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

Do you know…

Did you know

Some of you have been Bunka students for a couple of years, while some of you might be with Bunka for just a short while. No matter how long you have been a student with Bunka, the fact is that many of us do not read the terms and conditions. Sometimes, we do read but our mind actually filters out things we think are not important. Most of the time, we simply scroll all the way down to the bottom and click “I agree”. The question is: what are you agreeing with?

That is probably the reason why we get different questions and requests from students, even though some of those have been addressed in the T&C when students signed up for the course. And yes, every time when you register for the next course.

Today, I will reframe the T&C in a different way – in a light-hearted way – and hopefully, the message will be put across more effectively!

Do you know:

  1. General
    a. No refund is allowed.
    b. No transfer of classes is allowed.
  1. Registration
    a. You have to register online.
    b. You can register for the next level from the 6th lesson onwards.
  1. Payment
    a. You have to make payment at least one week before the course start date.
  1. Replacement Lessons
    a. You will get three free replacement lessons.
    b. You can book the replacement lessons online. 

    3c. The promo code for the free replacement lesson is “Bunka” (the example is shown above)


  1. Cultural Events
    a. You can join the cultural events organised once every seven weeks.
    b. Tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
  1. DVD and Book Library
    a. You can borrow DVDs and books from our library.


  1.  Social Media
    a. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
  1. Noticeboard
    a. You can get new information on the noticeboard in the classrooms.

Alright! That is all. Thank you for your attention.



Joe Tan
The Bunka Team
13 January 2016

The “Secret” Manga Series

Manga Books

Do you like Manga? If you do, you can check out our library. These Manga books were donated by Gakken Holdings, a well-known publishing company in Japan. We sincerely thank them for donating the books.

These series reveal the “secrets” behind various topics:

For foodies, you might be interested to find out the secrets behind miso, gyudon (beef bowls) and cafeteria food.

For techies, you might be interested in the secrets behind satellite broadcasting, communications, solar cells and man-made satellites.

For pet lovers, you might be interested in the secret behind pet food.

And for fashion lovers, you might be interested in the secrets behind fashion.

These books are suitable for Intermediate level students and above. However, you still can borrow them even if you are an Elementary student. It will give you the motivation to work harder!

You can refer to our catalogue by clicking the following image:

The secret behind travelling

The catalogue will also be available on our blog. Check it out and we hope that this will add value to your learning.

Lastly, a big thank you to Caitlyn, one of our team member, for compiling the catalogue.

Joe Tan
The Bunka Team
7th Jan 2016

SkillsFuture Credit

Taiyou skills future AND BUNKA

Great news for all Singaporeans aged 25 and above! The SkillsFuture Credit, a $500 credit given to individuals to support them in taking control of their lifelong learning journey, will start in January 2016.

You will receive a letter soon informing you how to activate your account. Do be patient as there are 2.5 million Singaporeans but only one Singpost.

A few key points that you need to know about this SkillsFuture Credit:

SkillsFuture 3
Bunka has five courses claimable under the SkillsFuture Credit:

  1. Elementary 1
  2. Elementary 2
  3. Elementary 3
  4. Business Japanese
  5. Basic Business Japanese

If you are an Intermediate level or Pre-advanced student, we are trying to get the courses approved, but this is subjected to WDA / SkillsFuture’s approval. I will update again on this blog.

Three simple steps to follow if you want to utilise your credit:

SkillsFuture 2
There are two options in submitting your claim:
      a. 30 days before the course start date if you want to credit to Bunka OR
      b. 90 days after the course start date if you want to credit to your bank account.

If you are thinking of learning the Japanese language, do consider using the SkillsFuture Credit as a stepping stone. Mastering a language, like all other skills, takes time, discipline and hard work.

Bunka will provide you with a system to shorten your learning curve, a conducive environment to practise the language and most importantly, connect you with like-minded friends so that your learning journey will be fun and interesting.

Do not hesitate to contact our Admin team if you have any questions about the SkillsFuture Credit.

Joe Tan
The Bunka Team
29th December 2015


10 Reasons Why You Should Study Japanese

2015 is wrapping up in a few days’ time. We hope that you have enjoyed your lessons in Bunka so far. Language learning is a lifelong journey and interest plays a very important part in sustaining one’s motivation. There is a saying that if you understand your “whys”, the “hows” and “whats” will somehow fill the gap. Here is a list of 10 reasons why you should study Japanese :

1. Enter the world of JapXcitement
Knowing the language will help you access Japanese popular culture and traditions in their original form. Anime, Bunka, Cha-do, Drama, Zen… the list is non-exhaustive. You will be able to immerse yourself in the beauty and colour of all things Japanese.

