Regular Feature

Greetings from the Outskirts of Kyoto vol.8

INOUE Shōichi (Director-General)
May 28, 2021

On 16 April, there was a gathering of JAPARCHI whose remit is the study of Japanese cities and architecture, and it was conducted in French. Nichibunken hosted the event, which was held online.

The opening greeting was my responsibility as Nichibunken director. I was informed that Japanese is fine; and a short 3-minute address would fit the bill. Of course, I readily agreed.

However, a mysterious ambition stirred within me. When I was young, I actually spent a year or so engaged in the serious study of French. It served me no good purpose at the time, and I abandoned it thereafter. My French is thoroughly rusty.

I thought that I would like to put to the test that linguistic knowledge which, 50 years ago, had come to nothing. I wanted to have a memory of being able to use it. Such were my thoughts as I availed myself of the Japanese-French dictionary, and put together an address in French. I went ahead and delivered it!

However clumsy it may have been, did JAPARCHI participants appreciate my taking up the challenge? I dread asking what they thought.