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Number one worldwide in cheerleading, with a true Waseda Spirit

Mr. Ryosuke Mokumoto

When Mr. Mokumoto was taking university entrance exams, out of all the human sciences, he wanted to study psychology the most. For that reason, his first choice school was a national university in the Kansai area. The people around him recommended that he apply to enter more than one private school, but he thought, "Why do I have to have an escape route?" He took the exam with strong spirits, but he still failed. While he was at a loss as to what to do, his mother handed him an admission ticket for the Waseda University entrance examination. "My dad is a huge Waseda fan, so she secretly completed the application procedures for me," he said, laughing. With gratitude to his parents, Mr. Mokumoto's feelings changed and he took the exam, passing it easily. "I have to bow my head to my mother. If I hadn't entered Waseda, I wouldn't have met the Shockers."

Mr. Mokumoto saw the Shockers perform at a welcoming event for new students, and was impressed by their performance. "I thought, 'I've found somewhere I can shine!' so I completed the procedures to enter the group." He is happy when spectators say that the performances "gave them energy" or "were really fun." Ever since Mr. Mokumoto became captain, he has started thinking about what he can do to respond to such voices. "I think that the only thing to do is to enjoy myself - that's how to give spectators an enjoyable time." If the team enjoys banding together as one, then that will naturally be conveyed to people watching. "If even one member isn't having a good time, that can lead to terrible incidents or injuries." Making a tower of people as tall as a two-story building, and climbing from that height without hesitation, is only possible when you trust your teammates. This relationship of trust creates feelings of enjoyment. "While talking about everything, the members become like your brothers," Mr. Mokumoto said, smiling.

Mr. Mokumoto also put these experiences to use when he was chosen for the Japanese team, and had to work together to win an international competition with people he had never cheered with before. He felt a great deal of responsibility and pressure. That's when he remembered what he had learned in Shockers. "The first thing to do is to have fun, because having fun is the foundation of cheerleading." In that way, he helped beat veterans from all over the world and win first prize. In the future, Mr. Mokumoto hopes to promote cheerleading in his home prefecture of Miyazaki, and to share its appeal with the whole country. "Through my psychology classes, I learned about the importance of self-expression. Of course, my mode of self-expression was learned in Shockers, so I have no regrets. I feel like what I learned in Shockers has become my foundation," he said, as if reflecting on each word.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Ryosuke Mokumoto

Born in 1987 in Miyazaki Prefecture. Graduated from Miyazaki Omiya High School, and is currently a fifth year student in the School of Human Science. Mr. Mokumoto, as captain of Shockers, led the team to first place in one of the sections of the USA Nationals Cheerleading Competition in 2007. In 2009, he represented Japan at the Cheerleading World Championships held in Germany, winning first place. His favorite movies include "Step Up" (2006, the United States of America) and "Waterboys." His recommended foods from Miyazaki Prefecture are, "Jidori chicken, of course! And Hamayu Pork is delicious as well."