I’ve previously written about dating in Japan and interviewed a few of my female fellow bloggers about dating Japanese men.
They were mainly concerned about how to approach a Japanese woman and cross-cultural differences that could be an issue.
I want to thank all the great people who agreed to collaborate and share their story with all of us!
Chauvinism and misogyny are male attributes that are present all over the world, and Japan is no exception.
I also wanted to know if Coolio sees any cultural differences that could cause trouble in a relationship.
Has anybody else seen the super gorgeous Japanese woman with the super-nerdy boyfriend or husband? For example, if you’re a foreigner who plays in a band here in Japan, it’s like an instant hook! During that initial, sparkly, new relationship phase not knowing Japanese can be an interesting way to learn together and grow your relationship in the process. Matthias is a fellow German who is married to a Japanese woman and has his own little German-Japanese family now.
Putting aside simple things such as her being shocked when he sticks his chopsticks into a bowl of rice, I think the main issues lie in the different sense of humor, but also in different expectations. Thanks to all these wonderful men who agreed to share their story with us, I think we all got a pretty good picture of what it is really like to date Japanese women in Japan.
It’s interesting to see that foreign men and women seem to experience similar issues in their cross-cultural relationships.
I wonder if it’s eventually more difficult for a foreign women to adapt to a cross-cultural relationship with a Japanese guy, when living in Japan. I feel like anyone, regardless of gender, who is mainly looking at the race of their prospective partner, is not looking for the right things and would not be a good person to date.
And I really disagree with Loco’s statement about Japan being a hard place to approach women. You probably know that my experience is completely different from yours as we’ve previously talked about it. In my 6+ years here in Japan I’ve never had any problems with being approached like that or being groped.
Zooming: Perhaps next you could interview japanese people what they are thinking about the subject? I think that’s a huge issue, not only when you try to find a partner, but also a true friend here in Japan. It shouldn’t matter where someone is from, but who that person really is and how well you can connect with that person. It was quite the whirlwind, but it was something we both as people committed wholeheartedly to.
In my experience, most relationships around me (though I live in the countryside) trend toward traditional gender roles. Japanese girl-group "Idol" culture is predicated on the notion that the pop stars are pure and divine. Their girls are allowed to have "one-sided romantic feelings" towards a boy but they can never progress beyond that crush. In June, AKB48's Rino Sashihara apologized in a since-deleted YouTube video for a magazine article that said she'd had a year-long relationship with a man. Of course, the reality of the situation makes the fantastical line of thinking rather outlandish. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Miichan—the adoring nickname they use for her—"could have been innocently enjoying talk over a cup of coffee with a male friend [with] whom she isn't romantically involved," which is a nice thought, but rather implausible.
Many seemed to be interested in cultural differences and resulting problems in the relationship between a foreign woman and a Japanese man. Instead I asked friends and fellow bloggers, who have had Japanese boyfriends or are even married to a Japanese man, to share their personal experience with us.
It was an interesting journey and I want to thank all of the participants for taking the time to tell us about their own unique story. I wonder if that’s generally one thing that might prevent Japanese men from dating a Western girl. In the previous article we were already discussing the language issue that cross-cultural couples might have. When I started dating my husband, I didn’t really feel that we had any cultural barriers.
The language barrier seems to be a real issue even when you try hard to understand each other. Just like River, Alyse also notices cultural differences when it comes to responsibilities in the household. I think we all gained very interesting insights thanks to these young women who were willing to share their unique stories and experiences with us. While there’s no doubt that each relationship is different, a few things were mentioned again and again. I know there are a lot of young women out there who are either interested in dating Japanese men or who are already in a relationship. I bet it’s not easy, but if he is the one, then I think it’s worth fighting for! Yes, being shy is a big problem, but more for the combination Japanese guy + Western girl, I guess!
