A Look Back At 2017

2017 is coming to an end in a couple of days. Let’s take a look back on what Bunka has done this year.

Friends of Bunka Night (FOBN)
FOBN is a social event where we connect Bunka students to our Japanese friends. Usually, it takes place twice a year. This year, however, we held it three times instead. When you learn a language, it is important that you make friends with native speakers so that you have more opportunities to practise the language.

The first event was in collaboration with Solo Group LLC from Japan. Bunka students had dinner with a group of Japanese university students who were on a study trip to both Singapore and Malaysia. We arranged some time to eat and interact with them.

Solo 1

Solo 6

Solo 5

Solo 4

Solo 3

Solo 2

The second event was in collaboration with Single Point Pte Ltd, a Japanese company which places Japanese interns in Singapore-based companies. We held the event at Bari-Uma Ramen restaurant. It is located at Tanglin Shopping Centre, a mere 5-minute walk from Delfi Orchard. For your information, Bari-Uma gives Bunka students up to 30% discount a couple of times in a year. Check the noticeboard in your classroom for updates on their promotions.

Singlepoint 1

Singlepoint 5
Singlepoint 4

Singlepoint 3

Singlepoint 2

The third event was in collaboration with Intelligence, one the the biggest recruitment companies in Singapore. We were fortunate to have a team of seven recruitment consultants and two of their Japanese friends to join us for the event.

Intelligence 8

Intelligence 7

Intelligence 6

Intelligence 5

Intelligence 4

Intelligence 3

Intelligence 2

Intelligence 1

Career Seminar
Local Japanese speakers are in hot demand now! Also, they can typically earn between $500 to $1000 more depending on their language proficiency. Thus, Bunka collaborated with Intelligence and held two career seminars to let Bunka students know about the job market and hiring trends, dispel some myths about working in Japanese companies and learn how to write proper resumes (both Japanese and English).

CS1 - 1

CS1 - 2

CS1 - 3

CS1 - 4

CS1 - 5

CS1 - 6

CS2 - 1

CS2 - 2

CS2 - 3

CS2 - 4

CS2 - 5

Online Payment Method
Previously, only Elementary 1 students could pay via PayPal or credit card. Since April 2017, this initiative has been extended to all levels. Simply register and pay online so that you do not need to carry too much cash, or make an additional trip to pay over the counter.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Since January 2017, Bunka has been providing free Japanese lessons twice a week to Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped. This is part of Bunka’s CSR to give back to the society. We would like to thank Kato-sensei and Toguchi-sensei who are part of the team to support this effort.





Cultural Events: Behind The Scenes
Bunka is probably the only Japanese language school in Singapore which holds cultural events once every seven weeks. Our teachers worked very hard in ensuring the success of each cultural event. Take a look at how they have prepared for the event.





SkillsFuture Credit (SFC)
Since 2016, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above are given an opening credit of $500 from the Singapore government to learn new skills. All of Bunka’s courses are eligible for SFC.

These are two very important points to take note of:
1. SkillsFuture changed the claim process in May 2017. Funds can only be disbursed to Bunka instead of the individual.
2. Individuals who use SFC should ensure that they attain at least 75% attendance. If not, the credit may be recovered by SkillsFuture.

Do take note of these points if you are using your SkillsFuture credit to pay for classes.

Final Note
Bunka could not have done all these without the support of our students.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to our students, past and present, for choosing Bunka. Most importantly, we could not have done it without the hard work and effort put in by our teachers and staff. We would also like to thank all our vendors, partners and friends for their invaluable support.

We hope that more will continue to enjoy learning the Japanese language in 2018. Happy New Year!

