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Sahashi Still Maintains He's Innocent

If you're sick and tired of reading anything having to do with NOVA and Sahashi, you might want to stop reading right now.

Sahashi was back in court to have his appeal heard.

His lawyers still maintain that he is innocent and that his use of money from an employees' fund was to pay refunds and therefore does not amount to embezzlement. Sahashi was originally sentenced to three and half years for the crime.

This time, however, Sahashi invoked the name of Tsunehiko Maeda>. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he was the lead prosecutor in the Atsuko Muraki case who was arrested for tampering with evidence.

According to Sahashi, Maeda suggested that in changing lawyers he was get off with just a suspended sentence. When Sahashi refused the offer, Maeda told him he would get a stiffer sentence and go to jail for five years.

The prosecution replied that Maeda had minimal involvement in Sahashi's case and that the bulk of the investigation was done by Osaka Police investigators.

The end in the Sahashi saga appears to be near. A final ruling is slated to be handed down on December 2. That Sahashi would try and use Maeda as an excuse to get his decision overturned isn't much of a surprise. When it looks like he will be checking in at the Graybar Hotel, it's time for a Hail Mary play.

Eikaiwa: 

Comments

Given the popularity of Sahashi and G.communication here, I couldn't figure out why nobody was commenting on recent developments. Where'd everybody go? Then I checked my settings and realized that my last few posts have had the comments disabled...

Shawn
Let's Japan.org::Blog

At least he'll concentrate on the business, I guess, although not having other businesses in more booming areas to support it could be a problem

Saw something about this on GaijinPot and thought- I bet I know somewhere that has much better information. And here it was!

Whoops- comment in wrong thread. Meant GEOS thread above!

Just hang the rat faced bastard along with those cunts Karen Miller, Edo Fackler, Tim Symmons, Wayne Gallot, Yvonne Colley, Stephen Farley David Clayton and Johanne Simpson. All are supreme cocksuckers and deserve the noose for being such complete pricks at Nova.

Just hang the rat faced bastard along with those cunts Karen Miller, Edo Fackler, Tim Symmons, Wayne Gallot, Yvonne Colley, Stephen Farley David Clayton and Johanne Simpson. All are supreme cocksuckers and deserve the noose for being such complete pricks at Nova.

Who exactly were they all? Edo Fackler and Stephen Farley I've heard about. The others were AAMs?

You were obviously a shit teacher.

You are pretty brave hanging shit on those big names.

Let me ask you, when those big names were in the ring, how was the state of the industry?

How is the state of the industry now, following the departure of the big names?

Love em, hate em, kiss em, hit em, but the fact of the matter is, the industry was running pretty smoothly, when those people were holding the reigns of power.

Bring em back, and let’s get this industry stabilized, is my comment.

Who is with me?

You might not speak up, but I am not the only one, that’s for certain.

The first thing Nova needs to do, is engage a head-hunter, and bring back the big names. Bring back the big names, and let's get things back to normal.

Probably got raw deal like lots did at Nova. If he really were a shit teacher he'd end up doing something you have to be retarded to do like buy a Smith's English School franchise.

Big names are what turned Nova into a crap company in the first place.

Very clever, you are, and cowardly, "Anonymous." I'll check back in again when there's more news about Mr.saruhashi.

I can't vouch for most of the people on the list above, but had personal dealings with Fackler and Clayton (both AAMs), who were two of the most stupid, devious (as stupid people often are) cunts I have ever met in my life. Clayton was shagging students left, right and centre ( BIG Nova no no) while at the same time "enforcing" Nova's bollox '"rules". Absolute twat.

Fackler would spend his free evenings, trawling the bar areas of Minami, Osaka, making mental notes, of teachers he saw drinking, and then checking with their schools to see if they turned up on time for work, the next day.

Fackler and Clayton, ladies and gentleman, the cream of Nova's "big names", and two of the reasons why it was a shit company, which fully deserved to tank.

Absolutely right. More to the point, these 'big names' whilst they had a great deal of say in some people's employment situations had very little say on company direction which was controlled by Suruhashi. It's an interesting question whether the company would have done any better if that had not been the case. Personally, I doubt it. These guys would have fucked things up even faster had they been given free rein.

Love em, hate em, kiss em, hit em, but the fact of the matter is, the industry was running pretty smoothly, when those people were holding the reigns of power.

They were doing no such thing. Saruhashi was calling the shots and they were just going along with whatever stupid decisions he made.

The first thing Nova needs to do, is engage a head-hunter, and bring back the big names. Bring back the big names, and let's get things back to normal.

