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View Full Version : Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage



Maciamo
Aug 14, 2003, 23:53
It's not the first topic on the subject, but I'll try to summarize what I've learned in all my discussions (most of them with Japanese people in real life). I've also talked with some Korean friends and it seems Korean and Japanese mentality about the followings are very similar. It also appears that Western way of thinking, whatever the country, from Europe to America to Australia is basically the same on these issues. Here it is.

Reason for marriage

West : Love => people promise to love each other for ever when they get married (even if it's often a dream). Modern laws make it the same to get children outside marriage, so that if people only want children, marriage is not even necessary. Marriage is usually a proof of love and comitment for life. If love disappears, people tend to divorce easily (except sometimes when there are small children, to avoid perturbing them psychologically).

Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%.

Japanese family relationships

Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (this may not be true in international couples, from what I've heard).

In most families, children sleep with both parents or just the mother. The the latter case, the father has his own room. I've been told that this way he wouldn't wake his wife and children up when he comes back late from work.

Sleeping with the child(ren) in the middle of the parents is so common in Japan that Japanese and a special name for it, a comparison it to the kanji 川 (kawa = river). Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.

Western reaction to children sleeping with parents

Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !). They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls ! I guess that if the average Japanese man loses interest in his wife once she becomes a mother, there is no problem with children either.

I've heard a lot that Westerners would be afraid of crushing their new-born baby by sleeping in the same bed, but I was told that it never happened (of all mamals, only male sealions and pandas sometime crush their babies to death when sleeping with them, but never humans would it seem). The good point of the mother sleeping with the baby is that the baby doesn't cry because it feels secure near its mother and has a unexhaustable warm-milk bottle at its disposal. I've read that it was better for babies to be breastfed than drink other milk. That system definitely has its advantages.

Another concern is that the parents lose their privacy and can't have sex anymore - unless doing it in front of the child, which is a kind of taboo in the Judeo-Christian mindset. As Japanese parents stop having sex regularily after their children are born, that isn't a problem.

For international couples who do continue, I was told little babies can sleep very well even with the parents doing whatever they please right beside them. But they should have their own room from age 3 or 4 then.

Finally, lots of Westerners think it might cause psychological problems to the children to sleep with their parents. But Japanese do it and seem to be alright with it. The only drawback I can think of is the independence factor. Japanese are very group-minded and usually have difficulty thinking by themselves. It may be related.

Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?

1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will (or from what society has inculcated them). Japanese men also prefer that their wife stay at home once married. Women almost always want to spend as much time as they can with their babies (remember J-girls like what is "kawaii" ? The connection is evident).
2) Nursery schools are few and very expensive in Japan (I've heard about 200.000 yen/month). It make more sense for the mother to stay at home than work and pay almost all her salary for the nursery. In most Western countries, nurseries and kindergartens are free, which allows lots of mothers to work.
3) Paternity leaves don't exist in Japan, and (paid) maternity leave are not encouraged.


Japanese relation to sex

There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.

Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.

Japanese men who miss talking to young and cute girls (or not so young and not so cute, depending on the price and place) go to hostess bars or "snack" after work. Nothing much happens there except dirty talk. Those who want to go more carnal have the soaplands and massage parlours, but Asian men's testosterone level is reputedly lower than Caucasian or African men, so they are often satisfied with just talking, watching - and groping...

There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want. Remember that marriage is not much more than a man giving almosy all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. It suely sounds utterly shocking to lots of you, but after talking to (female) Japanese and other Asian friends I know quite well, they don't even see it as abnormal. It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).

Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status. My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia.


Divorce and charge of the children

In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don't really care about them. He comes back late from work and rarely take part in their education. After a divorce, it's not normal for the father to just forget about his offsprings. He doesn't care very much. That's the mother's role to care for them.

That might sound crude again to some Westerners, as in the West parents sometimes fight bitterly over the charge of their children, and in peaceful cases, it's usual to find arrangement such as the children stay one week with the mother, next week with the father, or, weekdays at the mother's and weekends at the father's. Anyway, lots of father would feel terrible not to see their children regularily. (see the thread about children abduction (http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=323) on this regard).

jspecdan
Aug 15, 2003, 00:18
yeah i've noticed that among the Japanese couples I know. kind of dull in a way how there is no affection between the two, but they form a strong family regardless.

budd
Aug 15, 2003, 00:18
very interesting. will really read later. thanks for the thread!
edit: same here! some of it might be considered inflammatory :) but i can't really say i disagree just yet...

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 00:21
Oh boy. Thanks for starting this Maciamo. This has been an area of constant interest for me, and one that I have spent much time observing. I need to go gather my thoughts on this before I post.

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 01:12
I have been living with a Japanese person for 7 years now. I knew nothing really about Japanese culture before then other than sushi, Pearl Harbor, A-bombs, hi-tech, geisha, and that the men were supposedly oppressors.

Over the past 7 years, though, I came to realize many more things. The Japanese psyche to be most definitely intriguing to me. Therefore, I have spent much time getting to know many Japanese men and women and observing their thinking and behavior and relationships, as I'm sure they might have been doing with me, too.

