Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 142)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 142 February 10, 2021

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 142


The March 2021 issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be the last issue of our much-loved e-mail magazine: we plan to launch a new social networking site from July 2021. All our readers can look forward to communications on social media.

1. Life in Japan by Photo

Learn about life in Japan with photos posted by our readers! We look forward to receiving memorable photos of your experiences in Japan, including your student life, exposure to Japanese culture and history, travel, and more.

1. Photo title (15 characters or less)
2. Name (katakana and alphabet)
3. Nationality
4. Name of your school in Japan

February in Japan

The February edition of Life in Japan by Photo introduces “February in Japan.”

Bean-throwing Event at the Start of February (Setsubun)

Bean-throwing Event at the Start of February (Setsubun)

Chocolate to be Given on Valentine’s Day

Chocolate to be Given on Valentine’s Day

Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms

Dish Containing “Surimi” (Minced Fish) and Other Ingredients in a Soup (Oden)

Dish Containing “Surimi” (Minced Fish) and Other Ingredients in a Soup (Oden)

2. Alumni News

Bringing you news and first-hand stories about international students!

News on International Students

NEWS 1: Avatar Robots Support Exchanges Between Families and International Students Who Cannot Return Home Due to the Corona Crisis

On December 14, 2020, Kanagawa Prefecture carried out an exchange experiment during class visits and face-to-face meetings using avatar robots. This experiment was aimed at international students who couldn’t return home due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and their families. The participants were international students studying in the Department of Japanese Language and the Department of Global IT & Business at Yokohama YMCA College and their families. The avatar robots were developed by avatar-in Inc., and participants could move these remotely-located robots (called “newme”) as if they were extensions of their own bodies, and communicate while looking at each other’s faces.

NEWS 2: Employment Survey of Doctorate Holders: Number of Full-time Employees is Increasing and Stabilizing

In November 2020, the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) has announced the results of a survey that explores the employment and research status of people who have completed their doctorate. This is an ongoing survey, and on this occasion, NISTEP announced the results for people who completed their doctorate 6.5 years ago in the 2012 academic year (number of valid responders: 1,758), and for people who completed their doctorate 3.5 years ago in the 2015 academic year (number of valid responders: 2,381). When it came to places of employment, educational institutions such as universities came top, and there was a slight increase in the percentage thereof when compared to previous surveys. In terms of employment status, the percentage of doctorate holders working as full-time employees or staff members had increased, as had the percentage of those working in universities and public research institutions without a set term of office (tenured positions), revealing that employment is becoming more stable. With regard to international students, there was an upward trend in the proportion of international students being admitted to doctoral courses, with international students making up 17.8% of all students admitted to doctoral courses in the 2018 academic year. Additionally, in the first survey after they had completed their doctorate, around 40% of international students were living in Japan and continuing their research, but this percentage has tended to shrink with each survey.

Study Abroad Testimonial

Hong Eun Soo

Name: Hong Eun Soo
Nationality: Korea
University: Nagasaki International University
Major: Department of International Tourism, Faculty of Social and Human Studies
Period of Study: April 2017 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

I fell in love with Japan and developed an interest in this country through Japanese movies, dramas, tourism, and then through my interactions with people here. Seven years ago, I came to Japan to do some sightseeing. At that time, I was moved by the brilliance of the service of the hotel staff that I met. This experience inspired me, and I was determined to study tourism and the service industry at university in Japan. So, I entered Nagasaki International University, where I could study tourism.

In the Department of International Tourism, I am researching the history, structure, and development of the tourism industry, including hotels, the airline industry, and the resort industry. I am focusing my efforts on increasing my expertise in this field, while actually experiencing issues and situations on site through training and internships in addition to studying theory.

I participate in club activities to increase my interactions with Japanese students. At the moment, I am involved in the basketball club and a glocal HR training program. Through sports and a variety of exchange activities, I have been able to make a lot of Japanese friends, and, at the same time, improve my communication abilities and Japanese proficiency.

