A： Good morning.
A： Please sit down.
B： May I have your name?
My name is …..
B： And where are you from?
I’m from …, Saitama.
A： OK. Thank you for coming today. Now we’ll start asking you some questions.
A： What is "takoage"?
Oh, "takoage" literally means “kite-flying” and it is a popular children’s
… play or amusement
especially during New Year’s holidays.
A： I heard in Japan, it is very popular among children to collect things related to cartoons such as trading cards and character goods. Why is that?
I think it is because kids like to feel they are part of the cartoon by collecting those items.
A： Why do people keep their thumbs folded in their palms when they see a funeral car? I mean, I heard whenever people see a funeral or the car, people hide their thumbs. Can you think of any reason?
That is because there is a belief that if people do not hide their thumbs when they see a funeral, they will be also taken away, or bad luck will come to them.
A： What do you think about the idea of Japan taking in foreigners for taking care of elderly people?
I think that is a very good idea because now we are facing an aging society, and the birthrate is decreasing. So allowing more foreigners to take care of elderly people is a good idea because it can increase our workforce.
A： In Japan, which do you think will be the dominant population in the future; smokers or non-smokers?
I think non-smokers will be the dominant population.
Because smoking is bad for our health.
A： What is "hachimaki"?
"Hachimaki" is a belt which people tie to their head …
when they want to concentrate on something or when they are challenging something.
Excuse me, could you repeat that again?
A： Why is it that in the Japanese family, wives give only a small amount of money to their husbands for their pocket- money?
Oh, I think that is because wives feel suspicious about their husbands.
A： Why do you think so?
Because the time the husbands spend outside their home is very long, so wives are concerned that their husbands might be using too much money on something they don’t need.
A： I see.
A： OK, then, what is “…”?
B,C： He means『夫婦茶碗』.
Oh, I see. “Meoto-jawan” are a pair of cups, one of which is for the husband and the other for the wife. It is believed that it will bring the husband and wife a happy life forever.
A： Why do Japanese people go out to have a relaxing time with their friends instead of inviting friends to their home?
That is because there is a strong sense of privacy concerning their home among Japanese people.
A： Any other reasons?
I think that is the main reason.
A： That was the end of the questions. Thank you very much.
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