|Countdown until the first day of summer, 2018:||Countdown until I take the JLPT* N1, my first serious attempt:||Countdown until I can apply for eijūken (that is, if I decide to stay in Japan)**:|
Time until I turn 30:
How much time do I estimate these things will take?
**What is eijūken?
Eijūken is permanent residency. Once a foreigner has eijūken, he or she has the legal right to stay in Japan indefinitely as long as he/she obeys the laws. Unlike a visa, eijūken is not contingent on an activity like work, study, or being married — it is a right that cannot be taken away even if said foreigner becomes a homeless bum! He or she never needs to go back to the immigration office for an extension, or worry about an extension request being denied. Eijūken permits employment in almost every job in Japan.
Please note that it is possible that I might be able to apply for permanent status (either eijūken or shiminken) in just five years, but this is contingent on various scenarios that are not very certain at this point. For example, getting a high-status job, a Japanese wife, having the J-government enact more foreigner-friendly legislation, or taking a bullet for the Japanese prime minister (though if it were far-right-wing Shinzō Abe, I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire) are all things that would likely get me permanent status in five years instead of ten. However, none of these shortcuts is very certain at this point in time, so until one of them takes effect, I will plan on "ten years to eijūken."
Here is a note on how I calculate the time to being able to apply for eijūken: the amount of time until 11:55 AM (my original entry time) on the day ten years from my initial entry date (2021/3/7).
***What is the Kanji Kentei?
The Kanji Kentei is a test of Chinese characters in Japanese (kanji) intended for Japanese people. However, foreigners are welcome to register for it, too. It is called the KanKen for short.
So why take the KanKen? Because it's a test of writing kanji, not just being able to recognize them (like the JLPT), and reading kanji is so important to living in Japan, and this test certifies and provides motivation for kanji learners. There are twelve levels to this test:
Junior High School Levels:
High School Level:
Prestigious Levels Usually Requiring Post-Secondary Education:
Once I have reached that level, I will probably call it a day on learning kanji, since Level Pre-1 and Level 1 are qualifications not held even by most Japanese. However, if I don't think it'll take too much effort and I believe the payoff might be big (like being able to write a book and sell it, similar to Heisig), then I might be convinced to go for Levels Pre-1 or 1. However, at present, I doubt the payoff from learning that many characters would be very big, and I have no definite plans to take Pre-1 or 1 at any time in the future.
Visual Progress Bars
|I have progressed this far towards eijūken:|
|I have progressed this far towards JLPT N1, the ultimate Japanese language goal:|
| ~62% (5,035 words certified via N2 / 8,009 total necessary for N1)|
~83% (1,607 kanji certified via KanKen Level 3 / 1,926)
|Progress on IT Degrees:|
| ~100%: AS in IT|
~100%: BS in Computer & Information Science
|IT Certifications Progress:|
| 100%: Progress on the NVCC Application Programming Cert (11 / 11 credit hours)|
100%: Business IT Cert from NVCC (15 / 15 credit hours)