METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
LIFE IN JAPAN
Richard James

Richard JamesOccupation:
Freelance Photographer and Writer





I came to Japan in 1992 after spending eight months on the beaches and buses of Thailand and Indonesia. I arrived with about $100 in my pocket and no real idea about what Japan was like. Fortunately, I had friends who were already living here, and they let me stay with them until I found my feet. I managed to get a teaching job almost immediately - it was a bit easier back then - and intended to work until I had earned enough money to pay off my debts and go traveling again.

After a year, I hadn' managed to save any real money and was planning to continue teaching for another six months when, without warning, the school where I was working went bankrupt. I then had to quickly decide whether I was going to go back home or stick it out here in Tokyo. I chose the latter.

Because teaching was only a stopgap for me, I decided that rather than going back to it, I would use my time in Japan to get involved with something that I really wanted to do: photography. At first it was very difficult as I had very little money and no outlets for my work. However, after talking with other photographers in Tokyo, and with financial support from my wife, I eventually started to make some progress.

My big break was getting my work accepted by Sygma, an international photo-news agency. It gave me a huge amount of confidence and meant that I always had somewhere to sell stories. I still do most of my work for them.

I enjoy my job as I never know what will be around the next corner. I get to experience many different things, and there is not much that beats seeing your work published in a national newspaper or magazine.

The best thing about living in Japan is that it has given me the opportunity to get started on a career that, for financial reasons, would have been impractical in my home country. I have also made some very good friends here and have gained a perspective that I don't think you can get living in a Western country.

Tokyo has been a great place to live. I feel that I have been given a rare opportunity in life and, while I shall probably return to the UK.next year, I will never forget my time here.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at editor@tokyoclassified.com

LIFE IN JAPAN:
199: Diane Morris
Media & Advertising
198: Ross Mihara
NHK Sumo Announcer
196: Corky Alexander
Tokyo Weekender
195: Edward Obaidey
Acupuncturist
194: Merry Angel
Managing Director
193: Alison Pockett
Managing Partner
192: Zack Konno
Car Export Representive
191: Pamela S. Caudill
Assistant U.S. Customs
190: Caroline Power
Being a Broad
189: Geoffrey Tudor
P.R. Section Chief JAL
188: Ryuko Ishikawa M.D.
Family Psychiatrist
187: Georges Hassam
Arabic Dance Instructor
186: Larry London
DJ at InterFM
185: Richard James
Photographer & Writer
184: Alan Kidd
Rock Musician & Editor
183: Adam Hitchens
Mobile Hairdresser/Masseur
182: Lylian de la Vega
Volunteer
181: Annie Chang
Computer Training
180: Mike Jacobs
Writer/Photojournalist
179: Jimmy Angel
Rock'n'Roll Singer
178: Dante
Performer
177: Elizabeth Spencer
Tokyo Classified Intern
175: Paul E. Ainlay
Proprietor of D.B. Cooper's
174: Steve Bindon
Artist
173: Nanae Nagata & Naji Rahman
Proprietors of Heart Cocktail
172: Tom Holiday
Singer/Guitarist
171: Gordon Hutchingson
Copywriter
170: Barry Cardinal
Renshi Aikido Instructor
169: Tammy
Hostess
168: Steve Feldman
Computer Dealer
167: Eve Suter
Flower Designer
166: Paul Goldsmith
Computer/H.R. Consultant
165: Avry Gottesman
Auto Dealer
164: Russell Pollard
Financial Advisor
163: Sa'dia
Belly Dancer
162: Marcel L'Esperance
Choral Director
161: Gregg Alan
Used Motorcycle/Car Dealer
160: Dr. Greg Sapplers OMD
Oriental Medical Doctor
159: Ute Ikuta
Cat Lover
158: Pam Adkins
Shaw College
157: Cloudy Bong Water
Comedian/Performer/Teacher
156: Melissa
Internet Company Director
155: Paul Gibson
Proprietor, The Fiddler Pub
154: Ann Spiers
Psychotherapist
153: Evans M. Asare
Chef
152: Sandy Weiss
Acting Teacher
150: Kike
Dancer

Issues 300-360

Issues 250-299
Issues 200-249
Issues 138-149