Cindy Starts a Business in Japan

Many of the things Cindy says about the traditional workplace in Japan are also true in Korea: the cozy relationship of government and large corporations, which undermines small and medium-sized companies, the obligatory after-work drinking sessions, the mandatory early retirement, the ambivalence about having foreigners in the workplace and—particularly in Japan—the marginalization of foreigners. Fortunately, shortly after having been knocked down by early retirement, Cindy was on her feet again, making a new career for herself and finding more freedom and more satisfaction in trying new things). (Link)(Link)

Cindy’s story

On January 29, 2014, my life … Read More

A Family Man in Japan

James and I did this recent interview over Skype when he was in Japan and I was in the Philippines. The photos of cherry blossoms and sports are his.

When I was a kid I was fascinated with Japan and the code of the samurai. Later I did Japanese language at the University of Sheffield in the UK. In 1988, immediately after graduation, I joined the JET program, which was set up by the Japanese Ministry of Education to help students speak better English. I was dispatched to northern Japan, to Tajiri, a conservative, rural town of about 15,000 people, … Read More