like checking with a consulate would be the way to go, rather then hoping to get a right answer here. Most of your questions require an up to date, detailed, correct answer. Chances are, you might not get it here from the average Joe. I'd go to the pros so you can be sure.
Yes, I agree with you. The only thing is that what the consulate tells you is sometimes not the way it works in real life. For example, plastered all over the Japanese immigration website it say that you cannot change your visa status from tourist to working from inside the country. But, I am hearing from various sources that it is actually possible. What I am worried about doing is risking the money to come over there and then getting denied.
Like I said, I'm guessing no. Contacting immigration in Japan is the only way to get something even close to a concrete yes/no, as consulates do not have the power or authority to grant a status of residence to live and work in Japan - only Japanese immigration does.