Taiwan's total population is approximately 23 million In 2019, 1 in 5 people visited Japan totaling 4,890,000 visitors. They are said to be some of the largest Japanophiles in the world providing the most donation money (25 billion yen) during the Great East Japan earthquake. In this article, we are going to introducing Vince's story, who has lived in Japan for 7 years now since moving from Taiwan!

I started studying Japanese by watching Japanese dramas

In middle school, I watched a drama called KinKi Kids which had an actor called Tsuyoshi Domoto in it, after watching it for the first time I was hooked. I started wanting to sing along to their songs and began self-studying the Japanese syllabary. My subject of study at University was tourism, I thought that alongside the special knowledge which was required, language would be another great tool for my arsenal, not only English but another language as well, so I started going to a Japanese class as well as even a cram school. With a strong sense that I wanted to master Japanese as quickly as possible, I pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2 in half a year and got my N1 qualification after just 1 year of study. During my time at university, I also obtained my tour guide qualifications for both English and Japanese. I started work as a receptionist at a hotel after graduating from university. I had no issues communicating with the Japanese guests that visited. At that time, I wasn't thinking of studying abroad. However, after the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011, my mind was set. Even during a time such as this, watching the news, I could see that the Japanese people were being polite and orderly. To put it simply, I was moved by the images and thought that I would like to try living in Japan myself.

Quitting Work & Moving to Japan in 2013

At that time, I had graduated from university with a student loan, but due to it being an Associate of Arts degree, I was struggling to make a decision. In the end, I received some monetary support from my family, paid off the student loan, and decided to continue my study. I decided to enter into a Japanese language school course "Tokyo Japanese Language School (The Naganuma School)". I was given advice by my teacher at that time, that if I didn't want to write papers in Japanese, I could try one of Japan's MBA schools (Profession​ Graduate school​) and chose a school where I wouldn't need any specific work experience to enter. This was because depending on the MBA, there was a chance that you needed real experience to be able to enter.

Student Vs Society Member - MBA Felt Almost the Same as Work

I was really interested in marketing, so, in the end, I chose "Aoyama Gakuin University" in Tokyo's Omotesando. In marketing, there's no correct answer, and the most important thing is being able to notice the trends around you. Omotesando had many famous brands dotting the streets, and you could always see the latest trends. While I was studying here, from 7 or 8 in the morning, until 10 at night I was at school, and I even had lessons on Saturday, it was really busy. You also had to study beforehand for certain assignments. If you didn't, you weren't able to have discussions in the class. Over half of my classmates were already hard-working members of society, so if I didn't try really hard I would never be able to keep up. This was completely different from the student lifestyle I had previously imagined.

Finding Work after Graduation - The Time before Job Offers Arrive

In Japan, finding work that is aimed at people who have just graduated from university is really hard. Before receiving a job offer, you first have to go to a briefing, then have your documents inspected, and then finally have countless interviews before finally receiving your job offers. Also, at first, you're most likely not even going to be in a position where you can do the job you want to or have any interest in. This is the norm in Japanese companies. It took me around a week from graduating to receive my first job offer. You could say this is slightly unusual within Japanese businesses. Even though my major was marketing, I was placed in the engineering department when I started work. I was then moved later to the consultation department. 

Using my University Degree and MBA degree at FUN! JAPAN

Through my professor during my MBA classes, I was introduced to a company called FUN! JAPAN. It was exactly what I was majoring in university! Managing FUN! JAPAN's advertisements and marketing were exactly what I was qualified to do with my MBA. I thought that my skills would be better suited at FUN! JAPAN and changed jobs. Even though I'm the manager of marketing, I often do writing and material collection for various locations across Japan which keeps me busy, but my skills are being used well.

Advice for People Wanting to Work in Japan

My advice for people wanting to work in Japan is to prepare themselves for hardships and to be very busy. Even after graduating from MBA, finding a job was not easy. I was told by a friend "You'll never find a good job messing around". Japanese society is a warzone, and especially when it comes to foreign people, there are many other amazing foreign people fighting for the same position you're hoping for. You have to put in double the work of your peers, if you come to Japan expecting an easy ride, you'll be met with quick failure.

If you're wanting to come to Japan, it means leaving behind the country you know and love, your friends, and your family, it requires a strong resolve. There are many things that can happen in Japan, you may lose your job, lose your money, come under discrimination for being foreign among much more. So, what is most important, is creating personal connections with those around you, with people who will help and support you. Living in a different country is hard, but having friends helps, and personal connections are probably the most important thing in the entire world when it comes to being able to overcome certain challenges.

Related Articles