In the beginning, I did believe Japanese men to be chauvinistic. I thought they were the brutal dictators and their wives nothing more than mild and meek servants. I think we are led to believe that in the West. I believed that for a good while and I still believed that on into my marriage. As I spent more time around all the Japanese women I knew, though, I found out otherwise.

As some people might not know, it's traditional for the women to take care of the finances in Japan. The husbands give the money to the wives and the wives manage it and do with it what they see fit. The husbands are often known to ask permission to use their own money to buy something. My husband has a motorcycle and a truck and he asked my permission to buy both. I was shocked that he would even ask me. He told me that if he had been married to a "regular" Japanese girl, he would've never been able to buy either one. After all, they do have a saying in Japan about as long as the husband healthy and out making money, the women are satisfied.

I got really frustrated at my husband's behavior towards our relationship after our children were born. I am one who believes that the relationship of the husband and wife needs to be nursed in order for the children to thrive. I believe keeping an active sex life is important and I believe that time spent alone with your spouse and talking about things other than children is a necessity. He once told me that after kids, those kinds of things were no longer that important. I tried to blame this entirely on him, but I honestly believe that is the way they(both men and women) think things are supposed to be after marriage and kids. After years of being accustomed to a marriage being more like a business than companionship, they don't know any different.

As for sleeping arrangements, I agree wholeheartedly that it is an independence issue, as well as a privacy issue as far as Westerners are concerned. From the very start, I put all of my children in their own room even though I breastfed for the first few months. After growing up an only child, my children's independence was/is very important to me, and that was just one of the beginning steps for them gaining their independence.

I could go on about this...but now I have to make lunch. I'll be back... :p

jspecdan
Aug 15, 2003, 01:36
Wow, very interestin Kirei Na Me. Whenever my dad bought a new car, he always consulted my mother. Being a 3rd Gen J-A, my mom said "do whatever you want, it's your money. I don't care." Basically because she has no interest in what kind of car he drives. With that, he leased a BMW 5-series, then got rid of it and bought a Sabb -5.

Some of my Japanese-American/Canadian friends have parents that sleep in separate rooms, while others, like my parents, sleep together in the same bed. I dunno, I think it depends upon the people, how they were raised, and where they were raised.

As for women are to serve men as brought up, that is only somewhat true. I remember my brother and father started an arguement about this, so I left the room, knowing that I couldn't win. But my father tried explaining it to my brother that before women are businesswomen, business owners, etc, they are women. They have particular roles they should carry out when the children are born, raised and so on. My brother interpreted it as "women stay home and bake pies, men come home and eat it." Anyway, I dunno, this is gettin long and I gotta go to the dentist.

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 01:51
Originally posted by jspecdan
Wow, very interestin Kirei Na Me. Whenever my dad bought a new car, he always consulted my mother. Being a 3rd Gen J-A, my mom said "do whatever you want, it's your money. I don't care." Basically because she has no interest in what kind of car he drives.

Exactly. To me, the money he makes is his money and he should be able to do with it as he sees fit, if it is within reason, of course. He also takes care of all the bills, because he is much better organized than I am concerning finances. That is the starting point of many disagreements between my husband and me. He believes it's our money rather than his money, but I guess I just have a hard time adjusting to that. It is very hard for me to ask him for money. It has gotten better as time has progressed, but at the beginning of our marriage, it was very difficult for me to ask him for money.

About staying home, I made the decision to stay with my children because I thought it would benefit them. My mother, being a teacher for 30 years, always said that she could tell a difference between children where a mother stayed home and those that didn't. I was hoping by staying home the first 5 years or so that I could influence my children to be kindler, gentler humans. It was not because my husband insisted that I stay home. Quite the contrary. He said it was entirely up to me if I chose to work or not. Since we could live more than comfortably on his salary alone, I chose to stay home. I do now find myself feeling somewhat smothered, though. After my third son gets in preschool, I will be going back to college in order to pursue a teaching career.

jspecdan
Aug 15, 2003, 02:32
About staying home, I made the decision to stay with my children because I thought it would benefit them.

For the same reasons, my mother stayed home while my brother and I were growing up.

Dream Time
Aug 15, 2003, 03:51
sexless after child being born...
i think it is unhealthy for the Japanese society,
more and more girls do 'enjo kosai' and those lonely man look for them...

plus it is very boring , I think they should keep the sex life even after child being born,
loveless couple....

I've heard some Japanese men would work until midnight or something,sleep on the trains,not going home,and just go to work again the next morning

doudesuka
Aug 15, 2003, 07:54
I think it's not healthy for a child to see his father not interested in their mother or the family. I know children are sensitive and can feel things early on between the parents. Like you can feel tension between two people who have been arguing.

But, here it's like the people have accepted their roles in marriages. :sad:

I am only guessing here but, since a majority of fathers have their second life outside the family home. The mothers become independent from them in sleeping arrangements.

