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.

This year, Nova marked its fourth anniversary of operation following restructuring, and while Louis Carlet, executive president of Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union (Tozen), admits it has been a long time since the collapse, he feels that the English conversation school (eikaiwa) industry as a whole "continues to convulse."

Carlet is no stranger to the Nova saga, having been a spectator to it from the start of the chain's public troubles in early 2007 and the eventual bankruptcy to Nova's restructuring by Nagoya-based holding company G.Communication in the following years.