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Chigusa: 第二十五回 日本文化レッスンでございます。ちぐさです。
Yoshi: よしです。
Peter: Peter here. Japanese culture class #25. As always, brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Joining us on Saturday for Japanese culture class is the one and only Chigusa san and Yoshi san.
Chigusa: こんにちは。
Yoshi: こんにちは。 The one and only, Yoshi or Chigusa?
Peter: Umm do you really want me to answer that?
Yoshi: Very nice.

Lesson focus

Peter: Ah Yoshi, bringing back good memories. Well, it’s really good to have you here because Yoshi san, what are we talking about today?
Yoshi: 防災の日
Peter: Disaster prevention day. And when we are talking about disaster, nobody else – nobody else comes even close to Yoshi san. In this case, we can say the one and the only Yoshi san.
Yoshi: Very nice.
Peter: Okay Chigusa san, when was disaster prevention day?
Chigusa: Yesterday, September 1st.
Peter: And why was it held yesterday?
Chigusa: Because of the 関東大震災。
Peter: The Great Kanto Earthquake.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: When did this earthquake occur and what happened?
Chigusa: It happened on September 1st, 1923.
Peter: What happened and it left such a long lasting impact on people’s psyche?
Chigusa: Well because of this earthquake, there were 1.9 million victims and over a 105000 casualties.
Peter: So 1.9 million people were affected in some way by this earthquake.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: That’s an amazing number.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: And if you remember, we are talking about 1923 numbers. Now we went and we got the data. The population – Japan’s population in 1923 was 58 million, about half of what it is today and also we believe Tokyo’s population was about 4 million, 1.9 million, that’s about half of the people in Tokyo were affected by this earthquake.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Half!
Chigusa: Half!
Peter: That’s kind of like the equivalent of 8 or 9 or 10 million people being affected by some kind of knock on wood disaster occurring in Tokyo today.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Can you believe those numbers?
Chigusa: Umm unbelievable.
Peter: So again remember, these numbers we are throwing at you, this is again if you think in 1923 context, it is just amazing and this is why to this day, it’s still remembered and disaster prevention day is marked every year. Now Yoshi san, when we say disaster prevention day, what are we talking about here? What goes on on this day?
Yoshi: I think at schools or at different companies, they all practice what would happen in the event of disasters.
Peter: Unfortunately at our company, we don’t have time to practice drills and other things what we should do in the case of an emergency and it’s kind of the self-centered thinking that has left a lot of people unprepared for a major disaster. Chigusa san, what did we do yesterday?
Chigusa: We were eating cookies.
Peter: Yeah. We didn’t do anything so…pretty much a lot of people fall into this category. They don’t think it’s going to happen to them. Also construction has gotten better. So people feel safer in these new apartments, in these new complexes. Yet again, the architecture at that time, many of the houses were wood. There was a huge fire after the earthquake itself that did almost as much damage as the earthquake and people kind of have this false sense of security and it kind of leads to this being unprepared. So this day, 1) people practice, 2) they also are reminded on this day; listen, a disaster can happen, you should be prepared. Now watch this little survey we are going to do here. Yoshi san, the government recommends you have certain things prepared in the case that an earthquake occurs or a Tsunami or some kind of natural disaster. What do you have prepared at home?
Yoshi: I have TV.
Peter: Wrong answer.
Yoshi: Oh no!
Peter: What does your earthquake kit or natural disaster kit look like?
Chigusa: Umm flashlight.
Peter: Wow! that’s a lot better than Yoshi or myself because I too don’t have anything and I also don’t really know what to do in the case of a disaster, in the case of an emergency. Today, why don’t we talk a little bit about this and you mentioned flashlight. Right here in front of us, we have a list that Yoshi san got the official government website. On the list, it has many things that the government recommends you have. Flashlight is one of them.
Chigusa: Yeay!
Peter: Now let’s see if you can guess what else is on there. Chigusa san, let’s see what you got?
Chigusa: Umm water.
Peter: We got a winner. That’s on there, lots more to go. What else? So we have flashlight, water. Try again.
Chigusa: Like bread, bread like not normal bread but like…
Peter: You are sinking. I don’t know what kind of bread, crackers?
Chigusa: No like umm food.
Peter: Let’s go to the judge on this. Yoshi san, are we going to allow this answer?
Yoshi: Do you mean like your favorite steamed pancakes?
Chigusa: No like there is 乾パン in Japanese right?
Yoshi: Right.
Chigusa: 乾パン is like 非常食 but I know there is a word called 非常食.
Yoshi: Is that your final answer?
Chigusa: Yes it’s my final answer.
Yoshi: You are right.
Chigusa: Whoa!
