受験者( 92 ):男性
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最初に日本人女性の面接官(B)から名前と住所を英語で聞かれ、答えた後席に着くように指示された。その後の質問は全て外国人男性の面接官(A)から行われた。外人面接官は、発音から判断するにアメリカ人で、質問は非常に丁寧で、話すスピードは普通だった。
私の回答を、しばしば頷きながら聞いてくれたので、話していて不安になることはなかった。話を聞きながら頷くという日本人の癖を知っていて、それを実践しているか、あるいは日本に長く住んでいるため自然とそうなっているのかは分からなかったが、少なくともかなり日本人慣れしており、日本のことをよく知っていそうな印象を受けた。
一方女性面接官の方は、横で私の回答の内容が正しいかどうかをチェックしているような印象を受けた。彼女も時々頷きながら聞いてくれたので、緊張しつつも安心して回答できた。
問題自体は誰でもある程度は答えられる易しいものであったが、自分の回答を後で再現してみると、浅かったり間違っていたりするところが散見されて、不安になった。詳細は以下の通り。

A:I am going to ask you some questions about Japan. Please relax and answer. OK?
OK.(OK?と言われたので、思わずOKと言ってしまった。あれほどAll Rightと言わねばと注意していたのに・・・)。
A:I would like to know the difference of the winter climate between Hokkaido and Okinawa.
In Okinawa, the climate is mild in winter. Of course you can't swim but it isn't cold at all. The average temperature is about 15 ℃ and it is comfortable. But the climate in Hokkaido is very severe. It is very cold in winter. Hokkaido is covered with snow and the average temperature is almost zero.
A:How about the summer weather of Hokkaido ? It is not very hot?
That's right. The weather is very mild in Hokkaido in summer. In summer, it is very hot and humid in the mainland of Japan but it is very cool in Hokkaido and the average temperature is below 20℃.
A:Wow ! It's so cold! But I don't like hot weather so I want to live in Hokkaido rather than in Okinawa.(笑い)
A:Next, I would like to ask some questions about Japanese history. After the Meiji Restoration, how has Japan be modernized?
As you may know, before Meiji Restoration, Japan was isolated under the administration of the Tokugawa feudal government. But after the Meiji Restoration, it opened to the world and aggressively introduced technologies and science from foreign countries and succeeded in modernization.
A: How has Japan introduced foreign technologies?
Japan hired foreigners with special knowledge or high-level expertise at national universities and had them teach promising young Japanese. Those students became government officials for example and lead the modernization of Japan.
I think many other things than technologies and knowledge were also introduced in Japan. Not only technologies and knowledge but many western cultures and customs were introduced in Japan. For example, we used to wear kimono before but now wear suits as I am now wearing. Another example would be our hairdo. Our hairdo was totally changed after Japan opened itself to the world. Like this, the Meiji Restoration influenced a lot on the cultural aspect as well as technological and scientific aspects.
A: I understand there are different kinds of writing systems in Japan.
There are three types of characters in Japan. One is Kanji. This was introduced from China. Next is Hiragana. This was made from Kanji and originally used for women to write literature. The last one is Katakana. This was also made from Kanji but mainly used to express foreign words such as television or radio.
A: All of three are from China! Then, can all Japanese speak Chinese?
No, they can't. Kanji's pronunciation might have been the same as the original Chinese and some Japanese could pronounce it but as time went by, most of the pronunciations were changed. Besides, Japanese people gave another pronunciation to the Kanji to describe various matters in Japan. So one Chinese character has at least two different pronunciations. All in all, we use Kanji but the pronunciation has been changed and another pronunciation has been added, so can't speak Chinese.
A: It is very complicated, isn't it?
Yes, because we have a long history.(笑い)
A: If I go to a hot spring, can I get in with a bathing suit on?
Wearing bathing suits while soaking yourself in the hot spring is not appropriate .We are supposed to be naked in the hot spring. Of course, men and women are separate.
A: But I am embarrassed. What should I do?
If you are very embarrassed, you can roll yourself in a bath towel. Putting a certain part of your body with a small towel would be no problem, too.(笑い)。
A: Thank you very much. It has been a real pleasure talking to you and hearing various things today.
Pleasure is mine. Thank you very much.
 

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