On Losing my Japan Twitter Account…

My Twitter is gone…

Well, my main account is…

Sad and frustrating, but I am trying to make the best of things.

Rewind….2006….I became a YouTuber. I was an early adopter. I joined the platform while living in South Korea, hence the handle, BusanKevin. Those were in the days before monetization. No one made money. We posted content cause it was simply fun.

Fast forward to 2010. I was in Tokyo for Tokyo Marathon 2010 weekend. I was to run the full marathon on Sunday. I was invited to visit the Google HQ in Tokyo on the marathon weekend on Saturday.

I went there because I was a newly invited member of the YouTube Partnership Program. We select few were chosen by YouTube Japan to experiment with advertisements beside our videos and given the chance to make some money.

We had a workshop about best practices and I remember being seated beside Hikosaemon. He is a well-respected (and rightfully so) Japan-YouTuber. He was busy during the workshop plunking away on Twitter. I asked him about it and he explained why it was so awesome for content creators to use and spread the word of their videos and build their brand.

Soon after that, I started my @jlandkev account.

In 2011 during the big tsunami in Japan, Twitter was an essential form of communication for me and many others in Japan.

After that, @jlandkev became a news feed of all things Japan. My Japan photos, YouTube content, photos and sharing other Japan content creators. It was my JAPAN TWITTER FEED!

Fast forward to 2017. I decide to move to Beijing, China with my family for a very good career opportunity.

When in China, if you want to access most of the Internet and use an app like Twitter you need to mask your location. You need to use VPN software.

With a good VPN like Express of Vyper you can (with some hassle) use Twitter.

There is a problem though. You quickly learn that a VPN location like Japan that works well at one moment might soon stop working so you need to jump to London, then Los Angeles, then Toronto.

Twitter bots and algorithms start seeing your account being used in many countries and assume it has been hacked and for your safety lock it down.

We all have recovery email addresses in case of this. We can then simply change our passwords, get back on our Twitter horse and start riding again.

We also have recovery phone numbers that an SMS recovery code can be sent to in order to unlock your account.

Here is my problem….

I am an idiot!

This has happened many times to me in the past and I always had the option to sort thing out using my recovery email.

This time, however, that wasn’t an option. My only option was to use my recovery phone number.


I didn’t update my recovery number after I left Japan.

I never set my China phone number ( I have for my second account).

Last week I was locked out (thanks to @BeingKansai for noticing). The only recovery option was my old Japan phone number, which I no longer have! What could I do?

I tried a few times to use an email address, but Twitter won’t let me do it.

More than a week now and “No Dice!”

I have contacted Twitter support a few times, but no response.





I give up….


I will now focus on using my secondary account. I suppose @madformaple is now my primary account.

In the past year, I used it exclusively to showcase my teaching and professional work.

Now @madformaple will showcase not only my professional work but my blogging, Just Japan Podcast, food, nature/wildlife photos as well as Japanese news and fun stuff!

@madformaple is now my only Twitter platform, but with 1/10 of the following, I used to have.


Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I need to build an audience here! If you don’t already follow me there…ya better do it!




P.S. Everyone…..make sure you have an up-to-date recovery phone number and email address on your Twitter account!



The writer:

Kevin O’Shea is the host of the Just Japan Podcast. He is also the guy behind JustJapanStuff.com. Kevin is a Canadian educator who lives in Beijing, China with his family. Kevin called Kobe, Japan home for 10 years. 

Follow him on Twitter: @madformaple

Instagram: @jlandkev

Facebook: Facebook.com/justjapanstuff

Email: justjapanpodcast@gmail.com