I do want to recognize the young Japanese fathers who seem to be more family oriented. I know they are few .:happy:

doudesuka
Aug 15, 2003, 07:57
Kirei na me, I let my husband take care of the finances too.
I had a hard time asking for money because it felt weird after I stopped working . But, now I don't have too much of a problem.
I agree with you a lot. :agree:

Maciamo
Aug 15, 2003, 13:33
Originally posted by jspecdan
Wow, very interestin Kirei Na Me. Whenever my dad bought a new car, he always consulted my mother. Being a 3rd Gen J-A, my mom said "do whatever you want, it's your money. I don't care."

2nd or 3rd generation J-A were not brought up in Japan and therefore think mostly like the culture and people they have always known. It's nothing genetic, I assure you.



Some of my Japanese-American/Canadian friends have parents that sleep in separate rooms, while others, like my parents, sleep together in the same bed. I dunno, I think it depends upon the people, how they were raised, and where they were raised.

Again, you are not talking of people living in Japan. The US and Canada are melting pots of ethnies and cultures, which is why you find so many different way of doing things. From my European experience (in 5 countries), my impression is that couples who sleep in different rooms usually can't stand each other anymore or had a loveless marriage, which is almost frowned upon nowadays. But as in Japan so many marriage are more a business than a love story, it's normal they should sleep separate.



As for women are to serve men as brought up, that is only somewhat true.

I want to break this false image Westerners have of the "Japanese wife-servant". Whereas gender roles are clearly defined, Japanese women are far from being servants. Men work hard all day and come back home late. They don't have time or energy to cook and do housework. As women only have to care about houseworks (once children go to school, they haven't much to do all day long, but housework and cooking).

I understand how Westerners would consider unacceptable a situation where the woman is the only one to do the cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, etc. while the man watches TV, because most Western women work, and their husband might be home at 6pm.

But if the man is home at 11pm and the woman doesn't work at all, it's not to much to expect from her to cook 1 meal and care about house chores. I actually don't know how Japanese men would cope living single by themselves. Women have the "good role" and most are happy to get married just to stop working and use their husband money for their hobbies or care about the children they had longed for.

Kirei na me has it right when she says women have decsional power on the family finances. I was surprised how my own wife turned into a meticulous accountant spontaneously and without training once we started living in Japan (or got married, as it happened at the same time). I've read and heard many times since then that virtually all Japanese woman had this "gift" for "calculation". Marriage is a real business in Japan. Fortunately my wife also believe in love marriage (she says I don't have money anyway :D ).

Maciamo
Aug 15, 2003, 13:55
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
That is the starting point of many disagreements between my husband and me. He believes it's our money rather than his money, but I guess I just have a hard time adjusting to that.

I had the same problem, but in the reverse situation as I am the man. Japanese cannot conceive marriage as just a love thing where money stays separate. My wife sometimes tell me : "We are married but we still have separate bank accounts or count our money separately. What does it mean to be married then ? We could just be boyfriend-girlfriend". That's the kind of comment that infuriates me as I hear "marriage= money".

My parents have a prenuptial agreement and so did I (eventhough my wife couldn't really understand what it was about, but as it was a condition for getting married she accepted). The conception of marriage is so different in Japan and the West that it almost mean opposite things and leads to many misunderstandings. That's what I've been explaining in this thread.

I can't imagine marriage as a business in our epoch, but Japanese can't imagine it not being a business to raise children. Maybe that's why Japanese have such strong corporate loyalty. A company is like a second family ; you can't divorce it. It's not socially acceptable.

If we look deeper into Japanese culture, we realise that even words like "kyaku-san" means "client, customer" (at work) or "guest" (at home)". Japanese feel the relationship is the same. The words "family" 家族 and "house" 家 are also in direct relation in Japan. "Kazoku" (=family) literaly means "bound by the house" in kanji. Often Japanese speaking English would say things like "My house is not rich" when they mean "family", which is a proof that it is one same thing in their minds.

Maciamo
Aug 15, 2003, 14:05
Originally posted by doudesuka
I think it's not healthy for a child to see his father not interested in their mother or the family.

Let's just say that Japanese have a different conception of "healthiness".



I know children are sensitive and can feel things early on between the parents. Like you can feel tension between two people who have been arguing.

Because the father comes home late, they don't have much time to meet and argue anyway. Lots of J-children rarely see their father. I know lots of J-men married with children, who go to their office even on Sundays. It's like an addiction. Japanese believe that only the mother is important for the children's emotional stability and development. If the father also has time it's good, but not indispensable.



But, here it's like the people have accepted their roles in marriages. :sad:

It used to be like that 50 years ago in Western countries. It's because we have "evolved" that it seems sad or backward for Japanese. But they seem to like it this way. Those who don't marry foreigners (but some who do also marry foreigners :blush: ).

den4
Aug 15, 2003, 15:16
hey, thought I was seeing double when I saw this topic on another forum :D

interesting.... :D

although sometimes, I wonder if the relationships are really thought through in either western nations or in Japan.... :o

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 20:21
Originally posted by den4
although sometimes, I wonder if the relationships are really thought through in either western nations or in Japan.... :o

Me too, den4. Me too.

