受験者( 67 ):女性

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試験官

<試験官A>

女性
見た感じ20代後半
英語はゆっくりはっきりでわかりやすい
アメリカ人

<試験官B>

男性(日本人)
見た感じ50歳前後位

質疑応答

(試験官の発言はこんなことを言ってたなと言うだけで、正確にそういう表現をしていたというわけではないです。)

Hello.

Hello

Please put your bag on that table, and have a seat here.

Thank you.

How are you today?

I'm fine. But I'm being so nervous.

You don't need to be nervous. Can I have your name?

My name is ........

Where do you live?

I live in ........

So it's not so far.

It took about 40 minutes by train.

She is from America. This is her first visit to Japan. She has studied about Japan. She has some knowledge about Japan. She asks a little tough questions. This is a test to be a tour guide. You know, tour guides never say "I don't know". Answer her quiestion, as a tour guide.

(2人ともニコニコしてとても感じがいいけど、緊張しないでといっている割にはプレッシャーをかけてくるな〜という感じ…。)

Tell me some about Meiji Shrine.

Meiji Shrine is located near Harajuku station and is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. When Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken died, the Japanese people wanted to pay their respects to the two influential Japanese figures. It was for this reason that Meiji Shrine was built and their souls are enshrined

What else?

Near Meiji Shrine, there is a popular shopping district called Harajuku. It is the center of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles and offers shopping for grown-ups

What can I buy there?

In Harajuku, there are many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious people. You can buy trendy clothes or used clothes and enjoy various kinds of food including crepes at a kind of stands or trendy restaurants

Sounds good. What else? What can I do in Meiji Shrine? My friend said she saw people writing something on boards. I don't know what they were doing.

The boards are wood blocks called “ema” on which wishes or prayers are written. You can buy them for a small donation, and then hang them at the shrine. In the past, real horses were offered in exchange for blessings at shrines. But horses are expensive. So people came to write their wishes on the board depicting a horse and offered it to the Shinto god

I see. What is difference between Sake and Shochu?

While Sake is fermented alcoholic drink made from rice, Shochu is distilled alcoholic drink made from fermented rice, wheat and potatos. Shochu is usually cheaper than Sake. These days, there is a Shochu boom in Japan. It is widely drunk by not only men but also young women.

Which is stronger?

Shochu is stronger than Sake. However, it is said that compared with Sake, Shochu is unlikely to cause a hangover. I think the reason for this is that Shochu is often mixed with water, juice and so on.

Do you know the degree of alcohol of Shochu?

Yes. Shochu is typically 25% alcohol by volume.

I saw a garden with rocks and pebbles. What is that? Difficult to walk on. I don't understand why they made it like that.

The garden that you saw is a dry landscape garden called “karesansui”. While there is a miniature artificial hill style garden called “tsukiyama”, where a central pond symbolizes the sea, and mountains are represented by banks of earth and arrangements of rocks, karesansui is the dry garden where the sea is symbolized not by water but by a layer of white sand, and waterfalls are symbolized by an arrangement of rocks.(後から思うとわびという美意識の話をすればよかったのか…。)

You can ask one more question.

OK. I saw portable shrines. Why do they carry them?

The portable shrine is called “mikoshi”. The ghost or spirit of a Shinto shrine deity is believed to ride on mikoshi. During festivals, many believers march through the town, carrying these portable shrines on their shoulder to pay their respects to Shinto gods.

We often see portable shrines in spring. In that case, why do they carry portbale shrines?

In the past, farmers hold festivals to pray for a good harvest to gods. As a part of showing their devotion, many people are willing to carry portable shrines and parade through the streets because they believe the portable shrines are a sacred home for gods.

So in spring, people thank the deity for a good harvest.

People hold festivals to pray for a good harvest in spring, and in autumn, they show their thanks to the deity for the year’s good harvest.(ほんとは色んなケースがあるんだけど、とっさにいろいろ説明できなかった。)

Thank you. That's all.

Thank you very much.

受験の感想

もとから話す速度が遅いのに加えて、考えながら話をしたので、終始しどろもどろになってしまった。後から考えるともっと説明できるとがあったのに、試験では緊張してしまってとっさに出てこなかった。去年のように色々なことを聞かれるのかと思ったが、結構神道に関する話に偏っていた。

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