Why Japanophiles shouldn’t miss this year’s Singapore Writers Festival

[Sponsored] From food and drinks to films, TV shows and art, we can’t get enough of Japanese culture in Singapore. And with 2016 marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan (or SJ50), it’s no surprise that the Land of the Rising Sun will play a starring role at the upcoming Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) as part of the Country Focus program. Taking place from Nov 4-13, the 2016 SWF comprises over 300 talks, workshops, readings, performances and more. Here are the events Japanophiles should take note of.

Creating Detective Conan: The Life and Works of Gosho Aoyama

Spend an evening with the legendary artist behind the manga Detective Conan, Gosho Aoyama, and hear about the trials and tribulations he faced on the way to making it the world-famous series we know today. Equipped with the story behind the franchise, be sure to catch the 20th and latest instalment of the Detective Conan animated film series at the festival (Nov 13, 4pm, The Arts House). In The Darkest Nightmare, Conan and company must get to the bottom of a series of assassinations tied to the world of espionage. Nov 12, 5:30pm

The Standing of Japanese Fiction in the World

When one thinks of contemporary Japanese fiction, the first author that comes to mind is undoubtedly Haruki Murakami—but who are some of the other writers we should know about? Get to know Risa Wataya, Hiromi Kawakami and Taiyo Fujii at this panel discussion. Their work covers themes ranging from urban loneliness to alternate realities. Nov 5, 11:30am, The Arts House

An Evening of Love: A Musician’s Trip Through Japan

Two musicians unite for a fascinating panel discussion and performance at An Evening of Love: A Musician’s Trip to Japan. You’ll meet Kojima Keitaney-Love, a rocker/indie folk artist who toured Japan with a show combining songs, narratives and spoken word inspired by poet Kenji Miyazawa, and multi-musician Yutaka Ito, who once resided in the area affected by the Fukushima disaster. Nov 5, 5:30pm, The Arts House

Meira Chand & Wena Poon: The Japan in Our Stories

As we commemorate SJ50, The Japan in Our Stories is a fitting tribute to the friendship shared between the two countries. Find out how Japan has influenced the work of two writers—UK-born Singaporean Meira Chand and Singapore-born, US-based Wena Poon. Nov 6, 4pm, The Arts House

Equatorial Calm

Celebrate the unique poetic form that is haiku at this panel discussion headed by four poets who recently participated in the haiku anthology Equatorial Calm. Equatorial Calm was commissioned by Resorts World Sentosa and brought together 10 poets who wrote haiku in response to exhibits at the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Maritime Experiential Museum. Nov 12, 10am, The Arts House
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