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 20:37
My husband and I had a pretty bad argument about all of this last night.

It first started when I was asking him about the other thread about carseats. He went on to say that the reason carseats were not used as much in Japan was because they were indeed expensive, but I then asked him "well, how much value do you put on your child's life?" He just kept on saying that in Japan, those seats are maybe 400 dollars and here they are 60. I tried to explain to him that they had money for other things, but not something that could save their children, but he got so extremely defensive, he couldn't agree with me that it was worth 400 dollars to have your child safe in the car. I was SO infuriated.

Anyway, then we got into the marriage issue. I asked him this: "Do you think arranged marriages better than love marriages?" His answer, yes. He thinks arranged marriages have the capability of lasting much longer than love marriages. He went on to tell me that with arranged marriages, the good is seen in a person after marriage, whereas in a love marriage, you only tend to see the bad in the person after marriage.

He also went on to tell me that maybe a lot of westerners are thinking the Japanese married couples don't like each other because it is common for the husband or wife to say they don't like one another or they don't like what one another does, but that under the surface, it's the exact opposite. He told me that people(Japanese) consider you a fool if you go around saying how much you like your spouse. Which, I guess, I can understand, since they don't get into the whole "I love you" thing, etc. like we do.

Also, he did tell me about one divorce case in which he knew the couple personally, and the father got custody of the children. I asked him why, but he didn't know. He says that happens more than one thinks over there, but I don't know. I do remember my friend was contemplating divorce with her husband(who came from a wealthy family) and she was scared that he would take her daughter away from her. So, maybe there are some instances when the father gets the children in case of divorce. Maybe the mother just hands them over to him because she doesn't want the responsibility? Maybe they prove she's unfit somehow? I don't know.

Anyway, our conversation was cut short last night, because he takes things so extremely personal and gets so defensive, that I can't really discuss things in depth with him anymore. I still have someone else I can talk to about all of it, though...

Maciamo
Aug 15, 2003, 21:14
I've just asked my wife about carseats and she told me firmly that nowadays most people used them in Japan. She also tend to take such questions very personally and get angry if I criticise Japan. She sometimes says (half-joking, fortunately) that she is going to look for a Japanese husband if I make such comments.

What's funny is how opinions can vary from one person to another. I asked about 20 people if babies/children usually sleep with their parents/mother in Japan, and though 90% said yes, 1 was actually quite convinced that it was an old-fashioned system and that normally children all had their own room and bed nowadays (because she has grown up in such a family). So, I'd rather be careful before saying that Japanese do like this or like that. I always try to ask as many people from as many age, region and background as I can. That's quite easy with my job.

Atmos_Fear
Aug 15, 2003, 22:08
wooow that's so educational :happy: Benkio, benkio, benkio


man sometimes i don't understad japan people. This is so wierd for me and i can't belive it at all. Man it's sounds to me that if you are a man in Japan them you are done/ dead / kaput

ok sorry if i offend some of the japan people in this forum but for me this is so stange. I can't belive that there could be a true marriage whitout love. I mean two people to live together whitout love ?? Is this possible at all ??

anyway i still love the look of the asian girls :))

jspecdan
Aug 15, 2003, 23:08
It's nothing genetic, I assure you.
Oh I know. That's how 3rd Gens are. That's how they were brought up by 2nd Gens who are somewhat frugal and sparing, like parents in Japan who grew up during WW2. Basically my mom is like that because of living in america. And by that I'm not sayin it was bad or good for her.

Elizabeth
Aug 15, 2003, 23:24
Originally posted by Atmos_Fear
[B]ok sorry if i offend some of the japan people in this forum but for me this is so stange. I can't belive that there could be a true marriage whitout love. I mean two people to live together whitout love ?? Is this possible at all?
Because real life can get so much more complicated at times and there are various types of love for different people. My most intimate Japanese male friend is older and married for instance. Is feeling guilt for cheating on his wife a sure-fire indicatation he loves her? Even though his arrogance can make her life miserable at times (even to the point of prolonged physical illness), they don't have children and doesn't respect her intellectually ? How do those factors plus their strong and ongoing comittments together, such as hosting foreign students, compare in favor of our interests and characters being more compatible plus the sexual activity neither of us would get otherwise?
Kind of like working on a jigsaw puzzle with no photo to emulate and you're not even sure most of the time you have all the pieces. :sick:

kirei_na_me
Aug 15, 2003, 23:26
I can so relate to what you're saying, Elizabeth. That's all I'll say.

den4
Aug 16, 2003, 01:23
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
My husband and I had a pretty bad argument about all of this last night.

It first started when I was asking him about the other thread about carseats. He went on to say that the reason carseats were not used as much in Japan was because they were indeed expensive, but I then asked him "well, how much value do you put on your child's life?" He just kept on saying that in Japan, those seats are maybe 400 dollars and here they are 60. I tried to explain to him that they had money for other things, but not something that could save their children, but he got so extremely defensive, he couldn't agree with me that it was worth 400 dollars to have your child safe in the car. I was SO infuriated.

