B : Hello. Please have a seat.
Hello. Thank you.
B : Could you tell me your name?
B : Ok, where do you live?
I live in Ota Ward in Tokyo.
B : Ok, thank you.
A : Thank very much for coming. Please relax. Five minutes is very short.
A : So, I’ll ask you some questions. First, I noticed at some ceremonies, the Japanese clap very rhythmically. Could you tell me what it is all about?
What kind of ceremonies are you talking about? Is that after a speech or something?
A : Yes, that, too.
Oh, well I think you are talking about things like “ipponjime.” They clap hands rhythmically right after one finishes a speech at a ceremony in order to encourage.
A : They cheer to clap hands. That’s interesting. Then, onto the next question. I noticed 100 yen shops are very popular among foreigners. Would you explain what they are?
100 yen shops got very popular because of the economic situation ofJapan. After the bubble economy collapsed in 1990, people started to look for cheaper things. Especially for things that you don’t have to look for the best quality, 100 yen shops became popular. What you said about them being especially popular among foreigners is also true. Despite the economic situation, Japanese prices are relatively still very high compared with other countries. Thus foreigners go there to shop things like souvenirs.
A : Yes. But I always find myself going there and end up with all kinds of things I don’t want.
Yes, that happens a lot.
A : Ok, this is the last question. Would you tell me about Japanese New Year’s Day?
Ok. I think New Year’s is very similar to what Christmas is to Westerners. It is a time for families to reunite and spend time together. As well as New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve is important. They get together and watch some TV together or eat soba, which is Japanese buckwheat noodle, to ask for longevity. And on the next day, they go to shrines and pray for good year to come.
A : I understand very well. Thank you very much. Good bye.
Thank you very much.
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