Tweet of the Week #127: Comedian’s Advice to Recruits, ‘Don’t Like it? Quit!’

Source: Gaijin Pot

In Japan, April is when companies welcome their yearly batch of recruits, most of which have just graduated university. It’s an important moment because traditionally, works join a company for life.

Quitting for anything other than marriage or pregnancy is frowned upon, even if you discover your work environment is toxic. The older generations expect recruits to push through with a message of “gaman spirit.”

Gaman is a term that comes from Japanese Zen Buddhism and means “to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.”

Comedian Masayasu Wakabayashi has a different message to recruits.

To all the new recruits


— シ毎(うみ) (@umi10231023) March 31, 2021


“To all the new recruits, starting tomorrow…”

Your value as a human being doesn’t change if you run away.

On a recent episode of 激げきレアさんを連つれてきた (I brought a super rare person), co-host Ayaka Hironaka asks Masayasu Wakabayashi to cheer up new recruits who are starting from April (4月(しがつ)から新生活(しんせいかつ)という方(かた)も、エールを).

To which he replies, イヤなら、やめろ! (“If you don’t like it, quit!)

This raw honesty triggered a wave of reactions on Twitter, with users such as @umi10231023 debating the advice’s merits.

Many approved the need for new workers to escape if they find themselves in a toxic work environment, arguing that quitting does not equate to “running away.”

‘Balance is key’


— まーちゃん (@illbeebac) April 1, 2021



“It sounds like you’re giving up, but I think it’s true considering you’re the only one who can protect yourself. Your value as a human being doesn’t change if you run away.

Other voices cautioned that work doesn’t always come easy, and young recruits also need to toughen up if they want to advance in life. Like for many things, balance is the key.”

‘Clenched their teeth’


— 春日亭夢乃小若師匠 …continue reading


Four habits of highly successful teachers in Japan

Teaching English in Japan can be an enriching experience, not only for your students but also for you. There are many unique opportunities to learn, grow and gain experience that would be hard to come by in any other field. To become a highly successful English teacher in Japan, one must always be open to and on the lookout for such chances. Today I am going to share with you a few things that have helped me to become a better teacher, both in my own opinion and in that of my fellow teachers and students.

Tip number one – Never stop improving your lessons

It can be very easy to develop a curriculum for a year of English teaching, and then simply deliver it as is year after year. Whilst such a method may work, and you will naturally get better at teaching through simple experience, you will forever be teaching at a beginner/intermediate level. To become a highly successful teacher, just like with anything else, active effort to improve is required. It may seem obvious but you would be surprised at how many teachers treat the work as finished once the lesson is over.

Arguable as important the planning phase itself is making post lesson notes. History is doomed to repeat itself, and you will run into the same hiccups next year unless you improve your lesson plan now, and not a year from now. If for example an activity you had expected to run for fifteen minutes became dull and the students were uninterested after ten minutes, don’t blame them. Chances are the activity either didn’t merit so much time, or something was missing. The best time to reflect and try to understand why is as soon as possible. The best time to try to improve the lesson is …continue reading


Break into a New Career with a Job in Japan’s Video Game Industry

Source: Gaijin Pot
Break into a New Career with a Job in Japan's Video Game Industry

Japan is practically synonymous with video games. Almost all the big franchises and names started here. Gaming is also a billion-dollar business enjoyed globally by people of all ages and backgrounds.

It’s only natural that professionals worldwide are attracted to join the industry in Japan. It can be a challenging one to break into, especially if there are language barriers, but it’s not impossible given the opportunities available on GaijinPot Jobs.

Due to Japan’s shrinking population, companies in all industries are seeking foreign workers…

Companies big and small have hired foreign programmers, designers and producers through GaijinPot for years. There are opportunities in translation, quality assurance, journalism, customer support, marketing and even freelance and other outsourced work.

While speaking Japanese will open many doors, there are plenty of jobs that require no Japanese. Here’s a look at some of the best jobs for foreigners to break into Japan’s video game industry.

Translation and localization

Translation will open doors in all types of industries.

Speakers of English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai are often welcome for language quality assurance (QA) jobs.

These jobs often involve playtesting games to check for things like language appropriateness or if the speech and communication will make sense to gamers from other cultures. Translators will manage spreadsheets and confidential information to preserve the context and nuance of a game’s story and presentation.

You can prepare for this type of role by learning computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools—such as Trados or MemoQ—and list them on your application, resume or CV as relevant skills. This can help you get noticed by a hiring team.

However, remember that these are entry-level roles and …continue reading


2021 Top Jobs in Japan Week 15

Source: Gaijin Pot

If you’re looking to work in Japan, check back here each week as we look through our database of top jobs in Japan posted to GaijinPot and showcase some of the most interesting ones. You can apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot Jobs!


