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Norikazu Yokozawa
Norikazu Yokozawa

STAFF INTERVIEW: Norikazu Yokozawa

Euan: Isogashii desu ka?
Yokozawa: Eh?

E: [Wonders why he always gets that response] Would you mind answering a few questions?
Y: [Eyes begin to dart around nervously] Ahhh, no?

E: So, are you from Okazaki?
Y: No, I was born in Toyohashi, and I still live there. I come to Okazaki by train every day.

E: What are your hobbies?
Y: Eh? What kind of interview is this?!

E: A bad one. Hobbies?
Y: Umm, I like driving...computers too. And Sushi.

E: Driving? You mean racing?
Y: [laughs] No, just driving to nice places, you know, in the countryside, the beach, stuff like that.

E: Sushi? What is your favourite type?
Y: Uni [sea urchin], I guess. And egg. and ikura [large fish roe].

E: Eclectic. The most expensive and the cheapest. Any other hobbies?
Y: Ah, Onsen. I like onsen [hot springs]. It's such a good feeling - hot water helps you relax, and then you can always eat such good sushi at an onsen.

E: What languages do you speak?
Y: Japanese, and a little English.

E: Where did you learn English?
Y: I worked in New Zealand, in Auckland, for two years - 1996 and 97. I taught Japanese children in a school for expat Japanese children there, and taught Japanese outside the school.

E: Where did you live during that time?
Y: I lived in a homestay. Well, more of a student hostel, I guess. There were two other foreigners as well, and the couple that we lived with. I really enjoyed it - I think that living with a family is the best way to learn a language.

E: So, what is your reason for teaching Japanese?
Y: Meeting people from all over the world is fun, and also very interesting. Also, seeing other people's images of Japan, the way that they see Japan, and learning about the culture that they come from is really interesting. It makes you think about your own culture and way of life.

E: What was your worst experience to date?
Y: When people don't come to school, for whatever reason, when they lose the will to study; it makes you question what you are doing, whether you are doing something wrong.

E: And the best?
Y: Keeping in touch with people after they graduate, seeing people who can't say a word of Japanese when they arrive learn, and then hearing of the things that they can do with the Japanese that they've learnt. That makes you feel really good.

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