The Bunka Team
29th December 2017



にほんは、 そろそろつゆのきせつに はいります。

きょうはかさについての おはなしです。


みなさんは かさを なんぼんもっていますか。

にほんじんは へいきんで 3.3ぼん もっているそうです。

そして、にほんでの しゅりゅうは ながいかさです。

おりたたみの かさでは ありません。

せかいてきには おりたたみのかさが しゅりゅうのようです。

ですから、シンガポールでは、にほんのように ながいかさを あまり みかけません。


かさのいろは せかいでも にほんでも、

あお、こんが にんきのいろで、34%くらいです。つぎは、くろで、33%くらいです。

にほんのかさのとくちょうは かいがいのくにと くらべて

ビニールがさが おおいことです。

にほんじんは、あめにぬれることが すきではないようです。かさをつかうタイミングが、はやいです。



たてもののなかで すこしまちます。

あめが あがったあとで また そとに でます。

つぎのあめが ふりはじめるまえに いそいで いどうします。

にほんと シンガポールでは、あめのふりかたが

ちがうので、かさのつかいかたも、にんきのかさのタイプも ちがうんですね。

わたしは、シンガポールに きてから おりたたみのかさを つかっていますが、ながいかさのほうが すきです。

みなさんは、どんなかさを つかっていますか。



きょねんの12がつに  ははと はこねへ  りょこうに  いきました。 
うえのから バスで  いきました。 
じゅうたいしていたから 3じかんぐらい かかりました。 
おひるごはんは わぎゅうの すきやきランチセットを  たべました。 
レストランから、ふじさんが  みえました。  
とてもきれいだったから しゃしんを とりました。  
それから、おんせんに  はいりました。 
 つかれが  よくとれて リラックスしました。 
はこねのめいぶつは  かまぼこです。
かまぼこは フィッシュボールに よく にています。 
かまぼこやさんで  チーズあじと めんたいこあじの かまぼこを  かいました。 
はこねは しずかで いいところです。 
みなさんも ぜひ はこねに きてくださいね。 

Interview with Ms Hasegawa

When we first met Hasegawa-sensei, we thought our hearts would die of an overdose of sweetness. Born in Tokyo, she majored in communication studies and speaks fluently in English. We cannot stop to admire this placid disposition of hers – Hasegawa-sensei, please teach us the ways of levelling up our joshiryoku (女子力 – girl power)!

Why did you choose to work at Bunka?

HS: Because Bunka is in Singapore. I have been wanting to work in Singapore because I wanted to use English to do something or for work. And I like to communicate with people from other countries. Also, Singapore has many races, so it is a good opportunity to work here.


What do you do on your day off?

HS: I mostly go to the library to do my work and plan my lessons.


What do you miss about Japan?

HS: My niece. My niece is turning 5 years old. She is still little. My mum sends me messages and videos of her and I miss her. (laughs) I don’t stay together with her but I often visit my sister to meet my niece.


Where is your current favourite hangout?

HS: I like Bishan. It’s near where I live. There are many shops and a big supermarket so it is a good place to go to forget about work. Just a short trip.


What are “Singlish” words you have learnt?

HS: I know “jom”. It’s Manglish. It means “let’s…” something. Jom makan (let’s eat).


But that’s not Singlish. (laughs)

HS: Lah, mah, okay lah.

What are your favourite and least favourite local foods?

HS: I like chicken rice. My least favourite… I don’t like durian.


Have you ever tried durian?

HS: Yeah, the first bite of fresh durian is good but it gets smelly. The smell isn’t good.


How about the texture?

HS: The texture is okay. It’s just like pudding.


Of all the countries you have visited, which is your favourite, and why?

HS: Every country was good but I especially like it in the northern part of America. I studied abroad in Oregon and the weather there was very cold. So even in summer, it’s still cool. I like cold weather.


What is/are your hobby(ies)?

HS: I like doodling, drawing pictures. Mostly things that look like Taiyou-kun (our school mascot) and other objects.

What will you recommend to people who are planning a visit to Tokyo?

HS: I recommend going to Asakusa. It’s near my house. There are very good souvenir shops. Asakusa is also Muslim-friendly. Muslims can eat ramen there. There’s halal ramen so everybody can enjoy it. It’s very good.


You must have experienced some culture shock when you first came to Singapore. Tell us about them!

HS: Not really. Singapore is just like Tokyo. But in the train, people tend to give their seats to old people or pregnant ladies in Singapore. So it’s very good. In Tokyo, people will focus on their phones or sleep; they do not really care about it. Some offer their seats but some elderly reject them. “I’m not so old” like that (laughs). So, people would firstly think, “is it okay to give up the seat or not?” and decide, “okay, I’ll sit”.

