An Artist’s Adventure

Gareth Naylor (Oita)

I came to Japan because I wanted adventure. My head was filled with images of traveling to a foreign land and experiencing a completely different culture. Some of these images were very naive. I thought, for instance, that I would be living in a traditional Japanese house in the middle of a rice field. The imagination can be so dangerous. In reality, I lived in a 3 storey apartment in a small city called Oita — it’s on the island of Kyushu.

It was in Japan, though, that another journey began — painting. Continue reading “An Artist’s Adventure”

A career in teaching English

What have I come here to do with the rest of my life?

Lindsay Mack (Oita)

For many JETs or foreigners living in Japan, they might wonder, “what have I come here to do with the rest of my life?” For me, it wasn’t until I came back to Japan, two years after completing the JET Programme, that I got that calling and decided to pursue a profession in teaching English at the University level. However, many JETs decide while they are on the JET Programme to stay in Japan, or some just never end up leaving. There are no official numbers on the JET website about how many JETs stay in Japan, but from my own Oita JET cohort in 2002, around 10-20% stayed in Japan. Of course, love affects this decision, myself included as I married a Japanese man I met while I was an ALT in Oita City. Continue reading “A career in teaching English”