Japan, Here I Come!

I got accepted to the JET Program!

It all started when I went blind a few years ago. I needed a hobby that didn’t involve seeing stuff, so I decided to learn Japanese through podcast lessons. Since listening comprehension is basically the only language skill required to watch anime, podcasts were all I needed. Why bother straining my eyes to memorize tens of thousands of kanji characters I’d only use briefly when a book showed up on screen?

That all changed when I came across Kanji Damage. Turns out there are only about 2,000 kanji characters you really need to know, and they can be learned through jokes about homosexuality and 90s rappers. Suddenly I felt like taking the plunge in to learning Japanese hardcore.

I figured I’d test myself by taking the JLPT. The N4 test seemed about my level at the time, so I thought I’d challenge myself by taking N3. It’s not like I had any practical reason for taking the test, so it wouldn’t matter if I failed. I studied. I studied some more. The more I studied, the more I realized how inadequate my Japanese skills were.

This is when it occurred to me that if I wanted to make any reasonably fast progress in learning Japanese, I’d have to spend some time in Japan. I had no obligations keeping me tied down to New York. Teach English in Japan for a year? Why the hell not?

I looked over the qualifications for the JET Program. They mentioned a TEFL certificate would look good on my application. I knew I’d seen that term somewhere before. Went to Groupon and found an online TEFL course for $69! It was supposed to be a 160 hour course, but I cut corners like it was a truncated icosahedron and finished it in about 30 hours total. Then I wrote some stupid essay about how I care about Japan. Somehow this was all good enough to get me an interview! That was a few weeks ago, and apparently I came off as a consummate professional, because they just notified me that I’m accepted! I’ll probably get stuck in some hicktown, but whatever, it’s JAPAN!

I also interviewed at AEON, but they’re a bunch of pig fuckers so screw them. Never trust a company that rhymes with K-ON.

17 Replies to “Japan, Here I Come!”

    • Especially Japanese kids! The characters that make up the Japanese word for dinosaur are dread and dragon. It’s true what they say about Japanese people being very respectful.

  1. Aw, man! I’d have laughed much more at this if it wasn’t posted under “April Fools” right off the bat.

    • I use it literally every day here. Only complaint is that I do run into quite a few kanji that didn’t make the list.

  2. so fucking wait, how much japanese would i have to know to do something similar if i weren’t a lazy depressed hikikomori? you say you’re doing it to really immerse yourself in the japanese language? if so, does that become a chicken/egg situation? also, about them podcasts for japanese learnin’, where can i find some baka-raptor-endorsed podcasts?

    pls rspnd

    • I’m in an area with about 20 new teachers. About 3 are much better than me at Japanese, about 5 are around the same skill level, maybe 4 more know the basics, and the remaining 8 barely know any. Knowing some Japanese will help you get the job, but it certainly isn’t required.

      The podcast site I’ve been using is I want to get deeper into the upper intermediate and advanced level material before fully reviewing it, but for now I’d give it a solid +. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I’d give most other online language learning resources I’ve seen a ~ or worse. The sheer volume of podcasts this site has makes it a valuable resource.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *