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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)


Waseda & Culture Creation & Transmission

A major mission of Waseda University is to effectively utilize our cultural resources in education and research, while also broadly displaying such resources to society. This article discusses the meaning of creating "Waseda Culture" and transmitting this culture to the world, as well as new projects being undertaken to achieve this goal.


Ms. Motoyo Yamane: A One-Day Exploration of Campus Museums

Following the Memory of Cultural Inscribed at Universities

A variety of cultural resources exist within Waseda University. It is necessary to reassess the value of these resources in order to transmit culture both inside and outside of the university.
In Part 2, we invited Ms. Motoyo Yamane, a former NHK announcer who was responsible for the NHK educational program "Sunday Museum". Ms. Yamane received a tour of the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum, the Aizu Museum, the Waseda University Archives and the Okuma Memorial Room. The tour was given by the directors of each institution. Ms. Yamane rediscovered the appeal of Waseda's cultural resources.

Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum
Collecting Materials from Throughout the World The Only Museum Specializing in Theater

Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum
At the proposal of Tsubouchi Shoyo, the building was designed as a model of the Fortune Theater, a theater in 16th century England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. A protrusion at the front of the roof forms the stage and the museum itself exists as one theater material. Even today, the museum hosts a large number of performances including Shakespearean theater. The front of the stage is inscribed with the Latin phrase "Totus Mundus Agit Histrionem", which means "the world is a playhouse". This same phrase is written on the sign at the entrance of London's Globe Theater. It is evident that Tsubouchi had the world in his perspective from the time that he established the museum.

Director TakemotoThe most famous exhibition within our museum is the collection of approximately 47,000 woodblock prints. In the later years of his life, Tsubouchi worked passionately to collect and organize woodblock prints as part of his research in kabuki.

Ms. YamaneI suppose that the historical value of woodblock prints has increased even further after Japan entered the digital age.

Director TakemotoAt the time, woodblock prints were not viewed as an important research subject.

Ms. YamaneI have heard that the prints were used as wrapping paper when exporting ceramic items.

Director TakemotoThat's right. No one realized that the prints were essential to kabuki research. Shoyo certainly displayed great foresight in recognizing their importance.

The image and audio archive corner where it is possible to hear Shoyo speak about ryokyoku (a form of narrative singing). The drama is a version of Hamlet translated by Shoyo himself. "He is making different use of male and female voices. Outstanding!"

Woodblock Prints
Tsumoru Koiyuki no Sekimoto (Love and Deep Snow at the Mountain Barrier), a work of Kuniyoshi Utagawa. This drama was a famous performance of tokiwazubushi (a school of Jururi theater) that featured the first performance from the accomplished dancer Nakazo Nakamura I. It is a particular popular drama among dance performances. This picture of the performers expresses the individuality of the performers with great reality and enables a sharp image of the stage to be conveyed to people.

A reading room where books and magazines related to theater and movies can be read. It is said that the room is visited by famous theater personnel and literary figures. "It is amazing that it is possible to read issues of Kinema Junpo (a film magazine) from around the 1960s."

"How nostalgic! It hasn't changed since my time as a student!" exclaims Ms. Yamane. The worn brown finish of the hallway gives testament to the passage of time.

A Western-style building that stands quietly on a corner of the Waseda Campus. Opening the old-fashioned doors of this building exposes the different world which unfolds within. As its name implies, the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum was established in 1928 at the hands of Tsubouchi Shoyo, the founder of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Shoyo was a pioneer and trailblazer for modern Japanese literature and has earned particularly high acclaim for his record of contribution to the improvement and growth of theater art. Shoyo was a passionate research of kabuki while also introducing translated works of theater from throughout the world. He explained his decision to establish the theater museum by saying "I want to create a facility where it is possible to study not only Japanese theater, but also theater from throughout the world". He achieved his dream by donating the royalties from his volume of works entitled the "Shoyo Anthology", by gathering donations from a wide section of society, and by donating his house to the university. Museum Director Mikio Takemoto describes the most prominent feature of the museum as follows: "Our museum is the only Japanese museum that specializes in theater. Furthermore, a museum which has this kind of world perspective does not exist even in Europe, an area rich with theater."

