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Accounting Episodes as Communicative Practice Affecting Cultural Knowledge
Unformatted Document Text:  5 that her boyfriend had used the word, “Jap,” to describe one of the characters in the movie they had been talking about with the two other American friends in a car. Prior to the following excerpt, she was describing how surprised she had been by the boyfriend’s behavior of only explaining why he had used the word without offering an apology. Excerpt 1 #J11(Hitomi) pp. 15-16 I: So he didn’t apologize after all? H: Well then other topics came up and we started arguing. I said, “But I didn’t hear a formal apology from you.” In the end, he said, “I’m sorry.” I: In English? H: Yes. He said, “I’m sorry.” Then he said, “But that’s a little strange. Do you think it’s OK if I did something, something bad, somewhere, whatever I did, if I said, ‘I’m sorry,’ is it OK with you?” I felt like, no it doesn’t sound OK, and didn’t know what to say. Actually it isn’t OK.... We started talking about childhood. As kids we did a lot of things like hitting a neighbor’s window with a baseball. He said, “For example, if the window was broken because of the ball I hit, what my neighbor expected was not my saying, “I’m sorry.” It should be like, “We were playing but we made sure that the baseball didn’t reach your window. But then this and that happened and because of that it happened at the end. I will never do it again.” That is more like an apology for me.” When I heard that, I didn’t know what was right. Both seemed right and wrong. When I think as a Japanese, if someone said, “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again,” it’s not so important to pursue what happened and how it happened. We don’t see it as so important. But he said, “It is much more important to me.” I: Did the other two friends have the same view? H: They didn’t say anything. After that incident, we agreed that if we did something wrong, let’s compromise and say, “I’m sorry,” first and then give an excuse. It’s just between him and me. It doesn’t matter what other people do, we just agreed to do so as a result. On his part, he wouldn’t feel OK if I didn’t say why what happened happened and how it happened. The problematic event Hitomi encountered was her boyfriend’s making an offensive comment about the group with

Authors: Kotani, Mariko.
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5
that her boyfriend had used the word, “Jap,” to describe one
of the characters in the movie they had been talking about with
the two other American friends in a car. Prior to the following
excerpt, she was describing how surprised she had been by the
boyfriend’s behavior of only explaining why he had used the word
without offering an apology.
Excerpt 1 #J11(Hitomi) pp. 15-16
I:
So he didn’t apologize after all?
H:
Well then other topics came up and we started
arguing. I said, “But I didn’t hear a formal apology
from you.” In the end, he said, “I’m sorry.”
I: In
English?
H:
Yes. He said, “I’m sorry.” Then he said, “But that’s
a little strange. Do you think it’s OK if I did
something, something bad, somewhere, whatever I
did, if I said, ‘I’m sorry,’ is it OK with you?”
I felt like, no it doesn’t sound OK, and didn’t know
what to say. Actually it isn’t OK.... We started
talking about childhood. As kids we did a lot of
things like hitting a neighbor’s window with a
baseball. He said, “For example, if the window was
broken because of the ball I hit, what my neighbor
expected was not my saying, “I’m sorry.” It should
be like, “We were playing but we made sure that the
baseball didn’t reach your window. But then this
and that happened and because of that it happened
at the end. I will never do it again.” That is more
like an apology for me.” When I heard that, I didn’t
know what was right. Both seemed right and wrong.
When I think as a Japanese, if someone said, “I’m
sorry. I’ll never do it again,” it’s not so
important to pursue what happened and how it
happened. We don’t see it as so important. But he
said, “It is much more important to me.”
I:
Did the other two friends have the same view?
H:
They didn’t say anything. After that incident, we
agreed that if we did something wrong, let’s
compromise and say, “I’m sorry,” first and then
give an excuse. It’s just between him and me. It
doesn’t matter what other people do, we just agreed
to do so as a result. On his part, he wouldn’t feel
OK if I didn’t say why what happened happened and
how it happened.
The problematic event Hitomi encountered was her
boyfriend’s making an offensive comment about the group with


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