Interview: Mason becomes binding agent between Japan, UK Part 2

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. all but / ɔl bʌt / (idiom) – everyone or everything except the person or thing mentioned

    I’m almost done collecting them! I have all but the green one.

  2. permission / pərˈmɪʃ ən / (n) – the right or ability given to someone to do something

    The boy asked his teacher for permission to go to the bathroom during class.

  3. to date / tʊ deɪt / (idiom) – up until the present time

    The actress has starred in over 30 movies to date.

  4. bypass / ˈbaɪˌpæs / (v) – to avoid or ignore someone or something, often in order to achieve something more quickly

    Jack bypassed the usual communication flow and spoke directly to the CEO because he needed an immediate answer.

  5. financial means / fɪˈnæn ʃəl miːnz / (n) – monetary resources

    Megan’s family doesn’t have the financial means to send her to college.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

Now, as a professional member of the DSWA holding all but the highest qualification in dry stone walling, Kamiya has permission to provide the lessons he took in the U.K. to those in Japan preparing for the examinations. To date, he has supported 50 craftsmen to achieve qualifications of various levels.

Kamiya teaches all the required knowledge and skills in Japanese, which enables Japanese craftsmen to bypass learning in the U.K. before the examination. His efforts allow even those with limited English language skills, time or financial means to enter the industry.

Many craftsmen who have achieved a DSWA qualification have gone on to work at Kamiya’s Aichi-based company, Kamiya Landscaping, which offers garden planning and design, dry stone structures and maintenance nationwide.

Kamiya visits the U.K. annually to continue upskilling.

“One thing I really look forward to on my trips is talking in English with my masonry masters and friends.”

Being able to communicate in English has allowed him to expand his professional and social network as well as to encounter new things. Making his first trip to the U.K. to study at the DSWA, he says, “was the start of a new life” for him.

“I’ve learned that if you can forget fear and take a step forward, you can change your life.” (Kathryn Wortley)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Thanks to Kamiya, Japanese craftspeople are able to bypass learning in the UK before the examination. In your opinion, is this a good or bad thing? Why? Discuss.
  • Kamiya visits the UK annually to continue upskilling. Do you think it’s important to always continue learning, or is it okay to relax once you achieve a certain level? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How much importance do you place on qualifications (ex. not very important, extremely important)? Why? Discuss.
  • What do you think is the most useful qualification to have (ex. a teaching license, a certain TOEIC score)? Why? Discuss.
Category : Human Interest