A : Good afternoon.
B : Please tell us your name and address.
My name is .... I live in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture.
A : Imagine that I'm a tourist visiting Japan, and answer my questions. In Japan, people often exchange cards and then start a conversation. Please tell me about this.
Do you mean name cards?
A : If that's what you call it, then yes, tell me about name cards.
Exchanging name cards is effective, because we can get to know each other well that way. And when we forget names, the cards help us remember them. And they are written in kanji, so we can easily memorize names by looking at the kanji. People's titles are also written on the cards. Titles are very important in Japanese society.
A : I can understand men using name cards in the business world, but do women use them too?
I use them. I make them on my computer on my own.
A : Is it for your personal use or for your job?
It's for both. I'm engaged in PTA activities, and I meet many people in school. So I hand the cards to them.
A : Next question. An athlete called ... took a medal. What do you think about this?
I'm not interested in sports.
A : Oh, you're not interested in sports. Then do you know about the victory of the Hanshin Tigers? You would know about that, wouldn't you?
I was really glad to see the Tigers clinch the pennant, because I like to root for the weaker team. The Tigers have been a loser for many years. So I was very glad to see them win.
A : Yes, the Tigers were losing for several years in a row. Do you like the underdogs?
A : Next question. We don't have much time, so I'd like you to answer the questions quickly. Tell me about a typical way for Japanese to spend New Year's.
A : For example, Westerners get together with friends on New Year's Eve and have a "count-down" party.
A : few days before the New Year, we begin to clean our homes thoroughly. And on New Year's Eve, we make special dishes for the New Year, called "osechi-ryori". This is a kind of preserved food that we prepare so that women don't have to work during the New Year's holidays. I also eat "ozoni", which contains rice balls.
A : Don't you go to shrines?
Oh yes, we pay a visit to shrines and temples. It is crowded with many people, but it's fun.
A : OK, time's up.
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