Anyway, then we got into the marriage issue. I asked him this: "Do you think arranged marriages better than love marriages?" His answer, yes. He thinks arranged marriages have the capability of lasting much longer than love marriages. He went on to tell me that with arranged marriages, the good is seen in a person after marriage, whereas in a love marriage, you only tend to see the bad in the person after marriage.

He also went on to tell me that maybe a lot of westerners are thinking the Japanese married couples don't like each other because it is common for the husband or wife to say they don't like one another or they don't like what one another does, but that under the surface, it's the exact opposite. He told me that people(Japanese) consider you a fool if you go around saying how much you like your spouse. Which, I guess, I can understand, since they don't get into the whole "I love you" thing, etc. like we do.

Also, he did tell me about one divorce case in which he knew the couple personally, and the father got custody of the children. I asked him why, but he didn't know. He says that happens more than one thinks over there, but I don't know. I do remember my friend was contemplating divorce with her husband(who came from a wealthy family) and she was scared that he would take her daughter away from her. So, maybe there are some instances when the father gets the children in case of divorce. Maybe the mother just hands them over to him because she doesn't want the responsibility? Maybe they prove she's unfit somehow? I don't know.

Anyway, our conversation was cut short last night, because he takes things so extremely personal and gets so defensive, that I can't really discuss things in depth with him anymore. I still have someone else I can talk to about all of it, though...

To each their own.
My better half dislikes the way things are done in Japan, although she also finds stupidity abounds in the US as well. Since she was brought up under the J-way, and has lived in the US and in other countries, her view is that no country has a monopoly on foolishness....which is my view as well.

People will take offense or not depending upon their sensitivity level...for those that have less experience, I've noticed, of how others live outside their immediate sphere of influence, the greater their lack of understanding and willingness to compromise in their viewpoints (the exceptions are those with mental disorders or actual stubbornness that kind of borders on obsessional behavior, if it isn't actually the latter).

I know my views do tend to offend some, since I've pissed off a number of folks, either through ignorance or out of spite (yes, I'm no saint, nor do I pretend to be one)...however, if a person cannot talk about a topic without getting all weirded out and bent out of shape, then I'm afraid the person has other issues that are in the background, perhaps in denial, that they need to deal with at some point in the future, or it will continue to be one of the main reasons they continue to get bent out of shape, unabated, whenever the subject is brought up....

feel sorry for your situation..know a lot of people who can't talk with their spouses because one or the other or both are real blockheads trying to fit in a round hole... :(

kirei_na_me
Aug 16, 2003, 01:38
Originally posted by den4
however, if a person cannot talk about a topic without getting all weirded out and bent out of shape, then I'm afraid the person has other issues that are in the background, perhaps in denial, that they need to deal with at some point in the future, or it will continue to be one of the main reasons they continue to get bent out of shape, unabated, whenever the subject is brought up....

I think so too. I like to feel I can talk about things without taking it too personal. Sometimes, I know I can take things personally, but I try my darndest not to do that. But in the case of my husband, he gets extremely bent out of shape and defensive. I tend to think he has some issues, but if I ever try to question him as to what they are, he...yes, gets very defensive.

Sometimes, I think the bottling up of emotions is not so good. I think, generally speaking, it does more harm than good to let stuff sit inside and fester. He has that problem, as do many other Japanese people(maybe Japanese people in general) I know do. Something is really eating away at him deep down, I believe, but it's not going to get out easily.

With me, it's like little tremors all the time, whereas with him, you get the huge mega earthquake.

den4
Aug 16, 2003, 02:55
heh...
start putting up a sign every time he tremors, then, and rate it based upon severity....maybe he'll get the point....eventually.... :D

Atmos_Fear
Aug 16, 2003, 03:57
man all this whit the relationships and marriage in japan is a sad story . But there are some benefits that's for shure. I see that they are alright whit this so they didn't want to change it.

Elizabeth
Aug 16, 2003, 04:10
Learning the language helps a lot as well in being able to broach these sorts of sensitive subjects from a more neutral standpoint by giving everyone permission to let go a little more, particularly if they don't suspect how much is being understood or of any ulterior motives. And there are lots of variations on the theme. You can always make goofy little mistakes to put everyone at ease, ask them to translate back into English as a kind of game, use their examples as segues into discussions of grammar, etc.
Of course it isn't going to work for everyone or even very well through email.....although nothing else I've tried seems to either.
:bawling:

kirei_na_me
Aug 16, 2003, 04:36
You can always make goofy little mistakes to put everyone at ease, ask them to translate back into English as a kind of game, use their examples as segues into discussions of grammar, etc.

True. I learned this a long time ago, and it works to an extent. With some people, though, they just aren't going to budge no matter what you do. Especially when they have no sense of humor at all about anything.


Of course it isn't going to work for everyone or even very well through email.....although nothing else I've tried seems to either.

