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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr.)

Waseda rediscovery

Cover & Top Photo: Yoichi Sato (Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences)
Bottom Photo: Toyotsugu Tanakamaru

cover story

Corridor with an arched ceiling

It expands by the click.

Inlayed stones form a semicircular arch reminiscent of medieval Europe.

This corridor leads from the main lobby of Okuma Memorial Auditorium to the VIP suite.

The auditorium was designed in a gothic style at the request of President Sanae Takata. However, a Romanesque style is incorporated into the stately walls which are affixed with light-brown scratch tiles, as well as this arched ceiling and the fixtures adorning the top of the building. The pillars supporting the ceiling are similar to the Hellinistic columns of Knossos Palace.

A dignified statue of Shigenobu Okuma stands in the middle of the corridor.

The statue was originally erected in the middle of the campus in order to commemorate our university’s 25th anniversary (1907). However, it was eventually argued that the formal wear of the Grand Order of the Chrysanthemum portrayed in the statue did not suit Okuma.

Therefore, on our anniversary’s 50th anniversary, the original statue’s place on campus was taken by a bronze statue of Okuma wearing a gown. The original statue was relocated to an alcove in the corridor wall which had been prepared since the beginning of construction for the auditorium.

The statue of Okuma looks out over Okuma Gardens, which he painstakingly crafted himself and where he spent many days. It almost seems as if the statue will proceed out onto the green balcony in order to deliver a speech.