My aim in the future is to become a hotel employee who provides the best service, and is able to satisfy people from any country in the world. To do this, I intend to work in a hotel after I graduate, and build up my experience there.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Support for International Students Job Hunting in Japan and/or Returning Home

Osaka University Center for International Education and Exchange (CIEE)

This academic year, the Osaka University Center for International Education and Exchange (CIEE) is holding an online Job Search Strategy Course for International Students (eight sessions) as a way of offering job hunting support for international students. As of December 18, 2020, the CIEE has held six of these sessions, and a total of 137 students have joined in. With regard to languages, six of the sessions are held in Japanese, and two in English. Seminar videos are being made available to a limited extent, and this academic year the job consultation corner, which offers individual consultations, is being run via Zoom, e-mail, and face-to-face meetings (as of December 18, 2020, there have been 16 consultations carried out with Zoom, 78 by e-mail, and 11 face to face).

3. Academic News

Introduction of scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

Introducing Universities

Here we introduce you to particular faculties and graduate schools at Japanese universities.

Sojo University

A view of the university’s exterior

University Profile (As of May 1, 2020)
Name: Sojo University
Ikeda Campus: 4-22-1 Ikeda, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto
Airport Campus: 1569-1 Totsugi, Kikuyo-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto
Number of Students: Undergraduate: 3,641; Graduate School: 109
International Students: 85

1. Overview of University (History, Mission, etc.)

Airport Campus

Sojo University was established as Kumamoto Institute of Technology in 1967; it took its current name in 2000, becoming a university with five faculties and ten departments. Based on its founding spirit of “health, virtue, and intelligence,” Sojo University fosters personnel with abundant humanity and high-level expertise in “life and living.” It aims to innovate and contribute to each specialist field of “life and living” through the two aspects of people and skills. In addition, the university strives to foster personnel who can learn “living English” and play active roles on a global level by establishing the SILC (Sojo International Learning Center), a facility for English language study that offers a learning environment in which students can feel that they are studying overseas while they are still at the University; it also encourages students to study abroad.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Graduate Schools

IoT and AI Center

Sojo University is the only university in Japan with an airport campus. The Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences boasts the IoT and AI Center, where students can study cutting-edge ICT skills. At the Faculty of Biotechnology and Life Science, students can learn about a wide range of fields, from food, health, and medicine to the environment. The Faculty of Art offers a manga media course, through which students can deepen their understanding of manga culture as they gain drawing skills. The University is also building up its Entrepreneur Development Program, which aims to train entrepreneurs who will challenge the world, and is collaborating with the MONOZUKURI Innovation Center within the university, where students take on the challenge of new ideas and technology through free thinking. The University aims to take students from Kumamoto to the world.

3. Support for International Students (Everyday Life Support Including Accommodations Support, Scholarships, Tuition Reductions, etc.)

The Sojo International Center serves as a consultation point for international students. There is a tuition exemption system for privately-financed international students that exists to reduce students’ financial burdens, and an international dormitory in which visitors from overseas, including exchange students, can stay for short periods of time. The University has also introduced an international exchange supporter system, through which senior students offer support for everyday life.

4. Other Types of Support for International Students (Employment, International Exchange, etc.)

International exchange event

The University holds Japanese classes for international students, and Japanese language education relating to job hunting. Job hunting guidance for international students is held several times a year, and the University supports students who hope to job hunt in Japan after graduation. The percentage of international students who want to hunt for jobs each year is almost 100%. Moreover, Sojo University proactively holds student circle-led exchange events, with the aim of fostering interaction between international students and Japanese students.

Testimonial on Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Awards, etc.

Lin Junpei

Name: Lin Junpei
Nationality: China
Type of Scholarship: Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students
University: Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
Major: Department of Japanese Studies
Period of Stay: April 2014 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

Anime was my teacher. Thanks to the existence of anime, I longed for Japanese culture and the Japanese language so much that I decided to study overseas. And before I knew it, that passion for the Japanese language bloomed into a sense, deep inside me, that I would become a Japanese language teacher. However, my family’s financial situation wasn’t so good, and I couldn’t arrange to study overseas without a part time job.

But something unexpected happened when I was taking a short course. My homeroom teacher suggested a scholarship, and I came top in a class placement test, which fortunately served as an opportunity for receiving a recommendation.

