Life in Japan

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Dating Japanese Men

After publishing the article “The Truth About Dating In Japan As A Foreigner” a lot of female readers asked me what it’s like to date a Japanese guy.

Many seemed to be interested in cultural differences and resulting problems in the relationship between a foreign woman and a Japanese man.

Although I’ve been in Japan for 6 years now, I totally lack that kind of experience. smilie

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. smilie

 

Name: Zia
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Age: 24

First, let’s hear what Zia has to say. She’ been in Japan for many years and had to go through a lot during her time here already:

I moved to Japan when I was 18 and have been dating Asian guys ever since. I’ve never dated Western guys, though. I often hear girls who long for Asian boyfriends say that Western guys are dogs, and I can confidently say that Asian men are no different. Just like with any place you go, you have your good guys and your bad guys.”

Dating Japanese MenZia, I think we can all agree with that! smilie

“During my first couple of years here, I encountered a lot of guys whose interest in me came purely from the fact that I was foreign. They wanted to know all about Puerto Rico and always brought up the fact that one day, I’d return to my own country.”

I wonder if that’s generally one thing that might prevent Japanese men from dating a Western girl. They’re afraid that one day she might leave Japan again? Hm.

“Now that I’m older, I still come across a lot of men who seem interested in dating a foreigner for language reasons. These are the types of guys I feel we foreign girls encounter most. Amongst them, the good guys are hidden!”

I think that’s generally a big problem – not only when trying to find an “honest” relationship, but also true friends. I’ve heard from many people that they were just “used” as an opportunity to get free English lessons (or whatever their native language was). I bet it’s difficult to filter the ones who are truly interested.

Not only that, but also stereotypes seem to be an issue:

“There are a lot of stereotypes and some girls use them for their own personal gain. Those that stand true to who they are seem to be the ones who find solid relationships. In my case, for instance, men are quick to bring up the topic of bikinis and love hotels the minute I mention I’m Latina. They expect me to put out whenever we’d go out. For a long while, after the loss of someone I planned on spending my entire life with, I gave in to that stereotype and was unable to get involved in a serious relationship.”

Zia is pointing out a few problems in her current relationship due to cultural differences:

“Now, I’m in a happy relationship with an older man who doesn’t speak a lick of English or Spanish, which is my main language. We come across a lot of problems. For one, I’m very passionate in my way of moving and speaking, and I sometimes forget to respect personal space. I’m not at all intimidated by physical contact. He’s the opposite. What we consider common sense is very different.”

 

 

Name: Jen
Nationality: British
Age: 27

Jen has dated a couple of Japanese guys and is now married to one. She has experienced issues in her relationship because of cultural differences:

“When I first started dating my husband he was embarrassed to hold hands with me in public. This applied more in Japan than when we were in England, although now he seems completely okay with it. In general, Japanese men are likely to be embarrassed about showing affection in public – even things like putting an arm around someone’s shoulders, or hugging, never mind kissing. Very touchy feely Japanese couples are definitely NOT the norm.”

As another big problem Jen states:

Long working hours and overtime are common here in Japan. My first Japanese boyfriend would go for weeks without contacting me because he was working late every day. Also, a general lack of e-mailing, phone calls etc. seems to be normal. Although I don’t think that this just applies to Japanese men!”

In the previous article we were already discussing the language issue that cross-cultural couples might have. Jen says:

“If you can both speak the other person’s language, there are probably going to be disagreements about what language to speak. My husband and I have a system where we swap languages every day – so today is an English day, and tomorrow is Japanese. At first, we went through periods where we would only speak English (which I didn’t like) or when we would only speak Japanese (which he didn’t like). Obviously we change it according to the circumstances (we are not going to speak in English to each other when out with a lot of Japanese friends!), but this system really works for us. I think this is an important thing to sort out!

Dating Japanese Men

Jen and her husband on vacation in Korea.

Jen’s advice for overcoming or dealing with cultural differences is:

“I think in general, it’s important to be very open about what you are expecting from the relationship. If you need a lot of hugs and affection, make sure that he knows and don’t just get annoyed that he’s not automatically doing it. As long as you’re both honest and open about things, and actually communicate properly with each other, it should be okay!”

