Does anyone here work in Japan?

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  11 November 2017
Does anyone here work in Japan?

Hey everyone,

I'm currently in Japan and I've been doing research about the careeropportunities here. So far its been bleak news. But all of the threads I can find are over 5 years old. Does anyone still live here and have any advice?
  11 November 2017
Yeah, I do. If you don't know the language, you will be fucked XD
That is why I work remotely with other English speaking countries for now.

If you master the language, they have no issues taking you in.
Oh the pain!
  11 November 2017
Ahhh to work remotely! The dream! I haven't got the language down yet any advice on getting remote work?
  11 November 2017
Unity connect is a good way to start. Polycount forums too. Wouldn't call it the dream though, sometimes it's a massive pain in the ass.
SOME companies in Japan (very very few) will take you in even if you Japanese level is null, but they expect you to study your butt off in your free time to catch up. These companies are very very few.
Good luck!
Oh the pain!
  11 November 2017
Thanks so much for the advice! I'll give it a shot!
  11 November 2017
Any online art communities you would recommend?
  11 November 2017
Why would anyone care to work for a Japanese company or for Japan animation? Probably one of the worse work environments for animators. Why not just work remotely for English speaking countries, learn Japanese...and if you want to live in Japan take that remote job you are doing....go to Japan....and live for 6 months on your passport. While you are there maybe look for ways to get a visa. Or win some animation awards or something and then get an entertainer or artist license.

Here is an interview from a director from China about working in Japan
I came across an interview few months ago of Director Wang Xin for the production process of Hitori no Shita: The Outcast, a Chinese-Japanese collaboration series that aired in both countries. The first part of the interview was about his impression of the Japanese industry as an outsider who have worked with several studios, so I thought I will translate it for anyone interested.
--Many Japanese anime have been airing in China, and recently there has been multiple Chinese-Japanese collaborations. Has the Japanese studios changed in any ways to adapt to the Chinese broadcasting pacing?
Wang: The Japanese side wants to change, but how much they can change is limited. That's why these collaborations have had so many problems. In essence, we are in a fine-tuning phase. Who ever can first get past this phase will have a big advantage [in the Chinese market].
Japan has a very strict work flow that is completely different from the Chinese industry. Due to historical reasons, Chinese animation companies are mainly influenced by the western production process which is simpler. In contrast, the Japanese process is very complicated. They push the limits on every single detail and everyone in the process. If any one stage is stuck, the entire process halts. This is a weakness within their process. When the flow is very smooth and everyone delivers on time and on quality, it is a fantastic process. But they lack flexibility. Not at all. Everything must first go through step one before step two. The Chinese production cycle is more parallel. Many things can be worked on at the same time. Somethings start getting passed to the next person once it's 20% done. But in Japan, everything must be completely done before it can be handed down the line, so they waste a lot of time waiting.
For example, in the animation process, say there's 300 cuts. We would make 10 cuts of key frames, have it approved by the director, and it goes to the in-between people. They [the Japanese industry] don't do that. They must wait until all 300 cuts are finished before they move to animation [in-between]. This way, the in-between people are just waiting for two months for the key frames to finish. In theory, this can work if they just keep moving from episode to episode, but they ignore the fact that it takes three months to make one episode of key frames and the in-between is done in three days. So another cycle of waiting begins.
--In what ways does this problem affect the series produced?
Wang: Right now, the biggest problem in Japanese animation is that the first two episodes of a new series will be great, but then the quality starts dropping from episode three, all the way til the end. Most Japanese TV series are like this. The first two episodes they have plenty of time, so they take their time and everything is very detailed. Once the time tightens up by episode three, their quality starts to slide.
--So usually the beginning and the end have higher quality?
Wang: Now a days even the end isn't always well done. They are all rushed. For us, ten to fifteen days is a good buffer, but for them it's thirty days.
  11 November 2017
That sounds truly horrifying... It's so sad that something I enjoy so much exploits people to that level. and from that interview it sounds like it won't change in my lifetime. Working remotely sounds like the dream, I just need to set it up somehow. Have you worked remotely before?
  11 November 2017
I would use the term exploit lightly. I think it is more a cultural thing the exploiting workers. A type of honor system is very influential there. Some cultures are better at things then other cultures so that being said not to say that there are areas that do not need to be altered as they should make some of those changes. Also, other cultures just need to rid of some things period like dancing with dead bodies and the abuse of women and children. There are reasons why the suicide rate and stress is so high there but you have to look into there culture and traditions to see what is going on below the surface. Japan is not for everybody and certain industries should be avoided unless you can handle stress very, very well and over night work and have no life basically. Japan gets a lot right but other things are needing some serious adjusting. There is hard work that pays off and then there is burn out.
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