MUSASHI: Music From The East – A One Night Only Performance In Kuala Lumpur

Curious about the sounds of traditional Japanese music? Four master musicians will be in town on February 11 for MUSASHI: Music From The East – a one-night only performance at Rex KL. Here exclusively on invitation by The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, the four are Nobuto Yamanaka on the tsugaru-shamisen (a three-stringed instrument with a distinctive lilt, inspired by the Chinese sanxian), Satoshi Katano on … Continue reading MUSASHI: Music From The East – A One Night Only Performance In Kuala Lumpur

Visiting: The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) Library @ Northpoint, Mid Valley

KL has its fair share of libraries, but did you know that there’s one dedicated exclusively to promoting Japanese language, arts and culture? And it’s been around since the 1990s! The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur Library is located on the 18th floor of Northpoint in Kuala Lumpur, and was established by the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) – a semi-government entity under the Foreign Ministry … Continue reading Visiting: The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) Library @ Northpoint, Mid Valley

Travelogue Japan: Making A Sarubobo Doll – Souvenirs from Takayama

Ask any Japanese person about a souvenir to get from Takayama in Gifu prefecture, and top on the list would be sarubobo dolls. Literally translated to ‘baby monkey’ (saru is Japanese for monkey, while bobo is a local  dialect for baby), these featureless, human-shaped dolls usually come in red, with a tiny black hat and vest. While I couldn’t find any explanation on its origins, the … Continue reading Travelogue Japan: Making A Sarubobo Doll – Souvenirs from Takayama

Travelogue Japan: Takayama Jinya, Last Surviving Government Building From The Edo Era

The Hida region around Takayama was once prized for its valuable timber resources, so it was only natural for the powerful Tokugawa Shogunate to dispatch officials to oversee things at the place. To cater to this, a local government office was built, which is the Takayama Jinya we see today. As the only building of its kind to be preserved from the Edo era, the … Continue reading Travelogue Japan: Takayama Jinya, Last Surviving Government Building From The Edo Era

Travelogue Japan: Of High-Tech Toilets, Yukatas and Meeting A Real-Life Ninja

When I was in grade school, I remember seeing a beautiful picture of a perfect cone-shaped mountain, capped with snow and surrounded by pink cherry blossoms, in a book. It was the opening page for a chapter on Japan, and I was fascinated by how beautiful the photos looked. There were pictures of pale-faced women in elaborate kimonos, men with samurai swords at their waist, … Continue reading Travelogue Japan: Of High-Tech Toilets, Yukatas and Meeting A Real-Life Ninja