Culture opens the sense of beautyRalph Waldo Emerson
Remember that nostalgic feeling of watching your favourite anime, reading detective manga, rolling your first sushi, admiring Japan’s fiery autumn palette, or cosplaying game characters? You can still live it up by joining a club of your interest at work. Whether you are up to learning something new or just want to chill with like-minded colleagues, Mitrais sponsors diverse social clubs to help you balance your work and personal life. Recently, the company has initiated the launch of Mitrais Genshiken, a Japan-enthusiast club that has enticed about 80 members from Mitrais Bali, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bandung. Let’s find out what the hype is all about.
How It Started
Japan’s unique, vibrantly rich culture makes it a country adored by the world. And Mitrais’ staff are no exception. “It all began with the initiative of 13 Japanophiles who asserted our aspiration for a platform,” recalled Reny Mulyaningsih, Business Communication Program Manager, who is also the club’s President. To Reny, it is only natural that Mitrais has a Japanese club as the IT company is part of CAC Holdings, a Japanese Group company.
By launching the club, CAC and Mitrais Management are committed to providing Mitrais staff with the opportunity to get Japanese culture exposure. “We hope that the club can bridge us closer and create a bond with our Japanese counterparts,” explained the Management.
What’s on the Table
Mitrais Genshiken (taken from Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyūkai: the society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture) features some programs that strike the fancy of its members: Japanese language courses and cultural workshops and has planned to hold fun activities, such as watching anime, playing games, as well as sharing sessions.
The club has partnered with Kiyora Learning to deliver three online weekly lessons where the members are smitten to learn Japanese useful expressions. Getting familiar with Japanese culture has never been this enjoyable.
Besides, the community also exchanges information on recommended local Japanese restaurants and events. Excitingly, Mitrais Management is offering 20 tickets for the club members in Bali to attend the Bon Odori festival in September. Originally a dance ceremony to calm returning ancestral spirits during the Obon period, today's occasion is a recreational event with stalls for food and games, which will be delightful for anyone.
Why They Join
Employees board the club for different reasons. Reny, for example, is into the learning atmosphere, “Learning with the club is fun as we can interact with others during practice. It’s not intimidating as well, because most of us just got our feet wet in this course.” Being artsy, she also pursues crafts workshops, “I would love to join art class on Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arranging), Oshibana (the art of using pressed flowers or other botanical materials to create a picture), and Origami (the art of paper folding).”
Vibing with like-minded people is Donny Gumelar France’s goal, “For me, a club is always about making new friends and having fun with people who share my interests.” Keen on J-Entertainment and events such as Comicexpo, Jexpo, and AFAID, the Senior Tester is also determined to learn Japanese, “As the lessons progress, hopefully, we can watch or read Japanese literature without relying heavily on subtitles.”
Having joined similar clubs back in college makes Nugroho Danang Sasongko crave the same experience at work. He revealed, “I’ve always been drawn to Japanese traditional and pop culture. Anime, J-Music, dorama, and the foods are things that I enjoy the most, even though I cannot speak Japanese.” The Analyst Programmer loves being in the club as he can share his passion for anime, manga, or toys without being judged that they are only for teenagers. “Apart from that, I am inspired by the respect and appreciation that is engraved in Japanese culture, so I want to explore more of what they have in store.”
Renaldi Saputra has the same interests as Nugroho, with the addition of games and automotive. Unlike his other fellows, Renaldi can speak some Japanese and hopes to brush up on the language for future travel and work. The Tester added the reason why he prefers learning in class, “If we have any questions, a sensei is there to answer them. What’s more, learning with others is a whale of a time.”
With the wave of enthusiasm that staff show for the club launch, it is likely that the community will grow even bigger in the future. The members hope to incorporate more activities, such as playing Go (a Japanese board game), practicing with native speakers, visiting automobile museums and expos, or perhaps, a trip to Japan. Some also wish that the club has more divisions down the line to accommodate different interests, such as cooking, fashion, tea ceremony, dining etiquette, martial art, and so on. There is even an idea of holding Mitrais’ very own Japanese festival.
As the land of the rising sun continues to radiate its charm over the world, the budding passion of immersing oneself in Japanese culture will forever blossom.
Are you a Japanophile wanting to have the same invigorating social club at work? Have you any other exciting ideas to expand the club? Wait no more and #JoinMitrais today.