In the fall of my third year at university, I received scholarship support, took the plunge, and went to a Chinese university for teaching practice. I was shy, and would tremble just standing at a teaching lectern, so this was also a trip to take on the challenge and test myself. I became keenly aware of what I lacked to become a Japanese language teacher, and lost heart, which led me to decide how I should move forward, and I became a much steadier person.

It was the Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students that gave me the freedom to devote myself to what I want to do without any financial worry. And I studied overseas thinking that if I stepped forward without fear, a path would open.

Information About International Symposium

Public Seminar: On Becoming a Multicultural Society
“International Students Studying in Japan as Ordinary Citizens”: The Global Personnel who Lead a Society of Coexistence

We often see people from other countries in convenience stores. Most of these are international students, dreaming of working in a Japanese company in the future. While they are in Japan, they are not just studying specialist knowledge or skills. Through various meetings and their everyday lives, they are experiencing the values and lifestyle habits of the Japanese people, and adapting to Japanese society. Participants in this seminar will learn about how these people go on to play active roles as global personnel and how Japan is reflected in their eyes, and consider the existence of a society in which we coexist with people from other countries.

Public Seminar: On Becoming a Multicultural Society
“Nikkei” and People of Japanese Descent as Ordinary Citizens: Searching for Identity and the Foundation of Everyday Living

Okinawa is known as the “immigrant prefecture,” and a considerable number of people of “Nikkei,” Japanese descent (from Okinawa Prefecture) who were born overseas, live here. While Okinawa Prefecture accepts these as people who have “back-flowed” to the land of their roots, strengthening networks with overseas Okinawan-descended communities is being carried out as a policy. This seminar focuses on people of Japanese descent as ordinary citizens trying to establish the foundation of their everyday lives as they search for their identity in the land of their roots. It will share information about the current situation and issues relating to the language culture of people with a variety of backgrounds, and consider the existence of a multicultural society.

Technology and Life: The Eighth Tochigi Science Lion Public Symposium

How has the rapid progress of science and technology in recent years influenced the way we see life and death? This symposium raises related topics, including traditional performance art, modern art, our current views on life, bioethics, and social robots, while considering “technological thanatology,” which thinks about views of life and death in a society that coexists with rapidly developing technology.

Introducing Academic Societies

Name: The Information Network Law Association (law, politics)
Location: Within blue ridge Co. LTD, 3F NISSHIN BLDG, 3-1-17 Nishi-azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Number of Members: Approximately 540 people
Membership Fee: Regular Members: enrollment fee of 10,000 yen, yearly fee of 10,000 yen / Student Members: enrollment fee of 3,000 yen, yearly fee of 2,000 yen

1. Introduction to Society
The rapid development of the Internet has had a major impact on every field. It has brought huge benefits for society, as well as creating a variety of new issues and challenges. Among these, in the field of law, the most important is considering how to legislate and interpret laws created in response to the development of information networks. For example, issues such as defamation on the Internet, infringement of copyright, and the protection of personal information are surely familiar to you all.

This association sees people from a variety of backgrounds, including researchers, practitioners, technicians, and students, freely discuss a wide range of themes relating to legal issues involving information networks. Information networks also pose a challenge on an international level, so the Association invites researchers from overseas as guests when needed, aiming for exchanges. A research conference is held around November each year. Student participants also actively join in the reporting and discussions, and high-level specialist discussions take place in a liberal atmosphere. Academic conferences on different themes are also held when needed.

2. Societies in similar fields
- Japan Society of Information and Communication Research
- Association of Law and Information System
- Law and Computers Association of Japan

Japanese Language Tests

4. Business News

JASSO provides information about job-search for both current and graduate international students!

Information About Job Hunting Related Events

Events for International Students

*Note that the events may be cancelled. Make sure to check the official websites for these events before heading out.

Useful Websites for International Students

Job Hunting Report

Katrina Platt

Name: Katrina Platt
Nationality: U.S.A.
University: Doshisha University
Major: Faculty of Psychology
Period of Study in Japan : April 2017 to present
Name of future place of employment (unofficial offer): Kyocera Corporation
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

There always were a lot of Japanese exchange students around me, starting from when I was young. I knew that for these students, getting used to life in a different country could take a long time, and that after they returned to Japan, they also found it difficult to fit into Japanese society. I wanted to think about why this happens and how it can be avoided, and so I came to Japan to study psychology from a Japanese perspective. The reason I decided to job hunt in Japan was because I want to provide highly reliable Japan-made products to a wider world.

I think that the most important thing when it comes to job hunting is to get moving early on. More specifically, I recommend that you participate in workshops for job hunters, study SPI (Synthetic Personality Inventory), join in internships, listen to the experiences of your seniors, and so on. If you do, you’ll be fully prepared for the selection period. I was able to find the companies that would suit me the most by not immediately narrowing down the companies in which I wanted to work by industry or by company size, but by looking at all companies, even those in industries in which I had no interest and companies that were not the right size for me.

Unlike SPI and interviews, entry sheets are not one-shot deals: take your time to perfect them, so you can submit them with confidence, even those written in unfamiliar Japanese. To make sure I could write better entry sheets, I found seniors and working adults who would offer critical opinions, and then used these as reference.

I don’t think that people from each company will face you seriously and tell you about their company as much as they do during job hunting. Think of these as valuable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and, like a sponge, absorb everything you can.

Su Jian

Name: Su Jian
Nationality: China
University: Fukuoka University (master’s program)
Major: Recycling and Eco-Technology, Graduate School of Engineering
Period of Study in Japan : April 2016 to March 2020
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

I came to Japan as an exchange student in 2016, and after that I spent a year in a Japanese language school and two years in graduate school, meaning I spent a total of four years living as a student in Japan. I fell in love with Japan and the Japanese language, but I love the natural environment of Japan most of all, so I majored in eco-technology in graduate school. Then, after I graduated, I wanted to further my career while gaining experience in Japan, so I decided to job hunt here.

When it came to job hunting, at first, I knew nothing about the written exams or interviews, and I was worried about my Japanese language proficiency, so I was constantly anxious. I did screw up a lot of documents, written exams, and interviews, but I participated in job hunting information sessions, and thanks to many different teachers, seniors, and the staff of the university’s Career Center, I came to understand the point of the documents to be submitted and the interviews, and I was able to receive an unofficial offer from my current company. Job hunting was a valuable experience in my life: I did everything I could, and it helped me to grow as a person. I’m still grateful to the people who helped me.

I’m now in my first year working for this company, but due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, after I joined the company, I participated in four months’ training about construction and installations while working from home. The training content covered things that I didn't study in university, so I spent this time doing my absolute best to learn, which was a good opportunity for me to grow. From now on, I will be going to sites and working in construction management, carrying out process management and safety and quality control on site. I want to do a job that lets me protect the environment, and by working in Japan I would like to contribute to the global environment and people’s everyday lives in the future.

Job Hunting Information Article

Choosing a Company

When you are choosing a company for your employment, it is vital that you check their employment conditions carefully. Generally, Japanese companies make these conditions public, including the details of the work, the employment period, salary, work location, working hours, days off and holidays, welfare benefits, training programs, and insurance, in the form of recruitment information. This recruitment information will contain many difficult expressions, so research anything that is unclear, ask questions, and make sure that you understand it properly.

You need to pay attention to a variety of points: for example, is the salary expressed in monthly or annual income? Does it include bonuses and/or overtime pay? In addition to pay, there can also be allowances such as housing allowances (which pays for part of the expenses needed for your housing), commuting allowances, and perfect attendance allowances, and the details and types of these allowances can vary greatly depending on the company. If “employee” is the only thing written in the employment status section, then confirm that your employment duration is indefinite or doesn't have a fixed term, rather than being for a definite period, and check that you will not be treated any differently to other regular employees. There are websites that explain how to read recruitment information, but if you don't understand these either, then you should try talking to the job hunting section of your university or a job hunting agent.

In addition, the number of foreign nationals employed in Japanese companies is still small, and this can mean that there isn’t an adequate foreign national-friendly work environment. Other points worth looking into include the company’s track record in hiring foreign nationals, the number of foreign nationals registered as workers and the number of years they have worked there, and whether there is anyone from the same country or region as you. Not much of this information will be publicly available, but there are ways that you can directly ask the company about anything you find unclear, or you can check via a job hunting agency.

JASSO’s Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2021 explains about applications and how to gather information about job offers for international students. You can download this from the site below: please use it as a reference alongside other sources.

