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Small Successes

When GEOS went under, I suggested that the event to the die-off of the dinosaurs where the large schools would give way to the small, furry schools. Richard Smart has an uplifting and positive piece in The Japan Times on some thriving, smaller schools.(Pay no attention to the jaded guy he quotes throughout the article, though.)

For example, he describes Tower English, a drop-in school where mothers pay 500 yen a week to play games with their children. There is Primrose English School in Ibaraki Prefecture, a school built onto the owner's home that boasts plush carpets and warm colors. Another teacher offers tailor-made mini-courses.

What is common among all of the examples is that they have an angle. They have something unique to sell that fills a niche. Moreover, they are local and know their students, and have built up trust and goodwill. It's also important to point what they are not doing, and that's teaching in a Starbucks with photocopies from an old textbook. When you can sell yourself or your idea, you are in a position to thrive as opposed to simply getting by. And when you are in charge and calling the shots, you are doubly motivated to do a good job.

It's been a while since I've seen something positive about eikaiwa in the newspaper.

Comments

The Japan Times article is a nice promotional piece, and certainly people who want to stay in Japan and teach English on a self employed basis should be emulating the kinds of examples outlined. However, a few examples of small schools who stand to benefit from a bit of free advertising doesn't amount to the big picture. The big picture, not just for the Eikaiwa industry alone, but for the entire Japanes economy as a whole is dire and I see hard times ahead for many small self employment type businesses of all kinds.

For this reason, if you are commited to Japan and don't have many other employment options, then maybe this type of thing is something you should look at, but don't rush into giving up that salary until you have done your research and have genuine grounds for believing that you can establish a market that might be able to sustain you long term. For every success story there are dozens of failures.
Secondly, if you are considering commiting to Japan long term. Look into all options, including making a go of it back home.

These mom and pop places don't pay social insurance and their teachers can be fired at the drop of a hat. The employees of these exploitive mom and pop places need to have a union to protect their rights. The union is the only place that can protect you Gaba and other employees. Join us.

While big eikaiwa is a known quantity, or at least it used to be, from the teachers' perspective, the small schools have a much wider range in work conditions.
Most of the worst horror stories (never getting paid, eternal probation pay until the next sucker signs up, owners making up stories and calling the police on you, breaking into your apartment, totalitarian hours and even curfews, etc.) are from small schools.
But there are plenty of great, honest schools quietly raking in the yen while paying a decent wage. Though it surely is better to be an owner/operator.

Just means this website (free of censorship of places like Gaijinpot) will be all the more important
as a resource (see the Good, Bad and Ugly section of the forums) for those looking to
avoid signing up at one of the nightmare schools.

If more stories of successful mom and pop schools inspire less-than-committed people; perhaps we're in for a bunch more good-intentioned owner/operators ending up with a shitstorm of unpaid staff due to incompetence. So, not much different from the "professionals" in big eikaiwa!

I got an E-mail from a friend the other day asking for advice about coming to Japan. In short I said it was a lottery - I couldn't recommend it either way. One of the things on my letter of advice was to read the Good Bad and Ugly section. Those of us who are here have to try and get the word out. Even if we can only save a handful of people it's still worth it.

It's a good idea - with the geos closures in outer suburban and country areas - if you are a teacher already a part of one of these small communities, towns or suburban cities and your students trust you - it's worth considering setting up on your own - remember that the companies used to pay you 2000 to 3500 per hour, but the students were likely paying double that in tuition.

Don't undercut yourself on the per hour rate, you can even charge less than the chain schools were and with a relatively small student base -say 20 to 30 students and you'll be pulling in a liveable wage while you build the business - that's really not a bad position to be in when starting a business.

I think it's important that if you do this then you are in for the long haul, as the article notes you need goodwill and trust from the students.

Easy to ge that if you don't employ drunkard teachers whose only interest is to have sex with as many Japanese students they can which by and large is the reason Nova and Geos went bankrupt. Those big companies simply could not maintain standards in the wake of huge demand. Hell, I know one guy who was having it on with eight students from the same school at the same time. They all talk and none of them re-signed. Little wonder. I mean, come on, go figure. Keep up the standards, and you can make a killing. It is all about keeping the riff raff and sex maniacs out.

"don't employ drunkard teachers whose only interest is to have sex with as many Japanese students they can which by and large is the reason Nova and Geos went bankrupt"

And the staff, pressured by slavedriving bosses, to lie through their teeth, to get students to sign up for lengthy and expensive contracts, based on promises that were not honored, time and time and time again, which eventually incurred the wrath of the national government had nothing to do with it? You old leg puller, you!!! Tut tut tut! Good one!!!

Agreed. That is a way over the top and innacurate statement about the reasons for the bankrupcy. I mean, do you think the party harders weren't around when Nova was rakiing it in hand over fist? They were there in force and it didn't make any difference.

Sure some teachers could be held to blame for a few cases of students not renewing,
it's a drop in the bucket.
(though you could also argue those same teachers are the reason some frisky
students signed up for eikaiwa in the first place, the eikaiwa ads very never very subtle
about the "spend intimate time with a blue-eyed gaijin" angle)

Anyway, please go back and read the NOVA threads a bit for the actual reasons the company died.

I'm not going back to read the threads why trhe company died, buttwipe. I WAS FUCKING THERE!!!!

Easy to ge that if you don't employ drunkard teachers whose only interest is to have sex with as many Japanese students they can which by and large is the reason Nova and Geos went bankrupt.

