Friday, 18 July 2014

Permanent Residency Application Submitted

Click to enlarge to see chart of submitted items.
As of July the 9th I've lived and worked in Japan for a whole 10 years. Big pat on the back for me, I'm officially one of those tired looking gaijin slumped at the bar in Golden Gai. People have been surprised that I can use "chopstick" about 3,500 times and I finally understand after being told 400 times that Japan has 4 seasons.

So to make housing loans easier down the line I decided to get my 永住権 or permanent residency.
I looked up the new points system chart and can see that I have enough points to meet the 70 required.

40 pts: from being age 38 and earning plenty of money
20 pts: from working in Japan for 10 years
10 pts: from having a degree

Here's what I submitted this morning at the Shinagawa middle of nowhere immigration centre:

1. Application form
2. 1 photo attached to application form with tiny bulldog clip
3. Certificate of residence (住民票)
4. Residence tax proof of payment certificate for the last 3 years
5. Proof of your guarantor's income for the last year.
6. Certificate of employment
7. 3 years of certificate of income and withholding tax
8. Letter of guarantee, signed by guarantor (wife).
9. Letter of recommendation written by hand - not required, but helpful.
10. Copy of your bank statement - not required, but helpful.
11. Colour copy of property deeds
12. Colour copy of degree certificate
13. Colour copy of residency card from and back
14. Colour copy of passport
15. Colour copy of all family member passports on one sheet

NOTE: Certificate of 'registered matters' (外国人登録原票記載事項証明書
gaikokujin touroku genpyo kisai jiko shoumeisho) was recently discontinued with the introduction of those new residency cards and now the 住民票 will do.

NOTE: I never got around to the 'Letter stating the reason you want to apply, in Japanese.'

NOTE: I was going to submit the family register 戸籍謄本 too, but I forgot to pick it up yesterday. What's on that that isn't on the 住民票 anyway?

NOTE: There are points if you have the Japanese proficiency JLPT level 1. I probably should have submitted proof of Japanese ability.

NOTE: I should have submitted proof of all volunteer work I've done. Japanese blogs say that stuff helps.

NOTE: Kuyakusho told me income tax payment certificate 所得課税証明書 / shotoku kazei shoumeisho is the same as 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho and wouldn't give it to me. So I only submitted 3 years of 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho.

NOTE: For bank statements I copied one 通帳 from Mizuho bank showing dates as 2004, and another recent 通帳 from SMBC showing the massive loan for a house we just got in 2014, ten years later. Shinsei bank that I use for my monthly pay is internet only, and totally awesome for a regular bank because they have free bank transfers, good forex rates, and free ATM withdrawals.

NOTE: My wife was my guarantor, she has no current employer so no certificate of employment.

NOTE: Did not supply map to my house.

NOTE: Permanent residency application submitted on Friday, July the 18th 2014.


1. Doors at the middle of nowhere Shingawa immigration centre open at 8:30am. At 8:30am there's usually a queue of about 50 people all after different things. When the doors open everyone runs in different directions to where they need to be. Be near the front of the queue and run upstairs to counter B.

2. Counter B is for all visa application stuff. Get to the counter before 9am and you collect a number.

3. With any luck you have a low enough number to be in the first flight of people being served. Write your address on a postcard, say thank you and you could be out of there by 9:10.

*** 2014/12/05 UPDATE ***
Got a letter from the immigration centre asking for:
1) Wife's Kosseki Tohon (戸籍謄本)
2) 3 years of tax statements including this year.

I'm sure I sent this stuff in the July application, but asking for this stuff rather than just failing the application is a great sign. Went straight down to the ward office, got the requirements, and sent back.

*** 2014/12/15 UPDATE ***
Phoned up the immigration centre to ask how the application is going. Bloke said: "Daibu susunde imasu ne, kongetsu-chu ni kekka ha deru to omou". Very promising!

*** 2014/12/22 UPDATE ***
Getting impatient so phoned up again. Bloke said: "Shinsei ha saisyuusteki na joutai desu. Koko ha 26nichi made kedo, girigiri nennnai ni todoku to omou"

*** 2014/12/25 UPDATE ***
Went to take the wrapping paper rubbish out on Christmas Day, and what a Christmas present in the post box! Postcard telling me to come to the immigration centre to pick up my permanent residence arrived!