The museum possesses a diverse collection of theater materials. There are 47,000 pictures using woodblock printing, 200,000 photographs of theater performances, and a variety of other materials including theater costumes, masks, folding screens and hanging scrolls. In particular, the collection of material from the early modern to modern period is the foremost in Japan. The majority of these materials are donations from directors and actors from since the establishment of the museum. There are also many materials from Waseda graduates who are active in the world of theater. Director Takemoto says that "The collected materials of our museum do not belong to the university; rather, they belong to society. For this very reason, we must perform cultural transmission and give back to society. Our mission is to contribute to the entire society which supports Waseda." Ms. Yamane expressed her new-found admiration for the museum by saying "As a graduate of Waseda, I must promote to even more people the valuable and wonderful assets of the university."


Striving for experimental performances that can only be conducted by the Theater Museum

Director Mikio Takemoto (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

The dream of our museum is to construct and hold unique performances. It is difficult to undertake experimental challenges in theater performances which must be concerned with making a profit. On our own unique stage, we want to create a place for experimental research, a place where we can test theatrical techniques in works spanning from ancient theater to modern theater and where we can perform revision of older works. In the future, we want to make further contributions to theater culture through cultural transmission that uses the materials of our museum in actual performances.

Aizu Museum
Having contact with actual materials and studying the essence of things Dreams instilled by Yaichi Aizu

Aizu Museum
This museum is located close to the front gate of the Waseda Campus and was created from a former library. The desks and chairs were moved from the center of the old reading room and the space was converted in a beautiful room for permanent exhibitions.

Director OhashiOur museum is still quite new, with this year marking the 11th anniversary of our opening. However, this building itself is a valuable cultural asset, built in the Taisei Era and possessing some of Waseda's most select history. In particular, this hall retains the atmosphere from the time that the building was constructed.

Ms. YamaneThe atmosphere matches well with the picture "Light and Darkness"

Director OhashiThe building is a collaboration that was achieved by Mr. Sanae Takata, former President of Waseda University and board member of the Japan Art Institute, who consulted with Mr. Taikan Yokoyama and Mr. Kanzan Shimomura about plans for a Waseda library.

Ms. YamaneWhat kind of museum do you want to create from this space which was a former library?

Director OhashiI would like to create a museum which allows visitors to fully enjoy the history of the building itself as well as exhibited works.

Ms. Yamane receives an explanation from Research Associate Chika Sannomiya. "Yaichi Aizu collected Oriental art materials for the purpose of education and research. We want to inherit the spirit of Aizu and give priority to existing as a museum where students can study through actual contact with materials."

Visitors can pull out a chair from beneath the exhibition stand in order to sit down and view materials at their leisure.

The Aizu Museum is located along the main street of Waseda Campus, the area with the most students in all of Waseda. Ms. Yamane stood in the entrance hall of the museum and viewed the wall painting "Light and Darkness", a joint work by Mr. Taikan Yokoyama and Mr. Kanzan Shimomura. She expressed her surprise by saying "I can't believe that his beautiful space exists within Waseda University! I never saw this wall painting during my time as a student at Waseda."

Museum Director Ohashi discusses the history of the museum while standing in front of the picture "Light and Darkness" at the entrance hall of the building.