If you are single like me, you probably wonder about how to approach a Japanese man. Jen suggests:

“Even if you are shy, if you like someone you should be proactive about it. There is a good chance that he will like you too, and just not have imagined that you could possibly be interested in him. A lot of Japanese men seem to have an inferiority complex (many of my Japanese male friends have told me this), so they might not imagine that any non-Japanese woman would ever be interested in them. So if you like someone, go for it!”

 

 

Name: River
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: late 20s

River is a young American who has dated a few Japanese guys before marrying one of them. About her first Japanese boyfriend she says:

“He was just a gaijin-hunter, so that didn’t go to well. He wouldn’t learn any English and it was really frustrating to communicate only in Japanese. At first I was happy about this, because I wanted to speak Japanese. However, the deeper things went, the more difficult it was to understand each other. Even when we broke up it was long and drawn out and he wanted to ‘stay friends’ which I’ve heard is what most Japanese guys like to do. Even after we’d been broken up for a few months he’d still write to me and ask what I was doing and how I was …”

After dating a few Japanese guys she finally met her husband. They seem to have issues caused by cultural differences, but they were able to overcome some of them:

When I started dating my husband, I didn’t really feel that we had any cultural barriers. 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. 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. We eventually stopped speaking Japanese and now I’m actually unable to speak Japanese in front of him (shy, embarrassed … I’m not sure). I actually forget that he’s Japanese and that he can speak Japanese.”

Although they’ve found a solution for some of the problems, River says:

After we got married we had some trouble with things like housework and money, but I’m not sure if that’s just him, a Japanese trait, or normal married life. He doesn’t expect me to cook Japanese food and he doesn’t measure me by my miso soup making skills (I’ve gotten told by MANY people that my husband will basically judge me on my miso soup). We do have a lot of trouble communicating when we fight and again I’m not sure if it’s a language issue, culture, or just us …”

I found the following statement interesting, because I heard a lot of Western girls with Japanese boyfriends or husbands saying the exact same thing:

My husband isn’t a typical Japanese guy.

River adds:

“I actually have a big problem with people prefacing their relationships with their significant other’s ethnicity. I never call my husband my ‘Japanese husband’. And I hate it when people act like I won a prize or ‘got’ something special because he’s Japanese. He’s just … him.”

 

 

Name: Alyse
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: 25

Alyse, a young American woman married to a Japanese man, notices the following cultural differences that sometimes cause problems in her relationship:

“Every guy I’ve ever been in a relationship with has been different from the last, but I suppose dating a Japanese guy has the added spice of major cultural differences, as opposed to just differences in hobbies or upbringing. And from these differences, the biggest one would be language. No matter how fluent each of us becomes in our second language, something is always lost in translation, and that can quickly escalate into a huge argument until we don’t even remember what we started arguing about in the first place. But there’s nothing we can really do other than keep studying and keep trying. So for that part, a significant amount of patience might be necessary.”

Dating Japanese Men

The language barrier seems to be a real issue even when you try hard to understand each other. However, Alyse mentions other problems as well:

“Another difference I noticed has to do with taking care of the household. It took a bit of adjusting (especially on my husband’s side). We knew that we would both be working, but when we first got married, Shota was under the impression that I would be making him lunch every morning, doing his laundry, and just taking care of the house as well as going to work full-time. It’s taken all 3 years of being married and countless long-winded explanations/rants in English and Japanese on my part, but most of the chores are split down the middle now.”

Just like River, Alyse also notices cultural differences when it comes to responsibilities in the household. Her advice is:

“I think when it comes to international relationships, especially with women from countries where men and women are viewed as mostly equals, it takes a lot of time and effort by both for it to work, and if both aren’t ready to concede or make compromises, the relationship won’t last for long.”

Alyse also mentioned another potential issue that nobody else brought up thus far:

“Something I’ve heard is that their mothers can be quite a problem, and this isn’t just for non-Japanese women, but just for the wives of Japanese men in general. The relationship between the mother-in-law and wife can be tenuous at best, and disastrous at its worse. And if you’re dating/marrying the eldest son of the family, you might be expected to move in with his family to take care of his parents as they age. This trend has started to drop off a bit in this generation, but it’s just one of the many things you should think about in a serious relationship!”

