Thank you to everyone who has been patient regarding updates on Bunkasai, particularly over a long period of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regretfully, we will not be bringing the social events back at this time and Bunkasai Club will effectively be shuttered from this point onwards. This will include our presence on MeetUp (although our other social media outlets will still be active for the time being).
The decision to do this has not come easily but reflects some of the ways in which our social events have evolved in recent years.
There are costs involved in running Bunkasai Club, which is also affiliated with the charity Aid For Japan. This means that the event must raise funds and awareness for the charity, as well as meeting the expenses of running the event. We have tried to avoid enabling an obligatory attendance fee for the socials, instead relying on people’s good will. Sadly, while we tried introducing donations at our regular social gatherings, the ratio between attendees and donations had been declining steadily.
Attempts to also introduce more aspects of Japanese culture to Bunkasai Club have also not had the response that we had hoped for. The interest for some of these initiatives (which has included Japanese film screenings as well as plans for language sessions at the socials) was extremely low – zero in some instances. This was particularly evident in the low attendance rate by MeetUp people for Aid For Japan’s recent online cultural fair.
The unfortunate truth is that a good percentage of Bunkasai attendees do not seem particularly interested in Aid For Japan as a charity (This may be reflective of the shift in demographics over the many years that the event has been running). On that basis, it seems counter-productive to continue running something which is impacting the funds that the charity could put to better use elsewhere.
There are other Japanese/English socials that are currently still active outside of Bunkasai Club. For those people who still want to meet up for language exchange events, we encourage you to seek these out.
For now, the Aid For Japan and Bunkasai Club team thank you for your attendance over the years and wish everyone the best in the future.