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life after Japan ? 2012/8/13 17:00
Hello ,
I have lived and taught English in Japan for 10 years, the last 5 years running my own small English school from home. I have really enjoyed my time in this country and have many good memories .
However, for personal reasons, I wish to return to my home country next year. I am unsure though as to what I would do after such a long absence .
Would be very interested to hear of experiences of others who have left Japan after a long period of being an "English teacher" . Particularly, what are you doing now? and how did you find readapting to life back home?
Please share you stories !
Cheers :)
by button (guest)  

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/14 02:02
Hi Button,

Sorry to hijack your thread, but you are a guest, so I don't think I can message you. I am currently trying to run an eikawa out of my home too and am having a hard time finding students. How did you get school going? I have passed out a ton of fliers to the surrounded neighborhoods. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
by Michael08 rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/14 23:33

I lived in Japan for 18 years, working as an Eikaiwa teacher and like you, running my own school for about 15 of those years, although I didn't do it from home.

I returned to my country about 4 years ago and I have to tell you, not a single day goes by that I don't really really regret leaving Japan.

I did it for 'personal reasons' too - in my case because I wanted my two boys to speak English properly and understand the culture that their dad came from so they'd grow up bilingual and bicultural. And after 4 years, I'd say that had been achieved. They're ok... but their dad isn't. I left a country I loved living in and a life I loved to come back to... just barely scraping by and a life that is far from fulfilling.

I think that overall, yours is a tough question to answer as it's case by case and you may be able to settle back into your own country far easier than me. After so long away, think really long and hard about what your career prospects are going to be. If it's just yourself, it'll probably be easier but if you've got a family in tow, it might create a whole new set of problems for you unless you're qualified in some other field...

What I have learned from this experience is that despite thinking I was right in making that move for the sake of my children, I now think that I should have thought about what was best for me. My boys both think that they'll move back to Japan anyway as soon as they're able as they identify more with that side of themselves, so at the end of the day, I should have just stayed there, continued being happy and never have got myself into this mess.

You know how good life is in Japan. You know already that your options back home may be limited. Think carefully about this or you may end up making a decision you'll live to regret daily.

Just my 2c...
by You can't go home again... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/15 22:11
Dear You Can't Go Home Again,

Thanks for posting your message and sharing your story.
I am sorry to hear that things aren't working out for you back home. It must have been a tough decision to make after 18 years in Japan... a decision in which you put your self last.

Is there any chance of your returning to Japan with your family and making a fresh start of things again? If you have owned your own eikaiwa before, you can do so again. It seems a waste if like you say it is something you regret everyday. I'm sure you've already considered that though.

I wonder which aspects of your home life you dislike most? for example employment / culture / difficulties reintegrating to society... etc

I am married to a Japanese and am anxious about the pressure on the marriage should we return. Of course, also anxious about jobs prospects and being able to readjust back to home life.

by button (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/16 03:29
I have never lived in Japan but my best friend is from Japan. I am from Europe myself and we both live in North America.

I could see myself live in Japan but not in the country of my birth. Nothing to do with work etc. as I just retired...
It is just that it has changed too much and not for the best..
And a lot of thing they do are foreign to me.
People in stores, hotels, compliment me for speaking their language so well...but when I tell them I was born there they are incredulous as--apparently--my body language, something in my speech etc. is definitely foreign to them.

My friend might like to live in Japan, but we both feel that once one has lived in a foreign country for many years one is no longer fully part of one's birth country yet not fully part of the new country either.
We look at both countries as outsiders.

by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/16 15:46
OP- I moved to be with my husband and I almost immediately got a job and after a year I started college courses. I am multi-lingual and should have been able to easily adjust. I love my husband and friends but I want us to move to Japan. I miss my home. I miss the people, the culture and the assurance of the everyday life. I seem to be well assimilated in the eyes of my friends here but both my husband and I want to go Back to Japan. Your wife may do well or she may be like me, counting the days until I can go home. I have a year of graduate school left and hopefully we can leave then.
by hirosumi rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/16 16:04
Lived in Japan for 10 years and moved back to my home country almost three years ago. Very very tough adjusting to life here, and even harder finding employment.
I taught English for a few years and then got into translation. Work was by far the hardest hurdle, and I am very thankful that I got experience outside of teaching English while in Japan. The translation experience I got basically got me a job where I am now, and a job I really enjoy. I don't regret moving back here as it was the best career move I could make. But I often miss Japan, my friends, and my life there.
Work life balance is way better where I am now, and I have learned many things that I would not have done if I had have stayed in Japan. My (Japanese) wife and I are now starting a family and that was one of the main reasons for moving home. The other was to gain a successful career path.

Basically, it always depends on the individual. Case by case. I now work in the Japan-related field so my skills are transferable to Japan, thus, if we ever go back, I will be able to continue my career. Moving back was the best thing career-wise, and I do not regret it, but I sure as hell miss my Japan life. It was the right decision for my wife and I at the time and we still think it was. I am more than happy to move back there through work if the opportunity arises.
by Been there doing that (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: life after Japan ? 2012/8/21 22:18
Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences on this topic. It seems there is a common thread linking all the posters, the difficulty in adjusting back to life / society after living in Japan; a sense of unfulfillment.

I still would love to hear other's experiences, and elicit more detail on which particular aspects of life are so hard to readjust to, for example inefficient public transportation; ill manners; general inferior standards of everyday life ... ? these are just ideas .

by button (guest) rate this post as useful

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