New employee orientation: Japan edition

This is a hodge-podge post. There will be jumping around and revisiting random things that I can remember. Reader beware.

Bruh! Here is a list of all the words that I wish I’d known in kanji before coming to Japan.

  • My name (after completing all the paperwork I can write my name in katakana. プルーイットクリスティーナマリー)
  • Month月, day日, year年
  • Female 女
  • Birthdayお誕生日
    (categorized by emperors and how long they were in power. I was born in the 62nd year of the Showa period. Meaning that Showa was emperor and his kanji is what I write, circle or point at to signify my birthday. Instead of writing 07/30/1987 I write 62 年7月30日.)
  • Telephone number電話番号

There are probably more that I’ve overlooked. But these are the ones that I will learn now and wish I knew before arrival.

Upon arriving at the airport we gave our visas to immigration and were given residency cards, similar to a license. This card is used for everything! Bruh! You need a bank account? Where’s your residence card. You want to buy a phone/contract? Where is your card.

Next, 判子/hanko/seal!


Cursive. Print. Ineligible drivel. It doesn’t matter in Japan. For documents like tax forms, banking info, anything really, you need a hanko! I’m grateful that Himeji Board of Education had them made for us. This little seal is your signature or registered seal. Some people have more than one. They liken it to having many different passwords or a password for each thing (banking,  pretty much anything with a contract). For now, I have one. Mr. Kamata said that we should treat hanko like a passport. Yeah. Its that important.

Check out this site if you’re curious about the hanko history and use in Asian countries. It’s pretty thoroughly awesome.


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