JAPAN, WE NEED TO TALK
Friday, April 21, 2017
This country DEFINITELY has an issue with copywriters...
It is well known that "Engrish"－the slang term for the misused and corrupted English often spotted/heard throughout Asia－can be especially twisted in Japan. The internet is full of examples, most of which are funny, but some which are legitimately embarrassing in some cases.
A number of articles have been written explaining why English education is so terrible in Japan, however, this isn't a discussion on the root causes or reasons of Engrish; this is an article about how to find a job as a copywriter in Japan... something for which Japan clearly has a dire need, as can be seen from this screenshot we just took today:
Our company is attending a gaming event at Miyako Messe and, well, their website is a real mess...
So, if you feel your English skills can contribute to Japanese corporations in a way other than simply teaching the language, here are a few fields in which an English-language copywriter might have some luck finding a well-paid job in Japan:
1. Creative Agencies
With more and more clients willing to expand their businesses overseas, large Japanese advertising agencies are serious about hiring good English copywriters. If you feel confident in your abilities, sending a resume to Dentsu, Hakuhodo, or Asatsu-DK might be a good option.
2. Pharmaceutical Companies
Most of the Japanese pharma powerhouses already have their hooks sunk into overseas markets, and requests for English speakers are quite common on Japanese recruitment websites. Takeda Pharmaceutical, Rohto Pharmaceutical, or Astellas Pharma could be promising options for copywriters well versed in medical jargon.
3. Patent and Trademark Application Agencies
While many Japanese lawyers can read and write in English, trademark and (particularly) patent applications require extremely high (not to mentioned specialized) English skills, which usually can only be covered by a native speaker.
4. Video Game Localization
Originally, Japanese video game companies created their games in Japanese, planning to possibly localize them later on. However, over the last few years, public companies such as Square Enix and Bandai Namco have been producing their scripts in English from the beginning . Active Gaming Media (IZANAU's parent company) is developing games in English, too.
So even though "teaching English" is traditionally the main option for most English speakers not fluent in Japanese, there are definitely other options worth considering. At IZANAU, you can find earlier articles with tips on preparing Japan-targeting resumes (in Japanese).
If there is anything we can do to help you begin your career in Japan, feel free to browse our posts on IZANAU, or simply shoot us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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