Japanese speech event by foreigners studying Japanese was held at Art Forum Azamino on November 29, 2015.
13 speakers from 8 countries participated.
This event was co-hosted by Yokohama Aoba Ward Office.
[ Indonesia] Irma Andarini (staying in Japan for 2years 5 months)
“What surprised me when I came to Japan”
The surprise I experienced in Japan was that there are many earthquakes. At the beginning, I rushed to outside of the house. Since I am a Moslem, I wear a scarf outside. I don’t wear a scarf in the house. I had an experience that it took me a while to find a scarf and the earthquake subsided before I was ready to go out. As the result, there was no one outside when I was out. Now I got used to earthquake and became not to care about a small earthquake just like Japanese people don’t. Another thing was that Japan has four seasons in which there are many events, whereas in Indonesia, we have only a rainy season and a dry season. Cherry blossom viewing was really a fun event.
[Japan] Yusuke Noguchi (staying in Japan for 2 years 5 months)
“Self-introduction and recitation”
I was born in Philippines and came to Japan two years ago when I was 1st grade of junior high school. I studied Hiragana and Kanji at “Himawarinokai” on Saturday and Sunday. I had no friend at the beginning, but later one friend taught me about Japan. After joining the basket ball club, I got many friends with whom I am spending joyful days. At the beginning, my friends laughed at me whenever I made mistakes in Japanese. I continued my effort not to get angry and to have smile always. In the future, I want to study to be a pilot of US Navy. I recite the poem by Kenji Miyazawa, “Unbeaten by rain”.
[Cina] Xiu Yanhua (staying in Japan for 1year 6 months)
“What I like in Japanese life.”
I will tell you what I like in Japanese life. First one is good service. People at hospitals and shops are courteous at all times thinking about us. Next one is that relatives are always kind and accept us with kind heart. I am very happy about it. The last one is the fact that there are many convenient things. Connection between trains and busses are very good and there is variety of choice of goods. I want to continue living in Japan.
[Korea] Lee Sunee (staying in Japan for 19 years)
”The power that support me”
I still remember the moment when I arrived at Japan 19 years ago. That fresh feeling had gradually faded away and lost confidence in me through the experiences of not being able to express myself well, or feeling loneliness. That was the time when I came across a catholic church. While I started going there to pray, I began to feel a new power in mind and found a way to encourage myself in hard times. I will move forward praying to God.
[Indonesia] Maulana Abdul Aziz (staying in Japan for 2 years 2 months)
“My worries before coming to Japan”
My biggest worry before coming to Japan to study at Tokyo Institute of Technology as a graduate student was whether or not Halal foods allowed by Islamic law were available in Japan. Alcohol drinks and pork are prohibited and it is also prohibited to use cookware used for pork cooking. But I understood that I don’t need to worry about it, finding out that I can buy foodstuffs with Halal logo at supermarket for cooking myself and can find restaurants for Moslem by smart phone. I also found that the school cafeteria of TIT provides Halal Ramen and Halal deep fried chicken (kara age). Thus I was released from my worry.
[USA] Guy Rose (staying in Japan for 6 years)
“Experiences in Japan”
In Japan people get on the train in an orderly manner even if it is overcrowded. If it were in the USA, there can be a fight. I was surprised to find that I can withdraw money, pay a bill, or buy a concert ticket at a convenience store. In USA, drinking on the street is prohibited, but it is possible in Japan. I felt it ghostlike when I saw dried bonito flakes moving on hot Okonomi yaki as if they were living. I tried squat toilet several times, but I couldn’t get used to it. I was surprised when I used shower toilet for the first time. But now I can’t live without it. Once I made a mistake saying “chikubi”, nipple, instead of “ekubo“, dimple, which made others laugh.
