By Amy Ng (13A01E)
(‘Did you know?’)
Next week, the Raffles Japanese Cultural Club, a Student Interest Group, will be bringing to you a series of fun activities from 30th July to 3rd August. This is said with (perhaps mistaken) confidence as the Japanese Club has certainly had loads of fun preparing for it. Fund-raising motives aside, all we wanted was an excuse to have a bit of good old-fashioned fun. During this week’s club session in preparation for Japanese week, club members had an amazingly comical time learning to wear yukatas. A yukata is a Japanese garment, a casual summer kimono usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and unlined. Although beautiful to look at, it was quite a hassle to wear, especially since club members had to learn how to tie an obi (the cloth for the waist of the yukata). However, due to an unfortunate lack of yukatas and an unhindered fetish for cross-dressing, a member, Dominic Teo, ended up wearing a girl’s yukata. Despite his constant demands (“I want that thing!” — the ribbon), however, the club unanimously decided that he should not get one.
In a further twist of events, club members also had a face off on traditional games, both hanafuda (Japanese playing cards) and Japanese chess, complete with sinister catchphrases from random anime which is not part of the game. This involves killer moves, including an unexpected checkmate from club member Tang Zi Wei, delivered with the line “shinde kudasai” (please die) – anime style.
However, this is just a prelude of what is to come. Winnie Ng, Chairperson of the Japanese Cultural Club, reveals that there will be a “different cultural theme every day”, including a celebration of the festival of Tanabata where notes will be “written and placed on a plant”. The ‘plant’ will in fact be provided by the Estate, which in defiance of tradition will not be bamboo. (The school does not own a bamboo plant.) Furthermore, during this one week, our in-house artist Hazel Lau will be drawing and selling anime portraits at our cultural booth located at the Canteen Walkway. Also, the Japanese Club will be selling ‘delicious Meiji food products and screening Mameshiba videos’ in the canteen, adds Vice-Chairperson Chan Ying May. So come on down and immerse yourself in the wonderful experience of the Japanese Culture!