Author: bunka

Usui Sensei’s Daytrip to Bintan

Usui Sensei’s Daytrip to Bintan

皆(みな)さん こんにちは。 お元気(げんき)ですか。 皆(みな)さんは 旅行(りょこう)が 好きですか。 私(わたし)は 先月(せんげつ) 『ビンタン島(とう)』へ 行(い)きました。 1日(にち)しか 居(い)なかったけど とても リラックス出来(でき)ました。 ビンタン島(とう)で 初(はじ)めて ナシレマを 食(た)べました。とても 美味(おい)しかったです。 私(わたし)は 南(みなみ)の島(しま)が 大好(だいす)きです。海(うみ)の近(ちか)くで ゆっくりすることが 好(す)きです。 ビンタン島(とう)は ゴルフが 安(やす)いから 次(つぎ)は ゴルフに 行(い)きたいです。 皆(みな)さんの 好(す)きな場所(ばしょ)は どこですか。 教(おし)えてください。 臼井(うすい)

The Truth About Working at Japanese Companies (Part II)

The Truth About Working at Japanese Companies (Part II)

Is a career in Japanese companies for you? Are the stories you hear, true? Well, we interviewed a few friends on the inside to find out! If you haven’t already, check out the first part of this series here and join us as we explore […]

The Truth About Working at Japanese Companies (Part I)

The Truth About Working at Japanese Companies (Part I)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a Japanese company? Well, we interviewed a few friends for their inside stories! Read on for honest thoughts and important tips for people looking to step into the corporate world of the Japanese…

First, let’s get to know whom we’re talking to!

 

Interviewee 1: Tomomi

 

Full Name: Tomomi Yamamoto
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 30 years old
Company(s): Insurance companies in Japan, Capita Pte Ltd
(PERSOL Singapore)

Current Position: Recruitment Consultant (Full-time)
Length of time worked in Japanese companies: 4 years
Level of Japanese proficiency: Native


Interviewee 2: Kath

 

Full Name: Katheryn Chan
Nationality: Singaporean
Age: 36
Company(s): Panasonic Singapore, Toreta Asia Pte Ltd
Current Position: Accounts Executive (Full-time)
Length of time worked in Japanese companies: 1.5 years
Level of Japanese proficiency: Elementary

Interviewee 3: Nico

 

Full Name: Nicodemus Ng
Nationality: Singaporean
Age: 24
Company(s): Beyond Global Pte Ltd
Current Position: Human Resource Consultant (Intern)
Length of time worked in Japanese companies: 4 months
Level of Japanese proficiency: Advanced

Note: The interviews were conducted separately, but we’ve consolidated their thoughts so you can have an organised overview.

Some background…

Qn: Please tell us about how you came to be working where you are now.

Tomomi:
I’ve always wanted to work overseas since I graduated from university. When I was offered this job in Singapore, I accepted it because I wanted international exposure, and experience working alongside people of different nationalities, which I cannot have in Japan.

Kath:
It was entirely by chance that I ended up in Japanese companies. I didn’t even realise that Toreta was a Japanese company until I came for the interview!

Nico:
I met some Japanese people and even used to have a Japanese girlfriend. I got really interested in the way they talk and their culture, after that. When I saw a job posting by NUS (National University of Singapore) JSS (Japanese Studies Society), I applied even though I’m still studying in SIM (Singapore Institute of Management), as I had a summer break coming up. I chose to join a Japanese company because I hope to live and work in Japan!

Probing a little deeper…

Qn: So how do you find working in your current company?

Tomomi:
Working with colleagues of diverse cultures is a good opportunity to learn. Every single day, I see different attitudes, thought processes, and ways of life… It is a challenge to understand their perspectives, and I am still learning.

It is also eye-opening because they are so different from what I believed. For example, in Japan, colleagues are very open to helping each other. We are flexible about ad hoc work. Whatever comes along, we’ll do our best. This gives employees more exposure since we handle various duties. However, in Singapore, it’s not like that. People are stricter about their job scopes and seem to prefer to mind their own business. The boss is more approachable, though!

