University festivals are probably not the first place foreign residents in Japan would seek out entertainment, but as evidence of the existence — despite many reports to the contrary — of a certain joie de vivre among the nation’s young, they are hard to beat. And the hardest to beat is surely Waseda-sai, the annual festival of Tokyo’s Waseda University students, which will be held this weekend.
As always, the festival’s mind-boggling array of performances and stalls has been shoehorned into just two days, assuring an intensity of entertainment that few other universities can match. Around 460 student groups will put their best feet forward, in a frenzy of activity that will include everything from geta tap-dance and ska reggae performances to piano recitals and impersonations of Michael Jackson, Morning Musume and more. There’s even a “hero show” planned in which the university’s Monster Alliance will show off its latest human-sized creations.
And, just in case there are any youth out there who still don’t know how to have fun, one student group is even hosting a lecture by porn-actress-turned-manga-artist Nayuka Mine, who promises to coax even the shyest of social molluscs out of their shells.
Waseda-sai takes place on Nov. 2 and 3 throughout the university’s two campuses in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward — the Waseda campus and the Toyama campus. For more details, visit www.wasedasai.net.