I also asked Alyse if she has any advice for us single girls when it comes to dating Japanese men:

Landing a Japanese guy is EASY. Landing a guy who is serious about dating you, and understanding when he is serious, might be a bit harder to do. I didn’t start officially dating Shota until I confessed to him. If they reply positively, then you’re basically a couple, and if not, then it’s probably not going to work. But no matter how many dates you go on, you’re probably not a couple until you confess to him. At least, that’s how I’ve come to understand it. Every person/couple is different, so I suppose the biggest thing is to be open to whatever comes and not to make judgments or assumptions beforehand.”

 

 

Name: Claudia
Nationality: German
Age: 23

Claudia is a fellow German woman, but unlike me she met a Japanese guy in her younger days and got married already:

“My husband and I met when I was 19 and living in Tokyo on a Working Holiday Visa. I had not dated terribly much before. There had been two relationships that lasted for a while – with a Japanese guy and with a Korean guy.
We met through friends of friends. At the first meeting we exchanged mail addresses, met up a few times after that and at some point it just happened. Then, I had to leave the country (simple reason: my visa expired), we were in a long-distance-relationship for almost two years and got married as soon as he graduated university.”

Claudia says that her husband actually never wanted to marry a Japanese woman and here’s why:

“According to him, Japanese women are annoying, because they rather keep their emotions inside. Thus, little annoyances turn into huge problems. He also says that, as soon as Japanese women have babies, they turn into mothers, with not hint of the awesome wife you had before, destroying romance and attraction. I’m not entirely sure where he got these ideas from, but they’re his reasons.”

Dating Japanese Men

Claudia mentions issues, but also continuous efforts in her relationship that are necessary because of cultural differences:

“When we met he only spoke Japanese, but right now he is making an effort to learn English (we gave up on German, he promised he’ll start learning as soon as we have children). As most Japanese people, he is hugely interested in food and works too much. 120 hours of overtime should not be normal for anyone.”

According to Claudia the biggest difference between dating a Western man and dating a Japanese one is:

Showing physical affection outside of the house: When we started dating, he wouldn’t even hold my hand when we were outside. Fortunately he has gotten used to it, but he will not hold my hand in front of his parents unless I initiate it. Kissing is still extremely embarrassing for him, and so the physical part of the relationship happens at home. At first, this sudden change in affection as soon as the door closed behind us was weird, but now I actually like it. It’s like there’s a side of my husband only I know.

Another difference she has found between Japanese and German (Western) men is the following:

“He is willing to spend a lot more money on food and travel than I’d expect a German to. To him it’s normal that good things cost money and he’d rather have a stellar experience (paid for with his overtime pay) than a cheap, but unsatisfying one. He also doesn’t complain about my spending, as long as I can afford it.”

Claudia doesn’t mention any problems with her mother-in-law. On the contrary, she had less problems with her husband’s family than she thought she would have:

His parents luckily were excited about the prospect of gaining a German daughter-in-law. I’m not sure most Japanese parents would be that happy, but my father-in-law used to go abroad for work several times a year, and a relative has been living in Canada for basically forever, so they’re open towards foreign cultures. Oh, and Germany has a ridiculously good reputation in Japan. I had a chance to meet a big part of the family and the only one who had any ‘problems’ was my husband’s grandmother, who even after meeting me several times still doesn’t believe that I actually speak Japanese. I’m not going to complain though, she’s in her 80s.”

Claudia doesn’t seem to have to fight  with her husband about doing the chores:

“Different from some other Japanese men, my husband doesn’t complain about my housewife skills. At least not a lot. He does not expect me to keep the house extremely clean or to cook every day. Not only does my husband not make a fuss, he actually helps with the household when he has the time.”

When asked for advice on how to go about finding a Japanese boyfriend, Claudia’s response was:

Know people who have access to tons of Japanese people. Ask to meet their friends. Be yourself, but keep in mind that Japanese culture is different from your own culture. Respect that, as far as you can without being untrue to yourself. Speaking Japanese also helps a big deal, especially as you will probably deal with the family of your boyfriend or spouse at some point.”

