Good afternoon. May I put may bag here?
A:Your name, please.
I am ....
A:Where do you live?
I live in ....
A:Now I will ask you several questions. Why do Japanese people clap their hands at the end of ceremonies?
It is a sort of Japanese custom to clap our hands toward the end of ceremonies and maybe to solidify the group spirit. We are group-oriented. So it is important to solidify the spirit of the group if you are a member of the group. Maybe, originally it is related to Shinto rites.
A:What is Shinto?
It is Japan’s indigenous religion.
A:Why do they clap their hands in Shinto?
To arouse the spirits which we worship at the shrine.
A:To wake up the spirit?
A:How do you wake up the spirits?
You clap your hands twice and bow like this.
A:Good. Next question. What is "onigiri"?
It is a rice ball, hand-shaped and wrapped with dried seaweed. It is good for lunch, especially if you go hiking. You make "onigiri" and put it in a lunchbox and carry it in your bag. It is very convenient.
A:How large is it?
It is about the size of a ball used in baseball.
Much smaller than a baseball, but it depends on the person. Young men would prefer a bigger one but young women may prefer a smaller one.
A:Is there nothing inside? It does not seem nutritious.
Yes. We usually put "umeboshi", a pickled plum, in it. Or seafood like baked fish.
A:Is "onigiri" eaten only outdoors?
No. My wife often prepares "onigiri" when I come back late.
A:As a light meal?
A:Japanese seem to do a lot of walking recently. Why is this?
In order to keep physically fit. We, especially middle-aged people, need exercise to keep fit. Walking is the cheapest exercise and it's easy to do. Actually, walking is my favorite exercise. I do walking on almost every weekend.
A:OK, it's finished. Thank you.
A:Yes. We have already asked you three questions.
Thank you. I enjoyed talking with you.
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