B：Good Morning. Please have a seat.
B： Please tell us your name and where you are from.
My name is …, and I’m from ….
A： Good morning …(私の名前). I have to ask you some questions today.
A： OK, first question. Why do Japanese people take off their shoes when they enter their home?
Yes. First of all, Japanese people like to keep their houses clean and
I think it also relates to the weather in Japan. The humidity is high,
especially during the rainy season of June and July. Our shoes get muddy
so it is better to take off our shoes when entering our home.
A： Oh, I see. How about athlete’s foot? Is that something to do with
the custom of taking off their shoes?
Yes that might be true. I hear lots people have that problem. Especially men who work in an office and have to wear their leather shoes all day like my father. He also suffers from athlete’s foot. I see lots of medicine for that at drug stores.
A： How about the tatami? You never step on a tatami with your shoes on, do you?
No, we are never allowed to go in a tatami room with our shoes on, or even with our slippers. Tatami is very different from a carpet and it’s made of rush, and it’s our traditional kind of carpet. We sit on the tatami and also lie down on it so we like to keep it clean.
A： In regard to removing your shoes, does it have something to do with the smell?(笑いながら)
Maybe. Sometimes it’s better to take off your shoes to avoid the smell.
A： OK, next question. What do you think about little children carrying cellphones?
Yes. It is true that elementary school children carry cellphones nowadays. Their parents want them to do that for security reasons. Also, it is very difficult to find a public phone these days, so parents give their children cellphones especially when they send them to cram school.
A： Yes it’s hard to imagine …. I never had one when I was a kid. (笑いながら)
Me too, I never had one. The first one I got was when I graduated from college.
I think young people, especially teenagers, use e-mail on the cellphone.
A：Yes, yes. I see them everywhere. They are so fast!(携帯を打つ動作をまじえながら)
Yes, it is very convenient for setting the meeting time when you want to go out with your friends.
A： But don’t you miss the old days when you made an appointment on the phone and went to Shinjuku and you don’t see them and start to worry …
Yes. But now you can call your boyfriend without talking to his mother.
(A, B, Cともに笑い、和やかな感じになる。でももうちょっと、社会背景とかをなぞって意見を言えばよかった。。。)
A： Yes, some things are good. OK, I have another question for you.
A： OK, about Japanese culture. Tell me something about gagaku. I don’t know anything about it. What is it?
Yes. Gagaku is traditional Japanese music and now it is played in the Imperial family. It is very slow music and played by the people in traditional costumes. It is played on special occasions and ceremonies for the imperial family. The music is played by traditional instruments called sho which is maid of thin bamboo. They also play a kind of flute and drum.
A： Oh so it is a traditional Japanese music?
Yes but it is different from the HOGAKU like the Koto, Shamisen, Shakuhachi,
I think it is something more royal.
A： OK. Tell me something more about that instrument. It is made of bamboo? I’ve never seen one.
Yes, sho is something like a miniature pipe organ. It has lots of bamboo with different lengths and you blow into it. It is like a wood-wind instrument with a very unique sound.
A： Is it something similar to an instrument we see in Asia, like in Thailand?
Yes, I think so. Also there are lots of gagaku instruments similar to the ones we see in the “silk road” countries. I think the instrument is originally from China or India, and it came to Japan on the “silk road.”
A： I see. Can you name some types of gagaku music?
MMMMM. I’m afraid I can’t. The music is all slow and they are very similar.
A： OK, so its very slow music.
Yes sometimes it makes you very sleepy.
A： OK, I think that’s about it. It’s time and I will let you go.
Thank you very much.
A： Thank you for coming.
Thank you and please have a nice day
A： You too.
B： Thank you. Have a nice day!（笑顔）
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