Long Term in Japan...? Now What....?
So you've been here for awhile and you are wondering what's next for you.... Maybe you've grown to love the country, or maybe the country has grown on you and you've grown comfortable with life here, but the sweet love stage has faded...? Maybe Japan holds no charm for you anymore, or never has for that matter.... When is it time to go back home...? Hmmm...
The next step would be to sit down and have a look at your career prospects at home and in Japan. Then ask yourself where you want to be for the rest of your life. Age and taxation is inevitable, so no matter where you live you cannot escape that. You always owe somebody somewhere and that's just the way it is, even after you pay, you still owe... Retirement is the scariest thought for me and the second scariest would be me being in a sexless relationship / marriage. I could cheat with another man's wife, though. The level of adultery in Japan is appalling. Or, like the silent majority here who have been duped into a sexless marriage after having children, and then having kids involved and used as either pawns or referees for mom and dad is a sad state of affairs. Retirement, even with enough money is still scary, but you live on and hope for the best. Find somebody you can love in this life sounds more interesting for me.
I could be cold, lonely, and old anywhere in the world. I can be jobless and without hope anywhere in the world. Having family sounds good if you can live with once a year visits when you've grown old. Try visiting a nursing home sometimes and then you can get a much better perspective on family and retirement life. We all know grandma and grandpa are just wallets and an inheritance for what they leave behind after they die. Fascinating how the old can boast so arrogantly in the elevator that their loved ones are coming over for Christmas. And looking at you like " yeah, look at me!" Their 30 minutes of glory will be over soon, and they will be left there lonely like you in that cold ward all alone. We are all only as good as are worth to others! Never forget that. If you have nothing to offer your kids, they have no love to return to you. And this also depends on how much you sacrificed for them, and them watching you make that sacrifice, then things may turn out differently.
The charm still holds for me and the memories have never faded. Maybe it's the clarity I get when I am sitting mother-naked in an outdoor bath in the middle of a snowy winter scene on a hilly plain while overlooking a small village dotted with hundreds of tiny little thatched roof farm houses. Hot, naked, cold, and soaking away the soreness of life's vicissitudes. It's charms like these that never tire me. I can still smell the minerals in the water permeate through the thick and steamy mist of that outdoor bath. There's a sake bottle buried in the snow next to the bath somewhere, and the small cup resting on top of that bottle upside down. I gotta stand up in the cold and dig the bottle out of the snow then ease my way back into that hot mineral rich water. I wonder if I can go back home to find such a place.... In all of California's 60 plus hot spring baths, only some may be considered worthy, like the ones in Yosemite, but still pale in comparison to the richness and beauty of a Japanese hot spa in the hinterlands of Honshu.
Love is another reason many stay and come to Japan. Having kids is the single biggest reason/excuse for staying here, too. Love is universal, so it can be had anywhere, and so can the excuse for having children. You don't need Japan for that. I can meet and love Japanese women in other countries, don't need Japan for that. Many of my greatest loves were met and consummated outside of Japan. Living in Japan with a Japanese lover just adds to the charm of being here. I do not need to stay in Japan for love. But, I do find it incredibly seductive and elegant when I am with a lovelorn and busty Japanese beauty at a shrine where I can pick up the aroma of myrrh while gazing at the embers burn from the alter's incense sticks. Even the murmurs from the shinto priest's invocation are eerily beautiful for some reason. The invocation of the gods. If the Japanese matron loves the rice brew, I can run my eyes down the curvilinear angles of her smooth and flawless thighs as I follow that one small drop of liquid bliss down the creases of her legs, and there where it settles in the bush.... I do not know if I could duplicate this type of apotheosis in America. This is another example of a charm that never gets old, but ages well...?
Why Japan...? Hmmm... For me, I was always drawn to China and southeast asia, Japan was not much of an interest for me in the beginning. At least until I had my cherry popped by a Japanese matron who took me to heights unknown to man. I could no longer look at my now ex-wife the same again. I was in a way handed Japan on a silver platter and forced to gleefully partake in its bounty. Had the matron been German, I would be living in Germany now and singing the praises of the Republic. You get the point. It is really about how people influence you, and it has always been that way. True. You can make your own destiny, but you need to be influenced. Japan is also one of the safest and secured countries on the planet, and that cannot really be argued. And I am sure there are many other reasons why people choose Japan.
Taxation....You'll be paying this no matter where you live in the world. You will always owe whether you stay in Japan or America. Grow up and face the music.
People, well they suck no matter where you live in the world. The person you need to work on the most is yourself. Love yourself then all the answers of life will come to you. Assholes abound in every shade, skin-color, language, religion, ethnicity, and persuasion. You can live anywhere in the world and be vexed by people, and Japan is no exception. It's most often the language barrier that shields us from half of the bullshit and lies they spew. Ignorance helps whereas when you know and understand their bullshit it sticks to and stains the soul. Only difference is that in America Americans tell you straightly what they think of you. And I sort of like it that way...for some reason.
Retirement, there is and will never be enough money to retire no matter where you live in the world, unless you've been actively investing in some form of retirement since you were in your 20s. You do not have to agree with me. Where you choose to grow roots is a matter of personal choice and retirement is more myth than reality. Sure, there is a mandatory retirement age in many countries, Japan included, but that does not mean you cannot continue working. Why would you want to retire in this economy anyway?
