One of the questions I often receive is “How did you come to Japan?” Today, I will answer that question, as well as reminisce of how we came to be here.
The first time we came to Japan was several years ago; I was working as an English teacher and Fu was here as an exchange student. We left after the Fukushima incident and I thought I would never come back to Japan again.
We settled into our lives in Singapore and even started applying for HDB flats.
Then, Fu was approaching graduation and it was time to start job-hunting. I think the promise he made me when we had to leave Japan was always at the back of his mind, and he truly meant to honor it – that he would bring me back to Japan again – and he applied to jobs in Japan.
Fu’s command of Japanese was next to non-existent – yes, despite living in Japan for 2 years previously. How did he survive then? With pure stubbornness, hand gestures, and a then-girlfriend (now-wife lol) that he happily loaded the burden with. He’s not even ashamed of it and continues to assert till this day that everybody should at least speak English. There are still days he will randomly decide to
be defiant and speak English to everyone he meets -_-
I was happy he remembered his promise, but didn’t hold too much hope. After all, why would they go through all the hassle to hire someone from overseas, and someone who couldn’t even speak the language? Besides, the jobs were few and far between, and most of them paid too little for two people to survive on. Yeah, I already decided I was gonna freeload hahahaha. NO. WAIT. Girlfriend is freeload. Wife is entrusting her well-being in his hands and believing that he can care and provide for her. There is a difference, ok? Lol.
Most promising of the lot came from a job on Top Career, a recruitment firm. The process was drawn out over several stages and months. We applied in November, had to answer a slew of questions and surveys, write reports, etc before we even had the first Skype interview with Top Career in February.
After the interview, there were more tests and screenings before he finally got to speak to the actual recruiting company via Skype in early April. On the same day, he was told that he has been selected to proceed to the next stage – interviews in Japan a mere 2 weeks later!!!
He was in Japan for a just a couple of days, and on D-Day, there were 3 rounds of interviews scheduled, involving HR managers to department managers. Fu thought the interviews were more of a formality – why else would they fly him to Japan after so much screening and tests, if they didn’t plan on hiring him?
He completed all three rounds and was told to go back to the hotel to await results.
They rejected him.
After cleaning up the mysterious flood in my room that occurred after Fu told me the interview results, we pulled ourselves together and decided to fight. We rallied every bit of energy we had left and poured our heart and soul into a letter that we sent to HR.
Long story short, they decided to give him another interview and eventually also gave him the job.
First time you heard of someone being rejected, fought against that decision, and won the job? Yeah, me too.
They’re a pretty cool company, really. A month later in May, they brought all the new hires to Japan again, just to let them get to know the company as well as Tokyo. They were brought around to see the sights in Tokyo, took a cruise, went to Tokyo Tower and even to a maid cafe in Akihabara!
He was due to start work on 1 October, and the 4 months leading up to our departure for Japan was a mad flurry of activity. Ever tried to propose, plan AND hold a wedding in 4 months? Don’t try it. You might not emerge sane. Oh, and don’t forget the 9am-5pm Japanese lessons 5 times a week that started for him. Maybe that’s why he hates the language till this day lol.
A week after our wedding, we flew to Japan. The start of our eternal honeymoon.
(That’s the romantic version of “We never went on a honeymoon” lol. But seriously, I would trade any honeymoon in the world to live in Japan. Not that it needs saying at all, really.)
So here it is, at last documented, the story of how we came to Japan :)