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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)


Future under construction

Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences cutting a 120 year history

Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences Senior Dean Masaki Urano giving a speech at the symposium

Cardin giving a youthful and energetic speech belying his 88 years of age

2010 marked 120 years since the establishment of the Literature Department in September 1890 at Waseda University's predecessor, Tokyo Senmon Gakko. During that time, the Literature Department has had its name changed to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I & II, but has continued the education and research tradition built by Shoyo Tsubouchi, and in 2007 was restructured into the School of Culture, Media and Society and a new School of Humanities and Social Sciences, with this year marking the gathering of four grades together. From October to December we held a commemorative event titled "Future Under Construction", to look back over our past, as well as concentrate on our hopes for the future.

On October 11th, in two symposiums titled "What is 'East Asia?': Searching for a Regional Coexistence Model" and "Tradition and Modern Times in Theater and Dance". Both involved energetic discussions delivered to a full house by Reinhard Zoellner (professor at the University of Bonn) and Mansaku Nomura (Kyogen performer). At an exhibition (October 11-28), precious materials such as graduate and songwriter Yaso Saijo's letter explaining his long-term break from lectures to his mentor while teaching French Literature at this university, and a letter from graduate and literary critic Hogetsu Shimura to then President Sanae Takada, revealing his heartfelt feelings regarding his scandalous love affair, were made open to the public for the first time.

In related events, on November 11 in the Okuma Auditorium, fashion designer Pierre Cardin spoke on his half lifetime spent in the fashion world and the theme "60 years of reform", and students also hosted the "23rd Waseda Film Festival" on December 21 and 22.

Last summer we asked for applications for a mascot character. Two entries, both by current undergraduate school students (see pictures), were selected by popular vote from graduate school students and staff, and can be seen on faculty goods.

"Bun Koala" (left), representing Bunka Koso (culture and media and society), and "Dr. Shoho", representing Shoyo Tsubouchi and the symbol of wisdom, the owl.