This was shot on the levee of the Oyodo River in Miyazaki City. It was taken with my short-lived Moskva-5. If medium format film wasn’t virtually dead, I’d hunt down another one.
Earlier today I made a list of pros and cons about living in Japan. I’ve been thinking about these sorts of things now that I’m on my way out.
It was a pretty long list covering everything important: Sex, money, job. I had been thinking of posting it up here, but I was aware of how subjective the list was as well as how much of it was in comparison to Korea and Canada. Also, it was a long list and I couldn’t be bothered.
Should you be deciding between Japan or Korea as your starting point for your expat career, let me tell you something about Japan: You’re going to have to put on the big kid pants. Japan is very much a place for people who really have to be here for some reason and are willing to sacrifice for it.
Things might have changed since I’ve last been employed in South Korea… I doubt it, but crazier things have happened… but pretty much everything but your utilities is covered by your employer. The hardest thing you need to do is not do a midnight run after the fiftieth screwing over you’ve gotten from your boss. You’ll have piles of disposable income and life will be a non-stop party for you.
Unless you’re getting screwed over. Then it’ll be a stressful shit pile. And let me warn you: The question isn’t “Will I get screwed over?” The question is, “When will I get screwed over?”
Here in Japan, you’re paying your own way. Rent, taxes, national health, utilities, travel costs, car, insurance. If you’re working a typical eikaiwa job, your savings won’t be much. You’ll have more compared to a similar paycheck in Canada since Japan outside of the big cities is a pretty affordable place. But you won’t be throwing cash around left right and center* like you will be in Korea.
Basically, you’re going to be a working schlub like you are back home. You’ll just be doing it in a different language.The main benefit it has over Korea is that it’s a hell of a lot more stable than working in Korea. Since you own your visa you’re not the prisoner of the whims of your boss and they have to be nicer to you than they are to the Japanese employees. Immigration still has final say over your status, but you have a lot more security here than in Korea.
Now, I’m keeping South Korea open as a future option since the job situation seems to be as shitty as always back home and I’d be stupid not to. But if I had the same work visa ownership there as I do here, I wouldn’t think twice abut it.
I’m tired of wearing big boy pants. They’re snug in horrible spots.
*Unless you’re part of the JET Programme. Then you’re going to spend your time in a money-shaped bubble until you go home on a chariot made of gold. Yay for government programs!