Glad to hear you enjoyed the post and thanks again for taking the time to share your own story with us! Some mentioned that Japanese men are slow to respond or often don’t mail as often as they expected them to, so maybe it’s just very common? About your problem, I have heard that there are types in Japan (which may I say the majime type) who did approach you if he really like you, and after you two are one, then he will like ignore you or be passive towards you.
So the point is, if you really love him (no blind love,consider the future with him, the culture differ, etc.) then go for it! Jasmine’s blog “Zooming Japan” has been a great inspiration to me, so I’d like to share some of the best stories with you guys! Their conversation turned into something completely different: a strategic meeting to work out how to meet that guy. When I asked her if there was any cultural miscommunication in their relationship, Kala said her husband doesn’t always express his thoughts verbally.
It’s not uncommon for Japanese men to not express themselves verbally in order to avoid conflict.
Being familiar with Japanese culture, Lily knew exactly what this was: kokuhaku, or the confession of love.
After a while, they decided to have a holiday in the States because he was living and working there. While I don’t attribute this tendency entirely to the culture, this is one of the recurring themes of dating in Japan. He spoke some English because he had learnt it from his American friends who were in the forces.
I have the impression that he might be someone who has trouble fitting in with Japanese society. Apart from the wedding incident, Lynette doesn’t feel that there’s a huge cultural barrier. I have chosen these stories because I think they illustrate some interesting aspects of Japanese culture.

A lot of western women comment that Japanese guys don’t express their emotions, especially negative emotions that could possibly lead to a conflict.
There are many non-verbal signs of discontent: tone of voice, passive-aggressive behaviour, silence, hesitation, incomplete sentences, sudden disengagement, unenthusiastic affirmation, etc. Nonetheless, I don’t think understanding Japanese men is that difficult once you are used to reading their language.If you are in doubt, I think it helps to verbalize his emotion. The trick is that you are not forcing him to express himself, but you are giving him a chance to chime in if he has something to say.
In the examples of Kala, Lily and Michelle, the women were the ones who took the initiative in the beginning.
I think that is part of the reason that neither Lily nor Michelle think that dating in Japan is difficult.
I’ve met many women who don’t like making the first move, and if they like men who are more forward, I can understand that. Lynette was upset when her Korean-Japanese boyfriend didn’t invite her to his friend’s wedding.
On average, kokuhaku seems to happen on the third date, although this hugely depends on the person. I always find these kinds of articles interesting because I have dated a few Japanese boys, and each one has been a very different experience.
I also think it’s important that foreign girls who want to date Japanese men please forget about this myth it will be difficult for you.
I can see that the way average Japanese men treat you might be different from the way the average American men treat you. If I can give you one tip, try to be ultra-specific when you tell him about how you want him to treat you.
I have the impression that the more gender equal the country is, the more comfortable women are with approaching men. And… Sorry if this is silly question, how can I meet a Japanese guy when my area don’t have anyone yet?
As far as I know there are a lot of couples where the man is Japanese and the woman is Asian.
In August 2013 Ben participated in the popular Japanese TV show Motemote 99 where he met a wonderful Japanese women. In Japan, women and men tend to socialize separately, so unless you find someone at work (which has its own issues), you’re limited in the ways you might meet a potential date. It takes a certain amount of commitment to start dating when everyone will know about it in a few days. And often, at least according to my Japanese male friends, those stereotypes involve aggressive attitudes, impatience, sexual promiscuity, and resistance to compliance.
The society dictates what is acceptable, tolerable, attractive and even what will bring a man the prestige among his peers he might desire, and in most cases the women they choose either fulfill these needs or are expected to conform to them somehow.
I started to improve my Japanese so I could communicate better, and it still wasn’t working. If you can spark an interest or really engage a woman, you have a chance for a date whether she is Japanese, American, British or Martian. I know some couples who get along very well without actually understanding each other’s language. A nice example for this is childcare – Japanese and Western fostering are quite different, and this confuses a lot of Western men.