The collection of the museum is composed of donated materials and of materials acquired by instructors such as Mr. Yaichi Aizu for use in research and education. The materials cover the 3 research fields of Oriental art, modern art and archaeology. Firstly, research and exhibitions are performed with a focus on the Yaichi Aizu Collection. This collection consists of approximately 3,000 works which were donated by Mr. Yaichi Aizu, a researcher in Oriental art and a Professor in the School of Letters, Arts, and Science. The works include items which were buried with the dead in ancient China, brass mirrors, patterned roof tiles, golden rubbed impressions and Buddhist figures. The modern art collection features approximately 700 Western and Japanese paintings. Included in these works are portraits of individuals connected with Waseda University, such as a portrait of Okuma Shigenobu painted by Mr. Seiki Kuroda. Also included are works which were donated by artists who were active at the time of Waseda's 70th and 100th anniversaries. The archaeological collection consists of approximately 6,000 pieces that include earthenware pottery from the Jomon and Yayoi Periods, as well as roof tiles and mirrors. Also included in the collection are materials associated with the Ainu ethnic group. Ainu materials are rare even in Japan. Furthermore, in 2004, we were donated the collection of the former Tomioka Art Museum. This collection includes 900 wonderful works of Oriental and Japanese art, with calligraphic works and paintings and Oriental porcelain that includes one work designated as an Important Cultural Asset.

The art history studies of Mr. Yaichi Aizu were established as an academic discipline which combined both research of actual materials and research of historical literature. Mr. Aizu was the first person to propose the establishment of a museum at Waseda University. Our museum, which opened after a period of more than 70 years, is currently active as a center for research in art and history that is based on survey research of actual materials.


From a base for education and research, we seek to return cultural resources to society

Museum Director Katsuaki Ohashi
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Last year, our museum greeted the 10th anniversary of its founding. After a start-up period filled with trial-and-error, I have great expectations for our next 10 years of activity. Education and research are the important missions of a university museum. I want to establish our museum as a place where students can come into contact with actual materials, and as a place for transmitting the new research results of Waseda. To achieve this goal, we must implement both high-quality permanent exhibitions and creative special exhibitions. We hope that parents, alumni, and people from outside of the university will feel free to visit our museum. In the future, we realize that it will be important to actively return to society the cultural assets of Waseda University.

Waseda University Archives, Okuma Memorial Room
Becoming familiar with the "founding ideal" woven into the fabric of our university since establishment

Waseda University Archives, Okuma Memorial Room
Upon entering the memorial office, a visitor's eyes are drawn to the gown of Okuma Shigenobu. Okuma first wore this gown in 1913 at the 30th anniversary of Waseda's founding, and the gown was his treasured possession until he passed away in 1922.

Director YoshidaOkuma established Tokyo Senmon Gakko, the predecessor of Waseda University, because of the need to develop professionals who would work for the construction of a modern constitutionalism and nation.

Ms. YamaneAt this corner, is it possible to hear a speech given by President Okuma?

Director YoshidaYes. This is a record of his speech given at the general elections in 1915.

Ms. YamaneOh, he has a way of speaking that is almost like singing. This really shows a period in which there was a great separation in the language used for speeches and everyday conversation.

An film corner which reveals the life of Okuma Shigenobu. A large number of visitors converged on the Okuma household every day. There is a story in which rain prevented people from visiting the household and Okuma sadly lamented that "we don't have very good attendance today".

The clothing worn by Okuma when he was struck by a bomb and injured his leg. Although one of Okuma's legs was amputated at this time, he continued his energetic involvement in political activities.

The entrance is decorated by a President's gown made in Waseda colors. Ms. Yamane said the following words while looking up at the gown: "Even now, when I am conducting activities to develop the language skills of children, I feel that I am somehow encouraged by Waseda's "founding ideal" which I unconsciously acquired during my time as a student."

Ms. Yamane listens attentively to a speech given in the real voice of Okuma Shigenobu.

The Waseda University Archives were established in order to clearly show the history of our university and the accomplishments of our founder Okuma Shigenobu and other related individuals. We also seek to have this history inherited by future generations. Based on this research and collected material, in order to convey the spirit of our founding ideal to many people, the Okuma Memorial Room was renovated to commemorate the 125th anniversary of our university. This room provides an introduction of Okuma's activities throughout his life.

