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How to Get an Animation Job in Japan

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Japan is world-renowned for its animation. Obtaining an animation job in Japan is a daunting task that requires superb animation skills as well as excellent knowledge of the Japanese language. For a foreigner, the task is even more difficult, especially when there is so much competition directly from Japanese natives who know the culture, speak the language and have been trained by other Japanese masters of animation.

Take Japanese language courses. Speaking Japanese is a must especially when the animation companies have the option of hiring Japanese citizens who are very familiar with the culture and fluent in the language. If you want to succeed in this highly competitive industry, you will have to learn to speak, read and write Japanese.

Consider relocating to Japan. If you're truly serious about getting an animation job in Japan, you will have to live there in order to work there.

Send out your resume and work samples to various animation companies in Japan. The Toei Animation Company and Tatsunoko Productions are two of the largest and most respected animation companies in the world. Submit your resume and animation samples via mail or email. You can find the contact information on the official sites of the companies, which are in Japanese (see Resources below).

Follow-up with the animation company after about a week. Pay visits to the animation companies and try to infiltrate the animation scene by befriending other animators. Be persistent but realize that this industry is highly competitive, so make sure that your work is up to par.

Prepare for the job interview. Dress appropriately and make sure you know the Japanese customs and etiquette when meeting someone. The official custom is to bow when you meet someone, and show energy and enthusiasm. There is also a way of speaking to authority figures to show your respect. When going to the interview, it's important to be aware of these etiquette rules in order to be successful. In addition to showing your knowledge and skills, it's essential that you make a good first impression.

Tip

Make a business card and give it to as many Japanese animators as possible. Make yourself known in the Japanese animation scene by mingling and befriending fellow animators.

About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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