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Handai Boat joined Tenjin Festival


This year marked the fifth time for Osaka University to participate in the annual Tenjin Festival in Osaka City. On Saturday, July 25, representing itself as a boat setting forth into rough waters in the "River City," the Handai Boat set forth smoothly, sporting the slogan "Osaka University--Enjoy Smooth Sailing."

Although the day had begun with rain and the cloudy sky seemed to promise more of the same, by the time the Handai Boat left port and glided out peacefully over the waters into a pleasantly cool breeze, the prayers of the passengers and staff had been answered--the rain had stopped falling.


A total of 172 people were on board--former presidents of Osaka University, KUMAGAI Nobuaki and MIYAHARA Hideo, alumni, current faculty and staff, members of the Parent Supporters' Union, and a number of international students. The members of the alumni associations of the former Naniwa Senior High School and former Osaka Senior High School were also on board.

Before setting sail, the representatives of 4 universities--Osaka University, Kansai University, Kyoto Sangyo University, and Otemon Gakuin University--exchanged cheers. Now an annual custom, this year the exchange was carried out on the boat of Kyoto Sangyo University under the direction of HARADA Noburo, an alumni of the university. Trustees and deans of the universities enjoyed a pleasant time, greeted one another, and exchanged happi coats and cheers.


HAYASHIYA Someza, comic storyteller and graduate of the School of Letters, Osaka University, and SHIMIZU Fumiko, Tenjin Festival guide and graduate of Osaka University of Foreign Studies, emceed the event. They retold the history of the Tenjin Festival, of boats going up and down the river in an easy manner, entertaining and enlightening the passengers with their light sense of humor.

Wakamaru, a communication robot developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in a joint research project with Osaka University, was on board, welcoming passengers, wearing a traditional costume "Suikan" of Ushiwakamaru, a general from a 12th century clan. The costume was the creation of students of the School of Foreign Studies in cooperation with FUKURO Kazue, Heian Costume Experience Studio, Kyoto. Wakamaru waved his hands to boats going up and down the river and participated in Osaka hand-clapping with passengers, becoming a center of attention.


The contribution of cheers by Osaka University cheerleading groups and jazz played by a swing club, both annual performances on the boat, received a lot of applause from passengers.

It was a three-hour cruise on the Handai Boat in which the bond of solidarity of the Osaka University family was further reinforced.



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