By Marina Kondo

As the leaves begin to turn soft shades of red, orange, and yellow, they welcome a new season of joy and festivities for all, but for first year girls at the University of Tokyo, this season brings a slight feeling of panic. The “Todai Jinx”, as it is commonly known, states that if a first year girl at the University of Tokyo does not have a boyfriend by the time the leaves on the ginkgo trees at the Komaba campus fall off, she will not be able to have a boyfriend for all four years at the university… Ridiculous, no? Yet as a first year girl at the University of Tokyo, watching the leaves slowly change color day by day kept bringing this jinx back to mind.

Photo by Marina Kondo.

Photo by Marina Kondo.

Where did this even come from? The University of Tokyo is known for having a majority of male students due to the fact that it used to be an all-boys school. For females, this means that with the 8:2 gender ratio, this situation is ideal for finding a boyfriend… or so would one think. But in reality, it seems as

if relationship seeking male students at the University of Tokyo pursue girls from different universities, leaving female students at the University of Tokyo also having to seek outside of their own school. Unfortunately, it isn’t common in Japanese society for men to be very fond of smarter women. This means that for female students at the most prestigious university, male students from other schools are not quite an option. In addition, for April entry students, opportunities to meet new people are concentrated in the spring and summer, and therefore, autumn brings a closure to opportunities to meet a potential partner. So in conclusion, female students at the University of Tokyo aren’t so lucky when it comes to romantic relationships.

So then this thought brought me back to the jinx, that completely and utterly ridiculous jinx. Why should we ruin such beautiful scenery with such nonsense? So ladies, leaves or no leaves, boyfriend or no boyfriend, let us enjoy the season of beauty with no worries.


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