By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

It was 1980 in Kansai and there weren’t many foreigners from English speaking countries in the area. The English conversation industry was in full swing, but stringent restrictions on work visas made the number of “legal” teachers a rarity.


It had taken almost two months from the submission of my application for a work visa to the Japanese Embassy to its approval while I waited in the US. When I got here I found that there were a lot of foreigners working illegally on cultural visas which they’d been misled to understand allowed them to work up to 20 hours a week on (the law at the time forbid working while staying in Japan on a cultural visa).


The school I worked at had five legal teachers and I was one of them (you needed a college degree to get a work visa as an English teacher which had to be submitted with your application and most of the other teachers hadn’t graduated from college).


One of the most popular teachers at the school I taught at was “teaching” mostly on-site lessons to employee groups at major businesses. He was probably fifty or so at the time and looked very dignified in a business suit. He had a limited vocabulary and no inkling of grammar, using words like “ain’t”, “cain’t and so forth.


One day I asked him what he’d been doing back in the States and, after making me promise not to tell anyone, admitted “I used to do work on the farms in Florida.” When I asked him about his work, I learned that he’d been pretty much a wanderer, moving from farm to farm helping with odd jobs and harvesting mainly oranges. It seems that he’d met a guy in a bar one evening and heard that you could make “big money” in Japan if you were white and from America…












By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)


English books published by AELS



I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers