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While I was still a student in Temasek Polytechnic, I joined an infamous club which goes by the name of Temasek Polytechnic Japanese Cultural Group (TPJCG). Many people belittle cultural clubs and that is understandable as sports clubs brings trophies and glory for the school while Culture-based clubs seem to simply exist for hobbyists and “free” SEAL points.
Many also believe that Culture-based clubs are disorganized, informal and simply lack activities. After all, compared to a Sports-based club, how interesting and interactive can Culture-based clubs possibly be?
From my experience of being in TPJCG, as well as having the privilege to climb the ranks of its student leaders, I can attest that all these misconceptions and false expectations are untrue.
TPJCG is in fact, a club which is heavily dependent on raising influential leaders, training members to excel physically and mentally, and forging strong connections.
The majority of the students in Temasek Polytechnic have three common misconceptions about the club.
The leniency of leadership roles in TPJCG,
The events hosted by TPJCG being unproductive and meaningless and
The pointlessness of commitment to a cultural club like TPJCG.
Misconception 1: Leniency of leadership
Through the sixteen years of TPJCG’s existence, the goal of raising enriched student leaders has always been the club’s top priority. Each year, a new batch of Subcommittee members, Main Committee members and Camp committee members are chosen with care as seniors and experienced alumni deliberate on the members of the next generation who will lead the club.
Often, bizarre and unexpected choices are made for the sake of the club.
Once, there were two freshmen who decided to sign up for an interview and the interviewer talked to them individually. The first freshman was a former leader in a club back in secondary school while the other freshman seems to have little knowledge in planning or leading. To the surprise of many, TPJCG seniors and alumni chose the second freshman and brought his name up as a potential subcommittee member.
Their reasoning was that the first freshman, though he had abundance of planning and leadership skills, was not susceptible to change. He had gotten too used to the previous club’s modus operandi. On the other hand, the second freshman was open to change and due to his inexperience, was able to give many more opinions and see problems from many more perspectives after taking the seniors’ prompting into consideration.
This incident that I experienced is an example of the unpredictable choices that leaders make to suit the club. It’s not always about finding the best fit for the job, sometimes it is about finding someone who has the potential to be moulded into a leader with great brilliance.
After choosing subcommittee members, there will be many schedules and programmes to attend in order to be fully accepted and labelled as a TPJCG student leader. An example of that is a probation period that lasts for 5 months.
During this time, members are given assignments, projects and proposals to fulfil; they are also required to meet weekly at a senior’s home for a run-down of the club and their responsibilities should they choose to stay after the probation period. There are also alumni (working adults) who might be called back to assist in evaluation and training; such is how seriously TPJCG is when it comes to student leaders in the club.
It is understandable to me why others have misconceptions about TPJCG leaders due to general reasoning that a culture-based club is less demanding and thus, lesser attention is put into leadership development in the club; however, as shown above, TPJCG actually takes leadership training very seriously and much effort it put into the process.
2: TPJCG events are unproductive and meaningless
TPJCG members are encouraged to attend multiple events that develops a student’s mental and physical health each week. TPJCG hosts events such as dance sessions, drawing sessions, shogi (Japanese chess) sessions and karaoke sessions; the events hosted are also specially modified to suit the needs of TPJCG members in terms of preference and skill. An example of this can be easily identified in the drawing and dance sessions.
In all dance sessions we have student leaders who can guide beginners on how to dance and a “free-dance” area for those who are already familiar with the movements; dance sessions are split into two rooms, the first is the “Anime and Manga” dance sessions which cater to fans of that particular Japanese culture, while the other is called the “Arts and Entertainment” dance sessions which seek to promote traditional and popular pop songs from Japan. These dance sessions help students improve physical coordination.
In drawing sessions, members are split into two groups. The first group is the “guided group” where students will be guided by a “sensei” or a hand-picked student leader who will teach them the basics of drawing. The second group is the “themed group” whereby members are presented with a specially picked theme for that week and they will have a time limit to draw according to the theme on the spot.
TPJCG does not only host events dedicated to improving students’ development, we also actively encourage participation in public Japanese-themed events like the Singapore Natsumatsuri Festival and the JAS (Japanese Association Singapore) Sports Carnival which are held once every year. Such events are meant to encourage outdoor activities outside school boundaries as a club, it also enables members to be exposed to Japanese events celebrated in Singapore.
The JAS Sports Carnival, in particular, is very well-known amongst TPJCG members, as they will be competing in games with other Japanese clubs in Singapore to win honour and speciality Japanese rice back for the club. There is the option of participation in such events, as well as volunteering behind-the-scenes as “helpers”, this ensures that all members will be involved in these outdoors events.
