Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dating in Japan: Reactions

Notice: While I am dealing with the whole moving process, I will be bringing back a few of my most popular posts for an airing. Once things have settled down a bit more, I will be back to regular posting.

One of the unexpected parts of dating Japanese guys is the reaction one gets from women. I am well-aware that the Asian Male/Non-Asian Female couple is still considered a bit of a minority in the relationship arena, so knew that people might be a bit surprised. However I did not expect to hear from my Japanese female friends:

'Why would you date them?! Japanese guys aren't nice!'

Really? In all the countries I have lived in and visited, I have never experienced such widespread disparagement about the local males (except perhaps Italy).

I find this very odd because, unless for some reason I am only aquainted the best of the bunch, I have found most of my male aquaintances here to be perfectly nice, likeable people. Infact, comparing with my home country, I would say there is a higher rate of respectful men here.

Perhaps this is because I don't play into the roles so many women think they need to take on to have a relationship. While for the first couple dates I may be a bit more demure (Rule #1: It is impolite to broadcast your personal craziness indiscriminately), that soon fades away, and the full force of my personality is apparent. Take it or leave it, honey.

As I see it, if you act like a burikko, you are going to attract people who are into being the powerful one in a relationship. If you give your power away so freely, you have a much higher chance of ending up with a nasty boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever.

I am opinionated, silly and outspoken. I demand respect, and will immediately take someone to task if they say something I do/say/believe is because I am female/gaijin(hate that word)/whatever. I pay my part of the bill, and do not expect to be treated differently. And, lo and behold, guys don't flee from me... quite the opposite. I stick to the idea that people are people, wherever you go.

Other positive and negative reactions I have experienced so far and their common perpetrators (sheesh, this is starting to sound like some kind of primer!) are:

- Being photographed without you or your partner's consent, usually by elderly Japanese men with overly large cameras
- Being asked about 'size', interestingly from both Asian and non-Asian men (sorry, I have not conducted a full demographic study on the matter, nor do I intend to)
- Joy on the part of cafe owners ( 'Ya'll look so stylish, please sit near the window'!)
- Giggling high schoolers of both genders (minds=blown)
- Reaaally annoying the Nationalist guys in the nasty black trucks, especially when you start giggling at their ridiculous proclamations (Note: this is also a solo sport)
- Being told 'your children will be sooo cute' by women of all ages (eeesh...any 'children' I have will be furry, four-footed, and infinitely more adorable than a human child)

As with all dating, at times amusing, at times exasperating. All I can say is that, personally, so far there have been a lot of fun, respectful times!


  1. I didn't get so much attention when I was dating, but now I'm married, I often get - "what? your husband is Japanese????" from Japanese women - it's somehow unbelievable that I would be living here long term with A JAPANESE man! In Kyoto, shopkeeper said "you married a Japanese guy? Why? what a waste!" and last week in a small town, we were chatting to an old guy who said "thank you" to me, in the sense of "thank you for marrying one of my poor countrymen." Given that the foreign population is, what - 2 or 3%? It would be more unusual if you were dating an American or an Italian.

    1. Indeed!
      Being thanked is a new one to me!

  2. Don't get me started on this topic - I'll never stop - but I'll do my best to restrict myself to two comments.

    1) Japanese men = the best-kept secret in the world.
    2) A woman's ability to attract an interesting* man has nothing to do with his nationality and everything to do with her personality.

    * I didn't say wealthy. I didn’t say handsome. I said interesting.


    1. Could not agree with you more on both points. Especially n.1. Let's do our best to not let the secret out (^ ^)

  3. My experience is similar to yours, with the added STARING STARING STARING from people. Not malicious staring, just curious staring, and it goes up when my bf is speaking English. I don't think we've had too much picture-taking either, but it could be it's happened and I just haven't seen it.

    I haven't gotten the "Japanese men suck" line so much, either. But a lot of my female friends, good-looking and interesting people, have confessed they've never had a boyfriend.

    1. I was going to mention staring, but since that happens anyway I thought it might be redundant (^_−)−☆

  4. I have been met with a fair amount of surprise when I say my boyfriend is Japanese. After the initial surprise older Japanese ladies in particular will thank me (as if I've started dating their son the 40 year-old virigin who cannot even speak to a girl let alone ask one out).

    I can't speak about the majority of Japanese men out there, but I certainly found one who is kinder andorra thoughtful than any of the mon-Japanese guys I had dated before! (sorry to be all mushy!) ;)

    1. Again, cannot agree more (^ ^) and mushiness is all fine by me, hehe

  5. Just from a guy's perspective, I had plenty of male J friends over there who would have been great boyfriends/husbands. By the same token, though, I was friends with some who while they were cool guys, I didn't envy any women they were going to date because of their old-fashioned way of thinking and preconceived notions of how relationships are supposed to work (aka the woman does all the housework, it's acceptable and indeed standard for the man to go to work early in the morning and not come home until 10 or later, etc). As someone said, it depends on the guy, not the nationality. However I've found that in a lot of cases, Japanese people (especially guys) seem to have somewhat of an inferiority complex when it comes to foreigners. That's how I would explain the thanks you get for dating a J man.

    1. Yes, the inferiority complex is rather weird... but seems to be mostly on the part of the older generations, thank god.

      As for the 'old-fashioned' guys, again, I have found that if you make it perfectly clear that you are not going to tolerate that kind of behaviour, they stop (not always, but very often).

  6. Thanks for posting this as usual. :)

    A lot of people could complain about English men being too 'blokish' but it just depends on who you date, I guess. I haven't dated any Japanese men, but I know plenty of really nice eastern Asian men and I haven't run into any problems (except them asking me when I'll have kids -- ugh! I'm only having furry, four legged children too).

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