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About wedding ministers work?

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Dec 5, 2016
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I am looking for information and experiences from people who are working or have recently worked as wedding ministers, otherwise known as "fake priests". I have only heard about this kind of work and it would seem like an ideal way to supplement my earnings. Most importantly, I would like to know how and where can one find such a job. Here are my questions:

Are these types of jobs common or limited to certain areas of Japan?
It looks like the work is mostly weekends, does that imply a regular employment contract like any full time job?
Where and how should one begin to search for these priest jobs?
Is it really well paid or is that just a false rumour?

Any help or info is appreciated

Thanks
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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You can search the regular gaijin job listings for "wedding celebrant". If I wanted something like that, I would make up my rirekisho, make a list of all the wedding chapels in my area, and cold call them.

I think you will find the nature of the work is on-call and probably paid a flat rate per job, with no guarantee of any certain number of jobs or income.
 
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Thank you for your reply, it was helpful. After hearing about this type of job, I thought it might be something worth trying. I already have regular employment on weekdays. Weekend work on-call would be ideal.

Most of what I know about this type of work is from third parties. That is why I would like to discuss it with people who have done it before.
 

Mike Cash

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Without meaning to pry into your business and without asking for specifics.... Is your current employer cool with you having outside work?

I wouldn't be surprised if a lor of the wedding work gets passed around by word-of-mouth introduction. A guy who is leaving might turn the gig over to a buddy. Something like that.

I think @Mikawa Ossan used to work in a related field. He can probably tell you something about it if he checks in.
 
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I don't do this, but I know two guys locally who do.

First, there is no contract. It's a part time gig, you agree to go do it (or not).

Second, there is often a lot of down time, or in the words of Ivan Illich, "shadow work" (work that you have to do in order to work). The extra time involved (commute to the location, and then waiting) often reduces something you'd see as lucrative at first glance, to just sort of bleah.

Third, strong J-language skills are necessary. Both the people I know do their parts of the service in both Japanese and English, and both sub-parts need to be flawless. (Can you offer something like a prayer or benediction in Japanese? Besides the other stuff?)

Of course you have to dress the part, so make sure you have the perfect suit--or morning coat--to make it look right.
 
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A part time gig is exactly what I am looking to find. Different people have different ideas as to what constitutes strong Japanese language skills. Mine are nothing worth bragging about, but I passed the N2 test last July and took it a second time yesterday.
 

Mike Cash

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A part time gig is exactly what I am looking to find. Different people have different ideas as to what constitutes strong Japanese language skills. Mine are nothing worth bragging about, but I passed the N2 test last July and took it a second time yesterday.
You took N2 in July 2016 and December 2016? Or July 2015 and December 2016?

Why retake the same level? (Congratulations on passing).
 
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Both tests this year. I took it for a second time to see if I will score higher than the first time.

When I took it in July it was the first time I ever seriously considered obtaining tangible evidence of my language level. Before that I had only done mock test with questions from previous years for my own satisfaction.

I went for it when I realized that N2 was the prerequisite for entering professional training courses in many fields that might be interesting to take. I also hope that it is sufficient to find part time work as a wedding celebrant or minister, provided I find an opportunity to apply.
 
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N2 should be fine, but you'd need to prep & practice your spiel. Maybe you'd have to cast a wider net to get into the system, but I know one of these guys only goes to a few places in town.

I talked to a guy once at a hotel/resort in okinawa. He was dressed as a priest and was having a cigarette, and was on break between shows. Getting hooked in to a place like that would be nice.
 
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From the information I could find, it seems like these jobs are all done through dispatch agencies that hire and provide at least minimal training. It is likely that the chapels or resorts do not directly do business with or hire the ministers/priests. I am also aware that the jobs involve a lot of travelling and it is no problem. What I am slightly concerned about is how far I might have to go to get to a potential interview and training or any other face to face business with such a company.
 
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I did that sort of work for a few years before wages fell. The staff at the various venues were always professional. I have no complaints there. They always appreciated it if I'd do a little something extra rather than sit on my entitled gaijin *** waiting to perform. Later I managed other celebrants and the entertainers as well, which sometimes was problematic if the celebrant was young and FOB but the real headache were the entertainers who were all church singers back in the States and had never been abroad before. A high percentage of them were gay and quite a few of them had substance abuse problems. Getting to the venue on time was sometimes a challenge because they stayed out all night long partying. Every one of them came over on tourist visas and left with lots and lots of cash, more than I made.
 
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From the information I could find, it seems like these jobs are all done through dispatch agencies that hire and provide at least minimal training. It is likely that the chapels or resorts do not directly do business with or hire the ministers/priests.
That is how I recall it - I worked for some entertainment production company and not for the venue directly.
 
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