Will this graph show the Flyjin phenomenon in a couple months?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Here is an update of a graph that originally appeared last April 25 on Hoofin at this post. It was one of my more popular posts, although you have to study it. It got 16 comments.

Sometimes it helps if you double-click on these images, because I am not sure if the detail comes out very clearly on the different size screens people use.

I am conveying six pieces of information there. (Last year was four.)

The prominent blue line is the revenue per class. Based on what METI says is the overall revenue in Eikaiwa, divided by the number of classes held that month, you get this number. It’s says nothing about the Flyjin, but it does show you that once Nova collapsed, all their cut rate deals and frauds stopped driving the number up and down so violently.

There is only one number series, so it would be a number graphed against Japanese yen, right?

The pink line at the bottom is the number of outlets, that I take to be either sole proprietorships, or locations if it is a chain Eikaiwa. Not a lot of change there and nothing about the Flyjin. There are a little over 3,000 of these outlets.

The yellow line is students in 100’s. So METI is saying there is something like 300,000 students. (Yellow line graphed to 3,000 would be 3000 times 100 or three hundred thousand. OK?)

If that number has a dip, it will tell you that the earthquake may have affected people’s signing up and taking classes.

The turquoise line is the number of classes, in 100’s. So there was a big drop with Nova, but notice that the line has been moving down, really, for the last three years. This one should show a dip.

A fifth series, which is new, is just running through the blue revenue line to show you what a 12-month average on the money would be.

The final line, in brown, is the series of “Instructors” from the METI data. I didn’t care about this last year, because I was talking about money. But this year, the focus is on Flyjins. So there are about 9,000 potential Flyjins.

If 9,000 “good” gaijins are available to fill any spots that open, then this little test is for naught. It could be that the Permanent Residents from Canada and Australia (as well as the States), who seem to have a lock on where the teaching jobs are, and control the information like its their own little financial empire, will make sure that there are enough Instructors to fill any void.

My early betting chips are on the notion that the Flyjin phenomenon is bullshit. A handful of people left, and those who have their thing going in Japan, and couldn’t just pick up and go, saw a way to score a few brownie points with the natives. But like you, I want facts.

6 thoughts on “Will this graph show the Flyjin phenomenon in a couple months?

  1. A handful of people left, and those who have their thing going in Japan, and couldn’t just pick up and go, saw a way to score a few brownie points with the natives.

    This is the 2nd time you have made a statement like this and I, for one, am finding it a little offensive for some reason. Would you care to expand on the above statement and/or rephrase it?

    1. Sure, Chuckers. I am sorry that you were offended, because I wasn’t clear.

      If you look at that March 17 Twitter that the Flyjin dot com author blogs about (link is here), it says:

      “@ quindra: I’m going to try to coin the term “flyjin” for these deserters. (4:03 AM March 17 . . . in reply to quindra) paul-ym

      Even before this bit of blog reporting broke, it seemed that the use of the term was being employed by people who stayed in Japan versus those who did not (and thus, for some reason, were bad.) It’s not that everyone who stayed used the term. It’s that the usage tended to demean the flee-er, and pump up the use-er.

      This is the sense I get from the Twitter post. Do you?

  2. For the record, I wasn’t really looking to demean the flee-ers (although that is exactly what I say in my post), at least not in any official or long-term capacity. At the time, the panic was reaching a fever pitch and the television was showing hordes of foreigners queueing at Narita Immigration to get out of Dodge. People I knew in Kanto were getting all worked up by foreign news sources about how desperate the situation was becoming, and how suspicious it was that this conflicted with what was being said in the news in Japan. One friend had heard that some sort of cloud of radiation was already in Saitama and was due to be at his house within the hour. He taped up his windows and doors with blue tarps. Anyway, it’s thanks to the wonderfully forthcoming Western media that I still get messages daily from friends and family looking for calming assurances that I’m not underground, underwater, or exciting geiger counters.

    In a silly fit of frustration, another ex-pat friend and I bounced ideas back and forth for a term with which to label these panicky foreigners. Eventually I came up with “flyjin.” To me at that moment, I was using the word “fly” in the Japanese sense of “flying” meaning to jump the gun. As in, people were leaving without assessing the information. It seemed to fit the image of people waiting in an airport to flee as well. My friend and I got a chuckle out of it, and a day or two I shared the joke with @Quindra during some tweeting on the topic.

    Although I said I was looking to coin a term for deserters, I really had no intention to create any sort of new slur or slang. It has certainly found new life out in the wild, which is impressive considering I only have a handful of followers (most of whom are of the “bot” persuasion). Personally, I don’t hold much against the people who left. I’m all the way in Kansai, so I was never in any real or perceived danger. I was much more fed up with the foreign headlines than I was with anyone escaping. I do think that it did little to improve negative perceptions of foreigners here in Japan to have people leave jobs and other responsibilities. But I have no hard data on how many people did that. Plus, I have 2 very young children and a pregnant wife. If the ground was shaking beneath my feet every half hour or so and everyone was running around yelling “fire!” it might have felt pretty irresponsible to NOT hightail it out of there. But, my community, and my mortgage, and my in-laws here in Japan might have given me pause. I can’t tell for sure.

    Well, I’m no write[r], and I’m not sure if I made my point or lost it, but, no hard feeling “flyjin.” Feel free to come back anytime, if you still have or can get visas and jobs.

    I enjoy your site, Hoofin. Recent events have opened my eyes a bit to expat affairs and other people and information I was unfamiliar with pre-March 11.

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