The main reason? Pah. Bollocks it is. Nova opened up too many schools and signed up too many students that they couldn't provide lessons for, because they were too cheap to hire the extra instructors necessary, or employ the instructors they had to work the necessary hours. The main reason Nova and GEOS went bankrupt is that they were being run by useless cunts like Saruhashi and Kusanoki, who kept tits like you (assuming you're not just a troll) around to blame all their fuck-ups on convenient scapegoats.

Sorry JB,

But your personal experiences and mileage may vary.
Yes, there were plenty of sexual predators at NOVA (though I think
it's a two-way street, for consenting adults)
But I worked for NOVA as well. It was clear even in the late 90s that
the business model was all about signing up the next batch of suckers
and then not having enough vacancies to let them use their tickets.

Like a time-share outfit selling 150 weeks of time per year for a single
condo at a ski resort, there are only 52 weeks a year, and maybe only 20 weeks a year that
people would actually want to make reservations.
The initial "success" of the Ponzi-style scheme motivated Monkeybridge to build
1000 more ski condos and sell 150 weeks/year in those as well.
That was NOVA.

So, go back and think before you post.
Oh, and read before you bitch. I admit there were plenty of assholes (including you apparently)
at NOVA, but their drunken lechery was not the primary cause of the failure.

I'd say the drunken not-give-a-toss teachers were the 3rd on the list of causes, just because they
couldn't even teach the minimal NOVA standard, so students who actually were lucky enough
to be able to make a reservation, then got stuck in a cubicle getting vicariously drunk off the vapors emanating someone like you who had just cruised in from an 8AM closing time at an after club in Roppongi, would also
be motivated to quit NOVA.

I'd say the drunken not-give-a-toss teachers were

the 3rd on the list of causes

, just because they
couldn't even teach the minimal NOVA standard, so students who actually were lucky enough
to be able to make a reservation, then got stuck in a cubicle getting vicariously drunk off the vapors emanating someone like you who had just cruised in from an 8AM closing time at an after club in Roppongi, would also
be motivated to quit NOVA.

I'd go for 4th, personally. I mean, who was it that hired them?

Don't knock the drunken sexual predators.

The enter eikaiwa industry was built on the hormones of curious, boozed-up and sexually adventurous young Westerners.

Eikaiwa will finally die when the college boys in the US discover Korean women.

Everyone with half a brain knows Eikaiwa is a haven for drunks, sexual deviants and misfits. It's a given. Why the waste of time BS debate?

Maybe us non-drunks are just jealous of the drunks who partied hard?

After all, only the worst of the worst of these drunks actually got fired,
and even that was almost always due to being late to work, rather than for mixing it up with students.

After all, since the "quality" of one's teaching didn't count for much,
(or at all, in the last 5ish years) why not just show up drunk every day
and date multiple students?

Well, there is the issue of which teachers met the NOVA crash with money in the bank,
and which ones had to beg for money from back home just to buy a ticket out of here, leaving behind outstanding balances on cell phones, utility bills, etc. thus fueling the anti-gaijin paranoia that means honest gaijin have to jump through hoops and pay through the nose to get an iPhone, but I digress...

"Don't knock the drunken sexual predators.

The enter eikaiwa industry was built on the hormones of curious, boozed-up and sexually adventurous young Westerners.

Eikaiwa will finally die when the college boys in the US discover Korean women."

This comment is Gold. I have seen a lot of reflexive Americanophobia in my day, but this tops the charts.

The person who typed up this comment has neither ever been to Japan or was there very briefly or blindfolded. I worked there for six and a half years and worked with those from all over the world.

But I get it, everything's the fault of Americans. And if it weren't for us, the guys with a small penis who can't get some would have nothing to blame their shortcomings on (no pun intended).

Oh and for the record, the eikaiwa industry is actually booming and has always been in Korea. But I don't expect the hateful ignorant to be fond of facts or .... even like them.

Oh and for the record, the eikaiwa industry is actually booming and has always been in Korea. But I don't expect the hateful ignorant to be fond of facts or .... even like them.

.

In Korea perhaps, but are you claiming eikaiwa is booming in Japan and if so what do you base the claim on?

Eikaiwa is not booming in Korea. In fact. it has plateau-ed. Obviously Mr. X isn't actually in Korea or had any experience there.

Eikaiwa is not booming in Korea. In fact. it has plateau-ed. Obviously Mr. X isn't actually in Korea or had any experience there.

.

I did say "perhaps." I was actually responding to someone else's claim that eikaiwa is booming in Korea as, indeed, I've never been there myself and wouldn't know anything about it.

I just got back from Korea yesterday, for my third holiday in less than one year.

It’s booming in Korea. Demand far outstrips supply.

Student waiting lists are miles long. Mothers fight over placements for the kiddy classes, and offer enormous monies to jump the queue, or hire Eikaiwa workers privately (sometimes as much as USD500 per hour, no qualifications necessary).

Some old timers who have been there for years, said they have never seen it this good.

They say it reminds them of Japan a couple of decades back.

Money, and heaps of it, falling from the sky. People in the street, offering USD50 as you pass on by, just sit and chat at a coffee shop for 30 minutes, in English.

Even USD100, if the sun is shining, and the mood is right, just to sit down and chat, while you sip on a starbuck's coffee.

One guy I know hooked up a private 2 hour lesson teaching the kids of some rich industrialist. USD750 x 2 lesson per week. He has slapped down a deposit on an apartment in Manhattan in no time, and is talking of buying another.

And it is no gold rush. You turn up, you have a job, guaranteed. Most schools have half the teacher numbers they actually want.

Korea is where it is all at these days.

Japan, and very distant fourth or fifth.

8:35 Yup, alright...Back to reality.