What message would you like to leave to students who are currently learning the Japanese language?

HS: People have various reasons to learn Japanese but I hope everybody enjoys themselves and that the lessons connect to their dreams.

Thank you, Hasegawa-sensei, for taking the time to sit down for an interview with us and this lovely drawing of the admin staff!

Interview with Ms Kato

The day before we sat down for an interview with Kato-sensei, we had a stroll in the vicinity of the school. Chancing upon an information board at the edge of a butterfly trail, there was a twinkle in Kato-sensei’s eyes as she asked, “where are the butterflies?” We both looked up and saw one with bright yellow wings fluttering by. “Quick! Take a picture!”

At the sound of her voice, we immediately chased after the butterfly with our camera lens. After we took a satisfactory shot, our heads tilted to the side in amused bewilderment. Weren’t we supposed to take photos of Kato-sensei instead? We turned, and there she was, patiently waiting with a beaming smile.

Why did you choose to work at Bunka?

KA: It’s not that I chose Bunka or Singapore. I was applying for a job abroad and Singapore was the first to reply. (laughs)


What do you do on your day off?

KA: I study at home and prepare for my lessons.


What do you miss about Japan?

KA: I’m currently doing my best to adapt to the working life here so I do not miss Japan. Adjusting adjusting…


Where is your current favourite hangout?

KA: I don’t have a favourite hangout but my favourite place is here at Bunka.


What about a cafe or the movies? A place to relax?

KA: I wanted to go to the movies but I have never gone there. But there is a place I want to go to relax: onsen! There’s one in Singapore, do you know where?


Could it be the one at Stadium?

KA: Sou sou sou sou! I saw it in a guidebook.


It’s expensive, though. (laughs)

KA: It’s probably $30 dollars? But I’d go there to relax. (laughs) It would be a problem if I went there every day. It’s okay if it’s just once.


We should think it’s alright to go once every month.

KA: Yes, on pay day!


What are “Singlish” words you have learnt so far?

KA: I don’t know any! Singlish? I don’t know Singlish. I only know Japanese.


What are your favourite and least favourite local foods?

KA: I am currently finding them. I try everything.

What is your hobby?

KA: I used to cook a lot in Japan but after coming to Singapore, I stopped doing that. A new hobby…


What about singing?

KA: Ah! We sang “Doraemon no Uta” in class today! It was a karaoke session. (softly exclaiming) takekoputaa! (laughs)


If I remember correctly, the lyrics goes like…

KA: (singing) Konna koto ii na… dekitara ii na… hai! Takekoputaa!


Of all the countries you have visited, which is your favourite?

KA: My favourite country? (points her index finger downwards)



KA: Yes.


Why is that so?

KA: Although difficult matters might arise at times, the people here are nice. And there’s no winter!


Ehhh! Wouldn’t it be nice to have winter in Singapore?

KA: You have to wear a lot of clothes during winter. You’d get tired because it’s heavy.


But winter fashion is pretty.

KA: It’s cute, isn’t it? Wearing a cap, a coat and a pair of mufflers. It’s cute, oh, I like boots! Boots are really cute.


She pushes her chair back and sticks her leg out to show an imaginary boot. We nod in agreement, feeling a little downcast because wearing boots in this tropical country would mean walking into hellfire. She settles back in her chair, her eyes glowing brightly. We cast away all thoughts of sadness.

Kato-sensei was born in Gifu Prefecture but she spent most of her time in Nagoya. Upon seeing our perturbed faces at the mention of “Gifu”, she explained that it shares borders with seven other prefectures such as Aichi.


What will you recommend to people who are planning a visit to Nagoya.

KA: Sightseeing? There’s nothing to see. Industrial. Nagoya is known for cars, so there’s nothing but cars there.


You must have experienced some culture shock when you first came to Singapore. Tell us about them!

KA: What is it? People giving up their seats to the elderly in the train. They don’t hesitate. They don’t go, “dōshiyo kana – what should I do?”. “Ojīsan and obāsan have come! Hai!” (stands up). It’s really fast.