Senior Service Sales Engineer

  • Company: GRUNDFOS
  • Salary: ¥3.6M ~ ¥6.6M / Year Negotiable
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Basic
  • Japanese: Native level
  • Application: Overseas applications OK

Grundfos is looking for a senior engineer to take care of service sales revenue and profit for the company in selected areas, keeping up mutually fruitful relations with customers.

You must have experience managing processes within the service industry and at least five years of work experience in the manufacturing industry.

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RSK Co., Ltd.

Foreign Exchange/Bitcoin ATM service Front Staff

  • Company: RSK Co., Ltd.
  • Salary: ¥1,100 ~ ¥1,100 / Hour
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Fluent
  • Japanese: Fluent
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Sakura Exchange is seeking part-time currency exchange personnel in multiple locations in Tokyo: Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Tokyo.

You don’t need extensive knowledge of the financial market. Student/working holiday visa is OK. Must currently reside in Japan.

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AmerAsian School in Okinawa

School Principal

  • Company: AmerAsian School in Okinawa
  • Salary: ¥259,000 / Month
  • Location: Okinawa, Japan
  • English: Business level
  • Japanese: Business level
  • Application: Overseas applications OK

The AmerAsian School in Okinawa is looking for a new school principal to serve as the school’s chief leader, oversee all aspects of the school’s operation and ensure a high quality of education.

You should be …continue reading


Finding A Gym When You Have Tattoos In Tokyo

Finding A Gym When You Have Tattoos In Tokyo

“I’m usually a fit guy, but I broke my ankle, had to have two surgeries, and then with the pandemic/working from home, I’ve gained a lot of weight. I checked out my three closest gyms with my Japanese girlfriend (kickboxing, Anytime Fitness, and Konami) but they all refused to let me join because I have a pretty big tattoo on my upper arm. I said I’d keep it covered, but they all showed me the door. What gives? Is keeping it covered with a shirt not good enough anymore?”

Oh Japan. You’d think with the pandemic and the Olympics (presumably) still coming, gyms would have realized that turning away people with tattoos is bad for business, but apparently, it’s not bad enough.

Many hot springs and other such facilities have changed their policies to accept tattooed tourists, and others have been considering this as a means of reaping the rewards when post-pandemic travelers come knocking at their doors. Gyms, on the other hand, seem to be doubling down on their anti-tattoo stance.

they all refused to let me join because I have a pretty big tattoo

I ran into this myself several years back and made a list of all the gyms I couldn’t go to. It turns out, anything that’s a chain gym will probably turn you down flat, including international chains. The only chain that was open-minded and got my business was Curves for Women, but with limited locations and obviously being for women, that’s not an option for everyone.

Here is my list of major chain gyms and their tattoo policies as of February 2021:

Gyms that ban tattoos outright:
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Tokyo Sports Oasis
  • Joy Fit Group
  • Konami Sports Club
  • Central Sports

You cannot join these gyms period. If you are found to have lied about having a tattoo when you joined, or get one after the fact, …continue reading


Common Questions All Foreigners Will Get Asked In Japan

When you start living in Japan as a foreigner, many Japanese are curious about your country of origin, its culture, and your life in Japan. As time goes by, you will notice certain patterns of questions that you will probably have to answer on more than one occasion. Although the questions will vary depending on the who you are taking to, here is a list of some of the most common questions that foreigners get asked in Japan.

Where are you from?

This is undoubtedly the most common question that you will get asked. The first thing the Japanese will be interested in is knowing where you are from. In general, the Japanese tend to think that we are all from North America, especially in the case of Caucasians. But do not be offended if this misunderstanding happens. Japanese people do not know how to distinguish a European, North American or Australian by their appearance or accent. (just as many Westerners find it difficult to distinguish Asian people). This is definitely a good way to start a conversation with Japanese and to introduce your country to them.

Why did you come to Japan?

Besides being curious about your country and its culture, another aspect that seems to interest the Japanese the most is knowing the reasons that led you to come to Japan and the image you have about their country. Normally, they are very happy that foreign people are interested in their country and they really appreciate the long journey you have made to come to know their culture and customs. Whether you came to study Japanese, to work in a company or for some other reason, they will love to hear your story and to learn about your interest in Japan.

In fact, in Japan there is a television program called “Youは何し日本へ …continue reading


Introducing Furosato Nozei, Japans “Hometown Tax”

With the ever increasing problem of mass migration to the big cities, the rural areas of Japan are suffering from depopulation. The Japanese government has implemented a novel idea to help address this issue, called Furosato Nozei or “hometown tax” redirection. Under the system, tax payers can choose to redirect a portion of their city taxes to any participating rural Japanese area of their choosing. This is done by purchasing specific local goods. So what does this mean for you exactly? Essentially you can buy delicious or interesting local goods at a special high price, and then that money is reduced from your tax bill. You ultimately get free stuff!

Can I participate?


Any taxpayer in Japan is eligible to participate in the system. The reduction will apply to your city tax payment.

