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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)

Waseda rediscovery


Cover photo: Yoichi Sato (Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences)

cover story

Okuma's beloved scarlet gown

It expands by the click.

The Okuma Memorial Room displays materials following the life of founder Shigenobu Okuma.

When visitors first enter the room they are greeted by this academic gown (replica) which was worn by Okuma as the first president.

The university flag, ceremonial dress and ceremonial hat were decided on from a proposal by then president Sanae Takata in preparations for the 30th anniversary celebrations which had been postponed one year due to the death of the Meiji Emperor, and revealed for the first time at the October 17, 1913 celebrations.

In contrast to Takata and others who wore black ceremonial dresses, the vivid scarlet gown conspicuously stood out.

The sight of Okuma in this beloved gown, which he wore until his death in 1922, has long been famous as the statue looking over the students on campus.

Also, the declaration of the three basic principles: "Independence of Learning," "Practical Utilization of Knowledge" and "Creation of Good Citizenship" that Okuma made at the ceremony still continues as the origin of Waseda University one generation on.

*The Okuma Memorial Room is situated in Building No.2 of Waseda Campus.