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Yoko Hikosaka
Yoko Hikosaka

STAFF INTERVIEW: Yoko Hikosaka

Euan: Good morning. Would you mind answering a few questions for the newsletter this week?
Yoko: Hidoi! [Kyoko laughs in the background].

E: So, are you from Okazaki?
Y: No, from Gamagori.

E: That's not so far from where I live.
Y: [Not far enough, probably]

E: So, what do you do at work?
Y: I handle all the money for Yamasa - student payments, refunds, application fees, and so on - in the student services office.

E: And what do you do out of work? What are your hobbies?
Y: I like swimming, and reading novels. At the moment I like Japanese period novels.

E: Who is your favourite author?
Y: Hmm, for period novels, Fujisawa Shuhei. Overall, Murakami Haruki.

E: Really? I'm reading a book by him too at the moment - kaze no uta something....
Y: Yes, kaze no uta wo kike... are you reading that in Japanese?

E: Well, I read it every morning on the train... in Japanese, but I only understand about half of it. Why did you start reading his books?
Y: At first I didn't like reading at all, but then a friend of mine recommended a book to me. I read one, and found I really liked it. I also really like the work of the artist who illustrates his books.

E: Do you know any foreign languages?
Y: Umm, Japanese. And a LITTLE Chinese.

E: Where did you learn Chinese?
Y: I stayed in Shanghai for 9 months, from summer 1997. I took Asian Cultural studies at university, although I didn't study Chinese then. Then, suddenly, while I was working after graduation, I felt like going to China. So I went to Shanghai, and studied at a language school there.

E: When did you start at Yamasa?
Y: In February 1999. In Japan, when you apply for a full-time job, there is usually a written test and then an interview. I had started at another company in Nagoya, but then Yamasa contacted me with the results of the test, and I decided to change. Probably something to do with the Chinese language, but I'm not sure how much I can use now!

E: What has been your best experience at Yamasa?
Y: People coming and saying thank you after they have studied. It makes you feel like you made a difference.

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