Accepted Paper:

Cultural meaning of Japanese honorifics ("keigo"): implications from students' role-play at a women's college in Japan  


Natsumi Muranaka (Gifu City Women's College)

Paper short abstract:

Based on the achievement from introduction of role-play in teaching Japanese honorifics ("keigo") to the first-year students in Gifu City Women's College, Japan, this paper attempts to make an exploration of the cultural meaning and importance of Japanese honorifics.

Paper long abstract:

Japanese honorific, "keigo" plays significant role for Japanese not only in improving their quality of life but also in constructing their identities. However, fewer young Japanese nowadays can use honorific properly. Based on the result from questionnaire and role-play conducted in Japanese classes for the first-year students in the department of Cross Cultural Studies at Gifu City Women's College, this paper attempts to examine the degree of students' abilities of honorific usages and how they interpret its meanings. Students are asked to take the short quiz before and after the introduction of role-play in teaching Japanese honorifics and those results are compared to find out the influences of this role-play. The questionnaire was also conducted to understand students' consciousness toward Japanese honorifics. This paper finds that students began to understand the importance of Japanese honorifics and want to use them properly since they realise that the more properly they can use honorifics, the more deeply they can understand Japanese culture. This paper also finds that students become more confident and encouraged in using Japanese honorifics after conducting the role-play.

Panel P047
Migration of culture across organizations and communities