Learning to play the three-stringed Japanese traditional instrument shamisen topped Canadian Maud Archambault's list of things to do while in Japan. She arrived here in 2001 to explore one of her fields of study: Japanese culture.

Fast forward to today, where she is recognized as the first foreign official member of Japan's professional folk singers and dancers association, the 36-year-old Archambault, who was born in Germany but to whom Quebec is her real home, introduces the fading tradition to people of its origin and her new home — Japan.

After successfully passing an audition, Archambault became an official member of the Nippon Minyo Pro Kyokai in April.