B： Good morning. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.（３人に目配り）
I’m from Kobe, Hyogo prefecture.
B： Which part of Kobe do you live in?
I live in Mikage, Higashinada ward, which is famous for lots of sake breweries.
B： What’s your job?
I quit my job to be a tour guide.
B： Did you retire or quit?
I quit voluntarily. Fortunately I don’t have any dependents such as a wife and children. So I was able to quit in order to become a tour guide.
B： What was your job?
I worked for a hotel in Kobe for ten years in my twenties and a cram school as an English and Japanese teacher for ten years in my thirties.
B：I see. What’s the most impressive bridge in Japan?
Well, it depends on the person, but I personally like the Akashi Great Bridge that links Kobe city with Awaji city. It is the world’s longest suspension bridge. If you visit the bridge, you will surely enjoy the harmony between the man-made beauty of the Akashi Great Bridge and the natural beauty of the Akashi channel. The view from this bridge varies its image every time you take a look.
B： Why do you want to be a tour guide?
I am interested in international exchanges and I think my experiences of working for a hotel and of being an English teacher at a cram school will help a lot to enhance cross-cultural communication between Japanese and foreigners. I want to help build bridges between Japan and other courtiers.
B： What should foreign people keep in mind to get along with Japanese?
Many Japanese look shy in front of others, but they generally want to make friends with others. Their reserved and self-effacing attitude comes from the inside-outside concept. They draw a line between insiders and outsiders. And they are less expressive than Westerners in conversation with others, especially strangers. So, it might be hard for foreign people to know what they are thinking about. Finding some clue is important to break the ice with Japanese. For example, a little consideration such as trying to understand this kind of Japanese attitude will help a lot to become close to them.
B： Who do you think is the most important person in Japanese history?
I think Prince Shotoku is one of the most important figures in Japanese history. He was so active in the political world that he compiled the Japan’s first written constitution called the Seventeen-Article constitution. Also he introduced Buddhism into Japan in the Asuka Period. Its spirit lies deeply in Japanese mind even today.
B： Where was he born?
As far as I know, he was born in front of a stable.
B： Where in Japan?
Oh, yes. He was born in Asuka, or the present Nara.
B： Thank you. Nice talking with you.
Nice talking with you too. Thank you.
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