Director Yoshida described his feelings towards the Okuma Memorial Room by saying the following: The founding ideal of our university contains the concepts of "the independence of academics", the "utilization of academics" and the "creation of model citizens". These are concepts which must be inherited in our activities. In order to carry on these concepts, it is the mission of our center to transmit information both inside and outside of the university and to contribute to the growth of our university. As part of this mission, our center performs introductory education for new students and also offers a class entitled "Waseda Studies" as an Open Course. It is important to retrace and learn from the accomplishments of Okuma, thus continuing to refine a frame of reference for the future.

Ms. Yamane spoke about her impression upon touring the 3 institutions of Waseda University. "I hope that the university will convey information so that more people outside of the university become familiar with and utilize these valuable assets. I believe that this will contribute not only to the culture of Japan but also to global culture, and will lead to greater trust in Waseda University."

For Ms. Yamane, it was a day spent rediscovering the appeal of Waseda University.


Creating a solid system for a historical summary of 150 years

Museum Director Junichi Yoshida
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Research regarding the history of our university is not a thing of the past, but rather is advancing every day. We must perform research for a future historical summary of 150 years which includes facts which could not be clarified in the 100 year historical summary. Of particular importance to creating a historical summary for the university is the extent to which collection and management can be performed for material created from throughout the entire university. It is necessary to establish new regulations for management of written material and to prepare material in accordance with those regulations. An issue for our center is the creation of a system with strengthened archive functionality that allows for quick retrieval at the necessary time for a variety of written materials which have been collected by our center after the materials have exceeded their initial period of use.

Ms. Motoyo Yamane

Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Graduated from the Waseda University School of Letters, Arts, and Sciences I. Entered NHK the same year. Responsible for a variety of programs including art programs, travel programs, news and late-night radio. Currently, she has founded the LLP Kotoba-no-Mori (Forest of Words) with other former NHK announcers. Actively conducts regular book readings and activities to develop the language skills of children.

For the further utilization of valuable cultural resources

We received introductions from curators and research associates at each museum and at the Waseda University Archives regarding works and collected materials which should not be missed. The staff also discussed information related to the publishing of books.

Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum
Digital Archives Collection

The museum systematically collects and organizes theater material which is prone to being scattered and also conveys the material through a public database. The database offers the opportunity to view performer's paintings (woodblock prints of kabuki themes) and images of valuable writings related to theater. Furthermore, modern and contemporary performance records can be searched for collections of materials such as leaflets and programs. Additionally, information regarding the collections of the Aizu Museum and the Waseda University Archives are also registered in the "Waseda University Cultural Resources Information Portal", which was constructed based on the database of the Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum. This has enabled unified searches of all cultural resources within our university.

Audio Visual Booth

This booth enables users to watch and listen to a variety of theater-related materials. Including are traditional Japanese performing arts such as Noh, Kyogen (short comedic dramas), Kabuki and Bunraku (traditional puppet shows), as well as ethnic arts, performances, films and modern theater from countries throughout the world. In addition to a full collection of the works of Shakespeare, there are also collections of film materials such as Chinese theater and Spanish film. It is even possible to watch and listen to foreign works which use a different recording method. Furthermore, DVDs of modern Japanese theater and dance and CDs of Rakugo (comic story telling) are included in the collection. Finally, we have also prepared recorded material for theater classes and lectures that are related to special exhibitions of the Theater Museum.

Aizu Museum
Clothing of the Ainu Ethnic Group

This museum contains a great number of Ainu craftworks, particularly clothing. These materials are used in permanent exhibitions. The materials are from the collection of Mr. Yoshio Tosabayashi (deceased), who was an alumnus of Waseda and served as a Professor at Hokkaido University. The collection was donated to Waseda by his surviving family. The clothing is characterized by the use of bright colors and a variety of patterns. These patterns are expressed by sewing torn pieces of richly colored Japanese clothing onto a base cotton fabric. Such clothing possesses high value as a historical material showing the exchanges between the Ainu and Honshu.

