Japanese companies tend to frown on workers having a side job, but this time there’s something to smile about.

Japan has loved moon-viewing for a long time, as you can tell from the country’s centuries-old castles and temples with moon-viewing pavilions on their grounds, as well as its fast food restaurants’ annual moon-viewing burgers. Something Japan is traditionally quite a bit less fond of, though, is moonlighting.

That’s not just in the sense of non-competition clauses to safeguard against an employee selling their services to a rival organization within the same industry. It’s not unusual for Japanese companies to prohibit employees from engaging in any and all second-job activities, and even when that’s not a formal, explicit part of their work contract, it’s often frowned upon.

So when Japanese Twitter user Izuka Iwatsuka (@iwatuka1) was simultaneously working an office job and trying to become a light novel author, the aspiring writer couldn’t help but feel some apprehension, even after Iwatsuka’s debut novel, Saihate no Mahotsukai (“The Distant Witch”), was given an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 10th annual GA Bunko Awards from Japanese publishing company SB Creative. Yes, winning the award was nice, but on a workday shortly thereafter Iwatsuka was suddenly told that the company president wanted to see the moonlighter in his office.

Fighting back tears of nervousness, Iwatsuka stepped into the boss’ office, and it turned out the boss had indeed found out about Saihate no Mahotsukai and had something to say, which was:

“I bought 20 copies of your book. Please sign them for me.”

Rather than getting chewed out and forced to choose between one line of work or the other, the boss was so happy with the situation that he’d purchased multiple copies of the book and was hoping for autographs too.

It’s a heartwarming story, and while it’s unclear whether or not Iwatsuka still has that day job, the light novel writing seems to be going well, with a second volume of Saihate no Mahotsukai now having been released plus a separate novel from Iwatsuka, Zutto Tomodachi de Ite Ne to Itteita Onna Tomodachi ga Tomodachi Janaku Naru Made (“Until I Stop Being Friends with My Female Friend Who Said ‘Let’s Stay Friends Forever’”) also on sale.

▼ Promotional video for Zutto Tomodachi de Ite Ne to Itteita Onna Tomodachi ga Tomodachi Janaku Naru Made, which has a moderate-length title for a light novel

No word on whether the boss has already asked Iwatsuka to sign his copies of those too.

Source: Twitter/@iwatuka1 via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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