Yoshi: You are right.
Peter: What number on the list?
Yoshi: Three. Peter san, you are wrong.
Peter: I know. I just was trying to test and see if she is just throwing it out there or she really knew, you know because a lot of people, they are not sure. They are kind of like – they say something and then they are waiting for your response. So I just felt ______ (0:06:10) test her a bit.
Chigusa: Ha ha! Hah I see!
Peter: Chigusa, you are really good. You actually have the top two answers.
Chigusa: Yeay!
Peter: Water and bread.
Chigusa: See, I am smart.
Peter: Chigusa, we knew that already. Now we’d love to play this game all day because we know that Chigusa can get them all but what we are going to do now is have Yoshi san run down the rest of what the government recommends you have in the case of a disaster. Yoshi san, give us the rest.
Yoshi: The flashlight as Chigusa san mentioned.
Peter: Top three, Chigusa san.
Chigusa: Yeay!
Peter: Next up.
Chigusa: 印鑑
Peter: Seal. Japanese uses seal for signing everything. Bank documents, leases, mortgages. If you need to move some important stuff, if you need important documents, you are going to need the seal in most cases especially this is related to the next couple. Chigusa san?
Chigusa: 現金 Cash.
Peter: Cash. Yoshi san, how much cash you have lying around the house?
Yoshi: Whole bunch. I can’t even grab by myself.
Peter: We thought the coin, he is like you know bills. I have like bills. We know you got the coins lying around.
Yoshi: I have a lot – I am really prepared.
Peter: Okay give me an idea. Give me a rough number?
Yoshi: Ha ha a whole bunch.
Peter: Oh ______ (0:07:30) either. Chigusa san, how about you?
Chigusa: Huh about 20,000.
Peter: I am lucky if I have 20,000 on any given day and that’s in my wallet. At home, I have no cash. Zero, zero…And the government recommends that you keep some on hand because usually when disasters happen, not usually but there are times when disasters happen, supply chains break down and all of a sudden, you have these huge spikes in prices just for regular commodities. So the government recommends you have some cash and one more thing recommended that has to do with banks.
Chigusa: Your bankbook.
Peter: In Japan, you need your bankbook. The small thing that keeps track of how much you are withdrawing and putting in electronically. You would need this to get cash out or to kind of prove things in case the whole system went down. So it recommends you take this too. So lots of financial things they recommend you grab. I remember seeing some comedies on Japanese TV when there is an earthquake or they are showing some kind of disaster. The first thing people run for is their seal and bankbook. Next we have
Chigusa: First aid kit.
Peter: Yeah something simple would probably work best. Band-Aid, some tape, some other things. Yoshi san, do you have one of those at home?
Yoshi: Of course not.
Peter: Yeah and it’s true. That’s what – I am in the same boat. I don’t have it. I got lots of medicine for colds and other things but no first aid kit.
Chigusa: You should get them today.
Peter: I should have gotten them yesterday.
Chigusa: Oh yeah.
Peter: But I didn’t get them yesterday. I don’t know…Chigusa san, don’t you have the next one to read?
Chigusa: Okay. And next we have can opener.
Peter: And Yoshi san, do you have one?
Yoshi: The electric can opener?
Peter: Which the government doesn’t recommend because if the power is out, you can’t use it. Yeah that’s the one, yeah.
Yoshi: Ah that’s right. No I don’t have one. I mean, there might be one in the drawer but I don’t know where it is.
Peter: Yeah well, you know what, before we tell you what the government recommends, let’s finish these off. Chigusa san, can you just run down the list?
Chigusa: Knife, clothes, lighter.
Peter: Which is much safer than just having some matches around.
Chigusa: Instant Ramen, blankets, radio.
Peter: A radio.
Chigusa: Radio.
Peter: This could be a crucial source of information. So in the digital age, I can tell you I don’t have a radio. A radio working on batteries would be a really safe bet.
Chigusa: Food, helmet.
Peter: Helmets?
Chigusa: Helmet.
Peter: Yoshi san, why did this one make the list. Any ideas?
Yoshi: Yeah you know like a whole bunch of different things could be falling off or falling down.
Peter: When you are walking down the street, parts of buildings and stuff or if you are in, a building that’s creaking or not doing too well.
Yoshi: Right.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Makes sense to me now. Thank you very much.
Chigusa: Batteries.
Peter: Lots of batteries. Again we take, in a digital world, we take for granted that we just plug everything in and it works fine but batteries.
Chigusa: That’s it.
Peter: Now that’s what the government recommends. We also did some research on our own and we found some earthquake kits you can buy online. Yoshi san, what was the going rate, the average rate for an earthquake kit?
