南山大学

 

Alumni Network Former International Students

Thomas Kevin Mole

On 7 January, soon after the New Year’s holiday, Thomas Mole (CJS 1995-1996) came in to visit us. It was his first trip back to Nanzan in 15 years, so he was rather surprised at how different things are with the number of new buildings that have been built since his time with us. In those days, the CJS office was on the 3rd floor of Building L, but now it is in front of the fountain in Building N, and when he heard that this March it is to move to Building R beside the main gate, he was again surprised at the developments happening on campus. From our side, we were pleasantly surprised with his impressive Japanese skills.

The reason why he chose to come to Nanzan University was because there are relatively few foreigners in Nagoya, and so he thought that he would have ample opportunities to use and improve his Japanese. It would seem that he was right. After graduating from university he took up an important position with a construction-related company in which he could use his language skills, and now he comes to Japan once or twice a year. We now understand why Thomas’s Japanese skills are very much in keeping with the language that a Japanese businessman would use.

He enthusiastically recalled how when he was studying in Japan he took a trip to Takachiho in Kyushu, where his experience of some of Japan’s oldest folklore led to an ongoing and deep interest in Japanese culture. He is another who has joined the burgeoning ranks of foreign Japanophiles.

新年早々の1月7日にThomas Kevin Mole(CJS 1995~1996)さんの訪問がありました。15年ぶりの南山訪問ですが、キャンパス内には新しい建物が建ち、留学当時とかなり雰囲気が違うので、驚いていました。CJSのオフィスはL棟3階にあったのが、今は噴水の前のN棟になり、また、今年の3月末には正門横のR棟に移るということを聞いて、南山の発展に関心を寄せてくれました。反対に、こちらはMoleさんの日本語の達者なのに驚きました。南山を留学先として選んだのは、名古屋は外国人が少ないから、日本語を十分に駆使できると考えたからだそうです。その判断は正かったようです。大学卒業後は日本語を使う必要のある仕事に就き、現在は、建築関連の企業の重要なポジションに就いていて、年に1、2回は来日するそうです。Moleさんの日本語が日本人のビジネスマンのように熟れているのが理解できました。留学中に一人で九州の高千穂を旅し、日本の最も古い伝承に触れたことが日本文化への憧れと基になったのだと感動して説明してくれました。日本を愛する外国人が、また、一人誕生したわけです。