 

 

Name: Vivian
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 30

Last, but not least Vivian, a Canadian in her 30s, has a very positive opinion about cultural differences in a relationship:

“There’s always interesting cultural differences that pop up in the course of the relationship – some are exciting, while others can be more difficult to deal with, but I think it’s the same as any relationship, regardless of the culture. There’s always things you learn about the other person. Being in Japan, I think that dating a Japanese man can open up a whole new world, seeing Japan from a Japanese perspective, and you can learn a lot about the country and culture.”

As for finding a Japanese boyfriend, she suggests:

“I think men are men – everywhere in the world. 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. Japanese men might seem shy at first, but ultimately they want the same thing.
If you can’t speak much Japanese, it’s probably best to go for a Japanese man who has lived abroad and can speak fluent English. 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. My advice is to take things slow, but if you like a Japanese guy don’t be shy to ask him out as he might be too intimidated to do so.”

Vivian has an interesting advice for anybody who wants to date a Japanese man that nobody else mentioned so far:

“This may not please everyone, but I suggest to take good care of your physical appearance. For example, most Japanese women are meticulous about their appearance, and while you don’t need to look like a walking doll, basic things like nice clothes, healthy body, skin and hair really make a difference.  I believe you should never change your personality to please a man! I’m sure some Japanese men think most foreign girls are too loud and extroverted, but if that’s how you are then you should find someone who will embrace it.”

 

 

Dating Japanese Men – Conclusion

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 guess it’s safe to say that you should keep those in mind if you are thinking about dating Japanese men:

  • Japanese men are often very shy, so you should be proactive
  • There might be no physical contact in front of others ( in Japan)
  • There might be fights over household responsibilities
  • Even if you speak each other’s mother tongue there might be communication issues
  • Overtime and long working hours could become a problem in a relationship
  • Be open-minded and ready to compromise

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. This post could only display the experience of a handful of people. If you have your own unique story, questions or comments, don’t be shy and speak up! Of course, guys are welcome to share their opinion and experience as well! smilie

I’m looking forward to hearing from you! smilie

286 Comments

  • Hey Gaijingal, you should check if your boyfriend works 15 ha day because he must or just because he wants to appear as a good worker among elder workers. My boyfriend used to sleep at his company until he got sick due to overwork. Now he is completely fine and comes back home at 8pm, cauz the company understood that a human being cant cope with such amount of overwork. Maybe his boss forces him to stay at work: in this case, you cant do anything :/ but maybe only understand his situation. However, if he is unproductive at work or likes working forever, then…it means he doesn’t make effort to improve your relationship. Tell him to make efforts, cauz you cant stand the situation. if nothing improves, then make a decision.

  • Thanks everyone. Well, the relationship would appear to be over. He won’t answer his phone or respond to my txt messages. I should have trusted my gut instinct and got out earlier. I agree with what another poster said about NOT being overly proactive, because men can be really lazy and dishonest when they are with proactive women. I was doing all the work in the relationship and I thought it was just cos he was that kind of guy. In fact it was a warning bell and I should have heeded it earlier. “Actions speak louder than words” is very true in this case. No matter how much a man says he loves you or is ‘serious’ about the relationship, if his actions don’t reflect it, chances are he’s not being honest (probably with himself too). I’m sad that it’s over, but more because of the way it ended and not because it ended… So hopefully I’ll get over it quickly….hmm… :teary:

  • I’m a Japanese guy who grew up in NYC. I understand cultures from both sides of the ocean. If you’re interested in dating a Japanese guy find one locally. There is a good chance that they’re single
    because the tables are turned.

  • Wow this was really interesting to read this article.
    I am a Japanese guy, and it is so hard to find right partner. I hardly meet with western ladies..:(

    • It is hard to find a partner nowadays, but I have the feeling that it’s especially hard in Japan – all the more in big cities.
      And if you’re interested in Western women, then it’s even more difficult, I suppose.
      Numberwise there are just not as many as Asian women.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I found the dating advice quite helpful. I recently reconnected with a Japanese guy that I used to work with when I was in college. He now lives in Japan and was in U.S. on business. There was no romance back then but when we met this summer, we went out and shared passionate kisses. On a second return and date, we were intimate. I feel like im getting mixed messages. He was so affectionate and good manners-paid for everything, opened doors. Asked me to PLEASE stay in touch, and to not practice Japanese language with men but with women. He says he is not a typical Japanese man yet when I hint at wanting a relationship, he says the distance is too far (I can respite that) and in the past said he pushed women away. He is very hardworking and is a doctor. We do keep in touch via email and when I say I want to visit Japan, he hasn’t invited me to come. Im thinking I should not expect more from him and seek local friendship and relationship. Any advice is welcome. Thanks!