5. Visit Japan

Introducing regions in Japan with universities, and more! The February issue looks at Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student

Location of Shimonoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Shimonoseki City in Yamaguchi Prefecture has a population of around 260,000 people, and is located on the westernmost edge of Japan’s largest island, Honshu. In the past, it prospered as a port city next to the Kanmon Straits,* and carried out thriving exchange with other countries in Asia. In the present day, many companies have set up headquarters and sales bases here, including shipping companies, chemicals manufacturers, and financial institutions. It has four universities and a junior college, including Shimonoseki City University. This area is also known as a tourist spot visited by close to 7 million people each year.

*Straits between Honshu and Kyushu

A view of Shimonoseki Station and its surroundings

Shimonoseki City has a large number of mountains and hills, with the urban areas spread across the flat land of the valleys and coast. The core area of Shimonoseki is located on the flat part of the coast in the south of the city, and the four universities and junior college are also gathered here. The city’s public facilities, including the city hall and library, tend to be concentrated in the area around the national route that runs along the coast, and there are also a number of places for young people to eat and drink: cafés, cake shops, pasta restaurants, and more. In addition, there is a market where you can buy and eat fresh fish, which is popular among both the city residents and tourists. The average rent in Shimonoseki City is around 30,000 to 40,000 yen for a 1R or 1K apartment (one-room apartments suited for living on your own) (as of 2020).

Fugu or blowfish dish

For a long time, Shimonoseki City was a key hub for transportation within Japan and between Japan and other countries, so there are several historical buildings here, including the Former Akita Co. Building and Tsunoshima Lighthouse. It is also popular as a tourist spot thanks to its leisure attractions, including parks and an aquarium, and the huge bridge. In terms of cuisine, it is famous for its fugu (blowfish) dishes. Fugu has been known as a poisonous fish since ancient times, but nowadays techniques have been established to remove the poison, and you can enjoy this cuisine in restaurants with licensed chefs who specialize in preparing it.

At the moment there are around 4,000 students studying in the universities and junior college in Shimonoseki City, and around 400 of these are international students. As Shimonoseki City has a long history of exchange with other countries in Asia, even today a lot of these international students are Asian, and one of the city’s universities has been accepting international students for over 30 years. Shimonoseki City itself also holds a variety of exchange events.

6. NIPPON Information

This section introduces information on Japan for international students!

Lifestyle Information

How to Use the International Mail Service

It’s convenient to use Japan Post’s International Mail to send letters and parcels from Japan to other countries. To use this service, make sure you research and prepare so you know what parcels cannot be sent, what services are available to you, and about the documents you need to attach. The rules are subtly different depending on the country or region you are sending something to, so check these carefully on Japan Post’s official website.

The International Mail offers three main types of service: EMS (Express Mail Service), airmail, and surface mail. The countries and regions you can use these services for, and the size, weight, delivery time, and cost of the parcels you can send differs for each service, so make sure you choose the service that you need. EMS is a service that enables you to send letters and parcels in around two to four days, so the delivery period is short, but the cost is high. Airmail is slightly slower than EMS, taking around three to six days, but the cost is a little cheaper. There is also an economy air (SAL) service, which takes longer than airmail but is cheaper still. However, as of December 2020, the impact of the novel coronavirus means that this service has ceased accepting mail. It takes around one to three months to send something via surface mail, but this is the cheapest way to send letters and parcels, and there are a lot of countries and regions to which this service delivers. In addition, if you are sending a small parcel that is 2 kg or less, you can mail it cheaply by using the Registered Air Small Packet (International ePacket) or small package services, but these do have a maximum size limit, so you will need to check.

Customs Declaration and Invoice

When you are sending parcels via International Mail, you will sometimes need a customs declaration form and/or an invoice. The customs declaration form must be attached to your mail, so it is included in the special label for EMS, International ePacket, and packages. The documents and number of sheets you will need depends on the country or region you are sending your parcel to, the type of parcel, and other factors, so make sure you check this in advance. The document you will need for an invoice will also differ depending on the country or region, the type of parcel, and so on, so you will also need to confirm this. The Japan Post website explains both of these for each country and region.

Get to Know Japan

In this section, we will introduce topics on culture, technology, lifestyle, and more in Japan.

