A, B, C : Good afternoon.
B : Please have a seat.
Thank you. May I put my bag on this chair?
B : Sure. May I ask your name?
My name is …
B : Where are you from?
I'm from Itami City in Hyogo Prefecture.
A : Hello. My name is … I'm going to ask you several questions. You said you're from Itami. Is it near Nishinomiya?
Yes. It is next to Nishinomiya City.
A : Were you excited when the Hanshin Tigers did very well during the season?
Yes. I was excited very much. I wasn't a big fan of the Hanshin Tigers until this year.（皆、笑う）
A : But now you've become a big fan of the Hanshin Tigers.
A : What work do you do?
I'm not working now. I'm studying English.
A : Oh, you are studying English.
A : What is religion for Japanese?
Religion has had an influence on Japanese. However, I cannot say many Japanese are very religious. Religion has become like a custom. They think it is not strange to have several religions at the same time. For example, many Japanese visit a Shinto shrine during the New Year's holidays, but they may also visit a Buddhist temple. For many Japanese religion is something they can enjoy in everyday life.
A : You said religion has influence on Japanese. Would you give me examples?
Yes. Many aspects of Japanese culture are influenced by religions, especially by Zen Buddhism. For example, the tea ceremony and "ikebana," traditional Japanese flower arrangement, originated in Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism puts emphasis on simplicity.
A : OK. There are many national holidays in Japan. Which holiday do you like?
I like New Year's Day, because many people can take a day off on that day and many people decorate their house with things such as "kadomatsu."
A : What is "kadomatsu"?
It's a decoration that consists of bamboo shoots and pine branches. It is displayed outside the house. It's pretty.（なぜ正月が好きな理由におせち料理やおぞうにを出さなくて門松が出たんだろうと自分で不思議でした）
A : Please tell me what "kaiten-zushi" is?
"Kaiten-zushi" are sushi served in a special sushi restaurant. You will see plates of sushi set on a conveyer belt encircling a serving bar. You can select the plates you want as they pass by.
A : Do you think the Japanese economy is still in bad shape? Or, do you think it is improving?
I don't think it is picking up. The unemployment is still over 5%.
A : Do you think Prime Minister Koizumi is doing well? What do you think about his performance?
I think he's doing well. Some people think he's not good because we cannot see any effect yet, but I think his plans are good. For example, political reform is necessary. There is a close connection between the bureaucrats and private companies. Because of that, a large amount of money is spent on unworthy public works. So I think drastic reforms should be carried out.
A : Do you think women's position in the society is improving?
Yes, I think so. Women have more opportunities to get a high position in a company and an increasing number of women can pursue their career. However, while housewives manage the household, they are not …（つっかえてしまってあせる）I'm sorry I get a little confused.
A : Go on.（優しく言ってくれて落ち着く）
Housewives are supposed to juggle household expenses but what they do at home are considered unworthy.（もたつきながら言いました）
A : Thank you very much. I enjoyed talking with you.
Me, too. It was nice talking with you. Thank you very much.（かばんを持って立ち上がってから、Thank
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