No way that's ever going to happen. It seems that most of the western middle management people at NOVA quit when G.com took over, and Inayoshi didn't bother replacing them, deciding that the handful that had stuck around would be sufficient for his purposes.

the best management in the world won't turn the major eikaiwas around. i don't know any of the names quoted, but i can guess they were just big-talking opportunistic clowns riding the japanese bubble-years wave. in those days eikaiwa classes were a kind of abstract louis viton bag. it's taken a while to fade.

there is still a considerable market for english classes, but a wised-up gaijin population and a wised-up consumer population means that the business has moved towards the smaller "mom and pop" schools (as they are so often dismissed). these places deliver (or fail to deliver) all the things that the big chains deliver (or fail to deliver), but at a fraction of the cost.

let's face it - nobody is turning japanese children or adults into fluent english speakers. but at least the independent places are not doing it more cheaply.

i forgot to say:

louis viton sales are way down this year too!

Business has trickled down to the Mom n Pop level as you say. However, this is only residual business. The bulk of customers are gone never to return. Moreover, the main reason why Mom and Pop schools are cheaper in the main is not because they wouldn't like to charge more, but to compete with those price cutting larger eikaiwas that are still around. They can do that because they have lower overheads. However, the result is that most are not exactly doing well. For every successful Mom and Pop school there are a dozen that are going nowhere.

Really this industry is already dead, but doesn't know it yet.

A huge transformation must be done to this industry for it to survive...Think technology and social changes. Too bad the people running Eikawa and their brethren overseas are usually not business educated or minded, and could not tell the difference between a Profit & Loss statement and a balance sheet. The industry need to become much more professional, but sadly probably never will with all the idiots who roam it.

Actually the problem the people who run Eikawa have is not primarily a failure to understand business. On the whole, those running these organisations may not be the smartest in business terms that is true, but thier biggest failing is in not knowing a great deal about education, and not really wanting to have much truck with anyone who does. For this reason, they fail to understand how to create a balance between purely monetary objectives on the one hand and academic credibility on the other. They are, in fact far weaker on the educational side than they are on the business side, tending to view education as just a saleable commodity. That is exactly why they have failed and will continue to fail.

The real professionals in this field are: well, private universities (and public ones that need to supplement any government asistance they may recieive). The successful ones are able to strike the right balance between monetary objectives and educational ones and do well. The unsuccessful ones aren't - either they are unaffordably education focused and have financial problems, or are too money focused at the expense of quality and have reputation problems. Educational credibility is not just a matter of branding for serious educational institutions. Their ranking in quantifiable results is very important to them.

Most of these bust eikaiwa kept reasonable business records as business records go, but they put all the money they could have put into establishing some degree of educational credibility into overkill advertising. They understood a certain amount about business, but failed to understand that the nature of the business they were in demanded that at some point they demonstrate a capacity to achieve actual results or suffer the consequences.

Actually the problem the people who run Eikawa have is not primarily a failure to understand business. On the whole, those running these organisations may not be the smartest in business terms that is true, but thier biggest failing is in not knowing a great deal about education, and not really wanting to have much truck with anyone who does. For this reason, they fail to understand how to create a balance between purely monetary objectives on the one hand and academic credibility on the other. They are, in fact far weaker on the educational side than they are on the business side, tending to view education as just a saleable commodity. That is exactly why they have failed and will continue to fail.

In a sense I think there is a failure to understand business, because surely any smart entrepreneur should make sure they have half a clue about the product they're selling, in this case English courses, textbooks and teachers. In the case of NOVA, when Saruhashi was running it he regarded it as little more than a cash cow and his immediate Japanese subordinates didn't even know how to speak any English, let alone teach it. The school staff and managers have never had much of a clue about what goes on in lessons, beyond what it says in sales brochures. For this reason they will continue to peddle sub-standard, in-house produced lesson materials and poor quality "conversation" classes (which could be quite good but usually aren't) long after most Japanese people have totally lost interest in signing up for them.

I agree, Mr X. They certainly did not understand that the business they were in requred a long term perspective and to that extent were not good at business. However, they probably didn't have any problems with a balance sheet, which is what was claimed above.

An area where Suruhashi could have benefited from his more short term perspective however, was one into which he made a long term investment that was unwise. He invested in interactive online systems while they were in their developmental stage. You wouldn't do that unless you wanted to benefit in a much wider range of business areas than he in fact wished to do. As a result, he poured huge resources into a delivery system for a single business that quickly became obsolete. If he had simply waited for others to do the work for him, he could have bought into the whole online education thing at a fraction of the price. Or alternatively, he could have invested directly in a range of educational software development companies in their early stages and ended up much more widely involved in online education than he ever became. Sales and service of a very sleazy kind was his strength area. He should have played to that strength whilst relying on others to develop product he could peddle that had some inherent value.