E-mail is definitely tough. It's hard enough when two people that have the same native language try to communicate through e-mail, much less two people whose native languages and ways of communicating(what words and wording are used)--period--are very different. The phone helps somewhat, because you can at least hear emotion in the voice, but it's still very difficult. Believe me, I too know.

I was going to say in person was the best way to convey whatever messages, but I could question that when Westerners/Japanese are concerned, because so much emphasis is put in facial expression. One wrong eyebrow move, and you're in trouble.... :o

Elizabeth
Aug 16, 2003, 05:37
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
True. I learned this a long time ago, and it works to an extent. With some people, though, they just aren't going to budge no matter what you do. Especially when they have no sense of humor at all about anything.

E-mail is definitely tough. It's hard enough when two people that have the same native language try to communicate through e-mail, much less two people whose native languages and ways of communicating(what words and wording are used)--period--are very different. The phone helps somewhat, because you can at least hear emotion in the voice, but it's still very difficult. Believe me, I too know.
I guess the notorious Japanese inferiority complex is known for a good reason, although outside my teachers I've yet to have the pleasure of speaking to someone completely humorless. Most Japanese would probably love the emoticons we're able to use here.....if only they could be an electronic substitute for our natural expressiveness. :p

Erik
Aug 16, 2003, 07:45
This may be off topic a little but after reading all this, this reminds me of the TV sitcom, Married with Children! lol

kirei_na_me
Aug 16, 2003, 08:19
Good observation, Erik! :p

Maciamo
Aug 16, 2003, 12:51
Originally posted by Elizabeth
Most Japanese would probably love the emoticons we're able to use here.....

Which emoticons are you talking about ? Emails, forums (this forum uses "kaos" which are Japanese emoticons), mobile phones ? I don't know in the States, but Japanese "keitai" have hundreds of colourful emoticons or little pictures to choose from.

Elizabeth
Aug 16, 2003, 15:04
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
[B]He also went on to tell me that maybe a lot of westerners are thinking the Japanese married couples don't like each other because it is common for the husband or wife to say they don't like one another or they don't like what one another does, but that under the surface, it's the exact opposite.
This is a really interesting and curious sort of phenomenon which probably does explain to some degree the strong stereotypes of Japanese men as misogenistic and women as unintellectual wimpering saps. Which I've seen played out more in crude body language and dirty looks :blush: than actual understanding. So......asked some friends in the states and Japan more about their own experiences, but haven't heard back anything yet.

Elizabeth
Aug 16, 2003, 15:15
Originally posted by Maciamo
Which emoticons are you talking about ? Emails, forums (this forum uses "kaos" which are Japanese emoticons), mobile phones ? I don't know in the States, but Japanese "keitai" have hundreds of colourful emoticons or little pictures to choose from.
Is it "kaosu" ? For face and something else? I just meant being able to embed them in standard excite or outlook mail messages from the US. Since I'm only aware of maybe three or four postable kaos using an html (rich text?) formating .

neko_girl22
Aug 16, 2003, 18:20
to some degree I can understand what you mean Kirei-na-me, when you say your husband takes things personal during arguments -mine too! Sometimes I feel like I am hitting my head on a brick wall and end up backing down and smoothing things out myself because it seems he never will. We tend not to argue too much thankfully though.
Although..... we have only been married for 11 months - together for 3 years.
he treats me really well - nothing at all like the stereotypes of J-men.
we have to put soo much effort into constant clear communication, so there's not too many misunderstandings - as I can't speak much Japanese and his English is not yet perfect. Communication is so important in marriage - especially international ones!

kirei_na_me
Aug 16, 2003, 21:24
Originally posted by Elizabeth
This is a really interesting and curious sort of phenomenon which probably does explain to some degree the strong stereotypes of Japanese men as misogenistic and women as unintellectual wimpering saps. Which I've seen played out more in crude body language and dirty looks :blush: than actual understanding. So......asked some friends in the states and Japan more about their own experiences, but haven't heard back anything yet.

You see, this goes along with my theory that, unfortunately, some Japanese people can be seen as so unbelievably phony and fake and superficial. If they go around acting like one thing but meaning something else, it's hard for me to think otherwise sometimes. It's the whole yes means no/no means yes and the whole issue of having to be able to read minds instead of actually talking about something. It's the land of contradiction...

Elizabeth
Aug 17, 2003, 04:49
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
You see, this goes along with my theory that, unfortunately, some Japanese people can be seen as so unbelievably phony and fake and superficial. If they go around acting like one thing but meaning something else, it's hard for me to think otherwise sometimes. It's the whole yes means no/no means yes and the whole issue of having to be able to read minds instead of actually talking about something. It's the land of contradiction...
Yeah, I can really sympathize with you on this as well, Rachel. It is impossible sometimes to tell how much of this "fakeness" is just a cultural artifact or whether the people really are as superficial and materialistic as they might want to appear. Although my case is a bit unusual since I can almost always tell what my boyfriend is feeling from the terribly infectious, boyish, even cute side to his personality which has trouble holding anything back. Often without the thoughtfulness or kindness of other Japanese men I've known, though, so there's bound to be a tradeoff of some kind. And without meaning to pry or anything, I'm just curious how much of these cultural logjams you were aware of before getting into this situation?

kirei_na_me
Aug 17, 2003, 05:08
Ah, good question. I'll be back to post the answer later. No, you're not prying at all... ;)

Had more time than I thought...