*** 2014/12/26 UPDATE ***
Picked up my permanent residence card:
1) Arrived at the immigration centre at 11am
2) Got 8,000 yen's worth of revenue stamps at family mart
3) No queue so handed postcard, passport and gaijin card straight in at the counter
4) 5 minutes wait
5) Picked up old gaijin card with hole in it, new gaijin card with "永住者" on it, and passport.

1) So now what happens if I leave Japan? The permanent residency is held in my gaijin card. But when you leave Japan you have to hand that in.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Arttu Summer 2014 Strength Cycle

After the The Arttu Winter 2013 Strength Cycle yielding modest gains in strength numbers, and the open over, it's time to embark on the 1st of 3 more strength cycles up to Christmas.

The target is to get 5kg on the backsquat per cycle and achieve bodyweight (80kg) snatch before the year ends.

Strength training 3 days a week, with a Sunday snatch/clean and jerk weightlifting session.
Strength training will begin with an olympic lift, then finish with back squats.
Back squats will vary from heavy low rep to build strength, to medium weight medium rep, to light weight high rep to build muscle.
Every 4th week is a deload week.

Beginning stats on 20140420 (Sunday)

Back squat 114kg Snatch 74kg Clean 97kg Jerk 91kg
Clean and Jerk 87kg Deadlift 145kg
Bench 88kg OHS 101kg Press 62kg Front squat 102kg Weighted pull-up 26kg and weighted dip 38kg

End stats on 20140719 (Saturday) after 12 weeks.

Back squat 121kg (+6kg) Snatch 75kg (+1kg) Clean 100kg (+3kg) Jerk ??kg
Clean and Jerk 90kg (+3kg) Deadlift 1??kg
Bench ??kg OHS 101kg Press 58kg (-4kg) Front squat 1??kg Weighted pull-up ??kg and weighted dip ??kg

Friday, 31 January 2014

Kie's Predictions for the Crossfit Open 2014

After my predictions for the 2012 Crossfit Open two years ago, and my predictions for 2013, I'll have a shot at predicting what to expect this year. I am a crossfitter who is a fan of all the games dating all the way back, and know all the open and regional workouts. Again, this is just for fun:

Prediction Workout 14.1 -
7min AMRAP
Hand release push-ups
Double unders
Wall Ball
3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21

There's a ladder every year.
Like all years it's all inclusive, everyone get's some of their $20 worth.
Ladder format has never been applied to more than a couplet.

Prediction Workout 14.2 - 
10min AMRAP 
Grace + Isabel

Reason: Beginners will remain included but struggle with Grace, average guys will struggle with Isabel, and it's a met-con for the elite. Good way to separate things out on week 2. One barbell makes it logistically easy and everyone knows the benchmarks.

Prediction Workout 14.3 -   
10min AMRAP of:
60 Bar-facing burpees
30 Overhead squats 55kg
10 Muscle-ups

This is the comparison workout for 2014.
3 years of difference so HQ can brag about how everyone is getting stronger etc.
Overhead squats have had too much of a hiatus.
There has to be a workout in the format of 13.3 with a horrible buy-in, some skill, then fatigued muscle-ups.

Prediction Workout 14.4 - 
18min AMRAP
9 Toes-to-bar
12 Sumo DL Highpull 100lb
15 Backsquat 100lb

There's usually a long one.
A controversial movement for 2014 - "That barbell wasn't up to clavicle!"

Prediction Workout 14.5 - 
7 Thruster 100lb
7 Chest-to-bar
Score is number of reps up to their incomplete round.

Last workout is always 100lb thrusters and CTB in some combination.
Not sure if this is the right guess because some elite guys will go forever.

1. Overhead squats haven't been in since 2011. They weren't in 2013 either, that's too long.
2. 2012 and 2013 tested the heavy snatch, this year is likely to be the year of the heavy clean & jerk and snatch will only be used in a light power form if it's in.
3. Pistols and HSPU might come up, but they didn't last year after I worked on them so I'll leave them alone and have healthier knees for it.
4. There was so much controversy/hassle with box jumps last year I reckon they'll leave them alone this year.
5. I'll update this post after the open with the actual workouts and a review.

Update - Here are the actual WODs






What the 2014 CF open would look like if I planned it:
1 muscle-up
500 OHS at 90kg from the floor

10 minutes to find
1RM Hang snatch

30min AMRAP

10 minutes to find
1RM back of neck split jerk

One arm dumbbell snatch ladder