J-WOTD: 自転車操業

じてんしゃそうぎょう (jitensha sogyou)
自転車操業 jitenshasogyo

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more focus by the media on what Nova really was. Nothing more than a long lived Ponzi Scheme.

I guess for the foreign press it is easier to win over readers with a sob story about how many gaijin will be fired/evicted due to the mess that Nova is today. What is most amazing about this scandal is how quickly it has snuck upon us. Only three years ago Nova’s share price was trading above 600 yen (this week it is closer to 16 yen!). Why did the proverbial $hit hit the fan so quickly? Because Nova was a house of cards. Continue reading

The Implosion of Japan’s Super Nova

Bleak skies ahead for Nova
Nova Sagi? Bleak skies ahead for Japan’s Nova Usagi

Japan’s largest English Language conversation school, Nova is the second largest employer of foreigners in Japan (the first being the Japanese government, bless them) employing over 4,500 teachers nationwide. The company name NOVA, originates from the English word for a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity (or to nothing in this case!). It has however, been made into a now familiar acronym by its eikaiwa (英会話) senseis, who proclaim to be heavily overworked, and given little or next to NO VAcation.

Last Friday (26th October 2007), Nova filed for court protection from creditors, and also temporarily closed all of its 1000+ English conversation schools. It is hard to imagine any other event which could cause as Continue reading