Tag: expats in Tokyo

Freelancing in Tokyo: Embrace The Day!

Posted by David Chester on 20 November 2011

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We are fast approaching the end of the year. Everything seems to be speeding up. I don't know if that's because we have built-in clocks telling us to get with the program or if it the sense of urgency has been created by advertising companies. My point is this:

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Remember Who You Are (Were)

Posted by David Chester on 9 November 2011

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I have lived in Japan for 18 years. I have done my best to adapt to all customs, traditions, foods, manners, etc. But there is one thing that I will not give up, which is Thanksgiving Day. I am an American, and, for me at least, Thanksgiving meant family and food, shared in the loving atmosphere of my parents' home.  

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Support the Foreign Community

Posted by David Chester on 3 November 2011

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If you are a foreigner living and working in Tokyo (no matter whether you call yourself a gaijin, a gaikokujin, a foreigner, or a non-Japanese), you will most likely, at some point, feel a sense of isolation or loneliness or some great desire to connect with something comforting or familiar. The solution to this, in brief, is to connect to and support the foreign community.

There are any number of ways to do this, whether it be patronizing restaurants, enjoying performances, or participating in classes that are run by members of the foreign community. This is not to suggest that you therefore shut the door on your Japanese life. I encourage you to bring your Japanese spouses or friends with you to any of the aforementioned places. These are simple ways of expanding your network, making new friends, learning more about what's available to you in our incredible town and a way to stay connected, because, again, it's easy to become isolated here, and there's no good reason to allow that to happen. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Culture Clashes

Posted by David Chester on 30 August 2011

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Culture Clash
Culture clashes. You've heard of them; have you experienced them? In our situation, we specifically refer to the Western experience in Japan. The picture above is a great example. On the left we have McDonald's, which established itself in Japan over 30 years ago. On the right, we have tables of squid drying in the hot summer sun. They seem to be existing peacefully side-by-side. But are they?

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Being Sick on a Sunday

Posted by David Chester on 21 June 2011

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Prism in the windowFor those in the foreign community in Tokyo who are not fluent in Japanese, it is important to remember that when it comes to health issues, we need to reach out and help each other.

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Freelancing in Tokyo: The Art of Self-Promotion

Posted by David Chester on 13 June 2011

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Stone Lantern-1Hello All,

I hope you are enjoying the rainy weather. I'm from California, so the rain is a treat for me. I also enjoy it because I know what's around the corner: hot, hotter and hottest. Get your cool-gel packs now!

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Pay up, People!

Posted by David Chester on 7 June 2011

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Japanese moneyTo those who follow this blog:

I have made every effort to focus on upbeat, positive experiences working in Tokyo as a freelancer. But sometimes I must point out certain harsh realities, specifically related to getting paid by agencies that handle film/TV/voice actors. Those harsh realities include: Not being told how much or when you will get paid for a certain job, and having to send multiple "friendly" reminders to the agent to get them to tell you what they should have told you from the first moment.

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Get Paid On Time!

Posted by David Chester on 6 May 2011

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Tori gates

For those of you who have read my book, you will be familiar with my comments about "Getting Paid On Time." Because I continue to encounter a strange attitude from certain agents about paying talent on time, I feel I must again write about this issue. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Starting Over Again

Posted by David Chester on 24 April 2011

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Spring 2011 Jindai Botanical Garden

I am sitting in a gorgeous house in Irvine, California where I have been staying for the last three weeks. I needed to get away from Tokyo and get some perspective on my life in light of the events that took place on March 11, 2011. I have been extremely fortunate to have wonderful friends who have allowed me to "decompress." It has really helped. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Learning How to Gaman

Posted by David Chester on 15 March 2011

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Koi in a Fountain
As most of you know, a major earthquake hit Japan on March 11. For those of us living in Tokyo, things are changing moment by moment. This is a difficult time for many and the focus of FIT in the coming months will be about surviving and keeping people aware of what's happening here and how I have handled challenging situations having to do with my jobs. That is the best way for me to share with you what is going on, by making it personal.

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