TPJCG is also engaged in exchange programmes with schools in Japan. Volunteers from TPJCG will escort Japanese students around campus and bring them to popular local food stalls around Singapore. Once, there was also a project to exchange greetings with Japanese students over Skype, enabling Japanese and TPJCG students to learn from each other about their different cultures and languages. These events help students develop their minds.
Many students outside the club have the misconception that TPJCG events are unproductive and meaningless to student development; this is due to assumptions that all TPJCG events are constricted to the theme of “Anime and Manga”, which is a prevalent part of Japanese culture. However, as shown above, TPJCG hosts and participates in a wide array of events which are educational and beneficial to a student, physically and mentally.
Misconception 3: Pointlessness of committing to a cultural club like TPJCG
TPJCG holds networking and communication in high regard and ensures that no graduating member will be fully disconnected from the club. When I graduated, I was offered the position of an Alumni Advisor to TPJCG. This means that I was to be in close contact with all the alumni, advisors and organisations who have assisted our club. In cases of emergencies, I had the responsibility to send out urgent requests for help and act as the bridge between the Main Committee of TPJCG and the other parties.
There are many cases where help is needed such as Orientation Camp training and volunteering, leadership training and promoting events. Alumni are often asked to return to the club to reunite with their freshmen and fellow graduates; this allows us opportunities to maintain good working relationships with them despite their busy schedules. Main Committee members will be encouraged to tap into the vast knowledge of their seniors and improve on their club operations.
Students who are not affiliated with the club may have the misconception that involvement with TPJCG lasts only for the duration of me a students’ year in Temasek Polytechnic and thus, it would be foolish to commit to a cultural club for a mere three years of their lives. However, as I have shown above, TPJCG membership goes beyond graduation and polytechnic years.
We are a family. Some leave as time passes, but at least we try.
Alumni are encouraged to assist in events and advice current TPJCG leaders with their vast knowledge and wisdom. With such continued reliance on alumni, the bonds between the generations will be lasting and strong.
In conclusion, TPJCG is not a group for merely fun and games; it is relatively respectable and prides itself on bringing up excellent student leaders, producing physically and mentally healthy members and maintaining good communication relationships with related parties.
Even today, I am keeping in contact with my friends from TPJCG and information from the club is still being passed on to me; I have learnt many things from the alumni who stayed to guide me and I am still an avid fan of Japanese culture due to my participations in TPJCG activities. From my experiences and examples given, I hope that TPJCG will no longer be misunderstood; instead, I hope that they will be respected for their complexity and effort.
Tell us about your JCG story in the comments section too!
If you are a JCG member or alumni and wish to share your JCG stories on the website, please PM our facebook page or email [email protected] of your post in word document format.
About the author
Sheryl Pang is an Anime Manga Subcommittee Member, Maincommittee Secretary and currently serves as the alumni point of contact. She loves all things pokemon and dreams of becoming a Pokemon Master one day, travelling the world with a Mega Rayquaza – It will happen eventually. If you ever need a favor from her, she can be easily bribed with Duck Ramen.
It’s official. Kinokuniya at Liang Court will shut down for good on 21st April, leaving it with 3 retail outlets, at Ngee Ann City, Bugis Junction and Jem.
Compared to the other retail outlets, the one at Liang Court holds a special place for many of us JCG members and alumnus. I’m writing this to commemorate and remember Kinokuniya at Liang Court.
x Reasons to Join Manga Drawing Session
Welcome to the start of your tertiary life! Your tertiary adventure is determined by the friendships you foster and fond memories you make.
If you love Japanese animation, manga and novels or all-things Japanese, we have just the place for you!
1. Discuss Anime and Manga while you Draw
Our drawing session are conducted in a relax environment with weeb music playing in the background. There are 2 kinds of sessions held concurrently, and you chose one according to your drawing needs.
Free-Style Themed Sessions
THEME is a get-together drawing session, where people meet to draw manga style characters according to the given theme during the session.
Reference materials will be provided for inspiration on what to draw. For example, if the theme is seifuku, everyone would draw their favorite characters in uniform. You can also expect school life music playing.
If you are cool with conversations, or even starting them with your classmates, for example, how FGO is about taking back the future of humanity, or how FGO is just a money sucking machine, I guarantee you will love this place.
Anything under the sun goes.
This session is for anyone, regardless of mastery in drawing (thus, free-style).
FREE Guided Sessions
Not sure how and where to start? Can’t draw characters in different poises besides the standard front face-up? Have questions regarding perspective drawing? Ask us!
GUIDED, as the name implies, is a session where there will be student senseis to guide you on manga drawing techniques.
There is no pressure to do well, and it is your own discipline that determines how far your drawing improves.