The Korean Won is shit against. There has, and will be for some time, demand for English. Pretty much a given. But students also studying Japanese and French (limited, but there). Nobody is throwing around money like you say...You saw all that money being thrown around on your short vacation, eh? Sure...If that is all you did on vacation is watch people and all the money, you have a sad life sir.

I have lived there for last three years. I come back to invest in this, that, the other thing, back home. It's a gold mine. I have set myself up for life. And hey ho, did that working max 20 hours a week. Novelty is starting to wear off these days however, and anyways, my investments are really starting to bring in the pay dirt, so time to share the secret, not that it is not already out there. Korea is a the "El Derado" of the language instruction world these days. You have been told, and that is as far as my charity goes. Good luck to you all, and may your dreams come true, just like mine did.

Ha, ha! Sounds like a Napoleon some of us know. Love the sarcasm.

Learn to read, you bellicose little tit. You're rebuffing my pont, by making the point I was making. Jesus Christ.

Level 3. Read my original post, carefully. Then read the previous post by 'Poodle'. I think you'll find that your disagreement is with him, and you are actually making the same argument as me (although in an intellectually inferior way). The negative remarks about boozy, skirt chasing teachers in my post is a 'quote' from what Poodle said, that I was disagreeing with. It is not my opinion, so don't disagree with me, over something I also disagree with.

Oh be quiet. You know Poodle is right. Eikaiwa has been a gathering point for revolting Western Men who rate highly the easy access to Asian women and gauge their manhood by the number of them they sleep with. Eikaiwa is a paradise for sexually predatory men and even the Japanese have woken up to it. I absolutely rejoice in the the fact that the days of "Have penis, speak English, so fuck me" are now a thing of the past. It is a victory for both Japanese and Western women.

Be that as it may, or may not be, I was just keen to point out that my original post was NOT suggesting Nova went under because of sleazy teachers. Sorry for my tense and stressed tone, Lisa, and Level3 and everyone, but I'm keen to keep the misdemeanors of Saruhashi and middle ranking jackboots in the spotlight. My tense and stressed tone has nothing to do with the fact that I haven't been laid since... well, since Nova went Bankrupt

And Lisa's words are clearly those of a sexually frustrated, pug ugly, bitter western woman, who couldn't get any action, for love nor money, during her entire stay in Japan. We met even more of those than we did hot female students, eh, fellas? Just as Japan attracts revolting western men, it is the only place on earth, where they are still better looking, more charming, sexually alluring, than their bitter, undersexed and intellectually and physically disgusting female counterparts - an astonishing anthropological rarity! Have you ever thought that western men shag Japanese women out of necessity, because western women in Japan are all so foul to look at, and have personalities which are at best, mediocre, and warped by bitterness. That's my experience anyway!

It may seem that we're bitter, but it's just an act to discourage the few twisted Western males that even think they have a shot. Actually we're just glad the J-girls have taken that bunch of losers off of our hands ;) Leaves us free to hunt down the (admittedly few) hot Japanese guys.

The best way to do your own eikaiwa is with your significant other and
don't worry about having other teachers.That eliminates the hangover
sickies,the messing with your students and jaded tired ones who only
live for payday. Working for yourself is much more pleasurable you know.
Build it and it will come.

LOL! Well said.

So I conclude that you “shag Japanese women” because they are not "foul to look at, have better personalities", and are not "mediocre and warped by bitterness".

When did you arrive in Japan toy boy? A month ago?

LOL!

Japanese woman look good...But not all. And they have many "complex" mental issues that are made even more complex by the culture issue. Some are just plain fucked up, but then again, what woman isn't. LOL ;-)

Hey Candy, I done my time, I know the score. Six and a half years ain't nothing.

Nova years are like dog years. You put in one, it feels like seven.

I was ragging the Monitor when y'all still thought hanami was cute.

We built that industry on shochu, the present progressive and cute smiles. Not our fault all youse tore it down with all ya new-skool professionalism.

See you in Seomyeon, I'm the dude with the 100 yard stare and the gold tooth-pick.

It's all very well picking on the gaijin men, but on a serious note, exactly what type of visa would Let's Japan recommend for a wannabe start-up English school owner? As far as I can see, the options are:

a) Marry a Japanese national, wait for PR or open company in spouse's name. Bad for those who aren't/don't want to be marred to a J-national or are married to someone form another nationality.

b) Get a business visa. Only available to those with tons of money in the (Japanese) bank and two Japanese employees. Not feasible for the vast majority.

c) Start up business on the sly (using Specialist in Humanities visa from Eikaiwa with a good amount of time left on it). Use remaining time on visa (max of three years) to get company up and running, filing tax, making hopefully enough cash and contracts to satisfy immigration. Here's what the visa regulations say "engage in services, which require knowledge pertinent to jurisprudence, economics, sociology or other human science fields or to engage in services which require specific ways of thought or sensitivity based on experience with foreign culture, BASED ON A CONTRACT with a public or private organisation in Japan". Does that mean a private student with a contract does or doesn't count?

d) Sell your soul to Eikaiwa/ALT for 10 years until you qualify for PR.

I am currently engaged in option C. I have a humanities visa valid until 2013. So far (started school in August) I'm turning over about 110,000 yen a month. My school costs (everything excluding salaries) are around 60,000 yen a month, leaving me with around 50,000 for myself per month. Of course each new student adds to that.

Lisa, admit it, guys of any nationality don't give you a second look in Japan, and boy, are you bitter. And, to make it worse, all the prejudices you hold against western men are true, they're not hot, and are not going anywhere fast, in life. And despite all that, they still don't give you the time of day. That must really hurt!!!!

You forgot 'modest'

And anyway, your claims don't mean squat, without photo evidence, and copies of your Ivy League/Oxbridge degrees, which I'll bet a dollar, to a dollop of dogshit, you don't possess!

