They make a song and dance about City

Yen for Kannada

She and Takeshi Tokobu are two Japanese expats who are making themselves at home in Namma Bengaluru.

Tomoko has spend three and half years in Bangalore to learn Bharatanatyam at Chitkala School of Dance. On the stage, she performs each mudra to near perfection.

Unlike other expats who spend time just exploring the City, Tomoko took keen interest in exploring City’s rich culture and tradition and learnt about the Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form and decided to master it.

“There is a lot of sign language used in Bharatanatyam and each movement is clearly defined with details,” says Tomoko, as she explains the reason that made her learn this dance. 

A home maker and a resident of Koramangala, Tomoko has been living in City for more than four years. She has already performed twice in Japan Habba, an annual Indo-Japanese cultural exchange programme and as recently her Ranga Pravesh was organised in the City a week ago.

Apart from the culture of Karnataka that fascinates, it is Kannada that has spellbound. She is well versed in Kannada script and can also manage to write the same. “I can also speak a bit of Kannada, but I am taking classes to speak the language fluently,” she adds. She aspires to become a translator which requires knowledge of sign language and with the background of Bharatanatyam she is close to realise her aspiration.

Similar to Tomoko, there is Takeshi Tokobu, a Japanese man who sings Kannada songs. His pronunciation of Kannada words may be faulted by the puritans, but he can deliver the tune pitch perfect. With three weeks of practice, he effortlessly croons, “Anisuthide yako indu...” from the Kannada blockbuster “Mungaru Male.”

From Nagoya in Japan to Bangalore in India, it has been a exciting journey for Takeshi in terms of cultural connections.


He first sang Kannada songs at Rajyotsava Day celebrations in his office after which he participated in a musical concert and gatherings.

“After understanding the meaning of the songs I enjoyed singing them even more,” comments Takeshi. Living for more than two years in the City, Takeshi has managed to converse in Kannada and plans to learn it thoroughly.

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