Is it not like that in Japan?

KA: We would think first. It would take some time before we decide to offer up our seats. But Singaporeans are swift. The moment ojīsan and obāsan come in, (stands up) “hai dōzo!”

What message would you like to leave to students who are currently learning the Japanese language?

KA: (shows a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from her phone) “That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that ability to perform it has improved.” Never give up! Ganbatte kudasai! I’m here to help!


We wind up the interview and exchanged bows. “It was fun,” she chuckled as we rose from our seats. Yes, indeed.

Green Tea

のどがかわいたので、じどうはんばいきで りょくちゃをかいました。 
りょくちゃが あまくて とてもびっくりしました。 
にほんのりょくちゃは あまくありません。 
おいしかったのでまた のみたいとおもいます。 

Interview with Ms Nakamura

Today, we bring you an interview with Ms Nakamura (NM), one of the newer additions to the Bunka family.  She is sweet and kind, and we hope you like her as much as we do. If you want to know more about her, do check out this interview!

Q: Why did you choose to work at Bunka?

NM: (laughs) Why? I wanted a job in Singapore, so I chose Bunka.


Q: What do you do on your day off?

NM: Day off? Oh, I do cooking, and I watch movies. I like Harry Potter, fantasy.


Q: What do you miss about Japan?

NM: I miss the food. (laughs) Japanese food here is very expensive. Hmm… I don’t like that it is hot here. Now, in Japan, it is winter. Very cold.


Q: What are your favourite places in Singapore?

NM: Hmm… sou desu ne… Jurong East? I like to go shopping.


Q: Have you learned any Singlish words?

NM: Singlish? No. I am learning British English. When I finish, next, I will learn Singlish. It is very difficult. “Huh? Sorry, sorry.”

Q: What’s your favourite local food?

NM: I like kueh teow, and chicken rice.


Q: How about your least favourite?

NM: Least favourite? Hmm… durian. I don’t like durian.


Q: Have you tried it?

NM: Mm, yes. And the smell… (makes a face) Singapore food, I like everything. Only not durian.


Q: What are your hobbies?

NM: Hobby? (laughs) Hobby… I read manga, Naruto? I like Naruto. I am watching Rurouni Kenshin now.


Q: Where is your hometown?

NM: Yokohama.


Q: If anyone were to visit Yokohama, what would you recommend to them?

NM: Hmm… Yokohama, ne… Ah, we have Chinatown in Yokohama. And it is near the sea. Yes, the sea.


Q: Do you have any interesting incidents during your stay in Singapore?

NM: I only came to Singapore this month (January), so… nothing.


Q: What is different between Singapore and Japan?

NM: Ah, the Japanese shop’s staff are very… kind. Kind… (pauses) shinsetsu? But Singaporean staff, just (makes nodding motion) “Ah, ah, ah.” Ato ha… in Hawker centers, when you finish your food, sono mama… You… leave it there? But in Japan, you have to return it.


Q: What message do you have for students learning Japanese?

NM: Hmm… Japanese is difficult, but it is very interesting. If you learn Japanese, you can read manga and watch anime. Ganbatte kudasai.

Ms Nakamura is new to Singapore, so if you have any recommendations for her, please do leave a comment! Also, to all her students, please be kind to her!

もうすぐ ハロウィンですね。

みなさんは、 なにか  とくべつなよていが ありますか。

にほんでは、 ここなんねんかまえから、ハロウィンに コスプレをしたり、うちにかざりつけをしたり、かぼちゃをつかった おかしをたべたりして、たのしむひとが ふえてきました。

わたしも ハロウィンに コスプレをしたことがあります。

なんの キャラクターか わかりますか。




Ms. Nakashima: I visited Pompompurin Café!


 みなさん、 ポムポムプリンというにほんのキャラクターをしっていますか。 

きいろのかわいい いぬです。 
オーチャードに ポムポムプリンのカフェが あります。 
このまえ そこへいってみました。


ねだんは すこし たかかったけど、 りょうりやのみものが とても かわいかったですよ。