The Japanese Language and Culture Festival 2020 was officially launched at the Atrium of Times Square Shopping Centre yesterday.
Guest of honour, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and spouse Datin Hajah Norhayana Janis binti Abdullah Lim officiated the ceremony.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was also officiated by Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam Eiji Yamamoto and spouse Yoshiko Yamamoto, as well as General Manager of Times Square Shopping Centre Amal Majidah binti Haji Suhaili.
The Ambassador of Japan said the event has been held over the past 10 years and this time features the Yamanaka Traditional Band from Japan.
He also highlighted that the introduction of culture is for mutual bonding where the cultures interact and the Japanese culture has developed this way for hundreds of years.
Enlivening the launch was a Japanese music showcase titled MUSASHI: Music From the East by the Yamanaka Traditional Band. It is made up of four musicians from Japan – Yamanaka Nobuto (Tsugaru-shamisen), Katano Satoshi (Shinobue), Taka and Tsukamoto Junya (Wadaiko), who are award-winning musicians specialising in traditional Japanese music, performing locally in Japan and internationally.
The guest of honour toured the booths participated by local businesses offering Japanese products and services, such as Otaku Corner, Komugi Japanese Bakery, MC Biotech Sdn Bhd and Standard Chartered Bank.
The festival continues today from 11am-9pm, with activities that include Japanese tea ceremony at 4pm-5pm at the lobby, Japanese cooking demonstration at 1pm and Study in Japan sharing session at 4pm.
The Yamanaka Traditional Band will also be showcasing again at 2.15pm and 8pm today.
The two-day festival is organised by the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam and Japan Foundation, and co-organised by Times Square Shopping Centre. The event is supported by the Japanese Association Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Association of Japan Alumni (BAJA), BERSATU (SSEAYP Alumni), BJFA-UBD Chapter, BJFA-UTB Chapter, JENESYS Alumni and Institute of Brunei Technical Education’s Continuing Education and Training.