Education doesn't come into eikaiwa, as far as I can see. It's English conversation - that is not education, it's simply talking. If it was about education, then they'd have qualified teachers following some sort of curriculum, there'd be recognised methods being used to teach the skills of learning a language, and the students would be doing homework and studying for recognised exams.

People don't get into the eikaiwa business to educate people, they get into it to make money, nothing else (unless you're Kevin Burns of course). Some people working in eikaiwa maintain the illusion to themselves (egged on by their company propaganda, or Kevin Burns) that they're a "teacher" and they're "teaching English".

The reality is that you're simply talking to people, nothing more. You're not teaching. Ascribing all these "educational values" to it suggests that you've got a problem with that.

Unfortunately, these eikaiwa companies did not market their products as being simply conversation. On the contrary they deliberately created a marketing facade of educational veracity that had no substance to it. They made all sorts of claims in the their literature and sales pitch about thier ad hoc 'systems' that had very little basis to them at all, and encouraged their teachers to behave as if they knew all about language education, when in fact they knew little or nothing.

This kind of deception, as well as in claiming to offer a free booking system that was not in fact available, is exactly where they built up an ever increasing backlog of public resentment against the services that they offered. Public resentment grew significantly once the eikaiwa got into the kids area. This opened up a whole new world of public disaproval for them. You will note that the only eikaiwa that is still in with a fighting chance of maintaining a viable business is ECC. That is because they put far more into educational development than any of the others and especially made a point of getting results with their kids - using Japanese rather than native speaking teachers for the most part.

Unfortunately, these eikaiwa companies did not market their products as being simply conversation. On the contrary they deliberately created a marketing facade of educational veracity that had no substance to it. They made all sorts of claims in the their literature and sales pitch about thier ad hoc 'systems' that had very little basis to them at all, and encouraged their teachers to behave as if they knew all about language education, when in fact they knew little or nothing.

This is very true. Stick a gaijin in a suit in front of a group of people who want to do something involving English, who know nothing about what makes a good teacher and teaching method (if they even actually wanted to learn and study in the first place), and get the teacher delivering a very rough and ready version of a communicative teaching method.

Throw in large marketing campaigns, aggressive sales tactics, show yourself to be "all things to all men", e.g.

"You want to learn English? Come and have a lesson with our suited-up, smart, university-educated teacher, using the latest, professionally-produced, up-to-the-minute in-house texts."

"Want to have a fun hobby? Come and laugh at the dancing monkey-in-a-suit for 40 minutes."

"Need group therapy after time out of work or in the nuthouse? Eikaiwa is great for practicing your social skills and giving you meaning and purpose to your life."

Do all of this and, hey presto, you've got a successful eikaiwa on your hands. Who needs education, teaching methods, teaching materials, exams, etc? It doesn't even enter into the equation. In fact, you'd be absolutely mad for wasting your time even thinking about it!

You will note that the only eikaiwa that is still in with a fighting chance of maintaining a viable business is ECC. That is because they put far more into educational development than any of the others and especially made a point of getting results with their kids - using Japanese rather than native speaking teachers for the most part.

I agree with you again. Schools that invest in the educational side, and who treat their staff and customers fairly and with respect, won't grow in such large proportions and make as much money as NOVA for example, but will last the distance better. They'll build up a more loyal customer base who'll stay with them in the long run, and who'll recommend them to other people, because they offer a product with more value and substance to it.

Places like NOVA (as I said in the sarcastic comments in the previous posts) are only in it to make mega-bucks and feed their own greedy desires, in any way necessary, and the only way to do that is to lie, deceive and use whatever tactics you have to to get money off people.

Value and substance are irrelevant - what's most important to them is playing on whatever it is that the customers desire, and getting them to believe the illusion that they're delivering that for them. Yes, they did make a killing off that in the short-term, but ultimately outfits like NOVA get found out and crash and burn.

However, there are still a lot of greedy operators out there who carry on in such reprehensible ways. They can't run for ever though, sooner or later, they'll get their just desserts.

Education doesn't come into eikaiwa, as far as I can see. It's English conversation - that is not education, it's simply talking. If it was about education, then they'd have qualified teachers following some sort of curriculum, there'd be recognised methods being used to teach the skills of learning a language, and the students would be doing homework and studying for recognised exams.

