The KG Time Tunnel

Why don't you travel back to Old Kwansei through the time tunnel?

Yuko Ikeda, Kwansei Gakuin Archives,
Special thanks to Camilla Blakeley for editorial assistance.

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15th -- On this day in 1919, a concert by the Czechoslovak army orchestra and chorus was held at Kwansei Gakuin.

After fighting in one place after another in Siberia, the Czechoslovak army left Vladivostok by ship to return to their homeland. The third returnee ship, the S.S. Heffron, ran aground near Shimonoseki. The crew came to Kobe to make repairs and the soldier-passengers stayed for two months. Yoshitaka Shioji, a Commercial College student who spoke fluent English and belonged to the Glee Club, was asked by a prefectural officer to visit the barracks where the soldiers were quartered. Through Shioji, the Glee Club members became good friends with the soldiers (photo) and were given several musical scores as a token of friendship. Among them was “U Boj,” which soon became the most important song for the club; even today every recital ends with a rendition of it. However, it was not a Czech song and great efforts were made to discover its origin. On November 25th, 1975, the Glee Club finally learned that “U Boj” was a Croatian song.