2. Bilingual or Tri-lingual = an EDGE over others
Learning languages boosts your employability and is beneficial salary-wise. In the highly competitive job market, your additional skill of knowing Japanese sets you apart from other applicants.

3. Break the “hard to reach” Japanese market
Learning the Japanese language will allow you to delve deeper into understanding socio-cultural trends and business etiquette. This will help you greatly in your business dealings with the Japanese.

4. Experience Japan like a local
If you know the language and explore Japan own your own, your travel experience will be much more enjoyable and satisfying as you can communicate with the locals.

5. More than a Facebook friend
You study and interact with like-minded people in your class. Your social circle gets wider.

6. I’m not a frog in a well
Knowing other languages and cultures gives you the unique opportunity to broaden your mindset and perspective on life.

7. Go beyond language ability
Knowing one more language enhances your cognitive development in terms of mental flexibility, creativity and higher-order thinking skills to help you cope better in a fast-changing world.

8. It may benefit my parents / grandparents too
Learning Japanese language pushes your mental capacities to the limit. The constant brain stimulation helps to keep away degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. You may want to encourage your parents / grandparents to learn Japanese too.

9. It’s not as hard as you think
The Japanese language has adopted Chinese ideographs in its kanji writing system. People who already know Chinese will find that learning Japanese can be much faster and simpler than they think.

10. Yatta! I did it!
Your hard work and discipline will pay off when you are able to understand and use Japanese as a communication tool. Give yourself a pat on the back and shout “やったぁ~!”.

Joe Tan
The Bunka Team
26th Dec 2015

七月から ずっと、左の肩(shoulder)から 手の指(fingers)までが


先月の 文化祭りの ころ、本当に 痛かったので、

大家さんに TCMを 紹介してもらいました、

お医者さんに 鍼(acupuncture)を やってもらいました。

いくら かかるか 心肺していたけど、

一回 7ドルだと言われて、安くて びっくりしました。

一回では あまり 良くならなかったけど、

三回通ったら、 かなり 楽に なりました。

TCMは すごいと 思いました。




みなさんは ばさしを しっていますか。

ばにく(うまのにくのおさしみで、 なまで たべられます。

わたしのふるさとの くまもとは ばさしが ゆうめいです。

ばにくが たべられるおみせも あるし、 スーパーでも かえます。

おみせには ばにくのおすしや ステーキや コロッケなど

いろいろなりょうりが あって、 おいしいですよ。

ばにくは えいようがあって カロリーがひくいので、

くまもとへいったら ぜひたべてみて ください。




Nakashima-3 Nakashima-2


しょうらい やくにたつ あたらしい しゅみをもちたいと おもっていたとき、しりあいが きものの せんせいを しょうかいして くれました。にほんじんでも、きものの きかたは ならわなければ わかりません。

まずは、きものより かんたんな ゆかたの きかたを ならうことに しました。いっかいめの レッスンでは、きかたをなんかいも れんしゅうしました。とても むずかしかったです。せんせいに「ならう より なれてください。なんかいも きて、おぼえてください」と いわれました。つぎに にほんへ かえったとき、やすい ゆかたを かってれんしゅうしよう とおもいました。けっきょく このひは、おびのむすびかたは ならえなかったけど、さいごに せんせいに きものの おびを むすんで もらって、とても うれしかったです。

ところが、ざんねんなことに きもののせんせいが しごとで にほんへ かえってしまって、いっかいしか レッスンを うけることが できませんでした。わたしは まだ ゆかたを かっていないので れんしゅうができず、きかたを もうわすれてしまいました。
ほかの きものの せんせいを さがすか、ほかの しゅみを みつけようと おもっています。



英語を 読んでいる時、時々 ‘during’が ‘durian(ドリアン)’に 見えたり、

‘upon request’が ‘udon(うどん) request’に 見えます。

そして、MRTが Botanic Garden駅に 近づいた時の車内 アナウンスは

「ぶたにく(pork)ガーデン」に 聞こえます。


私はいつも おなかが 空いているのでしょうか。


こばやし つとむ=