Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Craziest thing I have done to make money in Japan

Let me just start off by saying, its probably not what you are thinking. ;-P

No, the craziest thing I have done for money while living abroad was Match Reporting.

I found this 'per-gig' job on craigslist...where all good jobs come from of course. :-/
There is a company out there that is very interested in obtaining live stats for Japanese professional sporting events. Especially basketball, volleyball, and soccer (football to everyone but my fellow American's). I know this because I registered with the Asian regional manager of this company, a Chicagoan who formerly lived in Japan but now is based out of Thailand (wtf; I know, right!). The company pays JPY 7000 (about $80) to attend Japan-league Basketball games, and report play-by-play the various stats they wanted about the match. Actually after the cost of the ticket (JPY1500-2000) and transportation (JPY500-2000)
one was left with a net pay of about JPY4000 for 2-3 hours of work. Probably averaged out to about $15 an hour per match.

An average match took about 120 minutes give or take 10 minutes for overtime, injuries, halftime etc. One time I had to wait an extra 35 minutes because the backboard shattered after a dunk and they didn't know how to replace the hoop. It took forever!!!
Anyway, for about 120 minutes, I called out the possessions, scores, time, and fouls. They were very specific about what stats they wanted. The most annoying things was that the philippina/philippino operator on the other end repeated every damn thing back as soon as you finished saying it. It was like an awful digitalized echo with a Philippino accent. And it wasn't even full sentences.

Imagine saying "Two points, home. Away possession. time two minutes thirty-eight seconds. Turnover .Home possession..." and having it repeated back to you. Its bad enough having to speak like that for 2 hours let alone hearing it back again.

So this gig I did a half-dozen times. But I soon realized that I was getting the matches at stadiums way out in the booneys that nobody wanted.  quite far from any train stations. One time I was going to be late and had to take a taxi to the stadium which ended up eating into my entire net pay. Leaving me with absolutely nothing. Imagine my despair and "multiply it by infinity, then carry it to the depths of eternity and you will have only a faint idea of what I am talking about"Meet Joe Black-Anthony Hopkins. 

So in an attempt to save on transportation, one day in January 2012 I rode my clunky mamachari bicycle (see picture below) to the stadium in Chiba...approximately 12 miles away. It took me 1hr and 45 minutes in 40 degree F weather, one way.  :-( But I saved $20 on the train fare. :-D
At a time when I was counting "pennies" to buy lunch, that was a big deal.

Just to give you some idea of that bicycle trip. I must have cycled some 25 miles through not only some densely populated cities from Matsudo, Chiba out to some very rural looking areas, past large open fields and dark looming construction sites. At one point I was chugging up a long sweeping curve in the road, again around 9pm or so, and just as I started picking up speed on the other side of the hill, two cars came from opposing sides of the narrow road. So to give them space, I shifted over and off the road into what looked like space for parking but it was so dark and there weren't any street lights so I couldn't be sure. Going full speed ahead, I nailed a long, thin, black metal chain held between two short posts and was nearly thrown from the mamachari, the rear wheel was suspended in air for what seemed an eternity, but instead of flipping me off it thankfully, in the end came, to rest just about where it lifted off from. I was damn lucky that chain was only held a foot or so off the ground. Being clotheslined at the neck going full speed in the dark would have ended much worse for yours truly.

I got home that night thankful for the adventure and "learning experience", the little extra I was able to take home as my net pay, and for returning in one piece. But when I hit that pillow, I remember thinking There has got to be any easier... ZZZZZzzzzzzzz.

And that has been the craziest thing I have done to make money at home or abroad. How about you? Would love to have some comments from my readers. Whats the craziest thing you have ever done to make money?
Email me or leave your comments below.

Thanks for reading


  1. :-(
    im sick of being poor in japan.
    your story would be funny if i wasnt so poor and working so hard. thanks for sharing ;)

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  3. Online business is growing in japan rapidly. Actually it was one of of ther leader of electronics products but online business is mostly launched from USA.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.