[China] Deng Qiyue (staying in Japan for 1year 6 months)
“Story of Animation and me”
I like animation since I was a child. Now animation is like a god for me. When I was a junior high student, my grades were bad and I was scalded by my teacher. My family concerned about it. In such days, I saw a movie “Spirited away” by Hayao Miyazaki. I was encouraged by Chihiro and became aggressive. Animation is something like a magic for me. When I was a high school student, I liked “cosplay” and I participated at many events. When I was in Chihiro’s costume, I could see the world from Chihiro’s point of view. My shyness faded away and became more confident. As a result I could have more friends. Thanks to animation and cosplay, I live in a different world from before. I am very happy to have met animation.
[China] Hao Qiao (staying in Japan for 4 years)
I became a blue sky lover perhaps when I was 11. One day, I had a feeling of closeness to the sky, different from the one in far away. I was impressed by beauty of the blue sky. I think it is very happy that a man can see beautiful blue sky. Since then, I have been a blue sky lover. When I came to Japan in 2011, I became a lover of Japanese blue sky immediately. I think everyone should put color to one’s life as beautiful as the blue sky regardless of nationality. We have to appreciate to God and live our given life valuably.
[Iran] Pooyeh Makavei (staying in Japan for 4 years)
“New Year in Iran”
New Year’s Day in Iran is March 21. Before New Year, we clean the house and put seven foods such as apples and rice on the table as New Year decoration. This decoration has meaning of love and health. New Year continues for two weeks. During New Year, we meet with relatives, enjoy meals under the tree in the park like Japanese cherry blossom viewing, and present money like Japanese “Otoshidama”. New Year meal includes sea food from Caspian Sea and is very delicious. Though I am in Japan now, I decorate seven foods on the table and enjoy sea food on March 21.
[Germany] P.R. (staying in Japan for 3 years 2 months)
“Unification of Germany”
When I was 5 years old, the world changed drastically. I have a memory that my father and I went out from the house and broke the wall. That was the day Germany was unified. Now, after 25 years, I think unification has not been successful. I think that the gap between West and East got wider recently. For example, difference of wage level, unemployment rate, and also the attitude to the refugees from Syria. Perhaps Germany has not yet unified completely. I feel that it may take another quarter century to realize the complete unification of economy and state of mind.
[China] Yin Mingshu (staying in Japan for 2 years)
“Looking for humanities”
In China, more people have egocentric mind than before now. Family ties are getting weaker. In my case, I was raised by my uncle since my father passed away early. Long ago, it was common for parents and relatives to live together. Now most of families consist of young parents and their only child. The relationship between neighbors became tenuous. People don’t say even hello to each other. I want the ties between people to get stronger.
[Thailand] Prem Langarajidpahkong (staying in Japan for 2 years 1 month)
“Difficulties I experienced when I came to Japan”
When I came to Japan 2 years ago, I couldn’t read Japanese. Whenever I buy a food ticket at the restaurant, I always pushed the button at top left side of the vending machine. One day only one boiled egg came out. The first Japanese word I remembered was “Daijoubu”, no problem. One day I was asked at MacDonald “For here or to go?” I answered “Daijoubu”. We don’t have lady’s only train car in Thailand. I had a trouble that I couldn’t understand why someone noticed me that I couldn’t get on the car. I thought I should have studied Japanese more before coming to Japan.
[Indonesia] Silvia Paramita (staying in japan for 15 years 5 months)
When I could understand Japanese only a little, I often got confused because I couldn’t catch Japanese words well. One day I went to buy toriniku (chicken meat) and asked “Please give me “toraniku” (tiger meat), which frightened a sales staff. I felt ashamed after coming home and realizing that I made a mistake. When my child was still small, a train left Shibuya station while my child had gotten on the train and I had not yet. I got panicked since I couldn’t explain the situation in Japanese for help. We were very happy that kind passengers on the train helped my child and we could see again in safety.
Cao Wei from China (staying in Japan for 1 year)
Ms. Malia Bautista supi-chitaikai honnyyakuirai from Philippines (staying in Japan for 4 years)
We enjoyed performance by Utsukushigaoka Chamber Orchestra