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Waseda Sports Press: Showing the gallantry of Waseda sports clubs.
WSP wins top prize in Tokyo Five University Newspaper Contest!

Hirofumi Kajisako (left)
Takumi Sato (right)

Waseda is rich in university sports and the Waseda Sports Press continues to report on the activities of Waseda student athletes. The paper has been loved by sports-loving students and alumni for over half a century. During contests, its members look out over the event through long-distance lenses, while after the game is over they race around seeking comments from the participants. Although students, they look just like professional sports reporters. Last year, the Waseda Sports Press won the Asahi Newspaper Company Award, the top prize in the Tokyo Five University Newspaper Contest, for the second time in as many years. Normally, the Waseda Sports Press reports on the activities of the various athletic clubs at Waseda, but just this once, it was the WSP that was the star.

“This time we were evaluated on our autumn Waseda vs. Keio baseball edition. One of the judges told us it was very “steady.” We have a lot of members compared to other university sports papers, so we are able to get detailed information on all 44 clubs at Waseda. I think that might be part of why our paper is such high quality.” So says former editor-in chief, Hirofumi Kajisako. Many top athletes are enrolled at Waseda University, and having such first class talent to cover could also be a significant advantage for the paper.

For over half a century Waseda Sports Press has watched over Waseda’s sports scene. The club boasts approximately 130 members.

Including first-year students, Waseda Sports Press currently has approximately 130 members. In parallel with special editions for large events like the Waseda vs. Keio baseball game, the Waseda vs. Keio Regatta, the Waseda vs. Meiji rugby match, and the Hakone Ekiden, the WSP also provides news flashes such as game results on their website and over Twitter. Each member of the paper covers five clubs or so, interviewing athletes and taking pictures. When it becomes “sports autumn,” the clubs’ league matches overlap, so it is not unusual for members to visit several matches during their days off from school. Meanwhile, the major job of the Waseda Sports Press’s editor-in-chief is the layout of each edition. In particular, the layout of the front page could be called a sports paper’s “face.” Former editor-in-chief Kajisako stated the following concerning what was involved. “Using the autumn Waseda vs. Keio baseball edition as an example, I made the “kakusei” (revival) part of the title what’s called a “letterpress caption” to catch readers’ eyes. At first I wrote it vertically, but as this was somewhat lacking impact, I switched it to horizontal, made the letters larger, and went all in by smacking the two characters down on either side of the pitcher. Then I hid a part of one of the characters behind the pitcher’s glove to give him a sense of motion, combining various small adjustments.”

These efforts are conveyed to the reader and the Waseda Sports Press has been praised by many people both in and outside the university, not to be outdone by Waseda’s athletic clubs. However, as circulation numbers fall throughout the newspaper industry, what sort of paper should the members of WSP be aiming for? We asked Takumi Sato, who recently accepted the baton of editor-in-chief, what were his ambitions. “The only thing we can do to keep the Waseda Sports Press alive is to keep putting out compelling material. That is part of why I would like to publish articles that convey a sense of becoming one with the athletes. Also, and this was true for the last editor-in-chief, I would like to aim to proactively pick up on various sports and print a Waseda Sports Press that is loved by many readers.”

When you hear about the activities of Waseda athletic clubs, remember the passion of the Waseda Sports Press journalists racing about being the scenes to get the information for that news.

The Waseda Sports Press has won top prize in the Tokyo Five University Newspaper Contest two years running.

The WSP is distributed for free on all Waseda campuses. Only the Waseda vs. Keio baseball edition is sold for ¥100.

With such high quality, the WSP could be mistaken for a regular sports newspaper. The paper is printed at the Nikkan Sports printing office.


Hirofumi Kajisako (left)
4th Year, School of Education

Originally from Saitama, Hirofumi Kajisako graduated from Kokugakuin University Tochigi High School. He was the previous editor-in-chief. Kajisako devoted himself to baseball in high school. Recently he has been completely engrossed in reading. One book that has made an impression on him is Asobi no Hinkaku.

Takumi Sato (right)
3rd Year, School of Culture, Media and Society

Originally from Shizuoka, Takumi Sato graduated from Hamamatsu Kita High School. From elementary school through high school, Sato was a soccer club member. At the Waseda Sports Press, he is responsible for the Association Football Club, Rugby Club, and Lacrosse Club, among others. Sato is also the current editor-in-chief.