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  - in the historical Japanese kana/kanji orthography

・114.0 When describing efforts by foreigners …

2017-04-24 | 出題英文讀解


Baseball scoreless in language bout* with sumo

  When describing efforts by foreigners to gain a foothold in Japan, author / commentator and former president of ASI Market Research (Japan), Inc., George Fields, liked to (  A  ) the analogy* of pro baseball players and sumo wrestlers.  The former, for reasons we shall see, were (1) held up as outsiders who forever remained so; the latter were outsiders who became insiders.

     Twenty years ago, the most prominent foreign rikishi (sumo wrestlers) tended to be from Hawaii, which has a large Japanese-American population and (  B  ) cultural ties with Japan.  More recently, however, most foreign rikishi have hailed* from Mongolia(Asashoryu), as well as Bulgaria(Kotooshu), Russia(Rohou) and other former Soviet bloc countries.

     (2) Frequently appearing in TV interviews, the wrestlers do, of course, make the occasional error ― but when they speak, they sound like sumo rikishi, and they express themselves in a manner remarkably similar to their Japanese counterparts.

     This language proficiency, particularly among foreign grapplers* from countries with only (a) tenuous historical and cultural ties to Japan, has become a topic of academic study. Dr. Satoshi Miyazaki, a professor at the Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics, Waseda University, began his fieldwork in 1997.

     “I asked the Sumo Association about how foreign rikishi were receiving instruction in Japanese, but they had no definitive answer,” Miyazaki relates*.  So he began visiting the sumo beya (stables), befriending the young wrestlers and talking to the oyakata (stable masters), their wives and people in the neighborhood.

     In 2001, Miyazaki published “Gaikokujin Rikishi wa Naze Nihongo ga Umai no ka (Why is the Japanese of Foreign Sumo Wrestlers so Good?),” reissued this year by Meiji Shoin.

     In it, Miyazaki (  C  ) nine (b) salient characteristics concerning the environment of foreign rikishi that have been able to achieve Japanese proficiency, including no prior Japanese study experience before coming to Japan; total immersion*; strong motivation to learn; adaptability; ability to tap* a variety of resources; and no looking [    ] words in the dictionary.

     “To learn the language, they don’t need a teacher or a dictionary,” Miyazaki says.  “They just learn through osmosis*.  Foreign rikishi are not here to learn Japanese, but to learn sumo.  But by learning sumo they have to learn Japanese.  That’s their motivation.  Many students who learn in classroom studies don’t know what to do with the language they learn.  So it’s a matter of identity.”

     Miyazaki also credits* the role of the okami-san (stable masters’ wives) in the language acquisition process.  As kindly mother figures, they provide a (  D  ) ear, looking [    ] the personal needs of young foreign rikishi and helping them to [    ] homesickness.  Miyazaki also advanced the (c) hypothesis that the higher the sumo rank achieved, the better the fluency.

     “It’s a matter of communication, not fluency per se,” he says.  “Their speech shows they know sumo history, and the ‘way’ of sumo.  This indicates the degree they can participate according to the role they play in society.”

     Regarding the language abilities of foreign baseball players, Marty Kuehnert, Team Adviser for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Sendai and longtime sports columnist says; “Ball players come here for the money, not for a cultural experience.  Japan is almost (  E  ) home for them.  They all want to go back to the Major Leagues, if they could make [    ] there, but some have to be content with the money here.

     “Sumo rikishi, on the other hand, are coming here to enter a new profession.  They are committed to learning that profession and staying here as long as they can, without any significant breaks to go home.  They have no interpreters and they have to learn Japanese to survive, so they do.”

出典: The Japan Times 2006年5月16日掲載の記事より部分転載

*注 bout: 試合  analogy: 類推、例え  hailed form~ : (人が)~の出身である   grapplers: 力士  relate: 述べる  immersion: 没入すること tap: (資源を)開発〔利用〕する  osmosis: (知識などが)徐々に染み込むこと  credit: 評価する


問1 下線部(1)の held up と同じ意味の使い方をしているものを、次の文章の中から1つ選び記号で答えなさい。

a. The bank robbers who held up the bank over the road fortunately didn’t use their guns.

b. With tears in his eyes, the proud father held up his newborn son.

c. China’s economic development should not necessarily be held up as a model for other countries.

d. “I’m sorry I’m late.  There must have been an accident because I was held up in the traffic for ages.”


問2 下線部(2)を日本語に訳しなさい。


問3 本文中の空欄 (  A  )~(  E  ) にあてはまる最も適当と思われる単語を1つ選び、それぞれ番号で答えなさい。

A.  1. calculate  2. apply  3. explain

B.  1. close  2. closed  3. opened

C.  1. contains  2. designates  3. refers

D.  1. passionate  2. sympathetic  3. considerable

E.  1. always  2. completely  3. never


問4 次の単語の中から本中の空欄 [  ア  ]~[  エ  ] に入る最も適当な単語をそれぞれ1つ選び、番号で答えなさい。

1. down      2. under     3. them      4. it        5. opposite 

6. up        7. overcome  8. on        9. after     10. overrate


問5 次の単語の中から下線部 (a)~(c) の単語に最も近い意味をもつものをそれぞれ1つ選び、番号で答えなさい。

1. weak      2. strong     3. holy     4. bright    5. important

6. minor     7. idea      8. conclusion  9. title    10. friendly


問6 次の英文の中から、本文の内容と一致するものを3つ選び、番号で答えなさい。

1. Dr. Miyazaki’s book was printed for the second time by a publishing company in 2001.

2. Foreign baseball players do not enjoy Japanese culture.

3. Even without speaking the Japanese language, foreign rikishi could succeed in sumo.

4. Foreign rikishi speak Japanese well because they have to speak it in order to learn sumo.

5. Foreign baseball players are not as motivated as their Japanese counterparts.

6. The okami-san give emotional support to the foreign rikishi.

7. The foreign rikishi from Mongolia speak Japanese better than those from former Soviet bloc countries.

8. Unlike foreign baseball players, foreign rikishi come to Japan with the intention of staying in the country, possibly for good.


問7 この新聞記事のタイトルを日本語に訳しなさい。ただし、新聞記事のタイトルとしてふさわしい日本語にすること。



パート1  When describing から

パート2  Frequently appearing から

パート3  In 2001 から

パート4  Miyazaki also credits から

パート5  Regarding the から

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