Anyway, as I said in my earlier post, I didn't know much about Japanese culture before I met my husband. I did think that Japanese men were oppresive towards women and I thought they were chauvinistic, but my husband was completely different from that image when I met him.

Before we were married, he was extremely kind, thoughtful, and very open affectionately. He would openly show his affection in public and even loved to do so since he wasn't really able to do so back in Japan. He would act giddy around me and do all kinds of things that told me that he cared about me. Very charming and romantic and the main thing about him was that he was so understanding about everything, it seemed. I would say he remained this way until after our second child was born. Then, it seemed he kicked into straight-laced, hyper-responsible mode. I believe Japanese men to be responsible to a fault. He was like a completely different person.

I always said that I would never change after marriage, and I honestly believe I've held to that. I still try to joke and have fun and try to keep myself in shape, I try to get my mom to take the kids sometimes so that we can go out, but he really doesn't understand that. It is true that he did tell me a couple years back that I was selfish for wanting to have time for myself or whatever and he did say that after marriage and kids, the "fun"(in particular sex) was supposed to die down. I think it's just the image they have of what marriage is supposed to be like. I think in stereotypical Japanese minds, they think that the mother is supposed to(or willingly just do so without any hesitation) sacrifice her life for her children. My children mean a lot to me, but as I said before, I also believe the relationship between husband and wife is just as important. I just don't think that's a concept they can grasp. I really don't.

It's not that he's a bad person. He's just got ways that most of us--including myself--are not accustomed to. He takes care our family and makes sure we have everything we need--or want, for that matter, but I think sometimes, the Japanese father can get a little too hung up on being responsible.

Maybe I'll PM you sometime, Elizabeth, with something that I think you might be able to understand. Something that doesn't have a place on this forum... ;)

den4
Aug 17, 2003, 10:12
more of a pride issue, methinks....
have relatives in J-land that are like that...I don't think it's so much a "responsibility" issue than a pride issue....or a weirded out form of a fair weather friend syndrome taken on a J-version as far as your "fakeness" issues that you've noticed...

having had the misfortune of having to listen to a bunch of J-women talk about their husbands...yakyakyak...several times, you can break those into two groups, basically: those that have been spoiled by their parents, friends, social status, etc., and those that are more down-to-earth and can understand what the average person is going through....there is also a lot of folks in denial, too, because they can't deal with the fact that their social-economical world has gone to hell over the last decade or two.....and there is also a lot of folks who lack experience to make any educated comments...thus the "fakery" you mentioned....chances are they know nothing, so that's the superficial aspects you see....this doesn't explain everything, but it does offer some observations... :D

but what do I know...? :D

neko_girl22
Aug 17, 2003, 10:15
it's so sad you guys have all had negative experiences!
I'm not saying life with my J-man is smooth sailing but.... I've yet to experience any cultural difference that I can seriously complain about. There are things that annoy me, but we seem to work around them.

My husband's best friend said something really sweet last time I met him - that his relationship with his wife is the most important thing. Wife first, daughter second. Having a strong and loving relationship with his wife gives his daughter a happy family to grow up in. I think this is a great attitude!

.....perhaps we shouldn't confuse personality traits with cultural differences. Or just "MEN" things that are plain annoying.:p

neko_girl22
Aug 17, 2003, 10:29
you can break those into two groups, basically: those that have been spoiled by their parents, friends, social status, etc.,

that's a good point. Weak or strange Japanese men I've met do seem to be in this bracket. (Mummy's boys across the world...)

Maybe my husband is an eccentric in Japan!
-My husband was basically left to fend for himself when he was 15 after his Mother died and Father withdrew into himself - cooking, cleaning etc ..... therefore he helps me with this and doesn't expect me to mother him....

-He's not a typical salary man - he hates office jobs even though they are better money ..... I'm so glad I don't have a husband who comes home at 10pm everynight!

I'm not making much sense I know, and I'm not bragging, just I'm trying to figure out if my hubby is the same underneath or can you get exceptions to the rule........

Elizabeth
Aug 17, 2003, 10:42
Originally posted by nzueda
that's a good point. Weak or strange Japanese men I've met do seem to be in this bracket. (Mummy's boys across the world...)
I think too there is a huge disconnect in terms of their socialization for a huge swath of Japanese kids, especially only children, who are spoiled at home -- basically allowed to run the house in many cases I've seen -- but still forced to conform to very strict group rules at school and later work. Probably where a lot of bullying and juvenile crime and other psychological problems come from as well. I am sympathetic but not to the point of wanting to marry one for sure ;).