Believe it or not, NOVA did have at least some people with respectable EFL qualifications and backgrounds working on developing their teaching materials and methods - I know at least one ex-NOVA person who went on to write TOEIC textbooks for Oxford University Press, for instance. However, whatever these people were coming up with almost never made it into NOVA classrooms. Any attempts at developing a proper curriculum were hobbled by the system of allowing students to reserve lessons any time they wanted, meaning that there's no possibility of following any kind of structured, coherent course. If there was any encouragement to use recognised methods to teach English they were routinely ignored, and while instructors were supposed to encourage students to study at home they almost never did. I think the reality of the situation was that most instructors, lacking support and monitoring from supervisors who were usually just as inexperienced and clueless as they were, found it easier just to do whatever they liked in lessons, rather than actually try to teach properly. After G.communication took over things only got worse. I agree that there should be a lot more studying and preparation for accredited exams, but I think NOVA's new bosses have decided that it's easier and cheaper just to keep doing things the way NOVA's always done them and wait until Japanese people decide they can afford English lessons again.

I knew one or two people in NOVA management that had some sort of educational credentials. Most of them didn't however. In fact, any goon could get promoted to AT as long as they did OK in their first year and kissed the right ass.

It seems to me that they hired a small handful of people with an educational background in order to create the illusion that it was a serious educational organization. They led these people to believe that NOVA would somehow enhance their educational careers. But it was all done just for show. NOVA would never want more than a few of those sorts of people working for them. It wouldn't make sense as they would have been focussed on education, rather than NOVA's greedy, money-grabbing business strategy. Education is too costly, time-consuming and ultimately irrelevant to NOVA anyway, as the whole purpose of the exercise was to bring in the bucks. Education would never do that.

At the end of the day, these organizations do not understand business or education. They are just scam companies with little regard for education or morales. And most of their staff are equally morally deficient and many completely corrupt. The latter is especially true for the managers, like the Uri Carnat's, Rita Chen's, and Mathew Chisholm's in Canada and the idiots in the Australia who sold out for Mr. K.

The major problem is it is not going to change anytime soon and they are destroying any legitimate business/ school from attracting students over the long term because of how people now view this industry. Sad, really.

People with qualifications and credentials by and large never go near places like Nova and, if they do, it immediately puts a question mark over them. However, a few people due to a combination of the desire to escape and travel - together with a certain naivite did end up working with them. The vast majority, on seeing what Nova was really about, turned their noses up in a big way and got out quick. However, there were a few who decided to stay and play the Nova game. Those who simply stayed, avoided the various catch outs along the way and kept playing to the max made up the qualified (but not on the whole well-experienced) few who worked at Education Planning.

Doing the above took either a huge capacity for self-deception on the part of these people or else great cynicism, but you don't have to look far to see why they did it: EASY MONEY working in a relatively safe environment - where success depended more on you minding your ps and qs than on the substance of your work. In fact, as any work with real substance to it would have been a threat to the Nova business model, any whiff of substance to your work was something of a liability and best avoided with a handy pink colored rabbit shaped bottle of Nova deodorant.

Getting back to Saruhashi, if his argument that he was trying to help the company via embezzlement keeps him out of jail, I'll be disgusted. Saying that he shouldn't go to jail because because he stole money for a good purpose is like me saying that it's ok for me to rob a bank if the money is used to help a sick friend - it's still stealing.

If we was so f*cking noble, he would have used his own money.

I feel pretty safe that he won't get off. At the very least, the guy will probably never work again.

Yes. The fact that this is all he can come up with by way of argument suggests that he has no case and is simply buying time, until he has to go to jail as well as present a mitigating plea that could result in a sentence reduction. I'll be disgusted if there is a sentence reduction, but it might happen.

Believe it or not, NOVA did have at least some people with respectable EFL qualifications and backgrounds working on developing their teaching materials and methods - I know at least one ex-NOVA person who went on to write TOEIC textbooks for Oxford University Press, for instance.

Just some further info for anyone who's interested- this person's name is Grant Trew.

You don't have to look far to see why they did it: EASY MONEY working in a relatively safe environment - where success depended more on you minding your ps and qs than on the substance of your work

That's basically it. The qualified teachers that I knew at NOVA (one manager and a few regular instructors) knew that it was bullshit, but they were milking the "easy" life you had there. They probably weren't earning half what they would have done as high-school teachers, but they earned enough for what they wanted, and not having the heavy workload that you'd get in a real school more than made up for that.

That's basically what NOVA and eikaiwa was for some people - a way of avoiding reality for a few years (or MANY years in some cases), having an "easy" existence and getting paid for it, and staving off the inevitable day when you'd have to give all that up, re-join the real world and do real work. The collapse of NOVA, and latterly GEOS, have pretty much ended those days though.

And here he is:

http://jp.linkedin.com/in/granttrew

17 years at NOVA?!@+&

Good God, I'm surprised anyone would still be able to string a sentence together after that!!