Whilst the system is entitled “hometown”, you do not need to have any connection to the region you choose. If there is an area you really like, perhaps a rural area you taught English in, or a friend’s hometown, you can buy that towns goods. However, due to this fact many people shop around for goods they actually want without any real interest in propping up that area’s economy. The Japanese web store Rakuten has a special area that shows only Furosato Nozei products, making this method very simple.

What kinds of things can I get?

The products available are generally in some way connected to the region you choose to support. This usually means food products, but artistic things and travel vouchers are also available.

Personally, I have participated in the system for three years. My choices have included various honeys from a town in Nagano prefecture, an assortment of preserved meats from Kyushu and lots and lots of apple juice.

Why not take a look yourself on Rakuten? The site is set …continue reading


Japanese government mulling over potential four-day working week

Three-day weekend every week? Yes please!!

Back in 2019, Microsoft Japan’s three-day weekend experiment showed great improvements in worker productivity, with reports claiming the workers got 40 percent more work done. The rest of the country waited with bated breath — would this mean the rest of Japan would follow suit, and give the country’s overworked employees more flexible work schedules?

Sadly, not much has changed, as shown by one government office recently making the news when it disciplined workers for routinely going home a couple of minutes early. The glorious promise of three-day weekends very week once again seemed like a distant dream, but now there’s a new glimmer of hope.

At a press conference on April 5th, Liberal Democratic Party politician and Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said he’d like to “examine what the government can do” about implementing a potential “voluntary three-day holiday“, where full-time permanent employees can choose a schedule where they have three days a week off instead of two.

▼ “Sorry, sir. I’m taking today off!”

At the press conference, Kato talked about the increasing need for a healthy work-life balance. By implementing a voluntary three-day holiday each week, employees would struggle less due to issues such as lack of adequate childcare for their children, caring for elderly relatives or battling illnesses. As a result, people would be more likely to stay at their jobs for longer. A voluntary three-day holiday could allow people to travel more, in turn helping boost Japan’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard due to the coronavirus.

On the other hand, some have expressed concern over the potential decrease in wages that a three-day holiday could bring. Similarly, …continue reading


Retiring in Japan: What’s the Best Strategy?

Source: Gaijin Pot
Retiring in Japan: What's the Best Strategy?

More and more of us have come to Japan and are choosing to stay. In the summer of 2000, I arrived here expecting to do two years on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, then go onto bigger and better things. More than 20 years later, I am still living in Sendai, just down the road from my first apartment. Oops, it looks like I’m a lifer.

Suppose you do end up staying in Japan (and even if you don’t), “old you” will thank yourself for getting your finances in order as soon as possible. This is not difficult, but it is hard. Kind of like exercising and keeping yourself healthy—it’s more about habits than knowledge.

Japan is actually a pretty good place to invest.

I meet many people who say something like, “I haven’t made plans to retire, so I will just work until I die,” which is fine until you realize that you may not be willing or able to do that. There aren’t many jobs for 70-year olds, and you might end up living several decades past that.

Foreign residents are not entitled to welfare in Japan, although local authorities have discretion and can choose to pay it anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t want to rely on the kindness of bureaucrats in old age, would you?

Why not save and invest just in case, then? If you choose to keep working, you can do so from a position of strength and do it because you want to and not because you have to.

The basic strategy

All you got is time.

In Japan, traditional retirement is funded by an employee’s contributions (and employer matching) to nenkin, the national government pension system, …continue reading


2021 Top Jobs in Japan Week 14

Source: Gaijin Pot

If you’re looking to work in Japan, check back here each week as we look through our database of top jobs in Japan posted to GaijinPot and showcase some of the most interesting ones. You can apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot Jobs!

AmerAsian School in Okinawa

School Principal

  • Company: AmerAsian School in Okinawa
  • Salary: ¥259,000 / Month
  • Location: Okinawa, Japan
  • English: Business level
  • Japanese: Business level
  • Application: Overseas applications OK

The AmerAsian School in Okinawa is looking for a new school principal to serve as the school’s chief leader, oversee all aspects of the school’s operation and ensure a high quality of education.

You should be a skilled communicator with leadership experience preferably in the education industry.

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Growth and Process Specialist

  • Company: Grundfos
  • Salary: ¥2.9M ~ ¥5.2M / Year Negotiable
  • Location: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka
  • English: Conversational
  • Japanese: Native level
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

Grundfos, a world leading manufacturer of pumps and pumping systems, is looking a growth specialist to drive and facilitate a continuous improvement culture including implementation of group tools/processes and best practices.

You must have at least three to five years of relevant work experience.

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Recruitment Associate

  • Company: Peloton
  • Salary: ¥3.0M ~ ¥5.0M / Year
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • English: Fluent
  • Application: Must currently reside in Japan

As a recruitment associate, you’ll represent our global clients to the Japanese market and share unique opportunities with prospective candidates. You’ll attend client meetings, learn the tech market and build your professional network in Japan.

As this is an entry-level role, your personality …continue reading