Category Archives: EDUCATION

7 Things You Can Learn About Gender Inequality From Chizuko Ueno

7 Things You Can Learn About Gender Discrimination From Chizuko Ueno 1

Today, with more people consuming news on social media, it’s hard not to be influenced by what’s happening in the rest of the world. Japan is no exception. One example is the #MeToo movement that started in the US. In the last couple of years, the movement has picked up steam in Japan too, resulting in the resignation of top government official Junichi Fukuda who allegedly sexually assaulted a female journalist and a confession by journalist Shiori Ito that well-known journalist, Noriyuki Yamaguchi, allegedly drugged and raped her.

[W]hen [Ueno] was a student, there was no such thing as Women’s Studies. She continues on to explain that “because there was no such study, [she] created it.”

In Japan, #MeToo may have started as a Twitter trend but one Japanese woman has been advocating for gender equality for over four decades. In Japanese academia, 71-year-old Tokyo University Professor Emeritus Chizuko Ueno is a known firebrand and it’s not because she rocks a fierce red pixie cut. In fact, the government of Finland recently awarded the well-respected sociologist and feminist a Han honor for her contributions to the gender equality movement in Japan.

On April 12 this year, the president of the Women’s Action Network (WAN) also earned national and global media attention when she delivered a stirring speech at Tokyo University’s entrance ceremony. Instead of just congratulating the new undergrads on a job well done, she used the platform to talk about gender discrimination in higher learning in Japan, among other things. Here are seven things the good professor talked about.

1. Gender discrimination does exist in admission rates within Japanese universities.

At the beginning of her speech, Ueno mentioned a 2018 study by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). The study surveyed …continue reading


History of the Kanto 10 Mile Road Race

Source: Running Talk

After completing the Kanto 10 Mile Road Race in December last year, I asked the race organizers to share with me information about the history of this race. I had heard that it was the oldest 10-mile road race in the world, though there are few details available about the race and its history, particularly in the English language. Below, I have summarized the history of the race posted photographs of the letter I received from the race organizers.

The Kanto 10 Mile Road Race was first held on 28th March 1937. The race was held twice a year, in March and December until the 103rdconvention in 1989, since which time it has been held once a year in late December. The race was not held from 1942 to 1945 due to the second world war, before resuming on 8th December 1946. Keizo Yamada, winner of the Boston Marathon in 1953 is a former participant in the race, as is Yuko Arimori, who won silver and bronze medals at the Olympics for the marathon in 1992 and 1996 respectively. A 10KM race was added to the event schedule in 1961.

The current records for the 10-mile race are 47:20 (male) and 54:05 (female).

…continue reading


How to Apply to a Japanese University

Source: Gaijin Pot
How to Apply to a Japanese University

There are hundreds of private, public and national universities in Japan, and Japan has one of the most competitive admissions processes in the world. But how competitive would it be for foreign students? Do they also need to take the same tests Japanese students have to take?

Read on for information on how to apply to be a student at a university in Japan. You should also check out our GaijinPot 101 section on Higher Education and Studying Japanese.

Why study at a Japanese university?

Japan was recently ranked as the No.2 study abroad destination in Asia thanks to its low tuition fees, the high number of government scholarships given to international students and the positive employability prospects both in Japan and abroad post-graduation.

Both the current Japanese government and Japanese higher learning institutes are actively trying to increase the number of foreign students by offering scholarships and making the path to admissions much easier.

You will have to meet entry requirements, but in most cases, these requirements relate to attendance at a language school and overall language ability.

If you study at a language school and can get your Japanese to a suitable level, it’s possible to have Japanese universities contacting you with scholarship offers.

In addition, there are also several international programs at Japanese universities that are conducted in English and do not require any Japanese language ability to apply. These courses are typically combined with language lessons as part of the degree.

Types of universities in Japan

You will find three types of university depending on how they were founded.

  • National universities (established by the Japanese government)
  • Public universities (established by local public entities)
  • Private universities (established by educational corporations)

Private universities account for about 80% of all universities and have about 80% of all university students on their registers.

Types of degree in Japan

Keiro No Hi: Celebrating The Health & Wisdom Of An Aging Society

Keiro No Hi - Celebrating The Health and Wisdom Of An Aging Society

It’s no secret the Japanese have one of the longest life expectancies in the world—with an average lifespan of 85.77 years, Japan ranks second in the world. And that’s all thanks to the elderly population which is generally held in high regard by society. Just as Japan has national holidays to honor children, there is one day each year dedicated solely to the oldest members of the community, making it only the second country in the world to have an official public holiday for its senior population (Palau is the other). This year falling on Monday, September 19, the Japanese celebrate Keiro no Hi, or Respect for the Aged Day, throughout the country.

How did Respect for the Aged Day begin?

How did Respect For the Aged Day Begin - Keiro No Hi: Celebrating The Health & Wisdom Of An Aging Society

The tradition dates back to 1947, when the village of Nomadani Mura in Hyogo Prefecture (now known as the town of Taka-cho) organized an “old folks gathering” under the guidance of the then-mayor Masao Kadowaki. He suggested that the young have much to learn from their seniors if they want to build a stronger village and invited them to sit down and listen. This launched a tradition in the village and the same gathering was organized again the following year.

This launched a tradition in the village and the same gathering was organized again the following year.

The day’s popularity spread by word-of-mouth and following a series of negotiations with local governments, this “Old Folks Day” was designated a national holiday in 1966 as Respect for the Aged Day. The date was changed to the third Monday of the month in …continue reading


How Much Does an English Teacher Make in Japan in 2019?

Source: Gaijin Pot
How Much Can an English Teacher Earn in Japan

Most full-time English-language teachers in Japan are earning about ¥270,000 before tax each month, which is roughly US$2,515. There are a number of teaching streams within the industry, some of which offer better pay and benefits than others.

In this article, we tell you the average pay levels for each of those, and the relative pros and cons of each field.

Hiring Organization Average monthly earnings pre-tax
JET Programme ¥280,000 (first year) to ¥330,000 (fourth and fifth years)
Dispatch Companies ¥210,000 – ¥250,000 (or more)
Direct Hire ¥280,000
Eikaiwa ¥250,000 (varies significantly by school)
Business English Schools ¥3,800 an hour (¥270,000 if full time)
Universities ¥270,000 for short-term, indirect hires, and around ¥523,800 a month as faculty staff

Let’s start from the top of the table with JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme).

JET offers high potential earnings, great support, and other benefits

The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme mainly hires foreigners to teach at public schools (elementary, junior or high school) as assistant language teachers, or ALT. (That term was created by the Japanese education department to describe native-level English speakers who work in classrooms together with Japanese teaching staff.)

ALTs on JET have their flights to/from Japan covered, receive a ton of support before, during and after the program through orientations, conferences and training, and a global alumni network.

But it’s a competitive application process

You can only apply to the JET Programme if you are living overseas and have not already completed a stint on the program. Participation is limited to five years. Generally, the JET Programme is considered as one of the most rigorous and competitive application processes for teaching English in Japan. According to the JET website, the organization receives around 5,000 applications—only 1,000 are accepted. The process takes several months and involves an interview at your embassy.

An ALT salary on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) rises with each year

The JET website …continue reading