Circles – part 1
The other essential thing for new students to do was to join a “circle” or two. Circles were groups in which students engaged in sports/cultural/social events and activities. Waseda had numerous circles, some of which became well-known for producing professionals and celebrities, such as theatre, traditional Japanese comedy, stage magic, film-making, jazz, rock music, debate, and glee clubs. Since the first day, there were tables placed all over the campus recruiting new students to their circles.
Tennis circle was the most common, and there were hundreds of different tennis circles. They provided healthy socializing opportunities for outgoing people with non-specific hobbies. Many top universities like Waseda had low female students ratio, so they welcomed women from other schools. My cousins, who attended two-year college for women, joined Waseda tennis circles and met their husbands.
There were other sports circles, including a famous adventure circle, a few members that went missing in Amazon some years later. Serious athletes joined official sports teams. Baseball, regatta, and rugby had the university league that increased our school spirit. Swimming, track and field, and wrestling teams made us proud by sending their athletes to the Olympics. We watched the long-distant running team on the new year’s day (all-male) university Ekiden every year.
I, of course, had no business with the sports teams/circles. I wanted to join a film circle.