And it seems to be much easier for foreign guys to find a Japanese partner than it is for foreign women, mainly due to expectations and stereotypes that strongly exist within the Japanese society. I’ve dated both men and women in Japan, and the men turned out to be cheaters and liars who never seriously considered me as a prospect, and the women far too brazen for me. And in certain spots with host bars in Osaka and Tokyo, hosts tried to persuade me to come to their bar (but that is their job).
You’re simply a great accessory that makes any Japanese person next to you stick out of the crowd. Probably more challenging because I barely know any Japanese bloggers, but I’ll work on it.
I just fear that it will be extremely difficult to find people to interview who have no problem talking about their experience so openly. I don’t doubt that it might happen, but as we all know changes in Japan can always take a looong time. Should they, it would insinuate to their legions of male fans that they're now off-limits and no longer worthy of the fan's adoration and fantasy.
Two years ago, singer Akimoto Sayaka was discovered to have been spending private time with a dance instructor nearly twice her age. A quick search for Minegishi's name on Tumblr shows that singer has still got support en masse.
I guess because by then I’d been in Japan long enough that I knew my way around and I had lived with two Japanese host families, so I have a good sense of Japanese manners and customs. At the first meeting we exchanged mail addresses, met up a few times after that and at some point it just happened. Of course there are some specific cultural traits that differ, but overall, I’d say finding a Japanese boyfriend is the same as finding any boyfriend.
If you can speak Japanese, you have better chances to meet them as it’s easier to have a conversation and flirt when you share a language. But if somebody is naturally shy when it comes to these kind of things, they can’t just change that easily, I guess.
Western women are put on a pedestral sometimes, and Japanese men don't think they would ever have a chance. We flirted pretty heavily with each other, but he was the one to tell me up front that he liked me and wanted me to be his girlfriend. When she suggests something, he often says ‘sss’ to show his discontent without talking about it. Even though the initial excitement of dating seems to have faded away, they manage to keep the fire alive. But here’s something to consider: even when people look like they don’t care about anything, there are often a few things they truly care about.
When I asked her about the secret of attracting Japanese men, she said, ‘You just go for it.
When a Japanese man confesses his love, it usually means that he is asking you to be his girlfriend.
Every morning, she had to send him a ‘good morning’ message, and a ‘good night’ message before going to bed. According to him, he was angry because she hadn’t texted him after she had gone back to the hotel the previous night. It was Tatsuya’s American friend who talked to her first, and then he introduced her to Tatsuya. Michelle was a bit sad because he seemed interested only in American culture and didn’t care much about Finland. I would extrapolate that his intense interest in the US came from his desire to escape from reality. The problem is that when the implicit messages are not understood, men can be more non-verbally aggressive, which can cause more misunderstandings.
I have the impression that many Asian men believe that white women are not interested in them. What she didn’t know was that not bringing your date to a wedding is completely normal in Japan.

Also, as they get older, people seem to do less kokuhaku, but there are always people who appreciate the practice. All you have to do is say, ‘I like you; would you be my boyfriend (or girlfriend)?’ If the other person says yes, you are officially a couple. My current boyfriend and I have been together for over a year, and my experience with him isn’t at all like others before. I know many mixed couples of foreign women and Japanese men, it is really about being open minded.
Several people told me that sharing information with friends who are in similar situations helped a lot. I’m always looking for advice on dating Japanese men, and I love how you included a variety of women and many different situations in this article. I think that the wedding situation has more to do with the general cultural attitude towards couples. I actually heard about your book, and I think I’m going to buy it before my trip to Japan next month. I found it hard to make anything more than superficial connections or move past friendship.
I had friends who spoke even less Japanese than I did, and they always had a hot Japanese date on their arm. I think the difference is that you don’t necessarily have to work as hard in Japan to create that spark.
