top of page

Kady's blog

Post: Text
  • Writer's pictureKady Potter

Don't call me a Japanfluencer (it won't fit in the box on most application forms)

Updated: May 24

My Nan always used to say that she had something called the "fluence". She could read the tea leaves, talk to spirits, and understand everything about a person just by holding their hand.

It was genuinely impressive to watch. Whether it was a real knack for the supernatural or for tempting fate to play out exactly as she predicted, sometimes she was so accurate it got scary. There are people who fully believe in her powers to this day.

The other thing that Nan always used to say was that her fortune-telling talents would be passed down to me. Well, I hope she isn't going to start haunting me for this, but... I'm pretty sure the "fluence" didn't want that bit to come true.

I've got nothing. Staring into coffee grounds doesn't work anywhere near as well.

The closest you could say that I get to having the "fluence" - and even this is a stretch - is being one of those Japan-based (by that, I mean "based-based") social media influencers instead.

I live in Japan. I have at least one social media account. People read this blog. It could happen, right?

I may or may not be denying my inevitable destiny when I say this, but... right now the chances of that happening are about as high as me waking up tomorrow morning and being able to write kanji perfectly by hand.

Time to explain some simple but important reasons why the life of a Japanfluencer isn't the life for me.

Trying to make my life look interesting sounds like... more work

Daily life here in Osaka is actually normal and boring!

There, I said it. Someone had to.

Obviously nobody shows you the proper mundane side of living in Japan. I think running an account like that would potentially be hilarious.

Nothing but videos of separating out the trash for recycling, wandering down to the convenience store to pay bills, staring into someone's armpit on a packed train, or waiting in line to apply for visa renewal at Immigration.

Would you watch that? (Don't answer that...)

I'd have to put in a decent amount of effort to make my day-to-day life seem fun enough to follow. Right now, that feels like more work on top of the day job (y'know, the thing that means I can stay here in the first place...) than I'm willing to put in.

Trying to make my life look interesting sounds... expensive

Oh look, a super kawaii restaurant with funky tech! A giant rainbow dessert covered in sprinkles! A coffee shop that does [insert famous character from famous manga/anime/game here] latte art! The new area of that theme park you've been wanting to go to for ages!

Wait, they're charging how much?

Sure, if you're successful enough to start monetizing your content then the cost of creating it becomes less of an issue. But at the outset, building your weeb-tastic brand is a significant investment.

And as much as nobody wants to admit it, your average influencer likely isn't earning a lot in their main job. Many people start out in Japan as English teachers - that line of work can be great, but is also notoriously underpaid.

(That's why they have a side hustle, duh! Just don't ask if they told both their employer and Immigration that they're doing paid work outside of their visa category... or if they declare that extra income for tax purposes... oh, did I say too much?)

I'm making slightly more than I used to. But the idea of spending even more money to try and gain a foothold in the (honestly massively oversaturated) "white person who lives in a Japanese city" influencer hierarchy doesn't feel worth it.

I'm not into any of those fun and unusual fashion trends

To be honest, it's easy enough to tell that I'm a weirdo as it is.

If you ask me to download one more app...

As I once said (on Twitter, but still), "The day I ever install TikTok is the day you should slap my phone out of my geriatric millennial hands."

Isn't the whole point of being an influencer that people follow me? Why do I have to chase my potential audience down across a bunch of new platforms?

Ugh, I sound like my parents.

"I do not exist to keep random people on the Internet interested" sounds like one of those mantras you hear in 'words of motivation for success meditation' YouTube videos. It's a good one, though.

"I am not a slave to the latest doom-scrolling app". I don't need your reactionmojis to live! Constantly checking my notifications to see if you lot liked my uploads sounds exhausting!

(I think the real point I'm making here is that I'm too old for this shit.)

How to win tomodachis and Japanfluence people

I'd like to think Nan would be proud of me anyway. Japan is a very 'high context' country in terms of communication, and I've learned to understand what people are thinking even when they don't say very much...

I'm not saying that I'll never change my mind about the whole 'post my amazing enviable life for likes' thing (but, uh, don't hold your breath yeah?). And I'm definitely not going to give up writing about Japan-related stuff!

Just... that I don't feel any need to exert my influence any more than I do now.

Recent Posts

See All

It's time to admit that I made a mistake.

A couple of years back, I made the move from global content marketing to Japanese-to-English translation and editing. Seeing as I've returned to a marketing job this month, the time has come to 'fess


Commenting has been turned off.
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page