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 Patrick Budmar

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Patrick Budmar
For Patrick Budmar's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / TELLING LIVES
Jun 29, 2014
Cartoonist Ernst captured 'fish-out-of-water' gaijin as they floundered
Having often been told by the Japanese that he would 'never understand' their culture because he was not one of them, American cartoonist Tim Ernst decided to embrace this notion and deploy it creatively.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / LEARNING CURVE
Feb 23, 2014
Lado’s victory and demise weren’t without their lessons
With decreasing salaries and eroding job security, it may seem as if little has improved for instructors working in Japan's eikaiwa (English conversation) industry.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / LEARNING CURVE
Nov 3, 2013
Six years following bankruptcy, Nova boosts the brand
In September, Tokyo-based Jibun Mirai Associe Co. (JMA) announced it would adopt Nova as its official corporate name — 19 months after it acquired the eikaiwa (English conversation) school chain from its previous operators, and almost six years after its well-publicized downfall.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Apr 9, 2013
Whatever happened to the Goldman Sachs union?
In February 2012, a small band of sacked workers in Japan took on one of the world's biggest investment banks, Goldman Sachs, unionizing in a bid to keep their jobs and win a better deal from a firm they believed had treated them unfairly.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Dec 18, 2012
Nova's restructuring laid the foundations for Geos' revival
This year marked the fifth anniversary of the collapse of English language school giant Nova, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 26, 2007.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Oct 16, 2012
Niseko puts faith in powder to revive tourism boom
Throughout most of the 2010s, the meteoric rise in popularity of Hokkaido's ski resorts among foreign visitors was widely documented in both the domestic and overseas media.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Sep 11, 2012
18 months on, 'stayjin' in Tokyo, Iwaki tell a tale of two cities
While the media both in Japan and overseas reported on a perceived exodus of foreigners in the immediate aftermath of the March 11, 2011, disasters in Tohoku, the reality is that very few actually left for good.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Sep 4, 2012
With Berlitz beaten but not bowed, union fights on
Before instructors became embroiled in a fierce legal battle with Berlitz Japan, there was a time when the English language school chain's robust image made it a top choice among foreign job-seekers.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jul 3, 2012
The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary
Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Jun 12, 2012
'Flyjin' feel vindicated, worry for those left in Japan
Although more than a year has passed since the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku on March 11, 2011, Ivan Stout's memory of the moment when the Shinmarunouchi building in Tokyo's Chou Ward began to tremble is as vivid as ever.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / THE ZEIT GIST
Feb 28, 2012
Teacher outfoxes board, exposes bid to fleece JETs
English teachers on the JET program are often faced with the bittersweet moment when they realize their contract is ending and they will soon be returning to their home country.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Dec 20, 2011
Four years after 'Nova shock,' eikaiwa is down but not out
Ask any ordinary person what significance Oct. 26 holds and you might find them struggling for an answer, but for many involved in Japan's beleaguered English teaching industry, it was the day the nation's premier operator fell into administration and took much of the rest of the industry with it.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on