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Campus Now

Autumn Issue (Jul. 2013)

Waseda rediscovery
Photo: Toru Nakamura

cover story

A center of knowledge and culture which praises one of our founding fathers

The theater and its bright lights shine upon the stage of the Ono Memorial Auditorium. This auditorium is dedicated to the memory of Azusa Ono (1852-1886) and his great contributions to our university’s founding.
Born in Tosa Province, Ono studied abroad in America and England before displaying his ability as a legal official and a Commissioner of the Board of Audit of Japan. Eventually, he became part of the powerful brain trust assembled by Shigenobu Okuma.
After resigning from his public post together with Okuma during the “political crisis in 1881,” Ono was involved in forming the Constitutional Reform Party and founding the Tokyo Senmon Gakko.
At the founding ceremony for the Tokyo Senmon Gakko, Ono proudly declared the “academic independence” which is the founding philosophy of Waseda University.
In recognition of how he constructed a substantive base for academics, Ono is lauded as one of the founding fathers of our university together with Okuma.
To commend these achievements, the Ono Auditorium was constructed in what is now Building No. 7.
However, in 2005, the auditorium and a bronze bust of Ono were moved to the newly-completed Ono Azusa Hall (Building No. 27).
While honoring the outstanding thinker Ono and his wonderful achievements in debate and publishing, the hall is a place for transmitting Waseda culture and facilitating interaction among diverse knowledge from throughout the world. The hall hosts various lectures, theater performance and film screening from both inside and outside of our university.