The fact that you use words like “fail” and “turn-around” shows you do not know how Eikaiwa, well, at least the more notorious ones, work, and have no idea of the criminal intent from outset, of their owners.

By the time they fail, they have already been successful – the owners are rich men, for the rest of their lives. They are designed to ultimately fail. The owners end up screaming and shouting, predominantly bullshit, until they are red in the face, in efforts to appear to be attempting to save their ailing company, simply to maintain an image of innocence.

They in fact don’t care.

Their wallets are full, when the bubble bursts, and it is simply a matter of trying to cover things up, so the money laundering process of fees paid in advance, extracted from day one from main company, remains shrouded in secrecy.

The big “failures” in Eikaiwa were still economic miracles for the owners, and they built their businesses, with the full knowledge, implosion would be inevitable, and innocent people would get bruised in that process.

After the implosion, people wonder, how could they be so stupid?

That question is stupid in itself, because the owners always knew D Day was coming. To them, it was just a matter of skimming the cream off, in a hidden fashion, prior to D Day.

Not stupid, but rather, soulless and with criminal tendencies, better describes them.

I wouldn't argue that there are some people like who set up businesses to fail from the outset, but I would dispute that this was the case with Suruhashi. It seems pretty obvious that the reason that he is now in the dock is precisely because he could not bear to lose his empire. Someone of the type you are describing would have been much more adroit in managing their affairs. Frankly, I doubt if he has much money left to show for his years at Nova, and what he does have the friendly Yakusa will be making regular calls on both inside and outside of prison. This guy is really fucked.

Frankly, I doubt if he has much money left to show for his years at Nova, and what he does have the friendly Yakusa will be making regular calls on both inside and outside of prison. This guy is really fucked.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving person. I agree with you about the money, most of whatever he'd stashed away over the years has probably been eaten up by legal fees, and even if his appeal is successful I can't imagine too many people wanting to employ him or do business with him.

He laundered literally millions and millions of dollars. That guy is loaded, to the point of popping. The legal fees mean nothing to him. It is all just a game. A game of maintaining a smoke screen, and a mirage of "poor me, my pockets are empty, and I did my best to save the company", and a game of trying to stay out of jail, and get away with keeping the loot. The only thing he will miss, is the easier access he had to casual sex, in his grand office, with his numerous long-legged personal assistants.

Sure he might have a couple of hundred million yen squared away. However, a great deal of his assets were tied up in Nova shares. What weren't could well have been hit badly by the 2008 crash. If Suruhashi managed his money the way he managed Nova, there may not be that much left.

I wonder if it's more than a coincidence that the trustees contacted NOVA branches about employees getting another round of reimbursements around the same time that Saruhashi is supposed to get sentenced.

while instructors were supposed to encourage students to study at home they almost never did.

Do you mean the instructors didn't encourage students? or the students didn't study at home? Personally, I think both.

Saying that he shouldn't go to jail because because he stole money for a good purpose is like me saying that it's ok for me to rob a bank if the money is used to help a sick friend - it's still stealing.

Too true.

17 years at NOVA?!@+&

Good God, I'm surprised anyone would still be able to string a sentence together after that!!

That's a good one, and also so true. Probably most of those years were during the bubble when free lessons and overtime were being handed out to teachers more than tissues were being handed out to people on the street. When the economy started to tighten up, Nova responded by tightening up things more with teachers and staff. Instructors who worked at Nova near the end of the bubble and the beginning of the "slow" economy would have seen these changes and started looking for other work.

I wonder if it's more than a coincidence that the trustees contacted NOVA branches about employees getting another round of reimbursements around the same time that Saruhashi is supposed to get sentenced.

I haven't heard anything from them.... One would think they would update the old Nova website, but last time I checked there was no new information.

I, sadly, was one of those people whom you mentioned in the first sentence. I wanted to return to Japan not as a traveler, but I didn't do a lot of research about teaching at eikaiwa. To add insult to injury, I was there in Japan when NOVA went under.

I am now using my language teaching credentials and experience in my home country to my advantage (not full-time, but still put to very good use). In retrospect, I did notice a few good things about NOVA's pedagogical methods. But, taking into account my overall language teaching experience, the best ways to teach English (or any other language) at a conversational level lie way beyond the scope of NOVA's teaching/learning structure.

Tim, is that you? You little cunt?

If you take from Nova's 'pedagogical' methods anything that wasn't bastardised from somewhere else, what is there left that is good: free booking system? multiple teachers? Student files? Week of the year Kids system? Frankly, the term pedagogy doesn't even apply to Nova.

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