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American returning home after more than 50 years in Japan

Davey

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Hiroko Ihara / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

A 79-year-old American company operator and well-known figure in the foreign communities of Kobe and Osaka will return to the land of his birth next month after living nearly 59 years in Japan.

Philip Campanella will leave with his wife, Millie, for Redmond, Wash., where his son and daughter live. The governor of Hyogo Prefecture and more than 10 business, friendship and other organizations in which he has participated each held a farewell party for him.

As a lifelong member of the Boy Scouts of America, Campanella said he followed its principle of helping other people. "I was able to do volunteer work partly because I had my own business and could make time for it. My wife has also been a great help. I'll continue helping people after I'm back in the United States," he said.

Campanella came to Japan in 1945 as a member of the U.S. military forces. After leaving the military in 1949, he began dealing in marine supplies, export and import items and real estate...

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Not many foreigners life in Japan this long, and I am wondering :
1. Are there foreigners who stay in until they die?
2. How long can you stay in Japan?

I will move to Japan this summer, and hope to life there for at least the next 6-7 years, and after that we will maybe move to another country or decide to stay in japan for another 10-20 years at least. If I can spend my last days in Japan? I am only 21, so I have no idea how Japan/the world or my life looks like in the upcoming 50+ years.
 

mad pierrot

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Wow....

This is a good thread, I'll have to think about this one and get back to you.


Doesn't it seem strange to be called a "foreigner" after living in a country for 59 years?
 

epigene

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Yokohama City has a foreigners' cemetery on the Bluff (Yamate-cho), of foreigners who had lived until death in Japan, starting in the Meiji Period.

I know that quite a few there are Christian missionaries, but there are also traders and businessmen who married Japanese, settled and set up business in the city. If I remember correctly, the graves of the British(?) engineers who built the first Japanese railway line are there. I know a couple of my friends' fathers are also there. Some other fathers of my friends (still alive and kicking) have lived in Japan for decades since the early years of the postwar period (1950s and 60s) and say they expect to die here. Some have returned to their home countries with retirement.

I think the same is true in Kobe.
 
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Davey

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mad pierrot said:
Doesn't it seem strange to be called a "foreigner" after living in a country for 59 years?

It does ne, But to think about what Maciamo was telling before * not exactly the same but in a way like this*

Even though you life in a country over 50 years, known more than an avarage japanese, etc. you will still be seen as a foreigner when buying something in a store, and people will still be surprised when they find out that you can speak Japanese * VERY WELL*.. so for us we won't feel like a foreigner, but for the Japanese it doesn't matter how long you life in japan you will always be seen as a Foreigner! big question is, Can you life with this? Maciamo can't! *if I am wrong please tell me*
 

gaijinalways

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He's not the only one who finds it annoying and wants to or did leave because of this situation. Most developed countries don't have this problem, this nonacceptance of residents who immigrated there and/or look differently than the 'local' residents.
 

Mike Cash

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Dutch Baka said:
It does ne, But to think about what Maciamo was telling before * not exactly the same but in a way like this*
Even though you life in a country over 50 years, known more than an avarage japanese, etc. you will still be seen as a foreigner when buying something in a store, and people will still be surprised when they find out that you can speak Japanese * VERY WELL*.. so for us we won't feel like a foreigner, but for the Japanese it doesn't matter how long you life in japan you will always be seen as a Foreigner! big question is, Can you life with this? Maciamo can't! *if I am wrong please tell me*

Lots of people do. The thing is, you don't encounter them on the internet so they appear not to exist.
 
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Davey

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From this Forum, Marsman is living In Japan the longest right? I know Paulh from Gaijinpot he is living in Japan for 23 years, but he's planning on moving. For the rest I don't know many from the forum who are living there for such a long time.

Mike, how long are you living in Japan already?
 

MajideSaiaku

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I could live in japan, but, i dunno, what with the Japanese government never making it easy, i might get annoyed with the constant red tape of just maintaining my existance there.

my girlfriend doesnt understand either i cant work in Japan, hence, i cannot live there, and I'm not going to live somewhere, especially foreign without a job and you know, a life.

Bah doesnt matter, cant lvie or work in Japan even if i wanted to, so, for better or worse my "living" will mostly be done in the Uk with the occassional long vacation to Japan.

We are considoring emmigration to a different country from our home ones altogether, but im 20 so what i really need at the momment is sorting myself out and having plenty of savings before i run off.

But i am ranting....


I think as time goes on more and more foreigners will be living in japan for more then 50 years, what with dilcining native population, and general sloooooowly liberalising attitudes, japan is becomming more foreigner friendly, bare the odd law which is just disgusting, like the foreign finger-printing.

I was actually glad to read though that some Japanese politicians were actually fighting it on some gronuds we'd approve of, they actually (appear) to care about our privacy and human rights and stuff not to be criminalised.
 

Maciamo

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Dutch Baka said:
Not many foreigners life in Japan this long, and I am wondering :
1. Are there foreigners who stay in until they die?

The question should be "have foreigners ever died in Japan ?", and that will answer your question.

2. How long can you stay in Japan?
I will move to Japan this summer, and hope to life there for at least the next 6-7 years, and after that we will maybe move to another country or decide to stay in japan for another 10-20 years at least. If I can spend my last days in Japan? I am only 21, so I have no idea how Japan/the world or my life looks like in the upcoming 50+ years.

How can you say in advance that you are going to stay somewhere for 6 or 20 years ? Wherever I have lived (city or country), I usually had no idea of how long I was going to stay there, except if it was predetermined by an agreement (e.g. as an exchange student) and only a matter of months, not years.

When I first went to Japan, I had no idea how long I was going to stay there, and it remained like this until my last year, where I increasingly felt like leaving (in the last 6 months, I was as eager to leave as I had been to come !).
 

Maciamo

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nurizeko said:
I could live in japan, but, i dunno, what with the Japanese government never making it easy, i might get annoyed with the constant red tape of just maintaining my existance there.
Visa and red tape ? Isn't that just a detail in wanting to live in a foreign country ? That never really was on my list of reasons to leave Japan. Actually, I got my permanent visa fairly easily, and do not have to complain too much about the redtape in Japan compared to what it is for a Belgian living in Belgium ! (you know, ID card, several registrations to different organisations for social security, several more for health insurance, tons of redtape for housing, complicated tax system, etc.)
 

MajideSaiaku

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Visa's are one thing, constant laws and bills and stuff against foreigners is another, its no secret Japan doesnt make it easy for foreigners to stay, be it official paper-work or general social attitudes.

The common japanese seem welcoming enough, but the japanese government doesnt like us much.
 
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