Yoshi: From ¥5000 to like ¥20000.
Peter: And these kits, do they have most of the stuff the government recommended?
Yoshi: Yeah pretty much except those you know, personal stuff like bankbook or the seal but everything else pretty much.
Peter: So if you have one of these and you actually put your bank information, I don’t know if you want to do that but if you keep one of these kits on hand and you know what your bank information is and your seal, you will be in a lot better position. All right, now we are preaching it. We got to go do it. Yoshi san, we are going to get earthquake kits.
Yoshi: Okay.
Peter: Okay now let’s get some data out here to back up what we are talking about. We found this survey online and in this survey, they ask people if they were prepared, they asked them a bunch of questions. Let’s introduce you to some data to kind of show you what the average person thinks about these disaster cases and if they really think it’s in the realm of their possibilities. Chigusa san, what was the first question on this survey?
Chigusa: The first question is, do you have any preparation for disasters?
Peter: And what was the amount of people that said they haven’t really done any preparation?
Chigusa: 41.5%
Peter: And out of that 41.5%, what percent were people living alone?
Chigusa: 66.2%
Peter: So I think this is the most probable like these people are the most at risk. You know, you are living alone, you don’t think about – you don’t really think about yourself. So families are bit more concerned about not so much themselves but their kids or other people. So that was the first thing. Almost half the people haven’t done anything at all to prepare in Japan, the world’s most likely country to be hit by an earthquake. Yoshi san, what do we have next?
Yoshi: The next one is, have you bought any of those goods?
Peter: Meaning the goods we just talked about. The flashlight, the batteries and this will be specifically for an earthquake as opposed to just swinging by the storm and picking them up for yourself. The response to this was 63% of households have not bought anything specifically for this. Now this differs from the last question because in the last question, we had in there, preparations. Maybe you plan an escape route or you have some kind of plan where to meet at the hospital or some kind of other things but here 63.4% have done nothing and actually, we are in that group guys. Yeah it means you Chigusa that means you Yoshi. We fall into this group.
Yoshi: That’s a shame.
Peter: We are laughing but yeah it kind of – we definitely shouldn’t be because it’s bit of a serious topic.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Especially in Japan. Just Thursday, there was an earthquake and what was scary about that earthquake was, it was in Tokyo Bay under the water which makes it possible for Tsunami to hit and a 4 on the Richter scale. So just kind of tells you that we had an earthquake the day before disaster prevention day. Then we had disaster prevention day and today, we are talking about it and I can say that with a bit of confidence that I don’t think every one of us will go buy a kit at the end of the show. Now finally, last thing today. I am going to ask you about a number and let’s see who knows about this number. Chigusa san, Yoshi san if I say 171 いち、なな、いち and I say NTT, does it ring any bells, does it have any meaning for you?
Chigusa: I think I’ve heard of it before but I don’t know exactly what it is.
Peter: Yoshi san?
Yoshi: I don’t know.
Peter: Well let’s have to call and find out what it is.
Yoshi: Okay.
Peter: Chigusa san, before Yoshi san fills this in, what do you think it is.
Chigusa: I think I’ve seen it on TV commercial once.
Peter: And what’s it related to?
Chigusa: Something about leaving messages in case of disasters I think like leaving messages and listening to it. I don’t know about the details but I think I’ve seen it once on TV before.
Peter: That makes 1/3 today that knew about that. I didn’t knew about that either. Now this is an NTT service. Yoshi, can you tell us about this. You just called, tell us a little about it.
Yoshi: So you can dial 171 and a lady says, it’s a message center something like that and you can dial 1 to leave a message and you can dial 2 to listen to the messages and also by dialing 3 or 4, you can leave a message and listen to the messages.
Peter: And this is a really unique feature because sometimes you can’t directly call to somebody. So you can call to NTT, get the information there. So stop by japanesepod101.com. There we are going to have everything we covered today plus more about 171 which is specifically for disaster messages. All right so Chigusa san, Yoshi san, are we going to go buy kits?
Chigusa: Yes definitely. I think my parents got one recently I think.
Peter: Really?
Chigusa: Actually yeah.
Peter: Well that takes you off the list. You are all set.
Chigusa: You know but maybe there is only two of them. I think we all need one for ourselves right?
Peter: Ah I see how you take things. Every man and woman for themselves.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: Get your own kit dad. Well Yoshi san, we should remember that. We should bring it to the studio and we are not sure it’s going to happen when things go down and Chigusa is in the room. Okay Yoshi san, how about you?
Yoshi: Yes of course.


Peter: And I will let you know next week what happened with me. All right, that’s going to do it for today.
Chigusa: またね。
Yoshi: またね。


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