2010.03 (updated : 2019.04.04)

It must be a Sunday afternoon when you're down to mixing tequila with expired children's electrolyte drink. Which, by the way, wasn't bad though a bit apple-y. (Mari confirmed my appraisal.)

When you become a parent, it's like the first volume of your life is closed, and a whole new volume begins — with an unstable plot forever on the edge of catastrophe. You can't even call upon the author to explain, because this thing is unscripted.

Now, I don't know much. And according to my wife, I don't parent much. But I thought I'd better get this down while I can. Because some day I'll be gone and one of my kids might want to know what the hell was going on when they were small and living with us.

Also, the kids might want to know some stories from the family. Who were their grandparents and their great-grandparents? The kids don't live in the same city as any of their grandparents, and only one great-grandparent was alive during our eldest child's life.

teaching your kid to ride a bike

How to look like a hero while waiting for your kid to get around to something. Also; gear talk!

teaching your kid to fish

An exercise in getting some fresh air, being near water, and losing your patience with a defenceless child.

a toy for my boy

For X'mas of 2008, I made a wooden toy for my son. Here is the blow-by-blow.


Advice for my young son on how to spend his money.

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Electronics,CD's vhs etc

This is more of a question than a comment, I understand that I should shed all of my electronics here before my move to Sydney, I have a large VHS and DVD collection, Does anyone know if they will work there using my equipment and a power converter? I have heard they may not play on an Aussie TV. The power converter will be used for somethings I cannot part with. Hopefully the PC will work if I switch it to 240 at the back?



2003.09.11 00:00:00

Forget the DVD player, Australia is in a different region from N. America. It may be the same for the VHS (PAL or HAL?). The PC will be fine.


I can't imagine how stressed out you must have felt when you were told you were being ejected. What a story, complete with your declaration of love.

2010.03.12 19:21:04

Yeah it was not fun but since I'd had that early warning it was not entirely unexpected. I was more unhappy with my employer than anything else. The immigration fellows were only doing their duty.


Just wanted to make a clarification. While you have to obtain your visa outside Japan, you can do all the paperwork while in Japan on a Visitor's Visa. You are just not allowed to work while on the Visitor's Visa. Then once the paperwork is finished you can fly to Seoul for a couple days to get your visa at the embassy.

2010.03.13 00:45:41

Thanks for the clarification. It's all behind me now and hopefully I'm on my way to permanent residency. But I just wanted to outline the safe and legal route rather than advocate tricks that haves anecdotally worked for some people but aren't the legitimate route.


woha, troublesome... and let me guess: you never worked for this company again, right? I know I wouldn't...

2010.03.14 02:16:19

That's it, I'm going to sit down next week to write the next chapter. 8^)


I heard of a person that got kicked out of Japan after a year, I wonder if it was a visa problem as well...

2010.03.14 05:48:07

Most first-time visas that I'm familiar with (engineer, spousal) seem to be issued on a one-year basis, so it wouldn't surprise me entirely.


I am currently in Japan though I am not working. I will be here legally until July 28th and then will need to leave the country. I however would like to stay until October with my fiance who will be working here until then and then will be coming the the US on a finace Visa. I have heard that I can leave the country for one day and come back and gain an additional 90 day tourist visa, In fact I just called the consulate in Osaka and the woman told me that I could do that?! Do you have any knoweledge about this? I would hate to plan on this and then I get to immigration and they try to send me home. Thanks for any comments.

2010.05.19 05:04:44

The gaijin community here seems to agree that there's a good deal of inconsistency in the way that the Ministry of Justice handles these things in Japan.

Have a look at this conversation at Japansoc.

If you have the advice of the consulate in Japan (I assume that you mean from your own nation?) that's a good indicator but I suspect that you'd better get corroboration from the immigration bureau (Ministry of Justice) directly.

Good luck, Joe!


Hi Michael, I hope you can help me with my situation. I will be resigning from my current IT dispatch company who is sponsoring my visa, I still have more than 2 years left in my visa after that. I have read that I can stay here in Japan for 3 mos. looking for a next job, and should be system engineering job only. I also want to visit my country Philippines for 1-2 mos. Do you have a knowledge regarding this matters?

2010.07.26 00:45:27

I am not a specialist by any means, Son. But I've known people who have stayed in Japan for a lot longer than three months on an expired IT visa. Once you have the visa, I think it's valid until it expires. Certainly I see nothing about validity expiring when you leave your job at this page.

The only thing you need to re-enter the country is a valid re-entry stamp and a visa that hasn't expired. And yes, you need a new job in the same field, or you'll have to change your visa. Once you've changed your job, remember to get your alien registration card changed, too.

Again, I'm not a specialist. If I were you, I'd check with the immigration bureau.

Good luck!


Tnx alot Michael. I'm just looking for different point of views regarding this matter, I've been doing alot of research about this issue so that I already have some knowledge when it is time for me to do inquiries at the immigration. By the way, you have a beautiful family.

2010.07.26 12:54:34

Well thanks for the kind compliment.

Let me know what you dig up, and I'll share your information here.


Lovely story with a happy ending. I was first attracted by the title. Glad everything actually worked out for you, and you made me think twice about my pending application.

2014.10.31 12:42:07

Ah, go for it! 8)

(Glad you liked the story.)


rand()m quote

There is no intimacy without consequence.

—Elan Mastai, "All Our Wrong Todays"