Returning home. The proposition of returning home wouldn't seem so bad if some of my friends were still living in the State of California. Unfortunately, all of them have moved on to places like Florida, New York, Oregon, even Texas, so if I go back then...well....Aah...wait. I do have two or three old friends I could get back in touch with.....But, no car and they live in Riverside. You need a car no matter where you go in California and my license has expired. Maybe I can squeeze in a few ball games or even check out a few movies. Eat a dozen or so burgers and dogs in a week. Hang out over at the beach. Hit on some Latinas. Go to a few concerts, and maybe even a few clubs. Chase some racist jungle fever plagued trailer bait white trash - which I like in a perverted sort of way. Harass some black a$$ in Culver City. Long Beach is okay, but....I think Redondo Beach is better. Still, do I need to return just because of these things? Not including the gray areas in my resume, or trying to explain why I had to live over in Asia for so long in front of the interviewer who's my junior is headache enough, and reason for me to remain in Japan. I can have my cake and eat it too, right here in Japan. I can have the best of both worlds here : Lovelorn white girls, thrown in the mix along with a few Europeans who escaped from "Eurabia!" Or, the white American girls who escaped from Mexifornia...Take your pick.. If I want to hang out with the niggas I have the Navy base and a few other outposts where we can play basketball and brag about our bitches and cars. Enough to make me want to throw up actually. I have no interest in their topics anymore. If the subject matter isn't about green tea and onsens, or Jukujo, we have nothing in common. I have been totally uprooted. Nigga pass revoked!
Family and Friends in Japan....
The concept of friendship has different meanings in different parts of the world. I value good honesty and open communication, something all Japanese lack. Really, sometimes, generalizations do apply here in Japan and this is one example, among many, and I do not expect you to agree with that. All Japanese value shallow topics even with close friends. Subjects related to sex, money, and love are beyond the scope of dialog here. Japanese are too weak at heart to handle such topics. The idea of marriage is also misunderstood. The utopic marriage some expats claim they have with a Japanese person simply does not exist for the majority of those expats in toxic relationships and marriages to Japanese nationals. The concept of room share is a far better proposition for all Japanese rather than a marriage based on trust, love, and monogamy. Why not sleep in separate beds....as many do. Do not ask, and do not tell is a far better proposition then telling the truth. Withholding information and dumbing down truth is another thing all Japanese are very good at, and which allows for a functional relationship. Secrets are perfectly acceptable in all Japanese marriages and relationships. Japanese lie too easily and naturally, it can be considered a cultural feature. Where I love and embrace the truth, they hide from it. Where I love honesty and value ethics, they loathe it. Despise it. Where I value common sense, they look at it like it's an abnormality. If I drink one sip of sake, they brand me a "Japanese." If I cannot drink not one sip of sake " they blame it on my race and nationality, like I am inferior and lack the sophistication to understand the national beverage. If I like sake more than they do, then they brand me as "crazy or a an alcoholic" Friendships are created when you get drunk and quickly fall apart when sober. Where I see emperor appreciation, they see it as weird. Like they'd rather be waving American flags, like it's their country. I guess if I write like this, then maybe I have been here too long, but again, if I don't write it then who will?
So, what's next for you...?
What's next for Japan?
The country I have come to love, and not so much for it's people, but more for its bounty and Jukujo, is going through an immense transformation. For the first time since the 70s, Japanese are questioning their place in the world. The new generation is not comfortable with being labeled as just " Japanese." They want to be world citizens, and a part of the international community. They decried the secrecy laws passed by The Abe Cabinet, but those of us who are considered the geniuses of Japan know it was time. This was the single most significance piece of legislation passed since Nakasone's time in office, and much needed. Hopefully, this will protect Japan's image from over zealous journalist who are quick to bash their own country and tarnishing its legacy.
What is next for expats who wish to continue living in Japan...?
Expats and other long term residence who enjoy Japan will enjoy some of the opportunities that are available to be had whether that be starting a business, or learning the native language. Travel and leisure are great here, too. You can make a life for yourself here, but it's not for everyone. Acquiring work requires having good connections and a stroke of luck to be honest. In other words, you need to be in the right place at the right time and seize every opportunity that comes your way. Though the ESL industry is flooded with proficient English speakers, it does not make up for the lack of native English speakers that rarely stay passed the five year mark. The industry has been undergoing a complete change to be quite honest. It's not uncommon to see and hear " **manglish** " being taught in the classroom. If you were born and or educated in an English speaking country for at least 12 years you were considered a native English speaker. Now, times have changed, and as long as you can speak the language proficiently you can now land a job in an language school. So yes, there are opportunities to be had here.
** A mixture of various English pronunciations from different languages**
Japan is home to over 8 million gods and the longest unbroken royal lineage in the world! The culture is still very much intact and has not been tarnished and or eradicated by the spread of Christianity. The continuity of tradition is still very much alive and well, but with a widening generation gap; very few young Japanese people have little to no interest in old outdated concepts and notion of the Japanese mindset, the foundation of Japan. But we don't need to go there....because I think you know this already. It is no longer uncommon for some foreigner to know more than many native Japanese about their own cultural pastimes.
Japan still adopts the ways of race categorizing, like they did in ancient Rome. A Roman is born a Roman through direct bloodline. Same as in Japan, you can only be born a Japanese if your heritage goes back centuries to the beginning, and that is how the majority of Japanese see it regardless if you are of mixed heritage, so this part has not changed even with the young generation.
The prospects for a future in Japan are bright, but the cultural integrity of the native host country are bleak. I would say that things are improving diplomatically but we will see where that goes. If you want to come here, then now is the best time.