A Special Blog Post to My Readers

Lately I have been feeling the pressures of working, transitioning to a new job, and an increased work load at my current job, and (as of late) I honestly feel like it’s been affecting my writing and my blog. I love writing this blog, and I will continue to do so, but I want it to be something that I can be proud of, and something that people find practical, fun, and compelling to read.

As a result, I have decided to hold off on my posting for the next four to five days. This will give me a chance to take care of job applications here in Japan and do some much needed apartment hunting. It will also allot me the opportunity to update some unfinished articles on my site, to do some quality video/audio updates…to make this blog better.

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to those of you who read my blog on a regular basis. Your feedback has been truly inspirational for me. Your comments, your questions, and your emails make me feel like I’m not just writing for the sake of writing (although I like Japan so much I probably would). Even when writing purely for fun, I feel like I am providing something that can help people to enrich their lives, or at the very least…keep them well-informed.

Prior to August of this year, I had never done any blogging whatsoever, but I knew I loved writing, so I thought the two would go hand in hand. Not being much of a techie, I’ve found certain aspects of creating my blog/website frustratingly fun. It’s been exciting, enlightening, encouraging, enthralling, relaxing, slow, sad, therapeutic…wonderful. I am so looking forward to what this blog will become in the next few months (I really think you’re going to like what I have in store for you).

So if you’re a regular reader, please take this time to go through some of my former articles that you may not have read yet, listen to some audio you haven’t heard, and look at some of my blog videos you haven’t seen, and sign up for my RSS feed. Take some time to make comments on the articles that interest you, send me comments by email (thejapanguy@gmail.com) if you feel so inclined. This will help me to better understand what you want to know about life here in Japan.

I am making, what I feel is, a wise retreat in order to come back a bit stronger. Please bear with me during one of my most challenging experiences in Japan so far.


Donald Ash

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Donald Ash is an ATLien expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last six years. While in aforesaid time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator, writer, designer, editor, programmer, and occasional bad artist of thejapanguy.com blog (that's just way too many hats, dude). Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
  • Joshua Kramer

    onna no hito wa hishitte imasu

    kare wa hasitte imasu

    why am I learning two different ways to say man and woman?
    is the first one used to sound out in hiragana & Katakana while reading? What i mean is do the different alphabets result in different ways to say the same words out loud in conversation?

    • Donald Ash

      Great question Josh. I’m not the big-time expert or anything, but I’ll try my best. Kare, かれ,from what I understand is like saying he while kanojo, かのじょ, is like saying she. It may be similar to saying “The man ate pizza” versus “He ate pizza.” Both of the phrases are used to sound out the words in hiragana or katakana. The reason why I think you can have different letters represent a conversational sound is because romaji in general isn’t as exact as the hiragana and katakana themselves. If I say “So desu.” or “Sou des,” they are both close pronunciations for そうです, but it’s a somewhat loose pronunciation, because romaji simply gives westerners a way to understand a language that has a different pronunciation and writing system from their own (as closely as possible). I hope that answers your question.

  • Ryan McGuinness

    Hi Donald, first of I’d like to say how jealous I am of you being able to reside in Japan for so long! Anyway, I am currently 16 and half way through my first year at College ( I live in the UK) and really would like to come to Japan for a ‘gap year’ before I return to study at University in England. I will be 18 when it comes to me flying out to Japan, I would like to work as an English teacher for my year in Japan, would companies like JET be willing to hire me with a lack of teaching experience or a university degree?

    • Donald Ash

      I’m actually jealous of you, Ryan. My only complaint about Japan is that I didn’t come sooner. It’s amazing that you’re thinking about living in Japan at such an early age. I don’t know for sure, but I think JET requires a university degree. But I think there are companies that say you can have a minimum of 12 years of schooling (high school diploma). Many of the Eikaiwas (English conversation schools) will train you on how to teach, so the experience is a little less important. I honestly haven’t met any English teachers here who don’t have a college degree, but it’s definitely worth a shot. I hope you’re able to land that teaching job you want while you’re living in Japan.

  • Ryan McGuinness

    Haha, thanks =) I’m hoping I don’t like Japan so much I want to stay rather than return to finish my education! I hope my strong outgoing personality is enough to win them over! =) I’ve spent my day reading through all of your Blogs, I thought I knew quite a bit about Japanese culture (which is what inspires me to live their) but your blogs have really taught me a lot about what to expect! I found your YouTube channel last night whilst searching for Japanese Apartments.

    I was just wondering, did you make housing arrangements and work before you arrived in Japan and if so, how?

  • Ryan McGuinness

    Sorry to double post but feel I should say it really is amazing how you have turned your life and credit around into something you feel proud enough to share with people like myself. Congratulations again, hope you remain in Japan, as it seems to really make you happy in many ways. =)

    • Donald Ash

      Please feel free to post as many times as you like, Ryan. Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I hope to stay here for a while because it’s a great place and it does make me happy. I also hope things just get better and better. You’ll have a chance to come to Japan too, I’m sure. When you do, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

  • Ryan McGuinness

    Thanks man. I was just wondering, did you make housing arrangements and work before you arrived in Japan and if so, how?

    • Donald Ash

      As far as apartments go, I didn’t have to worry about any of that. The English language school I’m working for took care of all of those details for me. It’s a bit hard to handle living arrangements from abroad. I’m sure it can be done, I’ve just never done it. They do have guest houses in Japan, that have affordable rent (and often no key money expenses) while you’re looking for a place to stay. I hope that helps.

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