Japan

The Truth About AEON: Part IV

August 3, 2009
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Naturally, I had many questions at the information session and in the days following my official acceptance into AEON. After all, Japan was an unknown to me: a new world, with trials and tribulations. Who knows what life will hold for me in the land of the rising sun? The recruiter was helpful with...
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The Truth About AEON: Part III

August 3, 2009
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Ignorance Often times, as was the case at my branch, the manager was completely unfamiliar with the contract signed by foreign staff. When I persisted in certain actions that I knew were allowed according to my contract, the manager always had to call headquarters in the end and be put in her place… they...
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The Truth About AEON: Part II

August 3, 2009
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Salesmanship Like any private business, AEON has a certain obligation to maintain sales goals, recruit new clientele, and focus only on the yen at times. This is entirely understandable. I repeat: I understand AEON’s need to be concerned with money; they have to have enough to pay employees, print new materials, cover the utilities,...
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The Truth About AEON: Part I

August 3, 2009
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I am no longer in the world of the eikaiwa. Now that I am free of such a contract, I can reveal to my readers and the world: I worked for AEON (if you didn’t pick up on that already). Why didn’t I mention this earlier? Well, for one, I received an official ken...
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From Shima to Shima, Addendum

August 3, 2009
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Looking back on my articles, I’m thinking I might have been overly critical on Japanese society. Not that I don’t fully agree with everything I wrote, but it would be a shame for someone to only see negatives in a country with so many wonderful aspects. Japanese People Contact with locals can always vary...
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From Shima to Shima, Part V

August 3, 2009
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From Shima to Shima, Part V

Conclusions I hope this has come over as not so much of a critique on Japan, rather than advice to stay mindful about what you see. Readers know me from my blog entries, which may give the impression I’m a bit of a Japanophile (as opposed to a Japan-basher), but I’ve tried to open...
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From Shima to Shima, Part IV

August 3, 2009
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From Shima to Shima, Part IV

Japan is not a “get away from it all” place Those of you sitting at home watching movies like Karate Kid II and Lost in Translation should know better. Yes, Japanese culture spawned rock gardens, Zen temples, samurai, and Godzilla (which, incidentally, I NEVER heard mention of in two years), but the country is...
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From Shima to Shima, Part III

August 3, 2009
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From Shima to Shima, Part III

You Will Never Be A Japanese Let me clarify that – I don’t care if you’ve lived in Japan for twenty years out of 25 and know kanji that would baffle the most advanced language scholars. Unless you were born and raised in Japan by an ethnically Japanese family, you are not a Japanese....
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From Shima to Shima, Part II

August 3, 2009
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Japan is Comfortable There’s no denying the Japanese have a “work hard, play hard” mentality. As many foreigners reject the former and focus their efforts on putting in whatever hours at the office are necessary to enjoy the rest of life, Japan truly can be a land of milk and honey: things to relax...
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From Shima to Shima, Part I

August 3, 2009
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From Shima to Shima, Part I

Thoughts and reflections on two years in Japan When I first set out to write this all-inclusive thriller of yet another expat’s experience in the land of the rising sun, I put forth far too much effort in an attempt to make the article suitable for the likes of world class travel magazines. These...
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