An Open Letter To The Mimasaka Board Of Education

To whom it may concern

I am writing this letter to let you know that I will be retiring from my position as Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) on July 22nd.

Please know that I have had the most negative experience here. The Mimasaka Board of Education has continuously surprised me with their unprofessionalism.

I have not recieved or been notified of important information. I was never invited to the ALT orientation or the ALT camp (both of where I would have had the opportunity to make foreign friends in my position and/or receive answers to my countless questions). When information has been given to me, it has been given to me late. For example, the forms for relocation were given to me well past their due date. My emails and phone-calls have gone unanswered. And time after time my supervisors have approached me with requests for large amounts of surprise payments due on the same day.

It is unfortunate that I will be leaving Mimasaka with a heart full of sadness. I have given all of my spirit and energy to my students and in return I have been faced with repetitive negligence.

As a guest in your country, you have made me feel incredibly unwelcome.

However; I am smarter than to judge the entire Japanese community by a small minority’s actions. As a full-blooded Iranian, I know the effects of such ignorance first-hand. I will not be a part of that blindness. For many people of your community have shown me more love and respect than some individuals of my home country and/or race ever have. If it were not for their kindness, I too would have broken my contract like my predecessor.

My wish today on Tanabata is that my successor will not have to go through the same unfair treatment and excruciating pain that I have.

Anisa Kazemi  



  1. Ouch, that’s shocking. You’re not private hire or interac right? Are your orientations and camps not organised by JET? If they are and they’re doing that to you, that’s baaad.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why I wrote this. I also have a meeting with the head of the BOE. Last time I told her my worries she laughed at my face. So sad.


  2. I find it so unfortunate that you had to work in such a cold and unwelcoming environment. I just want you to know that nobody, including you, ever deserves to be treated so cruelly. Anyways, I wish you the best of luck on finding a more warm, fulfilling job and workplace that will give you the love you deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found this to be a very interesting read. You might find some interest (hint hint) in my post on Saturday ( Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. My belief is without being honest and real, how can we address problems and, hopefully, improve them?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. As to you as well. It is a wonderful thing that you were able to separate them from the culture as a group. I feel like, as an American, we are seeing too much judgement on groups due to the actions of only a few.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It really breaks my heart when I hear stories from other ALTs who have had poor experiences with their BoEs. The JET Program is such an incredible program, and it`s really unfortunate that the middle man in some locations cannot hold up their end of the bargain and treat their ALT with the kindness, gratitude, and attention that they so deserve. I`m sorry your experience was less than stellar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Becca. It’s okay, I have had unforgettable (good) experiences here too and made life-long friends. I just felt I had to say something solely for my successor.


      1. I`m glad you enjoyed your life to the fullest outside of your school! Something needs to change with them though if your predecessor broke contract and you`re feeling this way though! I hope your successor enjoys his or her time there. Cheers from the southern islands <3


  5. My heart is breaking with you at this. Nobody would expect this to ever be happening; yet it does, so often. You certainly deserve better. When you have such a loving, giving heart, Anisa, it will be assuredly broken. You’re too good, and many will take advantage. Stay as strong as you are and never let them break you. You have a lot of good people rooting for you and are such a fount of love, joy, and boundless talents; there will come a place for you.


  6. Are the Japanese teachers having the same problems though? Or are you being singled out for whatever reason?

    I am sorry to hear about your bad experience, but at least you made some good friends in Japan! :)

    Did you manage to at least get along with some of your fellow teachers at the school?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely got along with the teachers at my schools, just my employers, the board of education have been incredibly unprofessional. Also, it’s mostly me because they don’t know how to deal with a foreigner. Glad you liked the coffee machine picture.


  7. Oh dear, really sad. I must say that I am in the unfortunate position to be able to relate to this type of situation. But the good thing is each time I realised the only way to improve things was to walk in a new direction – and as long as I did it with complete awareness – it brought about something better. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It really sucks that you had that experience. It’s always a mixed bag with these placements, and you get some really weird people. They don’t realise what a waste it is treating you like that, and I feel sorry for the kids that you weren’t given the opportunity to use your full potential there. I’m sure the next steps will be better though, and hopefully one day the system will change as those people retire… Looking forward to hearing more about it, and it was really great to meet you:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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