    • Hi Lora.

      To me it sounds like he wants to be rational. He might want a relationship, but he understands that it probably wouldn’t end well with the huge distance that is involved. I’m sure it would be a different story if you’d live closer together.

      On the one hand he doesn’t want a relationship, on the other he doesn’t want you to “practice Japanese with other men”.

      I’m not sure why he wouldn’t invite you when you say you visit Japan, though.

      I’m sorry that I can’t give you any good advice, but either way I wish you good luck! :D

    • Hi dear,
      First, you must know if he is single or already married. There are guys who is married but just want to play if he is on a business trip or far away drom he wifes. Those type of guy you mentioned closely are those player types! Easy to say love and flirt but don’t want to engage in a relationship, it’s not a good sign. Please make sure if you want to hold on your relationship with him.

  • I would hate to date a Japanese guy who would told me “I hate Japanese girls”. I’d feel he’s dating me because he has no choice.

    My boyfriend (with whom I’m currently living) never really had any interest in foreign girls, didn’t know any foreigner before me, but he came to talk to me a few years ago because when he saw me, he thought I was “the most beautiful girl he has never seen”. (just quoting)
    He’s kissing me all the time, everywhere (yeah, we DO live in Japan) and sometimes I have to tell him to stop ! I’m definitely not like these girls dating Japanese men …

    • Since I’m the one whose husband says he doesn’t like Japanese women: I was his first foreign girlfriend. He had never pursued foreign women before, and he doesn’t really like any Western celebrities.
      I’m sure if he hadn’t gotten involved with a foreigner (me), he would’ve found a nice Japanese girl. However, if a Japanese guy dates you, a Western girl, oftentimes you are seen as a great catch, and I think that’s basically where this stems from. “In Japan, girls are like XXX, but NOT MY WIFE, BECAUSE SHE’S FOREIGN AND I’M A LUCKY LUCKY PERSON”. It surely is a character flaw, but he certainly didn’t start dating me because he had no choice. (Staying single is a choice as well…)
      “I’m definitely not like these girls dating Japanese men …” sounds extremely judgemental. Of course your relationship is unique, but, even though I might sound like a 13-year-old girl, you don’t know me or my relationship. ;)

    • Hi Coolea.

      I don’t think it implies any bad intentions if somebody doesn’t want to date Japanese girls. Everybody has their preference, right? I don’t see any real problem with it.
      Of course, it depends in which context it’s being said.

      Could you elaborate what you mean with “these girls dating Japanese men”?
      You are dating a Japanese men, too, aren’t you? :)

  • Indeed Japanese boy are shy. I met a few weeks ago during a karaoke a japanese boy.Since he is my type I decided to make a first move, cause I knew that he won’t make any.
    Conversation on FB started very friendly and somehow i invited him and our friends as our language support.I speak Japanese more or less and he speak some English.In the end we went out together without friend since she has been busy.
    I don’t think it was date maybe pseudo date.”Kyo no arigatou..tanoshikatta deshita” as always.
    But know I breaking my head with ideas how to let him know that I like a bit more then a friend.
    One thing is sure with him-as soon as I see him is imposibble for me to speak in English.

    • Hello Aleksandra,

      I wish you good luck with telling him your feelings. You know him much better than anyone of us, so you’re the only one who’ll know what to do.
      Is he the type who’d like to receive a “love letter”? Are you brave enough to confess to him in Japanese face-to-face?
      No matter what you decide, I really hope things’ll turn out in a good way for both of you. :D

  • Brave..not at all.but he is coming back to Hokkaido in March.so I don’t want to have a regret. I still have a 3 moths till 14 February to confess on Valentine. I think if I wont find guts to do it face to face I will go to his dormitory and ask reception to give him.Chocolate and card with some lirycs from jap/korean songs.
    I met him only one face-to face. at wednesday I will give him a bday present(sooo nervousss) he is shy type.hug and such things is out of question==
    and thanks for nice words

  • I’m really glad that someone wrote about the experiences of a diverse set of girls happily dating in Japan. I remember hearing repeatedly how foreign girls in Japan were essentially dateless so I as really surprised when I moved there and met a lot of cute guys. Yes, Japanese guys are definitely shy but I think it takes the right amount of effort in expressing interest to give them some courage. If you’re too aggressive, they’re a bit intimidated but again, I can’t speak for all, this is just based on my experiences.

