Japan’s New Residency Management System

Yep, Japan has a new residency management system.

This may be a little late, but I still think it will be very useful info for some of you. I have gotten quite a few emails asking about the new Japanese residency management system for foreigners along with the Alien Registration Cards (ARCs). A fellow teacher of mine recently did a visa renewal and in the process got a new visa sticker in his passport along with a brand, spanking new card. As of July 9th, 2012, Japan has new residence cards and a new residency management system. I am not Continue Reading …

50 Japanese School Vocabulary Words You Should Know

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As a foreigner who is still working on his Japanese, working in a Japanese public school can present some challenges from time to time. One such challenge is getting used to new, Japanese, school-related vocabulary. Were I teaching at American public school, I wouldn’t even give issues like this a second thought because English is my native tongue. However, being at a Japanese school everyday means becoming accustomed to new words and phrases that, prior to teaching as an ALT, I didn’t hear Continue Reading …

What is Your Birthdate in Japanese Imperial Years?

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In our Japan Post Bank Account article, we looked at the form you need to fill out in order to get your bank account all squared away. During this process, there was one particular field that was asking for your birthday in imperial years. I never could really remember so with a little calculation, I was able to figure out what the imperial date would be. First, let me start off by saying that you’ll rarely ever have to use this, and it might be a good idea to get a Japanese friend to Continue Reading …

Using Embarrassing Moments To Help You Improve Your Japanese

Summer is upon us here in the land of Rising, Scorching, Hot Sun. That endearing, humid heat that's oh so characteristic of Japanese summer is starting. Granted is not as bad as it’s going to get, but we’ve had a couple of those “more humid than normal” days already. Today, it rained ever so lightly, and then the sun started coming out. I felt kinda sticky going to to work. Do you know the kind of weather I’m talking about? The kind of weather that makes sweat in your no-no places, that Continue Reading …

Ten Japanese Folktales You Should Know

The ever-popular Momotaro!

TEN JAPANESE MONOGATARI (物語) YOU SHOULD KNOW *The term Monogatari can mean legend, tale or story. There are days when I feel like I’m starting to learn more about Japanese culture and then there are others when I feel like “Donald, what the hell have you been doing for the last three years?!?” Today, I feel kind of in the middle. I taught a private English lesson the other day, and we were working on pronunciation together using a children’s book. Near the end of the lesson I actually Continue Reading …