Aizu Collection

The Aizu Collection, part of our permanent collection, was gathered for the purpose of research and education. Within the collection are items made from earth and wood that were discovered buried with the dead in the graves of ancient China. Ancient people believed that these items turned in real objects in the afterworld and allowed the deceased to live an enjoyable, comfortable life. The photograph shows a statue of an imaginary beast known as a hekija from the Tang Period. The hekija is the guardian deity of sepulchers and is used to ward off evil. The head of the statue has a single long, twisted horn, but the face of the beast is human. With its raised shoulders, widely open eyes and angry expression with the mouth forming a straight line, this statue depicts the very king of the gods in the Tang Period.

Mr. Morie Ogiwara, 1910: "Woman" (Bronze)

The modern art works of the museum are mainly composed of works which were donated by individuals with connections to our university. This work was donated by Mr. Ju Kogyoku, who is an Honorary Doctor of Waseda University. In 1908, after returning to Japan from Paris, Mr.. Morie worked in a studio that he established nearby the Shinjuku restaurant Nakamuraya, which was managed by Mr. Aizo Soma and his wife Kokko. The prototype plaster figure of this work was the first sculpture created by a Japanese person after the Meiji Restoration to be designated as an Important Cultural Asset. This work shows a single culmination of modern Japanese sculpture.

Waseda University Archives
Prosthetic Leg of Okuma Shigenobu

In 1889, Okuma Shigenobu was serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs when a bomb was thrown at him by a radical group. Okuma lost his right leg in the accidents. The prosthetic leg that Okuma used after the accidents is currently part of the collection of the Waseda University Archives.

Material Related to the Tokyo Senmon Gakko

The Waseda University Archives collects, organizes and preserves a wide variety of materials related to the history of our university from the founding of Tokyo Senmon Gakko in 1882 to recent years. The material is also widely displayed to the general public.

Written Documents Related to Okuma Shigenobu

In order to further clarify the accomplishments of Okuma Shigenobu, the founder of our university, we are executing a project to edit and republish more than 6,000 written documents addressed to Okuma Shigenobu. These written documents are currently preserved at the library and at the Waseda University Archives. We began publication of a series of books in October of 2004, and the 5th volume was published in March of 2009. This is a revolutionary collection of works in which the modern history of Japan is aggregated. We plan to publish a total of 10 volumes and 1 supplementary volume of A5 size. The price of each volume is 10,000 yen (not including tax). Inquiries should be directed to nationwide bookstores or Misuzu Shobo (TEL: 03-3814-0131).


Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum
Museum Hours
Exhibition Room, Japanese Reading Room 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (until 7:00 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays) Rare Books, Foreign Library Reading Room 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on Saturdays and Sundays) Audio Visual Booth 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on Saturdays and Sundays) Museum closed on holidays, Mondays that are part of a 3-day weekend, summer and winter vacation, year-end/New Year's vacation and examination periods. Please direct inquiries to the telephone number listed below: TEL 03-5286-1829
Homepage http://www.waseda.jp/enpaku/index.html

Aizu Museum
Museum Hours
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (admission until 4:30 PM)
Museum closed on Sundays, holidays, all of August, Saturdays during summer vacation, winter vacation, year-end/New Year's vacation and examination periods.
TEL 03-5286-3835
Homepage http://www.waseda.jp/aizu/index-j.html

Waseda University Archives, Okuma Memorial Room
Center Hours (Okuma Memorial Room)
Hours and non-operating days are the same as for the Aizu Museum.
TEL 03-5286-1814 (Waseda University Archives)
Homepage http://www.waseda.jp/archives/

*Additionally, exhibitions are also being held in facilities such as the 125th Anniversary Room and the Waseda Gallery.

Photograph: Mr. Satoru Kaneko