    I met my boyfriend in Japan and yes, he did work crazily and at time there were communication problems but we both worked hard and now we’re both fairly fluent in the others’ language (if he’s explaining something in English and I don’t get it, I ask him to speak Japanese and it all makes sense. Emotions are easier to express in your native language, I think). We’re in Canada now and I’m the one working insanely. He’s really accepting of my workload, even helping me out as much as he can with it, and he’s the one that primarily cooks and cleans now. He’s incredibly affectionate too, maybe even more than me! I feel like all of my stereotypes regarding Japanese guys have been thrown out the window.

    • kda, I’m so happy to hear about your relationship.
      It sounds like you got really lucky and I truly hope your relationship will last! ^__^

      Thank you so much for the advice. A lot of us single women here in Japan appreciate it. *g*

  • Hello. I have a question that’s kind of related to dating. As I told about in another comment to this article, I’m in love with a Japanese guy who used to be in a band, and one of my friends knows him personally. So recently she showed him a picture of me (with my permission, of course). She’d suggested doing it earlier so I just said alright. So at first he said that he wasn’t interested in seeing what anyone looks like. But my friend convinced him to look. So he told her his exact opinion of the picture of me – but told her not to tell me, basically because he knows I’m interested in him and he said he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or give them wrong hopes. I don’t think he called me ugly – he doesn’t seem like the type who would just say that – and my friend also hinted that he didn’t (she said that ‘he didn’t say you were so ugly he’d kill himself’ which I think was kind of a hint, but I’m not sure) but I’m just disappointed that he doesn’t want me to know his exact opinion just like that. I also wonder why he didn’t want to see my picture at first. Do you know if what he said (he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings etc) could have something to do with general Japanese mentality? Or something else? I know that he was brought up very traditionally – and that he’s shy – I don’t know if any of these things could have something to do with it. Also do you know what his reason could be for being hesitant to see my picture? He seems a bit reluctant, and careful too. My friend told me he’s very careful with who he befriends and trust. I don’t know if all that could have anything to do with him being Japanese, or if that’s just the way he is. Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks in advance!

    • I’m sure most of it is his personality, but I consider the whole situation a bit weird. There’s a friend of a friend who wants to show him a picture of a girl (you) they both know is into him. So he has never met you, and I guess it can be a bit strange to be introduced to a person like that. “Hey, you don’t know that person, but they’re really into you, so look at their picture and tell me what you think of them!” Getting to know him first on a personal level might be a better idea?

      • Well, to be honest I thought the same (that the whole situation is a bit weird) – especially because he’s shy, and so am I, and I think a question like that is a bit straight forward – but I just thought “Alright, let’s see what happens” and agreed that she could try and show him my picture. I agree that it’s a better idea to get to know him personally first- but my “friend” and I don’t talk anymore, so I don’t really know what to do. The only other people I know who know him on a personal level, are his former bandmates, but I don’t know them personally.

    • Hi, Maja.
      I have no idea, because I can’t read minds, but if it was me I guess I would be kind of annoyed.
      If someone is in a band, I guess they’re naturally popular and get a lot of offers and girls that want to get to know them better.
      I bet a lot of people wrote him letters, sending photos already, so maybe he just didn’t want to see yet another photo?
      Sorry if I sound too harsh, but that’s probably how I would feel.

      I don’t think it has anything to do with him being Japanese to be honest.

      And even if he wasn’t popular and just a normal guy, I think it’s just a bit creepy. I agree with what Claudia said pretty much.