Japanese Budo

Judo practitioners

Budo are unique Japanese sporting competitions based on martial arts that have existed in Japan for generations. Judo, one example of budo, has even become an Olympic event. Budo don’t just involve physical training, they also aim to train the mind and spirit, and this has led to a foundational way of thinking about physical and mental aspects in Japanese sport. Learning about budo can offer hints into discovering a variety of values held by Japanese people.

Kendo practitioners

In the present day, there are nine budo disciplines: judo, kendo, kyudo (archery), sumo, karate, aikido, Shorinji Kempo, naginata, and jukendo (bayonet fighting). Sumo and judo are famous overseas, but within Japan it is kendo, which involves fighting an opponent with a bamboo sword known as a “shinai,” that has the most competitors. Naginata, which sees people fighting with a pole weapon tipped with a sword-blade rather than a spear-blade, developed as budo for women. Even today, around 90% of the competitors are female. There are commonalities across all budo: the goal of building character rather than just winning, the importance of etiquette, “dan” (belts), and wearing Japanese-style clothing known as “dogi.”

Kyudo (archery) practitioners

In Japan, budo are studied in a variety of settings. For example, in junior high school, budo is incorporated into P.E. lessons. In police school, judo and kendo are taught as part of training. Budo are sporting events that you can participate in regardless of your age, so there are a lot of people who continue doing so even as they get older. In recent years, there have been budo experience tours for tourists, so if you get the chance to visit Japan, you should definitely experience this for yourself.

7. JASSO News

Information about JASSO Scholarship programs, invitation programs, Study in Japan Fairs, and the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU).

Study in Japan Fairs in FY 2021

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas for high school and university students who wish to study in Japan. It also participates in and assists with events and company briefing sessions held by other organizations.

The academic year 2020 events related to the Study in Japan Global Network Project Headquarter

STUDY IN JAPAN Basic Guide (Study in Japan Guidebook)

If you are thinking about studying in Japan in the future, please read the STUDY IN JAPAN Basic Guide first.
It includes information about the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, as well as the experiences of people who have studied in Japan. You can read even more detailed content on the Study in Japan website, so if you are thinking about studying in Japan in the future, or even if you have already started your studies here, you should have at least one look at the Study in Japan website.

Official Facebook and Instagram Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

JASSO Scholarship Programs

Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

Please read the February 2021 issue. It will be available on February 10.

Follow-up Research Fellowship (Invitation Program)

This program provides former international students who play active roles in education, research and government in their home countries with an opportunity to conduct short term research at universities in Japan.

New University Listing(s):
Yokohama National University
Kyoto University
University of Miyazaki
Shimane University
Kumamoto University

Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching Research Advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

Job Hunting Guide for International Students

Job Hunting Guide 2022

This guidebook provides a great amount of information for international students looking to job hunt in Japan. This covers everything you need to know, from the preparation process to the entry sheets, tests, changes to statuses of residence, and more, categorized by time period, and in an easy to understand language.

The Japanese PDF version of the Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2022 has been completed. You can download it from the website below.
We expect to start sending out the 2022 book from the end of February.

8. From the Editor

In this issue’s Life in Japan by Photo, we introduced a picture of Setsubun. Setsubun is a seasonal event in Japan, and tradition has it that by throwing beans we can repel the bad “spirits” that appear when the season is changing. When I was a child, we would walk all over the house throwing beans and shouting “Fuku wa uchi! Oni wa soto!” (“Good luck in! Evil spirits out!”) Even though I would normally be scolded by my parents for throwing things around, on this day alone it was okay if I threw beans, making it an exciting and fun experience. Once the beans are thrown, the rule is that you can only eat the same number of beans as your age. I would get told off if I counted the number of beans incorrectly, but it's still a good memory today. Setsubun will be on February 2 in 2021. You can easily buy beans in supermarkets or convenience stores, so why not try experiencing the Setsubun feeling?

The Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for people who can share their job hunting experiences. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an international student, and your comments for our e-mail magazine. Our next issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be released on March 10, 2021. Don’t miss it!

- Copyright for this online magazine belongs to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
- Any copying, redistribution, reprinting, etc., of this material is forbidden.

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