or inter-cultural relationships are not easy.
In fact, no relationships are easy.
Despite marrying one of their kind in the United States, one out of
two marriages fail. Western
Europe too is suffering from a steep drop in number of
marriages. Many other countries are experiencing delayed
We often hear of relationships gone sour with Japanese women (we
rarely hear of relationships gone bad with Japanese
men, which we
attribute to the relatively small number of such relationships).
women that end up having relationships with foreign men do so for a
variety of reasons. First and
foremost, they do it to satisfy their curiosity.
In a homogeneous country like Japan, you can practically predict
everything about a relationship with a regular Japanese
Considering the fact that the Japanese consume a large amount of
non-Japanese entertainment, their curiosity is piqued by foreign men.
So the adventurous women simply want to find out if the reality is
similar to the movies and the books.
For them, it is no different than a trip to Disney
Since their expectations are akin to a
vacation trip (you check in,
have a good time, check out, and then think about it as a
while planning the next one), they end up hurting some of the men who
actually become serious about it. Most men, who write to us, simply cannot believe that a
woman, after spending some really intimate moments, will simply move on as
if nothing happened.
second group of women consists of those women who have had unpleasant
experiences with Japanese men and simply want to explore if they have
other options. While these
women are far more committed to a long-term relationship, they also expect
foreign men to be total opposites of Japanese men.
Now while Japanese men have some subtle differences with other men,
these differences are minor. That
is when frustration sets in. While
Japanese men are perceived as macho by Japanese women, rest of the men are
macho too to varying degrees. Not
all foreign men are Casanovas in bed as some women expect them.
third group of women is the smallest – women who do not have any
specific plans but just run into someone who happens to be non-Japanese.
Generally, these are the relationships that succeed at higher rates
since there is less baggage
relationship with someone from such a different culture as Japan gets
further complicated by the language and cultural
differences. A language is not just a means to communicate your thoughts
– speaking the same language allows you to take a peek into someone’s
soul. In an increasingly
global world, as long as someone can speak some
English, we wrongfully
assume that we have been able to reach the innermost corner of someone’s
heart, which does not happen most of the time, and even less so in case of
Japanese. Japanese language is not very communicative – a kanji can
have multiple meanings and can mean different things in different
contexts. Thus, words have
relatively less importance in communication among Japanese people.
It is no wonder that decisions take forever in Japan – Japanese
language does not have the capability to explain in black and white what
people really feel. Thus,
sitting face to face in a meeting and following it with more casual
conversation in informal settings allows everyone to fully appreciate how
everyone on the team feels. Once
the feelings are understood, decision is easy.
A lot of foreigners who want to
do business with the Japanese or
have romance with a Japanese forget this and end up with frustrating
experiences. Except for those
Japanese that are second or third-generation residents in a foreign
country, most Japanese still ‘think’ in Japanese when they speak
someone wants to be truly successful in romance with a Japanese, learning
the language is absolutely critical.
And it is not just memorizing 2,000 kanjis – a person has
to actually get to the cultural context of language as well.
This will go a long way in helping them better appreciate how the
Japanese mind thinks. No
relationship will be truly meaningful if you cannot take a peek inside
your partner’s soul.
Continued on next page:
of interracial dating
Interracial marriages Find
common ground to make a relationship work
to make interracial relationships work? Interracial
couples and their challenges Experiences
with Japanese women
interracial relationships work? Loving
relationship of an interracial (American-Korean) couple
Romance Guide for Japan Japanese
girlfriend at American university campus
approach to dating Asians Move
to Japan Secrets
of Japanese women How
to get a Japanese girlfriend?
Kemp's views on romance Seduction
of Japanese women Japanese
night stand with a Japanese woman Romance
gone wrong with a Japanese African
American men and Japanese women
a Japanese woman dumps you
up Japanese style Women
dating Asian men
Latino Japanese relationship
with Japanese women
relationship with a Japanese Challenges
of relationships with Japanese
Japanese man finds relationship with an American woman
How to introduce my Japanese boyfriend to my parents