Let me display some of that intellect by saying "Hell, no" to putting photos and degree certificates on here :)
Oxbridge, no. But University of Newcastle uponTyne (solid, red-brick, "proper" university), yes. As to looks, I've been told I resemble British TV presenter Davina McCall, but that's all you're getting.

Do you have anything useful to add for those contemplating starting their own English school, or have you just come to hate on the Western women?

Do you have anything useful to add for those contemplating starting their own English school, or have you just come to hate on the Western women?

.
Hm. I'm not sensing a whole lot of love on your part for western men...

It may seem that we're bitter, but it's just an act to discourage the few twisted Western males that even think they have a shot. Actually we're just glad the J-girls have taken that bunch of losers off of our hands ;)

If you're keen to discuss starting up small English schools in Japan, might I suggest refraining from that sort of comment?

I don't hate the Western man. I'm married to one of them (in my case, the hot Japanese guys are for looking, not touching) ;) He gets plenty of loving. No, you're not getting any pictures of that either.

My initial comment about the few twisted Western males. The nice, normal ones who are seeing J-girls (what with them outnumbering Western girls by a huge percentage - it's gonna happen) generally don't tend to go around being annoying, pompous, self-loving jerks. It's the ones who will only see J-girls and then bitch and moan about Western women hating on them because of the J-girls, when actually it's their loathsome personalities that turn us off. The comment was in response to this.

...because western women in Japan are all so foul to look at, and have personalities which are at best, mediocre, and warped by bitterness.

And you still failed to come up with anything relevant for people starting up a small school in Japan.

Something relevant - register at City Hall within two months of starting your business.

It's the ones who will only see J-girls and then bitch and moan about Western women hating on them because of the J-girls, when actually it's their loathsome personalities that turn us off. The comment was in response to this.

...because western women in Japan are all so foul to look at, and have personalities which are at best, mediocre, and warped by bitterness.

Fair enough, it is absolute crap. But for the topic of this thread, I personally wouldn't consider starting up an English school in Japan myself. As far as I can see it's another case of supply exceeding demand, and in my view only an extremely well set-up business has much of a chance of success.

"Lisa, admit it, guys of any nationality don't give you a second look in Japan, and boy, are you bitter. And, to make it worse, all the prejudices you hold against western men are true, they're not hot, and are not going anywhere fast, in life. And despite all that, they still don't give you the time of day. That must really hurt!!!!"

Judging from your style of questions and posts it is my opinion that you rate VERY highly getting “attention” from the opposite SEX and that Japan has been a MECCA for what is important to you that being some form of SEXUAL intimacy relative to your life in your home country.

I also see that you are a mind reader and assume anyone who points out that there is/was a signifcant element in the Western male population of Japan that thinks and operates off on the premise of “WESTERN MALE, HAVE PENIS, SPEAK ENGLISH, SO FUCK ME” then that person is not getting SEXUAL attention from the opposite SEX is bitter and is prejudice against western men.

Frankly speaking you seem to have SEX at the very forefront of your mind and are DEFENSIVE to the extreme.

It’s almost as if my few comments which truth be known are very much common knowledge seem to have punched a hole straight through your chest.

Most normal people have pretty active and satisfying SEX lives no matter where they are or live.

But for you obviously based on some kind of deficiency you carry deep within, in Japan your experiences have been elevated.

So delighted by this you need to publish your joy on public bulletin boards such as this.

Please enjoy FUCKING meantime. Enjoy SEX. We all do.

We just don’t rate it as highly as you, and nor is it a prime motivating reason, for the rest of us to actually stay in and live in Japan.

Finally I would like to point out that WESTERN MEN with SMALL PENISES do not stand out as much in Japan as they do back home.

LITTLE DICK SYNDROME is not as hard for them to live with in Japan compared to what it is to live with back in their home countries.

"Oxbridge, no. But University of Newcastle uponTyne (solid, red-brick, "proper" university),"

Bollocks! It's a clearing school.

"yes. As to looks, I've been told I resemble British TV presenter Davina McCall, "

That bird with the huge schnozzer, and the screechy voice, from Big Brother?? Congratulations!!

"but that's all you're getting"

Well thank heavens, for small mercies!

Just in case anyone is looking for clearing, by the way, here is the info for Newcastle, which placed a mighty 56th, among Europe's universities, on this year's TES list:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/clearing//

And I'm not beating on women, western or otherwise. Just bringing condescending, know it all sweeping generalization making morons down, the peg or two that they deserve.

And Lisa, your character analysis was fucking pathetic, but I suppose that comes with the territory, for a myopic moron.

Poison, do please tell, what do you say to your little Japanese chicky, when all she does is nod her head and utter “Nnnn” to everything you say? LOL!

I guess it is an intellectual challenge for you, trying to figure out what "Nnnn" means. LOL!

Just in case anyone is looking for clearing, by the way, here is the info for Newcastle, which placed a mighty 56th, among Europe's universities, on this year's TES list:

This brings up a number of questions. Do you have a link, any backup at all for that little statistic? Do you mean Europe as in the geographical continent, or just participating members of the EU? In either case, 56th across the Europe is not bad at all. Care to share where you went to school, or are you all mouth and no trousers?
According to this page http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/national-uni... that would put Newcastle on a par with Boston, Fordham, Ohio State Columbus, Purdue West Lafayette, Southern Methodist, Georgia and Maryland College Park Universities within the US. If you take the UK separate from Europe, then Newcastle ranks as 37 http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/table/2010/jun/04/university-league-... which puts it on a par with Lehigh and Rochester. Just because it takes students through clearing, doesn't make it a clearing uni. Try Northumbria for that.

