The Japanese university club, or what is called サークル (circle), is very much unlike the club activities students have in junior and senior high schools. In the pre-tertiary institutions, club activities are what they actually are. If you’re in tennis club, you practise and compete in tennis, if you’re in basketball club, you practise and compete in basketball, if you’re in kendo, you practise and compete in kendo. Nothing else.
University “circles” are very different. These circles are very much like social gatherings, where people of the same interests gather together to do all sorts of things apart from what the club is named after. If you’re in the dance circle, you practise dancing and also do all sorts of other things with the members, like going for drinking sessions, etc. And it appears, dancing does not have to take up the biggest part of your activities.
Many of my former students are current 1st year university students. When I spoke with a few of them about the circles, I realised that they do not necessarily join a circle because of what the circles are named after. This means, a person in the soccer circle, is not necessarily good at or interested in the sport. Likewise, a person who is in the hiking circle, can very possibly dislike hiking. At the beginning of the school year, each circle organises their own drinking parties to welcome new students. These freshmen then decide to join the ones that they felt they had most fun at the parties. This also means, a freshman can be a member of multiple circles.
Recently, a large number of university students from Meiji University’s クライス (Kreis) tennis club were found knocked out and completely incapacitated on the streets of Shinjuku. Some of these girls even soiled themselves by shitting in their pants (this solves the Roppongi mystery I experienced some time last year). It is odd enough to have such a large number of people collapsing all over the street, but the more curious issue is that these students are all female students, which led many to wonder if the male members of the circle spiked the girls’ drinks and took advantage of them.
Look at the clothes of the guy 4th from the right in the Kreis tennis club picture below
Now look at the clothes of the man to the right of the lion statue
Meiji University has since confirmed that the collapsed students are from Kreis and will take stern actions to make sure such incidents do not happen again. But I feel that this is not the main issue. Whether or not they collapse in public is one thing. What these students are doing behind public eyes on the pretense of being a healthy activities club is the bigger problem.
A rape club (or what the Japanese call ヤリサー) is not new, as the infamous Super Free of Waseda University would be a familiar story by now. The twitter page of a Meiji University student shows him creating multiple spirytus capsules. These capsules contain 95 to 96% alcoholic content. Since spirytus is almost completely alcohol, it makes it difficult to have someone drink it, so it is believed that many make it into capsules to make someone consume a high amount of alcohol at one shot. It was also used by Super Free some 10 years ago to rape women.
Perhaps the law should ban alcohol amongst university students. After all, there is no good in consumption of it whether as an adult or not anyway. Or maybe the age of adults should be raised to 30.
Because I’m passed 30.