I had never been to Singapore before this and was a little surprised by how fast they work here. It feels like they are rushing all the time. I don’t know how they control their timelines and quality. They must be very good! I get worried about keeping up with the pace, I think we Japanese are too careful at times.

Kath:
Before I started working in Japanese companies, I heard many negative rumours, but I have yet to experience any negativity.

My current company, Toreta, is modern and cosmopolitan, where the bosses are open to suggestions and willing to think out of the box.

My Japanese colleagues are also friendly and open, not much different from Singaporeans. They may be shy and quiet at first when they’ve just joined the company, but they eventually adapt to local culture and become lively and easy to talk to. The language barrier is the only issue, which makes it a bit of a guessing game sometimes when they try to express themselves.

When my bosses found out that I was learning Japanese, they were very encouraging. My CEO said that I could text him anytime to practice my Japanese! Nowadays, he even helps to check my homework. 😊

Nico:
I find it a very enjoyable experience, especially when speaking Japanese at my company. I really feel that when you speak another language, you are having conversations from another perspective. As my colleagues are also curious about the English language, it’s like a learning exchange at the workplace, in both language and other areas.

And the ‘Nomikais’ (drinking sessions with colleagues) are fun! That’s the only time when you can be so informal that you can even scold your boss… you can call him ‘stupid’ to his face if you want to! It’s really casual, and you don’t have to drink, you can just go have fun. I have heard of cases where bosses pressure their employees to drink, but I never got that. I think it really depends on the boss and you as an individual.

 

Join us as we dig even deeper into the Japanese working world in Part II of The Truth About Working at Japanese Companies!

Japanese Food in Singapore

Japanese Food in Singapore

What do the Japanese say? Japanese cuisine has flourished in Singapore for decades, and the variety available is downright impressive for a country that’s less than two-tenths the size of Japan. We probably have more Japanese restaurants per capita than any other country outside of […]

Bunka Giveaway!

Bunka Giveaway!

Win tickets to the special preview screening of Sakura Guardian in the North 北の桜守 on Tuesday 8 May 2018, 7pm by following these steps! Like our Facebook page: Bunka Language School Share what you like most about studying Japanese language at Bunka Language School on […]

Career Seminar with Bunka and RGF Friends

Career Seminar with Bunka and RGF Friends

28th March, 2018, was no ordinary Wednesday evening. We eagerly made my way to Bunka Language School to join a dozen other young, working adults for an exclusive ‘class’…




 

Insight into Japanese Workplace Culture – Is it right for you?

Our highly-anticipated ‘teachers’, Keita Fujisaki and Sara Hikaru McIntyre, were professional consultants from Recruit Global Family (RGF), the international brand of Japan’s largest recruitment services company!

We settled down in a classroom set up round-table style, with notebooks and refreshments thoughtfully placed at each seat. The turn-out was interestingly diverse; there were ladies and gentlemen hailing from industries as dissimilar as logistics, law, investment, science, and creative trades.

But everybody was clearly here for the same reason – we were keen to develop our career along with our knowledge of the Japanese language and culture.

Time passed swiftly during the thirty-minute presentation. We listened intently as Keika and Sara introduced the business operation phases of Japanese companies and explained the increasing demand for Japanese speakers in the job market.

RGF illustrates how the majority of Japanese companies are moving into the localisation phase.

 

The experienced consultants then delved more deeply into a company’s hiring process. We learned about recruitment purposes and ideals such as a receptive attitude and the unique value which non-Japanese can bring to a Japanese company i.e. bridging different cultures through communication skills.

In a thought-provoking twist, they also offered sound advice for job searches and decision-making, prompting us to consider our own motives. Were we seeking a career, a vocation, or merely a job to put money in our pockets?

Relevant advice for job-seekers were provided.

