Good morning. May I put this bag here?
A： How are you?
I’m fine, thank you.
A： Good. I’d like to ask you some questions.
A： Why do Japanese place their corporate life before their family life?
This has to do with the fact the Japanese are a group-oriented people. In a group we feel comfortable and safe, but this requires harmony. To maintain this harmony, people put priority on their company before their family.
But this leads to a problem. If people have children, what children need is their love. So however busy parents may be, they should set aside time for communication.
A： （微笑みながら）But a family is also a group.
A： What do you think about the pension system?
A： No, the money that is …（老後のためのお金）
It’s a matter of serious concern. Everyone is worried about this.
It is a celebration for children. Children who are three, five, and seven years old go to Shinto shrines. Boys who are three years old and five years old, and girls who are three years old and seven years old go to shrines. Odd numbers are considered to be auspicious in Japan.
A： （頷く）Why boys of three and five, and girls of three and seven?
I’ve never thought about that.
A： What do children do at the shrines? Do they pray?
Yes, they pray for their healthy growth. If parents have time, they take children to shrines. They buy chitose-ame, or “thousand-year-candy”, which symbolizes longevity.
A： That’s all.
I’m from …
A： Oh, …
I’ve been looking forward to this moment. Thank you very much.
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