How did Josh do it?

  • How did Josh do it?

    Posted by Miykael on January 25, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I saw Josh on the “Life where I’m from” youtube video and I was amazed! He lives, works, and receives medical services that are paid for by insurance through the government in Japan. That has been my dream for the last seven years, but I never thought it was possible. Are there any videos or blog entries that talk about how he did it?

    Josh Grisdale replied 6 years, 4 months ago 2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    January 25, 2018 at 11:09 am


    Since I’m the Josh in question, I am likely the most qualified to answer!

    First of all, for a non-disabled person the general order of things would be:

    1. Find an employer in Japan that will hire you and sponsor your visa, or transfer to the Japan branch of a global employer
    2. Work visa is issued by the government
    3. Move to Japan and start work/life (usually the employer helps you find an apartment, get registered with the city etc)

    For those with disabilities, the procedure is mostly the same but there is an additional step: setting up medical/welfare services.

    The welfare system is set up on a local level here in Japan.    If you register with your local city/town/ward, you are entitled to all of the services they provide since you pay into the city taxes.  So, it has nothing to do with your nationality, but your local residency. (Note: since it is local, the services can vary depending on where you live – even within a prefecture!)

    However, it takes time to get the services – possibly 3-6 months.  You need a disability identification card which means going to a city-assigned doctor (not just any doctor) to be “assessed” as to how disabled you are according to the city specifications, then the findings are sent back to the city, they meet with you a few times to negotiate things like the number of hours of help you need etc, and then you are put in the system.  This can take a bit of time.  Additionally, if you do need care attendants, you can only start making contracts once you are in the system.  Since the care attendant companies are often under-staffed, you may need to contact a number of companies to make contracts (ie company A helps on Mondays, company B does lunch-hour shifts on weekends, etc).  I use 5 different companies.  Once the contracts are settled you can then start using the care attendants.

    Since this takes some time, if you need a care attendant, you will likely need to arrange to bring someone with you to help you until you are settled.  A family member or a friend, or hire someone from your personal funds.

    So, more of a logistics problem than anything else.

    Hope this helped!

  • Miykael

    January 26, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Thanks for the reply! I understand a bit more now. Thank you for explaining the process. So I would definitely need a friend or family member to help me for about 6 months. I see. That’s understandable. If you don’t mind me asking, what prefecture do you live in. I ask because it seems like they have good benefits. I understand if you don’t want to answer for privacy reason though.

    I would love to be an ESL teacher and/or ALT  in Japan, unfortunately I don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet. It would also be really great to go to an international college in Japan to get my bachelor’s degree. I am interested in a school I’ve looked up before. I wonder if vocational rehab would help me? I’m sure going to college in another country is incredibly expensive though.

  • Josh Grisdale

    January 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm


    I live in Tokyo.  But even in Tokyo the services vary from ward to ward.

    Before looking at living here, you should fist try a vacation.  You may find you hate it! (^_^)  But I think you will love it.  I came 4 times before moving here.  Most importantly, it can help you get connections and connections are everything in Japan.

    Unless you do come as a student, you will need a bachelors degree to get a visa.

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