Pitch in

Become a part of keeping Japanese Rule of 7 on the air! Maintaining this site takes some cash, a weirdly large of time, and of course, heaps of beer. You can ensure the lights stay on and the hamsters keep running by helping out. So you’re like, “But Ken, what can I do?” Well thanks for asking; that’s very kind of you.

Here’s some stuff that’s majorly good:

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I love to hear from you. Sharing your experiences and insights makes Japanese Rule of 7 come alive, and provides a broader view than the articles alone. If you’ve lived in Japan, have an interest in the nation, or maybe just got a bag of questions, then join in the discussion. Feel free to agree or disagree, only please do so nicely.

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Thank you

Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement over the years. It’s going on a decade now that I’ve been writing this site, not as often as I’d like, but in the end, well, guess I got done more than I expected. There’ve been some good times and some hard times, but mostly just, well, time. Life goes by, Jeez, so quickly.

You know, every evening after stumbling home from the izakaya, I tumble into my futon and ask, “Ken, what the hell’re you still doin’ here?” First it was the food and some booze, then a job, then a woman, and now I absolutely have no idea. Or maybe I never did. Anyway, if Japan’s got any answers, it’s sure not giving them up easily. So I suppose I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and writing about it. And along the way, thanks for reading, seriously.

10 Replies to “Pitch in”

    1. Thanks much. I’m glad my writing resonates with you. Flying in and out of Japan for business sounds ideal, to be honest.

  1. Great blog mate

    As a 26 year resident of Japan I feel your pain!!! Can here in the 90s for a gap year. .became a gap life. Doing ok, run a successful English school, was a pro musician for ten years ( till I got married and wifey put a stop to that ), have a fantastic work life balance…more like life life life life life and a little work, but at the same time, still feel as alienated from the people here as I did when I got here…..
    Keep up the fantastic job,
    Mike, living in ‘safey’ osaka

    1. Thanks Mike,

      It’s great to hear from long-term residents who’ve made a successful life in Japan. Props to you for that. Any thoughts on what you did to make your English school a success?

      1. Hi Ken
        I started my school with 2 students…have over 150 now. I only teach 3 classes a day ( I have other teachers working for us too ) but those 3 classes allow me to….. 1. Ride motorcycles.
        2. Go snowboarding every week in season
        3. Go to the gym 3 times a week
        4. Box 3 times a week
        So every one of them is important. I put maximum effort into every class. I do not teach privates unless they are willing to very big money as it isn’t worth it.
        I pay our teachers well ( 3000 yen per 50 class ) so they do a fantastic job ( if they don’t , I will replace them very quickly ) . I usually work from 2pm to 7,30 pm. Spend alot of time thinking ‘ how can I make this fun ‘ …. Now, I fucking hate ‘ edutainment’ but to get kids to learn you need to reward them. Fuck all that left side/ right side of brain shit. Horse and carrot…. reproducing English is their coin to put in the slot to play the very fun games that I have purchased over the years. Bollocks to that ‘ the game doesn’t reproduce language ‘ crap….. Try and use the target structure or vocabulary and you get to play a fun game ( I go to toysrus alot to buy new games ). Also, I don’t get bored….
        Man, I am 51, got more energy than a 21 year old ( wifey is Japanese so ‘morning wood’ is unfortunately, ‘ morning won’t ‘ )…that’s a different kettle of fish

        1. Wow, that’s fantastic. I’ve heard stories of others who tried running their own schools, but they never ended well. What do you think you did that made your school a success? Good location? Marketing? Personal style? Connections? 150 students is a lot!

          1. Hi Ken
            The way we teach, the location, the school itself ( we have invested a lot to make it a really nice place ) , the class size ( maximum 6 kids per class), the students ( we have no bad students, we turn potential students away regularly as their behavior isn’t suitable ), the staff, the planning in terms of a rock solid program from 3 years old to high school, no bad teachers ( I will not hesitate to fire anyone if they act in any kind of unprofessional manner ), no micromanaging of staff, good marketing ( 20000 flyers distributed twice a year), community presence ( very very important…. My son goes to the local elementary school and I am quite involved there now ), and a big dollop of luck!!!! The first 2 years were tough , stoney broke but it has finally come together. I always ask myself ‘ how can I make this better?’ be it lessons, school events, the school environment etc..

            1. Thanks for the detailed reply. Your school sounds amazing. Hats off to you, my friend. You’re a true success story.

              1. Hi Ken

                Thanks! It doesn’t feel like a success story sometimes but when see the guys looking like clones marching off to the station in the morning, I feel lucky. When I have time I will tell you about my music career! Pro musician in Japan for 10 years!!!
                By the way, where are you based?

                1. I’m sure it was a lot of hard work, combined with a bit of good fortune. But very few people achieve what you’ve done, so you deserve every bit of credit for your accomplishments.

                  Yeah, I’d love to hear about your experience as a musician here. I’ve always thought an “alternative” career would be a good way to make a living (or at least enjoy living) in Japan.

                  I don’t usually talk much about where I’m at, both for privacy reasons and because by the time anyone reads this there’s a good chance I’ll be living in a different prefecture anyway. I could use a bit more stability in my life. But right now, outside of Tokyo.

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