52. How do Yamanashi and University of Yamanashi reflect on the eyes of a sophisticated young man from the big city? An interview with a male student who is now enrolled in the Department of Biotechnology of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences. (Continued)

2014-12-19

Continuing from the last edition, we once again welcome T from the Department of Biotechnology of the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences. T is originally from Tokyo, and although at first he was bewildered with how countrified Yamanashi is, he is now enjoying a fulfilling campus life here♪.

・Have you joined a circle?

I didn’t join a circle but I did join an equestrian club.

・Horses! Wow! That’s cool! …. By the way, is there a difference between a circle and a club?

I’m not exactly sure what the technical difference is, but I always thought that in a “circle”, all they do is drink. (But I later learned that this was a misunderstanding, ha ha ha) So I was considering joining a club instead, even before I enrolled here. University of Yamanashi doesn’t have a lot of clubs so it was easy to narrow my options down. At the end, I visited the equestrian practice ground in Yatsugatake and after watching their practice, I was certain this was what I wanted to do. I spend most of my weekends in Yatsugatake now. In autumn, the reddening leaves are very beautiful and being with the horses is so much fun. Everyday, I’m inspired with something new. I can’t get enough of it (^^)

・I heard that you already marked an achieving result in a game.

I placed second in jumping at the games this past July. (showing a bashful expression).2-1s

(Photograph from the University of Yamanashi Equestrian Club FB)

・That’s amazing! It’s only been around a year or so since you even started riding horses, right?

Yes, that’s right. (once again, showing a bashful expression) But the game was for newcomers. The club members are all very fun to be with and the scenery of the practice ground is excellent. I really enjoy going to practice. I think the whole environment naturally allows me to be enthusiastic. I’m very very glad I joined the equestrian club. If I hadn’t joined the club, it would just be going to and fro my apartment in Kofu and the university campus. With that, I probably wouldn’t have liked my life in Yamanashi as much as I do right now. But thanks to my practice in Yatsugatake, I was able to fully enjoy the beautiful scenery that could only be seen in Yamanashi. I figured while I’m here in Yamanashi, it would be a waste if I didn’t make the most out of it.  

・The Yatsugatake area does have its own picturesque scenery that’s different from Kofu ♪. You really seem to have indulged yourself with the horses.

 Yes, I have. In fact, I’ve become so into the horses that this summer, I spontaneously flew to the U.S.to ride horses.

・You went to the U.S.? Lucky you(^^) Was it a family trip? Or did you go with a friend??

 No, I went alone.

・What? You went to the U.S. alone on an impromptu decision? Did you used to take trips overseas often as a child?

 Oh no. It was my first trip overseas. 2-2s

・Your first trip? Oh, I know. You have a friend living in the U.S., right?

 No, I don’t know anyone there. I just went because I wanted to. A whim, so to speak…Is that so surprising (lol)? I often act on a whim. I’m like, “Hey, let’s go to the beach!” and I would take some friends and drive to the beach, right there on the spot. 

・Wow! Yes, it is surprising! You look like a person who would make meticulous plans and won’t be satisfied unless you act according to them (although I know it’s wrong to judge a person by how he looks ^^;) I guess I was wrong.

 Oh no, I’m nothing like that (lol). I’m not so much a serious person to start with. In fact, I sometimes think that the students here at this university are too serious. I’m always impressed at how they all study very earnestly…Oh, not that I don’t study. I do study (just in case you’re wondering).

・I see… So, how was your trip to the U.S.?

 I had so much fun! I visited the Metropolitan Museum and MoMA, and I also got the chance to see a tennis game at the U.S. Open Championships. I was able to buy a ticket because I so happened to be in area at the time.

・The U.S. Open Championships that brought fame to the Japanese player who made history?

 Yes. Thanks to my on-the-spot decision, I was able to watch Kei Nishikori’s championship finals with my own eyes. It was so cool!2-3s

・Wow! You were able to watch that game live, with your own eyes?! That’s great…By the way, I take it English is not a problem with you seeing that you can go on an overseas trip alone?

 Oh no. I’m full of problems there. Basically, I can’t speak English at all. Everything was all babbling and broken English, and I had to use a lot of gestures. But I figured, I’ll get through somehow, and well, I did (lol).

・What?? You went without being confident with the English language….Great. But is that being active? Gutsy? Or are you just reckless (lol)?

Probably…just reckless (lol) Ever since junior highschool, I’ve been very bad with English.  I couldn’t even spell “dictionary” till the last moment of my highschool entrance exams. But from this trip, I was able to realize the importance of English communication and truly felt that I wanted to learn English and overcome my weakness.  About the same time, I found out that the “G-Philos” recently opened at the Center for International Education and Exchange. The G-Philos offers the opportunity to talk freely with the foreign exchange students. I didn’t hesitate to make good use of this fortunate situation.  The foreign exchange students are from various countries but many of them speak Japanese very well. They point out any mistakes or “funny” pronunciations I make when speaking English.  I’m very grateful for them. I intend to make the most out of this opportunity and polish up my English. 

・What is it with this person?…He seems to be reckless but at the same time, he’s advancing safely and with certainty. He goes about freely, doing as he wishes and yet, he’s steadfast and responsible (lol)…2-4s

Lastly, please pass on a message to those in the Tokyo area who are considering coming to University of Yamanashi.

Well, alright…(ponders for a moment)  Ok. How about “When you’re driving in Yamanashi, be careful for the pick-up trucks!” (lol)

・You’re right! That is indeed important!

<A little information concerning the typical everyday life of Yamanashi residents>
 ・There are basically quite a number of pick-up trucks once you’re away from the arterial highway and/or the city area.
 ・Often times the pick-up trucks are so slow, you might think they would come to a full stop.
 ・But then again, if you underestimate the “slow” pick-up trucks, they might drive pass you with incredible speed.
 ・You might question yourself about the common fact that cars are to be driven on roads. (Sometimes, cars appear out of the blue, directly from the fields.),

For those of you who may or may not drive pick-up trucks, please remember to drive safely ^^;

・As a matter of fact, we talked about many other things as well. We learned that T took piano lessons, enjoys water color paintings as a hobby, and loves cooking so much that the reason why he chose the apartment he lives in now was because there were two cooking stoves instead of one. He also likes to read and as a child he literally walked into power poles many times while read walking. He also mentioned having his own walking course back in Tokyo, when he tours around the Kanda/Jinbocho book store areas…. T indeed had a lot of hidden charms. Thank you very much.