And I'm not beating on women, western or otherwise. Just bringing condescending, know it all sweeping generalization making morons down, the peg or two that they deserve.

Exactly where did I make a sweeping generalisation? Please, quote exactly where you think this generalisation took place. By the way, the quote button is the button 3rd from left above where you'll no doubt be making your well-thought-out, researched, knowledgable response. It has a speech bubble with a little quotation mark inside. Think you can find that? (That's condescending.)

Well, I don't remember it being me who was mouthing of about being intellectuall in the first place, but seeing as you ask

I went to Sussex University, later gaining a Fulbright Scholarship to a Big Ten U.S. University. I did my Masters at Manchester, and am now considering whether to do my PhD, in anthropology at Kyoto, or Carnegie Mellon. I have been to gas Panic once (a friend's birthday), where I spoke with friends, danced a bit, and left, with the same friends, have had one or two Japanese girlfriends, one Korean one, too, and my current GF is from Texas.

But you already knew that, didn't you? Your assertions were uncanny! And your condescending remark about quotation points has ruined my life. You win!

How come you can't figure out what "Nnnn" means then? LOL!

'How come you can't figure out what "Nnnn" means then? LOL!'

This is the kind of barbed, electrically charged exchange that invariably leads to unforgettably hot sex, Lisa, so perhaps you should quit now, while you can.

But, if you don't want to quit, your number gets mine.

It would be a good romance! Two to tango and all that.

Lisa, you wrote that your slurs against western men was "in response to this.

...because western women in Japan are all so foul to look at, and have personalities which are at best, mediocre, and warped by bitterness. "

Actually, I can read, so can easily spot that you are lying. That comment was a response to your slurs in your "Poodle Correct, Spot On, Exactly Right" post.

Classic troll. Start a shitstorm, then when it kicks off, pretend you're above it.

I wasn't "mouthing off" (off with two Fs) about being intellectual (with one L at the end - I thought you were supposed to be smart?).

Nor do your blow-up dolls count of girlfriends. Listing the countries you bought them in doesn't make them any more real.

And you still didn't answer my question. Where did I make a sweeping generalisation?

Also, Lisa and I are two different people. Why is it that slurs against Western women are ok, but a retaliation containing slurs against selected Western men is trolling? You are the troll around here.

Do you mind taking this slagging off match somewhere else? It's getting boring and it has nothing at all to do with the topic of the thread, i.e. successful small English schools. Or maybe that's the whole point? Perhaps certain people in head offices at the bigger chain schools if this kind of topic wasn't discussed...? Perhaps "Lisa", "Intellectual, attractive Western female" and Anonymous (Sussex and Manchester alumnus) might care to take a break from flinging insults about to share their views on the original Japan Times article?

I thought the article was good and hope the some of the ideas are also being talking about within Japanese consumer groups, but the article fails to address the practicalities of setting up a privare school.
a) Who acted as guarantor for the school rental agreements?
b) What kind of visas are these people using?
c) Information and/or advice regarding the tax situation?

I would have liked the article to address some of these points or at least offer some links that would help.

I did mention this earlier, but no-one seems interested in answering these questions (could be there's no answers).

a) The wife.
b)Spouse visa
c) Great.

It's so bloody obvious it hardly needs any attention.

If the total taxable income is under 2 million yen per year you won't have a problem. (that's quite a low salary though) - once you get over the 2 million you have to submit your income records and expenses - a bit of a pain in the arse but the advantage of that is you can claim deductions and business expenses. Providing your company does not employ more than 6 workers you are classified as a small business and not subject to the same conditions as a regular company (shakai hoken etc)

If you aren't registered as a business but running a 'school' out of a house -you might have to explain why you aren't a company but operating like one at tax time - the obvious alternative is to declare yourself an independent contractor who has a lot of private students - in that case you just declare your earnings for the year and if they amount to 2 million plus you get a bill for the income tax. (and you can still claim business expenses as long as you can prove them - so keep your receipts)

a client of mine is a regional tax bureau and I have asked a fairly senior officer about this a few times over beers and was told that they don't go LOOKING for home businesses who aren't registered, or seem to be all that bothered with minor league businesses who get paid cash-in-hand and dont claim it as income
unless they got a few complaints about - say from neighbours, or unhappy clients.

So if you're planning on starting out that way - as I understand many small schools do- then keep it quiet and the taxman will probably turn a blind eye.

I've also been informed that non-Japanese are required to pay some kind of fee when they start up a business - Y30,000 or so. Can anyone confirm or deny that, or provide more details?

I had to pay nothing when I told the tax man I had become self employed. I did, however, have to pay 60,000 JPY when I registered the company as a LLC / goudougaisha (合同会社). This is the flat rate that everyone pays though.

If this helps here are a few bits from my experience of starting up an English school. I started the school with two years left to run on my Humanities visa. I registered as self-employed and the tax man didn't care as long as I was paying some tax.
Immigration will care, however, as you can not, by law, run a business on a Humaities visa. So the next time you go up to renew your visa you will have to change it to a Business / Investor visa.
Make sure you do this with plenty of time before your visa expires as this will save a lot of stress.
I hired a Tokyo lawyer to do all the work for me. This, I think, probably also put me in a good light with Immigration as real companies hire lawyers. So I didn't look like a shady fly-by-night outfit. Hiring a lawyer did cost me a lot of money though.
Things you will have to do to hit the Immigration's criteria are; prove that you have invested 5 million JPY into the company (so save every receipt you can. And make sure they are Ryoushuusho and not just the normal receipt you get for your cup of coffee), OR have 2 full time JAPANESE staff working full time and you are paying shakai hoken.
You will also have to register as at least a Goudougaisha. This will costs 60,000 JPY and you will have to prove that you have a large some of capital in your name that can be invested in the company. (I borrowed about a million from a friend, photocopied my bank book and then transferred the money back.) It also includes all manner of little headaches like registering your hanko at the local ward office, etc. The tax man is also more stringent with GKs so you will either have to learn or hire someone who can do double entry book keeping.
You will then have to prove that; your company's premises and your private abode are not the same and that there is at least a different front door and that the company's address is registered as a business contract and not a private residence.
There were also a few other little hurdles to jump through. It ws a monumental pain in the arse to get it approved but once you get a business visa it's like the golden ticket. You only need to make sure that the company is afloat and you can stay in Japan as long as you want.

