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Japanese Language/Interview on Japan

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QUESTION: I'm Muskaan,in class 11th,India. I've got a project on Japan and it is a very important project,my result will be affected, I'd be really thankful to you if you could just answer the following questions for me.
Q1)What religion do you practice?
Q2)What is the present year according to the Japanese calender?
Q3)What was the position of your ancestors?
Q4)Which part of Japanese history inspires you?
Q5)Do you know any Japanese folk tales?
Q6)Which all Japanese traditions are you aware of?
Q7)Do you practice the tea ceremony?
Q8)What changes do you observe in present day Japan and  the Japan in which you lived as children?
Q9)Which person do you idolize and why?
Q10)What changes would you bring in Japan today?

Thank you so much! It would be really kind of you to answer the interview questions.

ANSWER: Hi Muskaan!

Thank you for the questions.  I'm happy to answer them, but I should tell you: I'm not Japanese, I just live in Japan.  If you would like, I can ask a Japanese person (like my wife).

If you would like me to answer them, or if you would like my wife to answer them, send me a follow up!

Take care!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, I'm Muskaan, I had asked you a few interview questions as follows:
Q1)What religion do you practice?
Q2)What is the present year according to the Japanese calender?
Q3)What was the position of your ancestors?
Q4)Which part of Japanese history inspires you?
Q5)Do you know any Japanese folk tales?
Q6)Which all Japanese traditions are you aware of?
Q7)Do you practice the tea ceremony?
Q8)What changes do you observe in present day Japan and  the Japan in which you lived as children?
Q9)Which person do you idolize and why?
Q10)What changes would you bring in Japan today?

This is really nice of you! Thank you so much,but,is it possible that both you and your wife answer them for me. Because, being here in India, it is very difficult for us to contact people there.
I also have one more request. If you could ask more of your Japanese friends to answer them? I would be a big help, i would be really thankful to you!
thank you so much!

Answer
Hi Muskaan!

I'm afraid I was only able to get my and my wife's answers.  I'm an American who has been living in Japan for 14 years, she's Japanese.  A1 is my answer, A2 is hers.

Q1. What religion do you practice?
A1: None.  I'm atheist.
A2: She's atheist.

Q2. What is the present year according to the Japanese calendar
Heisei 26

Q3. What was the position of your ancestors?
A1.  I'm not sure.  I know they were immigrants from Ireland.
A2. She doesn't know.

Q4. Which part of Japanese history inspires you?
A1. There are a few, but especially the beginning of the Tokugawa period, when Tokugawa decided to adopt education reforms which completely changed the countries.
A2. In 1853, Pely came to Japan.  It was the first instance of international interaction.

Q5. Do you know any Japanese folk tales?
A1. I might have used to, but I can't remember any now...
A2. Yes; Momotaro, Kintaro, Hanasaka Jisan, KachiKachi Yama, etc.

Q6. Which Japanese traditions are you aware of?
A1. Tea ceremony... I think that's all.
A2. Too many to mention...

Q7. Do you practice tea ceremony?
A1. No, never have.
A2. She has done it; she has a certification in fact!

Q8. What changes do you observe in present day Japan and the Japan in which you lived as a child?
A1. I moved here when I was 20, so I couldn't really say.
A2. There was school on Saturday twice a month when she was a kid, but now there isn't.  Neighbors used to help look after each other's kids before, but that doesn't seem to be the case now.

Q9. Which person do you idolize and why?
A1. Probably my father; he does a lot of things well that I would like to.
A2. Nobody in particular.

Q10. What change would you bring in Japan today?
A1. I'd like to see English education taken more seriously and treated more progressively.
A2. She would like to see more young people participate in politics.

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Brian

Expertise

Any and all questions about the Japanese language. There are two ways to learn a language: academically (through books and textbooks and classes) and naturally (talking to people, watching TV, reading novels/comics, etc.). The first will teach you the "correct" way to speak the language, but only the second will really enable you to talk to the people as they talk. I learned naturally, so if you want to know how REAL Japanese people speak, ask me. If you just want to finish your homework or pass a test, I don't think I can be of much help to you.

Experience

Been living in Japan almost six years and have been studying Japanese that whole time. Have passed the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) at the 2nd level (and I intend to pass it at the first level this year). Have no problem with hiragana and katakana (basic character system) and am quite adept at kanji, as well. I use Japanese in day to day life so I shouldn't have much trouble with any topics concerning basics, fundamentals or conversation.

Education/Credentials
Mostly self-studied, but have spent about a total of four months in Japanese language schools.

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