Interview with Nydes Ishiwatari, physiotherapist in Japan
Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m a Romanian citizen, 37 years old, with international Physical Therapy (PT) experience with a passion for practice since I got my “Bachelor Degree" in 2004. Since then, I have been fully involved in pediatric rehabilitation in Romania, the U.K. and Japan.
Why did you come to Japan and how long have you been living there?
I married a Japanese woman about one year ago and since then I have been living in Japan. But between 2009 and today, I have been living in this country for almost 3 years because I came to visit many times. My interest in Japan is connected to the martial arts (Karate, Aikido, Judo), which I have been practicing since I was a kid. As I grew up, I got more and more interested in the Japanese culture and so I visited the country many times. I am now married to a Japanese woman and still practicing martial arts at the Japanese Dojo here in Tokyo.
What is your favorite spot in Tokyo?
My favorite place in Tokyo is everything related to the Japanese culture. For example, I love walking in the Shinjuku Gyoen park and eat my favorite sushi in Shibuya.
What are the specificities of your profession in Japan and what are the differences with other countries?
When you have a private business like I do, you have to deal with the parents at the first line. Most of the time, they trust my rehabilitation plan. I suggest new techniques associated with the regulation of the emotions which motivate the parents to be an active part in the therapy to support their child. At the end, the winner will be their child with improved motor and communication skills with the therapist and the parents.
Also in my home country, I don’t have barrier because my University (Babes Bolyai University) provides the best education in this field and so it is very well known in Romania while here in Japan it is not.
Another difficulty for me here is the language barrier. The number of English speaking clients is limited. While my speciality in PT is children with delay motor and severe diseases, I am not ready for Japanese children because my Japanese language skills are still pretty basic. But when I will improve my Japanese language up to N3, it will open many doors for me and I will be able to work with Japanese children also.
What makes you different from another physiotherapist?
My experience with different and international patients! Most of them and their parents say that I have high communication skills and an ease to work with children. It is clear that they are some skills that you will not learn at school or at the University. And for me it is very natural, so it’s a plus in my profession. I love my job, I love to help people and especially the children to give them a chance to be independent in the future for them and for their family. Not all Physiotherapists are at ease to work with children, some find it more stressful, but I do not. And I am happy to work with both, children and adults. However I have to say that children are my favorites because it is very important to support them to grow and become our future generation.