Recitation Speech

Hello, everyone. My name is _______. I'm _____ years old. I'm in the ____ grade at ____ Junior High School. Recently I met a friend from abroad through the Internet. His name is Lee Yung from Singapore. I'd like to tell you about our experiences together.

At first, Lee wanted to know everything about my home town, Takasago. Although I was born and raised in Takasago, I knew almost nothing about my town, so I looked through the English guide to the city. I told Lee that Takasago meant "high sand" in Japanese. The city stands at the mouth of the Kako River and with a population of 99,000, it is located about 80 kilometers northwest of Kansai International Airport. I also told him that there were several large industries along the shoreline. I explained to Lee that Takasago was famous for a number of things. Firstly there is anago which is a kind of conger eel caught locally and that is very delicious. Then there are the exciting autumn Shinto festivals called Matsuri. There're also many old shrines. Last but not least Takasago is famous for the Yokyoku song which is named after it. The song is often sung at wedding ceremonies.

Then he asked me about the Matsuri. He thought it was like a carnival in Rio. I tried to explain exactly what a Matsuri was, but I was not able to in English. I could only say, "Seeing is believing."

We exchanged lots of letters using E-mail. He became so interested in my town that last October he decided to come and see it for himself. I was so happy that I could at last show him around Takasago.

First we went to Ishi no Hoden, where we saw the famous rock which looks as if it is floating on water. It is said that this historical monument was built more than 1,400 years ago. Then we went to the Takasago Shrine, where we saw the Aioi Pine Trees. The two trees are a symbol of long lasting happy married life. In fact Takasago is often associated with marriage and that is why it is called "The Bridal City."

The following day was the first day of Matsuri. Lee was delighted because he could wear a Mawashi, and he asked, "Do I look like a sumo wrestler?" As one of the Wakashu, he got to carry the heavy Mikoshi. We had a wonderful time.

So in the end I learned a lot about Takasago. It has been an interesting chain of events, from computer to friendship to cultural exchange. My friends, we young people have a lot to look forward to in the future. As communicators of our different cultures, I hope we are all able to realize our dreams.

Thank you very much.


こんにちは、皆さん。私は ____ です。年齢は __ で、 __ 中学の __ 年生です。最近インターネットを通して友人ができました。シンガポールのリー・ヤン君です。私たちが一緒に体験した事を、これからお話します。

最初リー君は高砂のことを何でも知りたがりました。私は高砂生まれの高砂育ちですが、自分の町についてはほとんど何も知りませんでした。そこで英語のガイドブックを調べて、次のように説明しました。--- 加古川河口に開けた高砂は、「高い砂」という意味で、人口は99000人。関西国際空港から北西におよそ80キロのところに位置し、海岸沿いには大きな工場が立ち並んでいる。町の名物はアナゴ。内海でとれるウナギのようなこの魚はずいぶんおいしい。古い神社がたくさんあり、秋には勇壮な祭りが行われる。この町の名にちなんだ謡曲高砂は結婚式の定番、---と締めくくりました。


私たちは数多くの電子メールをやり取りしました。リー君は高砂の町に非常に興味をもってとうとう去年の 10月、一人でやってくる決心をしました。私はついにこの町を実際に案内してあげることになって、とても幸せな気分でした。