Hope that helps.

Good luck.

Richard Smart has an uplifting and positive piece in The Japan Times on some thriving, smaller schools.(Pay no attention to the jaded guy he quotes throughout the article, though.)

Mind you, one accurate observation he makes is that the Japanese owners of big eikaiwa chains aren't interested in speaking or studying English, just selling it. On the occasions these people actually visit the schools they never say a word to the teachers because they can't. They don't even make the effort in Japanese, which may simply be because they're pricks. I gather there's someone higher up at G.education/Nova called Yamaya who can manage a bit of English, but by all accounts he's certifiable.

Aussie govt announced this week changes to immigration process for skilled migrants that will place increased emphasis on incomers' English skills. Has potential to cheer up ESL enrolments here and there a bit.

Always enjoyed the brown ale and the fish 'n chips and the boarding houses in Newcastle. While catching a glimpse of the bridge would make me yen for home in Sydney. Pretty poor uni, though, sort of reminds one of CQU.

That's some great info. Can I ask something? Did you get any grief from anyone (City hall, police, tax office etc) during those two years when you were between your old job and getting the business visa?

I'll definitely look at getting a lawyer when it comes to my visa renewal. How long in advance did you apply for the business visa? I guess any time would be ok, since it's a change of status, rather than a renewal.

I thought I would get grief from the tax office but they don't care about your visa status just so long as your contributing to the government's coffers. No one else gave a shit either.
With regards to status, I left it really late to change as I didn't really know I had to. So I only gave myself a week! But the lawyer I hired was immense. I'd recommend him if you're in or near the Tokyo area. The firm is Futaba Immigration. www.futaba-immigration.jp
A word of advice, don't give yourself a week to get everything done. It was incredibly stressful to say the least. Give yourself a couple of months.

Helpful guy (anonymous is just so, well, anonymous), what about your gaijin card? Did you bother changing your employer for the two tears or just leave it until you got your new business visa?

I'll definitely take your advice about the lawyer when that time comes around, I might even take a shot at PR, as I'll have been in Japan for 7 years at that point, so it can't hurt to try.

The real agenda of this website is not to disseminate information for the puroposes of helping teachers in this industry. Rather, it is a tool of the industry itself. The companies. The overlords who have been screwing over gaijin for decades. The idea behind this website is to preach the gloom and doom mantra, so that the ones who stay will not think of asking for more, and it is also to encourage a gaijin in, gaijin out cycle. This is so that your overlords never have to deal with gaijin will stand up for themselves.

Yes, indeed, commentor at 23:04
Maybe it's not the hidden agenda, but as a school owner -I have been helped so much by this website. I used to shower my employees with high pay and gifts, paid vacations, days off whenever they requested etc. Thanks to Lets Japan I have been able to increase my profits by paying gaijin what they are REALLY worth. The recent LetsJapan articles and links about GABA have helped me design a new way to hire gaijin in a way that will super increase my profits. I am so thankful to whoever created the Lets Japan website/discussion board. THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE !! I LOVE YOU !!

My impression is that this website is simply a blog and forum about Japan, not just eikaiwa. I don't think the eikaiwa business needs this website to help it re-inforce the business model of low pay, poor conditions, no career prospects and a revolving door of teachers - it manages to do that perfectly well by itself. It's inherent in the nature of eikaiwa.

Certainly Let's Japan colluded with The Union to bring Nova down. We all know that much. These days it is still obvious that Let's Japan is more about bringing Eikaiwa down, than building it up.

It has a left-wing, communist agenda, just like the Union does.

The more balanced people out there, taking anything posted on Let's Japan with a pinch of salt.

Hey, Dick Tracey at 02:48. You have the same mentality as the maker /monitor of this site. I think his name is Shawn.
You guys have this vengeance toward this non-existent entitiy called "Eikaiwa". This non-existent monster that you guys perceive as an omni-present oppressive dictator that sucks the life out of gaijin.
Get real dudes !! EVERY industry in every country has companies that pay late or are abusive towards employees or portray the job during the recruiting/hiring process as better than it truly is. Every country. Every industry. Wake up !! "E I K A I W A " is not one person. E I K A I W A is not one group of people. E I K A I W A is not one company or one conglomerate of companies. That's what this website and its sycophants don't want to confront.
NOVA, GEOS ,GABA ,G Communications and a few poorly- managed dishonest schools do not represent the entire industry. Nabisco and Coca Cola do not represent the entire Food and Beverage industry.
There are tons and TONS of small, medium and large language schools where the gaijin staff are VERY happy.
There are also a lot of nice Eikaiwa school owners who have had their lives cut short by about ten years because of stress from the bad gaijin who do that cutesy take-the -visa-sponsorship-and -run trick, or consistently come late, no-shows, steal money, become violent, sexual harrassment, refuse to cooperate with policy, do little or no lesson preparation, steal school materials ad nauseam.
They do not represent all gaijin, but it's too big a percentage that behave that way ...and the problem was much worse 10 years ago ....and much MUCH worse 20 years ago.
This website really helps nobody but school owners like me who need this info. I used to pay 270,000 starting salary and got screwed many times by gaijin. Now, my starting salary for new hires is 200,000 and my people are devoted because they have good character. They are responsible human beings. I've learned how to not hire the conmen/conwomen.
The maker of this site (Shawn ?) I wonder who he thinks he is helping. How is he helping them? Because of him - Is ECC treating their gaijin better? Are the thousands of small and medium sized Eikaiwa schools treating their gaijin staff better?
This is just a website for gaijin losers to commiserate.
Happy healthy gaijin get good jobs in Japan and do their best and move up in life. Losers make websites attacking something that does not even exist : The gaijin eating parasitic Eikaiwa Monster. You obviously hate yourself ...so you transmute it into hating S O M E T H I N G....blaming S O M E T H I N G for your misery.

