Q&A with Mr Takatsuka


Our weekly interviews are coming to an end! This week’s interview is with Mr Takatsuka 🙂 Check out our Q&A with him!


Why did you choose to work at Bunka?

In 2004, I went to UK to introduce the Japanese culture to some students for about a year. It was a great experience. I wanted to try teaching after that, but it was difficult to find a job in UK due to VISA issues, so I returned to Japan.

Back in Japan, I settled for another job as I needed to make a living. On my off days, I went to school to learn how to be a language teacher for about a year. Just before I graduated, I started looking for a job as a Japanese language teacher. There was a website called Nihonmura, and I happened to find out about Bunka, which was how I ended up here.

Singapore is a mostly English-speaking country, so I thought it will be quite similar to UK. I think Tanjong Pagar has the UK-vibe.

What do you do on your day off?

I will usually go to hawker centres or coffee shops because I like local food. I like to cook too (mostly Japanese cuisine, sometimes Kang Kong), and sometimes I watch football. I like to read books too.

What do you miss about Japan?

I don’t really miss Japan… Maybe public bath-houses…

Where is your current favourite hangout?

Sheng Shiong – I like to buy groceries because I like to cook ^^

What are “Singlish” words you have learnt?

Lah, leh, lor, double-confirm, eat here or packet? Spoil?

What are your favourite and least favourite local foods?

That’s a difficult question.

I love Chinese, Malay, and Indian food. But if I have to name favourites, maybe economy rice and Nasi Padang – I eat them more than once a week. Indian curry too – I like spicy food.

I don’t really like Rojak and Laksa. Rojak is too sweet, although I’m okay with Indian Rojak. Laksa has too much coconut… But I like Penang Laksa – it’s sour and not so oily.

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

Of course it’s UK. I like British music, like Beatles. I like most of South East Asian countries too, especially Laos for its beautiful sunset.

What is/are your hobby(ies)?

Cooking, watching football, and walking around to find eating places.

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

Huis Ten Bosch – it’s like a little Holland – has a lot of beautiful flowers. It’s a very famous place – well-known among Japanese.

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

When Singaporean ladies sit down, they shake their legs (びんぼゆすり); Japanese ladies are usually more demure. Even now I get surprised when I see it.

And another one – this is a good thing. Some time ago, I went to a coffee shop at Bukit Batok. An hour after I left, I realised that I had left my camera there! I returned to the coffee shop and asked the owner whether she saw my camera, and to my surprise she was safe-keeping it for me. It was very nice of her.

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

Don’t give up! There are always possibilities. My teaching style is to make students think – I don’t like to repeat and spoon-feed because it will not benefit them. It’s okay to make mistakes, so please speak up. If you don’t try, you cannot improve.

Mr Takatsuka: Jia you!