As soon as their presentation was concluded, the audience enthusiastically began bombarding the consultants with questions. Keita and Sara were as knowledgeable as they were patient, expertly fielding questions for nearly an hour!

The friendly pair enlightened us on unspoken rules (e.g. reading between the lines), shared personal experiences (e.g. the benefits of job security), and discussed common perceptions of the Japanese corporate environment (e.g. glass ceilings) with frankness. What a rare chance for all of us to speak our minds and clear our doubts!


As with all good things, the seminar had to be brought to an end. Namecards were exchanged, and promises to keep in touch were made.

The insights we had gleaned into Japanese workplaces were invaluable. But my favourite takeaway was that times were changing, and opportunities growing. The future is bright for Japanese culture and language learners indeed!

Q&A Interview with Ms Usui!

Q&A Interview with Ms Usui!

Hey guys! It’s been quite awhile since we did a Q&A interview with our teachers. For those of you who have yet to meet our newest teacher, read on to find out more about her! P.S You guys might want to put on some shades […]

Japanese Fashion in Singapore

Japanese Fashion in Singapore

Japan is a fashion leader in its own right, setting global standards and trends for centuries. Let’s take a quick tour of Japanese ladies’ outfits over the years, and see how they’ve inspired beautiful designs in Singapore as well!       From premium haute […]

Magical Blue Flower

Magical Blue Flower

タイトル : 不思議(ふしぎ)な青(あお)い花(はな)

最(さい)近(きん)、家(うち)で 青(あお)い水(みず)を 飲(の)んでいます。 味(あじ)は無(な)いから、全(ぜん)然(ぜん)甘(あま)くありません。
この青(あお)い色(いろ)はバタフライピーという花(はな)の色(いろ)です。
この花(はな)を水(みず)の中(なか)に入れます。すると、水(みず)がだんだん青(あお)くなっていきます。
みなさんはバタフライピーを使(つか)った飲(の)み物(もの)や食(た)べ物(もの)を、飲(の)んだり食(た)べたりしたことがありますか。

マレーシアのクランタンで有名(ゆうめい)なナシケラブの青(あお)いご飯(はん)も、バタフライピーを使(つか)っていますね。
私(わたし)はマレー料(りょう)理(り)の中(なか)で、ナシケラブが一番好きなんです。

今(いま)、日本(にほん)では、女性(じょせい)の間(あいだ)でバタフライピーの飲(の)み物(もの)が流(は)行(や)っています。
インターネットによると、バタフライピーは、パソコンや携帯(けいたい)電話(でんわ)などで疲(つか)れた目(め)に、とても良(い)いそうです。

この青(あお)い水(みず)に、レモンの汁(しる)を入れてみました。すると、色(いろ)がきれいな紫(むらさき)色(いろ)になりました。
健康(けんこう)に良(い)い紫(むらさき)色(いろ)のレモンウォーター、みなさんも飲(の)んでみませんか。

長(は)谷(せ)川(がわ)

Hasegawa-4

Hasegawa-2

Hasegawa-3

Nakamura Sensei’s New Year Celebration

Nakamura Sensei’s New Year Celebration

みなさん、こんにちは。 おしょうがつはどうすごしましたか。 わたしはにほんにかえってゆっくりかぞくとすごしました。 12がつ31にちはにほんのゆうめいなうたばんぐみのこうはくうたがっせんをみてとしこしそばをたべました。 みなさんはいちがつついたちのあさににほんでなにをたべるかしっていますか。 にほんじんはおせちというとくべつなりょうりをたべます。 ひとつひとつのりょうりにはいみがあって、いちねんのはじまりをおいわいします。 わたしはとくにだてまきがだいすきです。あまくてふわふわでデザートのようなりょうりです。 ことしはあにがたかいだてまきをかってくれました。 とてもしあわせなおしょうがつをすごせました。 みなさんもおしょうがつににほんへきたときはぜひだてまきをたべてみてください。