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A Life in Japan - Video Documentary

nice gaijin

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When I started watching I thought it was awfully fluffy, but as the movie goes on the interviewees went on to discuss their gripes about life in Japan, which I usually find far more telling about the person than the things they like. It was a decent look into the lives and perspectives of a handful of individuals from a relatively privileged approach to Japan. For an alternative look into the lives of foreign immigrants, I really enjoyed the documentary "Overstay," which focused on migrant workers from less developed countries (movie info and video clip)

Could've been better but overall worth a gander. Would like to hear more discussion about what the interviewees were saying and what the veteran expats here think about what drew them (the interviewees) to Japan and their complaints about life here.
 

Mike Cash

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I had a couple of genuine laugh-out-loud moments during the film.

One was at the final image in the nomihoudai montage....a drug store sign showing a man taking medicine....nothing to do with nomihoudai.

The other was in the montage of Japanese signs during the bit about being surrounded by unintelligible writing. After comments from people about Japan being a safe place for women to walk alone he includes a sign in a park warning women not to walk alone. Hilarious! It also plays back into what the British guy said about the foreign community being largely unaware of what is going on in the Japanese community.

I don't see what message I was supposed to take away from the film. I also didn't see all the "bad along with the good" stuff people talk about regarding the film.

A couple of points were made that I have made here: Japan has a lot of concrete and this is a very easy country to be a foreigner in.

The bit about being legally responsible for the death of a child in a car which rear-ends you while you're at a full stop at a red light is just misinformed hogwash.

I would have liked to see a film about foreigners who try to assimilate into mainstream Japanese society instead of people who for the most part in some way and to some degree rely on their gaijinity for their ability to continue living here. At least some who aren't part of the self-ghettoizing gang of gaijins.

The important thing one should take away from this, and which is not at all apparent, is that it is impossible to tell anything about what Japan will be like for you and how you will get along or what experiences you will have merely by hearing a handful of anecdotes from a handful of people who are in various degrees of being clued-in. There are as many Japans as there are people in Japan. Yours isn't going to have anything more than a family resemblance to anyone else's.
 

Petaris

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I also didn't see all the "bad along with the good" stuff people talk about regarding the film.

There was a point or two in the film that people mentioned some gripes they had but none of them was that big of a deal, and they even said so. I suppose if they were a big deal they wouldn't have stayed.

The bit about being legally responsible for the death of a child in a car which rear-ends you while you're at a full stop at a red light is just misinformed hogwash.

I was actually going to ask you specifically about that. It sounded a bit out there to me, then again my wife once told me about a car accident in which a woman ran into her brothers car, after she ran a red light, and that he was required to visit her in the hospital (she suffered minor injuries as she was not wearing her seat belt at the time). Thank you for addressing it!


The important thing one should take away from this, and which is not at all apparent, is that it is impossible to tell anything about what Japan will be like for you and how you will get along or what experiences you will have merely by hearing a handful of anecdotes from a handful of people who are in various degrees of being clued-in. There are as many Japans as there are people in Japan. Yours isn't going to have anything more than a family resemblance to anyone else's.

Good advice! The more information, and even opinions (as long as one realizes and treats them as opinions), a person gathers the more prepared they can make themselves if they are moving to Japan or anywhere else for that matter.

Thanks for taking the time to give your thoughts on the documentary Mike!
 

Petri

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About the documentary "A Life in Japan".

I needed to take the film off line to re-edit it but the documentary should be online again in late December.
Why it's taking this long is because a band in Japan is going to compose new original music and it will take a couple of months, and I have an opportunity to shoot them later this year when I'm in Japan.

/Petri
 

vonessa

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Your nationality, first language, job, and many factors will determine what life is like in Japan for a person. Interesting though.
 

Petaris

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About the documentary "A Life in Japan".

I needed to take the film off line to re-edit it but the documentary should be online again in late December.
Why it's taking this long is because a band in Japan is going to compose new original music and it will take a couple of months, and I have an opportunity to shoot them later this year when I'm in Japan.

/Petri

Petri,

Thanks for stopping by JREF and thank you for the documentary! It was very interesting! :)
 

Petri

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The new version with English subtitles is out on Youtube again:

I will soon add Japanese, Swedish and no-subtitle versions too.

Happy New Year!
 

Petaris

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The new version with English subtitles is out on Youtube again:

I will soon add Japanese, Swedish and no-subtitle versions too.

Happy New Year!


Thanks for the update Petri!

I will have to watch it when I can get some time.
 
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