Our Drawing Sensei in Action
Everyone is welcomed to join. Note: this session is geared towards amateurs i.e. stickman standard
2. Watch your Drawing Skills Improve
Browsing through great manga like Mahou Sensei Negima, ever wonder how nice it would be to be able to draw such mesmerizing manga art?
With some discipline, here’s some improvements your seniors achieve and what you can expect
By Jordan boi boi:
3. Gain Everlasting Friendships
While a picture can tell a thousand words, it can never portray the fun times we had and fond memories we made.
Many friendships blossom and alumnus whom graduated long ago still meet with each other in outings and chalets to discuss you know what – the anime or manga we all love.
Well, what are you waiting for?
Drawing sessions are held on Mondays, at 6pm – 8pm, barring public holidays and exams/assignments period. We’d see you next Monday!
To find out where the session is being held currently, please check out our FB group for updates as venue changes according to school’s classroom availability:
To join our drawing FB group:
Show this post to the event organisor at the end of the sesison when taking attendance to claim a FREE ANIME brouche from JAPAN. While stocks last.
Offer starts on 1st May 19 to 31st May 19.
P.S. Offer ended
Konnichiwa minna san o((*^▽^*))o
First and foremost, welcome to TPJCG! We hope you enjoy your stay here!
Love drawing? Want to improve your vocals? Searching for fellow nakamas wee-a-boos? This is the place for you!
TPJCG has multiple digital platforms for members such as you to communicate with and share their interest. This allows room for meaningful and in-depth discussions.
TPJCG Facebook group remains our main source of communication and dissemination of infomation & announcemnets.
Therefore, to keep abreast of the lastest happenings in the club, be sure to add yourself to our facebook group here:
For specific areas of interest within Japanese Culture, refer here:
Overview of activities
I’m writing this to let interested freshies know what we do/have for you – This is a very small glimpse of the activities, I’d recommend you to visit the individual facebook links for more information.
Here we go~ Our weekly activities includes:
>> Drawing session – Every Monday, 6.00 – 8.00pm
Divided into 2 parts, in 2 separate classrooms – Theme and Guided.
THEME is a get-together drawing session, where people meet to draw manga style characters according to the given theme, which is released on the session itself.
GUIDED, as the name implies, is a session where there will be student senseis to guide you on the basic manga drawing techniques through step by step tutorials. It is highly recommended for people who just started to learn to draw!
>> Japanese Shogi Training – Every Tuesday, 6.00 – 9.00pm
Have a tactical mind? In our Shogi sessions, you will be taught the bare essentials of the game. Our seniors here have just picked up the skill, and will be guiding you on the basics of Shogi. In our Shogi sessions, we scheme, strategize, and hone our skills together :)
>> Dance session – Every Wednesday, 6.00 – 8.00pm
Divided into 2 parts, in 2 separate classrooms:Anime & Manga(AM) Arts & Entertainment(AE) [6.00 – 9.00pm].
ANIME & MANGA dance is a get-together dance session, where there will be dance senseis to guide you on dancing Anime and Vocaloid dance. We also learn dances from popular dance groups such as Guilty Hearts, Ars Magna and many more!
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT dance is a get-together dance session, where there will be dance leaders to guide you on dancing modern JPOP dances. Dances that we have learnt includes Arashi, NEWS, Kis-My-Ft2, V6, Hey! Say! Jump! and many more!
>> Karaoke session – Every Friday, 6.00 – 9.00pm
A get-together singing session(similar to a KTV session) where you sing your favourite Japanese songs along with your friends.
>> Cultural Sharing Session – Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month (Dates are subject to changes)
ASSIST Subcommittee will be sharing their knowledge of the various cultures of Japan including interesting Myths, Folklore, Japan’s Seasonal Festivals, Traditional culture and MANY more! (More details will be released at a later date so stay tune! ) ^^
IMPT FACEBOOK LINKS
Facebook Grp: https://www.facebook.com/groups/164887833592112/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TpjcgDrawingSession
AM Dance FB Grp: https://www.facebook.com/groups/138029322924140/
AE Dance FB Grp: https://www.facebook.com/groups/213921442014526/
FB Grp: https://www.facebook.com/groups/191255694280057
We also offer ad-hoc activities such as yukata wearing session, papercraft workshops, cosplay classroom and more! Do look out for them on our Facebook and Twitter!!
Lastly, if you have any further inquiries, feel free to contact Edwin (Alumni Advisor) through my mobile at 9299 1900 or PM me. The Main Committee and I will do our best to answer your questions!
We look forward to seeing you in our activities!
NOTE: Weekly sessions will start after orientation camp, subject to availbility of rooms and facilities. Above are day and timings consolidated based on the past years. Be advise that you should still look out for announcement/updates posted on the group. Details such as venue will be announced accordingly once the rooms/facilities are secured.