Three Festivals a Year every Year: Celebrating Ritsumeikan University

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Biwako-Kusatsu Campus - Party Stage night

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Biwako-Kusatsu Campus - traditional Japanese performance

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Biwako-Kusatsu Campus - Three members of the Double Dutch jump rope club perform acrobats

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Biwako-Kusatsu Campus - the main walk way filled with an expectant crowd

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Cmapus - dance performance by group wearing red

  • A duo perform an acoustic performance on Kinugasa Campus

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Biwako-Kusatsu Campus - a large-scale model railway installation filling a large room

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Kinugasa Campus - yakisoba - fried noodles being made at a stall

  • Ritsumeikan University College Festival on Osaka Ibaraki Campus - Hawaiian Dancers on stage performing

January 18, 2019

Many universities around the world hold college festivals – some as part of a long tradition, some as a relatively new introduction to their yearly schedule. What is perhaps not so well known in the wider world, however, is that universities in Japan also have a long history of such festivals, with some even dating back as a tradition more than 100 years.

Established in Kyoto, the home of the world famous Gion Matsuri, an annual festival with well over a thousand years of history, Ritsumeikan University, is, of course, no exception.

Each of its three main campuses, Kinugasa (Kyoto), OIC (Osaka), and BKC (Biwako-Kusatsu, Shiga), hold their own unique festivals without fail every fall. Organized and led by the student community, for just one day, the campuses are abuzz with students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public indulging in live music, performances of all kinds, and stalls offering handmade goods or delicious homemade snacks and much, much more.

Since ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, check out some of the visual highlights of 2018’s festivals above and below:

An evening firework display rounds off the festival day in vivid style at Biwako-Kusatsu Campus
An evening firework display rounds off the festival day in vivid style at BKC
Members of the ‘Rangers’ rubber-ball baseball team with handwritten signs advertise Frankfurt sausages for 250 yen and a discount for customers who beat them at rock, paper scissors.
Food is sometimes a competitive affair at festivals, with representatives of various clubs managing stalls and vying for customers wearing their club colors. Members of the ‘Rangers’ rubber-ball baseball team with handwritten signs advertise Frankfurt sausages for 250 yen and a discount for customers who beat them at rock, paper scissors.
Performance including traditional Japanese ‘Taiko’ drums
There are a broad range of performances – some are traditional, such as this performance with traditional Japanese ‘Taiko’ drums…
large-scale calligraphy performance at Osaka Ibaraki Campus
And some are modern, creative interpretations of old arts, such as this live, large-scale calligraphy performance at OIC…
The crowd watches on at Ritsumeikan OIC
…Watched well into the evening by captivated crowds
The Ritsumeikan cheerleading club, the ‘PeeWeeS!’, top off the evening at Biwako-Kusatsu Campus
The Ritsumeikan cheerleading club, the ‘PeeWeeS!’, at the end of an evening performance at BKC

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