executive officer.
Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author whose novels, both fiction and non-fiction, have become immensely popular not just in Japan, but also internationally. His works have been translated into 50 languages, and Murakami has received a number of international literary prizes, such as the Frank Kafka Prize, and the Frank O’Conner International Short Story Award. Some of Murakami’s most significant works include Norwegian Wood (1987), Kafka on the Shore (2002), and 1Q84 (2009-2010).
Shizuka Arakawa is a professional skater known for being the first Asian to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Arakawa’s win also made her, at the time at age 24, the oldest women’s Olympic skating champion in over 80 years. Although retired from competitive skating, Arakawa continues to skate in exhibition programs, and is the Vice President of the Japan Skating Federation. In 2018, Arakawa was elected to World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, a repository of some of the greatest names in sports history.
Featured Image is: Okuma Statue (right) and Okuma auditorium (background) in Waseda University, Tokyo., by XIIIfromTOKYO [CC BY-SA 3.0 or Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons.
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