      • I hadn’t thought about it that way (that he just didn’t want to see another photo because people wrote him letters etc) but I think you’re right. And yeah, like I said before I thought the whole situation was a bit weird. I wish I hadn’t let my friend show him my picture because he must have been kinda weirded out…

  • Hi.. :)

    I would like to share about my Japanese bf.
    We knew each other 2 year plus from dancing society. Last Mar 2013, he confessed that he likes me long time ago, however due to his work nature which only allow him to stay few years in one country and move to the other country, he didn’t tell me. There is just a spontaneous and I believe it was the right time, he finally let me know that he liked me. Unfortunately, he flew back to Japan after he told me about his feeling. He eventually posted to BKK and since that we started to chat abit. I decided to visit him in BKK and I didn’t expect that it turned up to be so great for both of us.. We ended up to be together.. I don’t know much about Japanese culture and would love to know more.. He is very nice and treating me so well.. I feel so loved and happy being with him… He is shy. He said Japanese guy will not express the 3 words by saying” I love you”, but in Japanese culture the guy will say “The moon is beautiful”.. I find it rather cute.. We have been together for 2 months and I feel happy everyday. We chatted thru Tango, skype every night and we enjoy so much. I am his first foreign gf…

    • Hi Mari!
      Such a cute story! I hope you two can stay together and be happy! ^-^
      It’s true that most Japanese guys won’t say the 3 words and actually a LOT of my female Japanese friends complain about it.
      That seems to be one reason why some prefer foreign men. In their minds foreign men are more passionate and won’t hesitate to say “I love you” even in public.
      At least that’s how many of my Japanese female friends think it is.

  • the biggest problem with japanese men is that they love “KAWAII” “face is cute” that’s all. but what about the rest? usually when I like Japanese he doesn’t like since I am not cute.I have a more woman body. I am not small not tiny and definietly doesn’t look like a girl.
    I can loose weight, grow my hair .put on nice dress and that all.my character is too solid and strong to become cute girl..

    • Aleksandra,
      do you want a Japanese boyfriend so badly? I would never change for anybody – unless I see fit myself.
      And don’t change your character. I’m sure most of these “overly cute” Japanese girls just fake it, too.
      It might help to get a guy, but what about the long run? I’m sure it won’t work out.

      I hope you are happy with the way you are and I’m sure you’ll find a guy. And who said it has to be a Japanese guy, right? ;)

  • Great collection of stories! I lived in Japan for a year and had a different experience. About once a week a stranger would call out to me and try and engage me in conversation. This usually happened at night on my way home from work though so I declined. A Japanese friend later told me that since many Japanese men are shy, the men who were approaching me were extra bold and maybe a little weird. [A few people chased after me when I didn’t want to talk to them!] Also, the one guy I went on dates was an otherwise shy sweetheart who asked me out when I was standing at a station waiting for a friend. So in my case several people approached me.

  • It is wonderful to find so many interesting comments about Japanese men dating foreigners. What I can say from my personal experience that I am very happily married to a Japanese national and I am now living for more than 11 years in Tokyo. I guess the big difference is that I am older than the above described examples, as I am now 45 years old.
    Because I believe there are quite many Japanese men who are looking for a foreign girlfriend, but do not know how to behave, how to respect the cultural differences…, I have written an online book called “Japanese Man Looking For A Foreign Girlfriend: 17 Rules For Happiness”. It is available now for a very reasonable price on Amazon as a kindle version.

    I wish everyone in an international relationship or even marriage can enjoy the daily happiness when being in love!

    Best of luck,

    Sibylle Ito

  • Hi! I really enjoyed reading the article. But I was actually looking for a solution of a certain problem. You see, I’ve been in relationship with this japanese guy for just 3 months but it’s quite surprising that in this early stage, I feel like this relationship is falling. We don’t communicate much anymore than we do before we got into a relationship. His reason was that he is always busy. I believe him but I can’t help feeling lonely and I miss him a lot. How can avoid this feeling?

    • I’m not an expert, so I can’t really give you any advice.
      I know that Japanese women often use it as an excuse for not wanting to meet somebody anymore and just pretend to be busy.
      I’m not sure about Japanese men, because I know a LOT of them are busy indeed.
      I guess you know him well enough, so you can figure out if he’s just pretending to be busy – or if he really is.
      I totally understand why you feel lonely. I’d be the same. :(

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