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Campus Now

January

Waseda rediscovery

Photograph: Tsuyoshi Daimaru (2nd Year Student, Art and Architecture School, Department of Photography, Pictures, and Images

cover story

A Pillar Supporting the Core of Knowledge.

It expands by the click.

Waseda Campus Building No. 2 was inaugurated in 1925 (14th year of the Taisho Period). Since then, during the 60 years until the opening of the current Central Library, Building No. 2 was loved by many students, academic, faculty and staff as the library which supported the core of knowledge at our university.

The dark greenish-brown coffered ceiling of the first floor hall is supported by 6 round pillars that are plastered with a sheer white finish. The upper area of these round pillars features intricate workmanship.

This is the work of Mr. Takeshi Nakashima, an obscure plaster craftsman.

On the day of completion, Mr. Nakashima escorted his wife and children, dressed in their best clothes, to the construction site of the hall.

As his wife and children looked on, Mr. Nakashima put the finishing details on the one remaining pillar.

This enchanting spectacle was witnessed by architect Mr. Kenji Imai (Waseda University Professor Emeritus), who wrote that "It must be conveyed that the deepest meaning lies in the creation of this library by hardworking people who possessed many different aspirations." (Architecture and Humanity, 1954) The wife of Mr. Nakashima visited this library again after 60 years.

The donation that she made at that time was the first contribution to the "Tile Fund" for the current Central Library, which was one of the projects to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Waseda University.

Currently, Building No. 2 continues to support part of Waseda Culture by housing facilities such as the Aizu Museum and the Sanae Takata Memorial Library.