This is almost as stupid as the Bush: 'They hate us or our freedoms' speech.

That's a little tough. School owner is not running for president. However, it is interesting that he/she has nothing to say about the other half of the gripes against eikaiwa on this site: namely it's lack of educational validity.

Perhaps his/her school is full of happy underpaid teachers, and perhaps the students are happy as well. However, if the majority were able to say at the end of a 3 year stint that their English had improved significantly as a result of the guidance of people who really knew what they were doing, then you would think this school owner would say so. Actually, he/she has nothing to say on this topic which speaks volumes about where his/her real interests lie.

anonymous poster at 14:51
You did NOT write that you don't sexually molest children.
That says VOLUMES about the sick thoughts you entertain , you sick pervert. If you were not

And if you have not been sexually molesting children then one would think you would say so!!!!!!!

Anonymous poster at 13:56

Your analogy is ridiculous. I was trying to make a point. My viewpoint differs from yours. That's all.It's an honest debate. Bush's 'They hate us for our freedoms speech" was given after he and his dad did 9/11. He gave that speech to cover for his illegal act of terrorism.

Please See this website : http://patriotsquestion911.com/

and this : http://www.ae911truth.org/

and this : http://www.infowars.com/1000-architects-engineers-officially-demand-new-...

Certainly Let's Japan colluded with The Union to bring Nova down. We all know that much. These days it is still obvious that Let's Japan is more about bringing Eikaiwa down, than building it up.

It has a left-wing, communist agenda, just like the Union does.

Fantastic! Aren't left-wing, communist agendas brilliant! I like unions too. They're brilliant.

17:53 is one of those psycho, left-wing, conspiracy-driven, nutjobs that need to be committed ASAP. Someone put this pig out of its misery!

Someone seriously interested in defending the educational legitimacy of their business would not respond in such a manner as that. Tell me school owner, what kind of data do you keep on the results achieved in your school?

T o: 23:07 Anonymous

1,) For hundreds of years ,if not thousands of years - Evil governments and suppressive dictators and oppressive religeons seek to eliminate critics by convincing the public that being a conspiracy believer (or not trusting the Leaders) is a mental illness. It's an old trick. Look at those websites I provided the links to !! Are you saying that thousands of Former US Military officials, architects, and engineers and government officials are ,"psycho, left-wing, conspiracy-driven, nutjobs that need to be committed ASAP. " (Your words !! ) Look at the links I provided. Then try to make an intellegent coherent comment if you disagree.

(2.) You wrote : "Someone put this pig out of its misery!"
Such a statement is like saying ,"Shoot him. Put him out of his misery."
You are suggesting murder because I disagree with this website's premise or because I believe 911 was an inside job.

Again, take time to look at the links I provided.
Suggesting that I should be killed.
This website is much worse than I thought !!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely the worst of the worst gaijin in Japan post messages on this website. You are probably the guys that deceive, harm, screw over Eikaiwa schools ,and then you harshly criticize the industry that you abused and victimized.

A message poster or two posters have pressured me to prove that my school is effective at teaching and assessing progress. I will not do that. Here is why :

1.) That is off-purpose from my original point. You are trying to lead me in another direction.

2.) I would have to type thousands of words to explain that.

3.) This website is all about hating all Eikaiwa School owners. I will be attacked no matter what I write about my school's teaching methods and technique for assessment of students' progress.

4.) I have nothing to gain by writing that info where my business competitors can see it and benefit from it.

5.) My website is , to a degree, proof that students in my school make excellent progress. I will not post a link to my business's website. That would just get me prank phone calls from the unethical people who are addicted to this website. Today one of you suggested I should be killed. I never make comments (or jokes) like that. Why should I put myself and my family in danger by letting the evil LetsJapan jerks know who I am??

00:39 You need some serious mental help. What a sad life you live. I feel sorry for you because you seem so delusional and bitter at the world. But please refrain from putting us through your misery and alternative universe and extremism.

Trolls don't engage in meaningful conversations, they merely want to provoke emotional reactions. It excites them, and if you feed them like that, they'll just come scavenging for more. Ignore them, and they'll have to go somewhere else for their food.

You know what to do people.

This website is much worse than I thought !!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely the worst of the worst gaijin in Japan post messages on this website. You are probably the guys that deceive, harm, screw over Eikaiwa schools ,and then you harshly criticize the industry that you abused and victimized.

.

The Japan Times article was very complimentary about smaller schools, and I'm certainly not criticising you if you're running one and doing a good job. However, at the big eikaiwa schools it's the owners doing the screwing over, and quite frankly if the "worst gaijin in Japan" work there and muck them about in return, it's the owners' own fault for hiring them in the first place. I have no sympathy at all.

