Japanese cuisine has become very popular around the world, including Brunei Darussalam. “Washoku” (which means “Japanese cooking”) is a culinary philosophy and a set of traditional guidelines, embodying the Japanese people and their respect for nature.

In December 2013, “Washoku” was added to the Representative List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, an honour formerly reserved for French cuisine.

To raise more awareness on Japanese food and culture, Times Square Shopping Centre is hosting a Film and Food Festival at its Atrium from September 18 to September 20. The event is supported by the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam; the Japan Foundation; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.

Visitors to the festival will be treated to a selection of films on the art of food preparation, and some cooking demonstrations by Japan’s finest chefs. As a further treat, a food exhibition booth will be available to everyone for a taste of Japanese culinary delights.

The following films will be shown to the public during the festival, free of charge. However, due to limited seats, admittance to the screenings will be on a first-come, first-served basis:

Mourning Recipe:

September 18 at 6.30pm and September 20 at 2pm

A warm-hearted drama on the importance of relationships. Otomi Atsuta’s sudden death leaves her grieving husband and daughter struggling to find solace in her “recipe book for life”. Based on a best-selling novel by Yuki Ibuki, the film was chosen as Japan’s official entry for the 37th Montreal World Film Festival in 2013.

The Kami of Ramen:

September 19 at 2pm and September 20 at 4.30pm

A documentary about Kazuo Yamagishi, a 70-yearold ramen chef, and his legendary ramen shop. The “Taishoken”, a modest shop in the back of an alley, is never empty. It always has long queues outside, where people wait for two hours just to eat one bowl of noodles.

What makes the Taishoken so special? His regular customers believe that it is Yamagishi’s charismatic personality that draws crowds in their hundreds from all over Japan.

Ramen Samurai:

September 19 at 4pm and September 20 at 6.30pm

A family drama, based on a serialised magazine column by the owner of a popular ramen shop. Hikaru who works for a design company in Tokyo, returns to his hometown of Kurume after his father dies, to take over the family ramen business. However, he lacks confidence, and does not get on well with the shop’s workers. Relying on his mother’s memories and his own, he tries to recreate the flavour of his father’s ramen.

A Tale of Samurai Cooking:

September 19 at 6.30pm

A romantic drama set in the Edo period. Oharu marries a hot-headed young man who longs to become a warrior, but is forced instead to become a cook, like his father. With the help of her mother-in-law, Oharu takes it upon herself to help her husband become a great chef and maintain his family’s cooking traditions.