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Starting all over in Japan

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  • Starting all over in Japan

    Hi,

    I was born on the East coast of the USA and have loved Japan and all things since I was 9 or so. As soon as I'm out of college, I want to move to Japan. I'd really like to live in Kyoto!

    I have one question. I know I could live there and be a resident, but, is it possible for me to become a Japanese citizen? I don't know how their immagration system worx, so I'm hopping someone here will.

    Thanks


  • #2
    Re: Starting all over in Japan

    uh have you ever been here to japan? You should visit for a bit. There is a good chance I'll be moving there, and I'm not entirely looking forward to it. Try to think of it this way... The love or respect you have for Japan doesn't mean that Japan is going to feel the same way. Yes I'm cynical, but I was optimistic too once....just like you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Starting all over in Japan

      Becoming a citizen means going through the naturalization process and losing your American citizenship. It is a VERY drastic step to take in one's life. Yes, it's possible. People do it. It's not an easy process, though. Just because you love Japan so much, you don't have to revoke your own country's citizenship to live and work here.

      Read this for some of the procedures on naturalization. The point about proving you are an upright citizen involves a scrutinous personal investigation, so don't take that one lightly.
      http://www.tabunka.org/newsletter/legal.html

      This may also be of interest.
      http://www.debito.org/deamericanize.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Starting all over in Japan

        Try living here first!

        Believe it or not Kyot is not a very prretty city and has ____ty weather!!!

        I guarantee Japan won't be what you imgine it is!!!

        Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Starting all over in Japan

          Just for what its worth

          permanent resident status will take you a minimum of ten years of living in Japan and you must show evidence stable income if you are single. PR is technically possible after 3 or 4 years if your spouse is Japanese and you have a spouse visa. I have PR and have almost the same rights as a japanese except I cant vote and I cant run for public office.


          Becoming Japanese is a whole different ball of wax and very few foreigners become Japanese nationals. usually these people are foreign sportsmen famous in japan (a couple of sumo wrestlers and some foreign soccer players have nationalised) or if you want to represent the national team. Become Japanese and you would have to apply for a visa to enter the United States, just like a foreigner in your place of birth.

          Another thing with Japanese nationality and citizenship also is you have to give up your American name. You may use it privately but in all official docments, contracts, bank accounts, drivers licence, passport you will need a japanese name written in kanji. Are you ready for that?

          PS I live in Kyoto now and though its OK in parts, most of it is pretty ugly , like all big Japanese cities.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Starting all over in Japan

            Living in Japan is not like being a character in some Anime...

            Just wanted to say that.

            A lot of east coasters get bombarded with "Japanese Anime" and get really REALLY twisted ideas about what Japan is like.

            If I were you, I would save up some cash and come here for a two or three week VACATION before you make the big move. Life over here is a FAR cry from life in the U.S. And, being a minority in Japan can be trying at times. You should be sure you have the mental constitution and an open mind about things. The sterotypes Japanese tend to associate with foreigners NEVER go away.

            It sounds like you're talking about a major commitment to a country that you have never been to. I've been here three years and am close to getting married, but the whirlwind of questions I have to deal with for myself and my potential spouse are tremendous.

            Take the advice of the others - visit first, check things out and see how you feel. Travel to Korea or Tailand and find out more about other cultures as well. Japan is definitely not a good fit for everyone that has grown up with a dream that may not fit the reality of life here.

            That aside, I find it a great place to live and work!

            Good luck,
            Stephen

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Starting all over in Japan

              As an aside,

              If I were stuck on a desert island and could read only two books on Japanese society they would be

              Enigma of Japanese Power by Karel von Wolferen and Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr. These two books will give you the warts and all version of what makes japan tick, not the lonely planet version with geisha running around and shakuhachi playing in the background. This is not like rising sun or Black Rain with Michael Douglas.

              Steve if you need advice about international marriage, bringing kids up bilingual, dealing with in-laws, and making a life here just say the word, man. 2 kids and a dog. the whole nine yards.

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              • #8
                Re: Starting all over in Japan

                Paul , I noticed you said bringing up the kids bi lingual ,does your wife help with the English part of it ?
                rgds
                TM

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                • #9
                  Re: Starting all over in Japan

                  We usually both speak English to kids at home but wife will read to them in Japanese.
                  The oldest one went to an international school for four years and the wife dealt with teachers and was on the school PTA. She uses about 50/50 Japanese/English with the kids.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Starting all over in Japan

                    Some people really are lost aren't they?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Starting all over in Japan

                      My wife will not speak to the kids at all in English(her level is quite good ) and I have pleaded many times , she almost gets fretful at the thought of it .I think she is a selfish _____ and if we were in a different countyr I think I would be different and help the kids weith japanese .Have you any suggestions ( legal ones )

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                      • #12
                        Re: Starting all over in Japan

                        You can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink

                        what to do? Input and lots of it. Plenty of parents who can not speak English but teach their kids English.

                        English play group where other kids speak English, not just a parent, CDs of songs, reading to them, Disney videos. Trips home once a year. Picture books. Just speaking to them in English at home helps and being a positive role model.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Starting all over in Japan

                          My wife does say she fears her bad pronun. will be bad , she actually speaks quite well unless it is to me , if it was for me not bringing them up I fear they would not speak English at all .
                          I of course we have the tv and videos and we go abroad once a year ( hawaii though ).
                          They both speak English and When I am with them I have trained them only to speak English , even to each other . I do wish it was better though my elder son often says he hates English ( just wait until he meets them ). I feel as though I have to do something soon before he gets older and turns off english altogether .Thanks for the input Paul ,I appreciate it .

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                          • #14
                            Re: Starting all over in Japan

                            TM

                            Just curious:

                            How old are your kids and why would they be hating it already? Are they in junior high school and into the high school grammar English?

                            FWIW My ten year old daughter just went by herself as an unaccompanied minor to new Zealand for two weeks last month. Met at the airport by her grandmother. As long as they see English as a means of communication and not just 'benkyo' and made to do like eating their spinach, make it fun for them they will take to English. If you are ramming down their throats like another school subject they will grow to hate it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Starting all over in Japan

                              they are 7 and 5 ,I think when the eldest cannot express his ideas he gets frustrated and then come the outbursts . he has only said it about 3 or 4 times .Even the younger one prefers Japanese as it is more natural and easier for them .

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