I’d imagine though, that there are certain things that impress Japanese women but not non-Asian women and vice versa. This is not to sound offensive, but it’s kind of true?at times their gaijin boyfriend is even less than average, just getting an ego I suppose. It will certainly be interesting to see where this is going in the next few decades, though.
We only spoke in Japanese with each other for a short time before he started to learn English, so he could communicate with me better. There had been two relationships that lasted for a while – with a Japanese guy and with a Korean guy.
He always tells other people he is shy, but he’s actually super friendly and easy to talk to, which made our dating period go smoothly I think. If you really love him, you are the one who need to be proactive and show your affection towards him. First he just keep looking at me, even in the meeting, his eyes is just on me but he did not made any move. Don’t be too sesitive and selfconcious, just be who you are, try to understand him, communication is the point. One day, she was practising speaking Japanese with her study group when she saw a guy with an awesome hairstyle.
He had been a host and had a lot of money, but he treated her as if she were his possession. They would usually see whatever Sabina wanted to see, but that time she had chosen an action film that he liked. I am not a big fan of expressing negative emotions either, although I try to be open about them when it’s necessary.
This is sad, but when women show their interest, it can overcome Asian men’s fear of rejection. In fact, not introducing your partner to your friends and family is also common when you are not engaged.
If you think your Japanese boyfriend is not acting the way you think a boyfriend is supposed to act, I suggest you ask him about it. He has never been to America, but he has an independent attitude and is open about his opinions. He was kind , helpful, very dedicated to helping family, hard working, his parents have stayed together. And while some of those same stereotypes apply to NJ men, the Japanese women who are attracted to NJ men are generally (in my experience) attracted to and are frankly expecting those qualities from NJ men (and may or may not be receptive if they’re not present). The decision to step outside of the expectations of one’s society has ramifications that are far-reaching, and can potentially impact every facet of their lives, be it family, career, even friendships.
When you disagree, and you eventually will, being able to speak your mind in Japanese is truly important.
Keep in mind that I don’t go to clubs or parties where this might be more likely to happen. That being said, even a beautiful and smart girl like you fell for them, so you never are 100% safe, I guess.
I realised I was never going to want to marry him (not because he was Japanese, but just because he wasn’t the one), and so we had to break up.
Any communication problems really don’t phase me because I think we care enough about each other to talk things out and try to understand each other! I remember watching a Japanese dorama- Seiji no mikata- and the mother in law used to come at the newly weds’ house- when they were at work- only to check out how the daughter in law was doing the household.
There was another Japanese guy who had approached her in a club, and she had been thinking about him a lot. In 2001 before 9-11, I lived in Manhattan and was in college finishing up my degree when by accident I met a Japanese girl in a restaurant.
When she broke up with the host guy, she called the new guy and started going out with him. That was when she learnt about zainich Korean, who have permanent legal status in Japan while maintaining their Korean identity. Of course, you don’t have to do everything the Japanese way, but understanding the Japanese way helps. I even noticed loving looks on his face full of respect and pride like you mentioned in your article.
30,000yen (or 50,000 if you’re a couple) is not an amount I want to have to shell out too many times in a year.
It definitely made things easier knowing they were interested in me, yet there were distractions as well. We had one date, that was on a Thursday, that Tuesday, the planes hit the World Trade Center. I met his parents pretty early on too, and even though they’re much older and seem pretty conservative, we get along fine. At first, I thought it would be boring to have a Japanese boyfriend because they have this poker face on them. And I really thought it would be tiring to date a Japanese guy because I have to constantly guessing what is he thinking about.
The proposal, the meeting of her family and the obstacles we overcame with language and culture only became minute because of our undying love for one another. But as soon as you get into more intimate relationship with Japanese boyfriend, you’ll understand their way of thinking and acting.
According to your article, you said that Japanese guy won’t introduce his girlfriend to family if they are not engage. Well,my boyfriend has introduced me to his family, so I suppose he’s about to propose me, am I right?

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