【Coffee break 73】コーヒーブレイク73










”What sort of ’nese’ are you people? Are you Chinese, or Japanese, or Javanese?”


 彼は、”We are Japanese gentleman, but what kind of ‘Key’ are you?

Are you a Yankee, or a donkey, or a monkey?”と返します。









I’ve been reading this book ”the story of an English master, Attainable Japanese English”

for a while.

As I have only read three chapters, the people who have appeared are Inazo Nitobe,

Tenshin Okakura, and Shuzaburo Saito.

In this context, I would like to talk about Okakura Tenshin, who touched my heart.

He was the founder of an art school. His family was a trader, and he went to school to

study English from an early age.

He was born in 1863, which was the end of the Edo period in Japan.

At this time, English dictionaries were often uncertain, but at the English school in Yokohama

where had foreign teachers, so he had the opportunity to learn correct English.

This is the story of when he was walking down the street with a painter to promote Japanese

art in Boston. They were walking around wearing Kimono called a haori and hakama,

so an American got involved with them and said

“What sort of ’nese’ are you people? Are you Chinese, or Japanese, or Javanese?”

He replies:” We are Japanese gentlemen, but what kind of ‘Key’ are you?

Are you a Yankee, or a donkey, or a monkey?”

The painter Yokoyama Taikan, who was travelling with him, liked this phrase best.

I loved it too. And I take my hat off to him for his English skills. Later, he said.

“Walking around in a haori and hakama abroad can be risky, but as long as you

understand English properly it’s not a problem.”

These words made me straighten my collar.

I won’t be a linguist, but I thought I lacked this enthusiasm to work with English.

I also draw a winning for TOEIC at the end of April. I reminded myself again that

I wanted to become a guide-interpreter because I wanted to communicate about

Japan to people overseas, and I will study English with a proper understanding of English,

which I found difficult to understand.

It’s going to be a very wet day in the Kanto area. Let’s stay warm! Have a good day♬


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