Anonymous at 02:04

Your comment is ridiculous. In response to my rational writing -you wrote :
>"You need some serious mental help. What a sad life you live. I feel sorry for you because you seem so delusional and bitter at the world. But please refrain from putting us through your misery and alternative universe and extremism"

______________
What did I say to evoke that type of response ????!!
I'm a very happy person with a very happy healthy stable family. I have more than 30 employees that treat me with honor and respect. They all like me very much (or love me) (^_^) I am not bitter at the world. I am not miserable. You use the word 'misery". You also say the words "Alternative universe and extremism". What are you referring to? My viewpoints about Eikaiwa? My political beliefs? If it's my political beliefs-again - look at the weblinks I provided instead of having a knee-jerk response.
___________________
To MrX:
Thank you for a real comment with substance.
You wrote :

>"it's the owners' own fault for hiring them in the first place. I have no sympathy at all."

Can't the same be said for employees that are deceived by dishonest employers? No sympathy.
I don't think it's fair to blame the victim in either case, but yes, in the end -we are all responsible for the conditions and situations we get ourselves into....for the most part...I guess.
I'm glad you are saying generalizations less than other message posters here, but...you wrote:

>"However, at the big eikaiwa schools it's the owners doing the screwing over,.."

I myself, have met on seperate occasions, at least 10 gaijin that work for ECC and they were all very happy with their jobs. Not one of them could say a critical thing about being employed by ECC.I think ECC would be considered one of the biggest. "The Big 5" ka na?
Also, I've interviewed many people who were scammed and decieved by very small schools. Here is one story :
There is a small school (or schools(?) in this region of Japan that has a large percentage of its classes taught by interviewees/ applicants. Do you get what I'm saying? It's an adult English conversation school(or schools). They constanty set up interviews and they ask the applicants to do a demo lesson(or two demo lessons) to the real students. Then they do not hire the person. This is done on an ongoing basis, it seems. I don't know which school or schools it is, but I've heard this story many times. The applicant realizes that night or a few days later, "Holy sh*t ! I think I was tricked !!" (into teaching a class or two for free)
Maybe I'm wrong,but I think the big companies are more stable and trustworthy and organized. Of the small schools -it seems obvious that the ones run by a gaijin owner who is also teaching are the most trustworthy. The small schools run by Nihon-jin that can't even speak English well are often VERY bad places to work at.

I'm glad you are saying generalizations less than other message posters here, but...you wrote:

>"However, at the big eikaiwa schools it's the owners doing the screwing over,.."

I myself, have met on seperate occasions, at least 10 gaijin that work for ECC and they were all very happy with their jobs. Not one of them could say a critical thing about being employed by ECC.I think ECC would be considered one of the biggest. "The Big 5" ka na?

Admittedly I haven't heard anything too bad about ECC, but as far as I can tell that makes it the exception rather than the rule.

Maybe I'm wrong,but I think the big companies are more stable and trustworthy and organized. Of the small schools -it seems obvious that the ones run by a gaijin owner who is also teaching are the most trustworthy. The small schools run by Nihon-jin that can't even speak English well are often VERY bad places to work at.
.

I don't know much about AEON but nothing I hear about G.education/Nova/GEOS, GABA or Berlitz gives me the impression they're trustworthy. I'm not sure if I'd want to describe any company running English language schools right now as stable, and I think some are much more organised than others. Incidentally, I've never encountered any Japanese upper-level management types at big eikaiwa schools who displayed any English ability, so I can't imagine how they think they're qualified to run language schools.

1 You are quite right that my remarks are away from your original topic. This is because I started by pointing out that the other side to this site is a questioning of the educational validity of eikaiwa. A point that think is unworthy of being addressed it would seem.

2 People who really believe in their educational mission are generally missionaries for thier cause and delighted to talk about their beliefs and practices. They publish books, articles in journals and go on speaking tours etc. etc.

3 Your generalisation that this website is all about hating school owners simply tells me that you haven't yet read very much of what is in it. There are in fact a wide variety of attitudes to school owners. Rather, this website is about debunking eikaiwa. People have good reasons for wanting to do that, but are generally willing to listen to a rationally presented defence: something that you have not presented yet.

4 I am generally susupicious of people who adopt a protectionist attitude to their methods. It is not generally unbeneficial for a business to advertise what it is that makes them special, and competitors who really wish to know, have plenty of ways of finding out anyway. More often than not a protectionist attitude is used to mask inferior quality, as with companies like Nova for excample.

5 If you don't wish to post a link to your website, then fine. Why bother mentioning it in that case?

Dear Mr. Anonymous and the other Mr. Anonymous and the Anonymous who suggested I should be murdered,

You are all right. All of you are completely right. I am a miserable loser. I am unethical. I am nothing. Thank you for enlightening me. I am indebted to you.

Sayonara Forever

00:20 Good riddance.

This website is hilarious. These talkbacks aren't so much about "Debunking Eikawa and Ramblings in Japan", they've become more like "Venting anger at former employers and wishing poverty on strangers that I'd be too afraid to do face-to-face". I've followed this website for the last 3 years and I've been in Japan for a lot longer. I've never posted until now, but I am becuase it should be noted that the amount of crap you have to look through until you find something relivant is ridiculous.

We have "debunked" Eikawa a long time ago on here. Anger? Yup, you bet....Anger at all the incompetent, corrupt, and downright dirty managers, etc. Not necessarily only in Japan, but around the world with scammy organizations like GEOS which is Japanese. So everything kind of revolves around Japan and is defnitely very negative in that sense, but for very good reasons.

FYI only...crap content produced/posted by a certain group who are unenjoyed by pertinent other information. Dig through dross, gold is to be found by diligent person. TaTa.

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