Your Friend in Japan

How to Get a Dream Job in Japan, and What Do Japanese Think of…Finland?

Written by HotAnime

December is here, and we’ve having a huge 50% Off Shipping Sale! For one week, through December 8, get half off your shipping, whether SAL, airmail or EMS! Think of all the awesome figures, plush toys, snack and “H” products you could buy! (Choose EMS for delivery by Christmas.)

I’m often asked about possible jobs for foreigners in Japan, so I thought I’d talk about that a bit. The most common jobs for foreigners are in language-related fields like teaching ESL or translating, or in specialized areas like wedding ministers (actually most are just English teachers making some cash on the side) who perform Western marriage ceremonies, or cast members at Tokyo Disneyland. If you can be funny in Japanese, you might be able to become a gaijin “talent,” a catch-all term that describes actors and comedians who appear on TV, like Dante Carver, who plays “oniisan” on Softbank’s TV commercials. Maybe karaoke can make your dreams come true, as it did for Natalie Emmons, who won a singing contest and now has a booming career. While some jobs might seem flashier than others — there’s a lack of male porn stars in the JAV industry — increasingly foreigners are doing many different kinds of jobs in Japan, like two guys from France and Germany I know who are working at Japanese companies doing regular sales work. Incidentally, J-List stocks Japanese study supplies as well as a handbook for living in Japan if you need them.

(Of course, the jobs that are most in-demand in Japan in Japan are technical positions like web programmers and mobile developers — I have a detailed post on this topic if you want more info.)

I like social media because I can share dank memes with people all over the world through J-List’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and also make posts about new series fans might want to consider watching. I get a lot of feedback from followers, everything from suggestions for topics to write about here to variations of “hey admin, what anime?” even when I write it the post. The other day someone surprised me by saying, “Today is our national day in Finland, and I wanted to ask what the Japanese thought of our country?” Well, when you’re geographically and culturally far from a place, it can be hard to see the details — in the U.S., Japanese, Korean and Chinese food and culture tends to blend together the farther you get away from the coasts — and the same is true of Scandinavia when viewed from Japan. I asked the Japanese staff of J-List what came to mind when they thought of Finland, and all they could come up with was the home of Santa Claus, Moomin, and Eila from Strike Witches. Sweden’s cultural footprint is a bit higher here, thanks to brands like Ikea and Volvo, plus “viking,” which is what a buffet is called in Japan, because smörgåsbord was too hard for them to pronounce.

More great news! In addition to our big Half Price Shipping Sale which ends Dec. 8, we’ve relaunched the popular J-List Points program from our old website. Now when you make a purchase, you’ll get 2 J-List Points per dollar spent, which you can use to get $5, $10, $20 etc. off future purchases. Everyone who creates a customer account gets 300 points free, and if you made a purchase over the last 2 months, we have you 300 points to say thank you! More info here.

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