Elizabeth
Aug 17, 2003, 11:26
Originally posted by nzueda
it's so sad you guys have all had negative experiences!
I'm not saying life with my J-man is smooth sailing but.... I've yet to experience any cultural difference that I can seriously complain about. There are things that annoy me, but we seem to work around them.
It is very, very sad.....and I know not having children myself I absolutely couldn't take the predictibility and sameness of an uber-responsible, proud, straight-laced man (almost my exact opposite) so in a way I do have to admire anyone who sticks with it. And of course, nzueda, there are all kinds of funny and sweet J-men out there with great minds and interesting opinions to talk with. I even know one or two of them personally as a matter of fact. ;)

den4
Aug 17, 2003, 13:00
actually, I wasn't specifying a specific gender....both men and women can fall into those categories, or into some other group....not because I like categorizing people, but because they try so hard to fit into a category all by themselves.....sometimes without even realizing it, I'm sure... :D

mdchachi
Oct 7, 2003, 13:01
They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls !

I got into this thread late but I was just wondering, how many people in your sample really said that they bathed with their dad into their teen years and beyond?!

neko_girl22
Oct 7, 2003, 18:56
I asked hubby and he said normally Father and daughter bathe together until 8 or 9 but he has heard of an idol that is about 19 and says she still bathes with her Father. So I guess there are some families that do that, but they would be in the minority.

mdchachi
Oct 8, 2003, 11:55
Yes, of course whole families might jump in the family onsen or something. But I think it's highly unusual for teen-aged daughters to bathe with their dads at home. The whole point of bathing with kids is to help them bathe. Once they reach a certain age, they can wash themselves.

Maciamo
Oct 8, 2003, 18:22
Those who have seen "My Neighbour Totoro" will remember that the 2 girls (the older is about 12) bathe with their dad. As it's one of the most popular anime in Japan and doesn't seem to shock anyone, it's because Japanese find it perfectly normal. Not so long ago, public baths and onsen were all unisex. There are still some that do not separate men and women, but thery are getting rarer as Japan is Westernizing and Americanizing itself.

I don't think men have any dirty thoughts at all when they bathe with their daughters. Japanese men very often do not even consider their own wives as a normal woman with whom to have sex once she becomes a mother. On the other hand, it's more acceptable for Japanese men to look for other women after that justly because the new mother doesn't care about sex anymore. It's a fundamental cultural difference.

Enfour
Oct 8, 2003, 19:00
Ahem... I think the main issue with the bathing question is that while families all use the same bath water, it is NOT because they are all jumping in the bath together at the same time.

Yes fathers and daughter use the same bathwater. The bath is filled at around 6pm and it stays in the bath until all the family have had their baths - usually IN TURNS.

The exception is when there are small children involved and the mother goes into supervise bath times.

Most fathers don't get home from work before their children have gone to bed. Most fathers would get home after 11pm on a weeknight.

Not many families have sento-sized baths in their houses and it is very difficult to fit more than one adult in a unit bath.

Onsens are a completely different matter and have been discussed already.

crcjapanguy
May 4, 2004, 03:41
Since the discussion here concerns marriage in Japan, I feel compelled to post a link to the following site:

http://www.crnjapan.com

This is a MUST READ site before marriage to, having children with, or divorce from a Japanese citizen. Take care out there....

neko_girl22
May 4, 2004, 13:25
Ahem... I think the main issue with the bathing question is that while families all use the same bath water, it is NOT because they are all jumping in the bath together at the same time.

Yes fathers and daughter use the same bathwater. The bath is filled at around 6pm and it stays in the bath until all the family have had their baths - usually IN TURNS.

Using the same bath water grosses you out? It might sound terrible but really it's not that bad. Because they do all there scrubbing and washing outside the bath , the bath water is used only to relax in - just like an onsen.
I once had the last bath while staying with a family of 5. The water was fine!
(btw, as the guest I would normally bathe first, but I came home late.)

Lina Inverse
May 5, 2004, 04:45
I'll have to say that the Japanese system makes perfect sense to me :haihai:
Should I ever marry, it will be for the sole purpose of having children.
I absolutely can't imagine to restrict my love to a single person for my entire life :mad:

ippolito
May 9, 2004, 20:51
We normally treat women with sentiments and we (italians) are genarally romantic
of course not all we also have bad guys.....but I know many cases thet jp an kr
girls that came here and never go back home....and married or have a realtions with italians......we love women and we love to that they feel women....in many ways

I had in the past some relations with jp girls i found them very kind and lovely
sometime a little cold as never know what they are thinking .....
meawhile i was an open book.....for them......this was a point for them ....
have a good day all.....
Ippolito

cristiand
May 10, 2004, 04:04
Right Ippolito, that s why many jp girls dream of an european man, look for him and find him.
It like a kind of reverse Veni Vidi Vici of your ancient co-citizen.
The only thing we have to do is to generalize millions and millions of couples, of minds of experiences in a simple easy reading receipt.
Japanese are so and so that s why so and so
Caucasian are so and so and so and testosterone high and testosterone low.
It s so difficult to understand the person we share our life with, to understand ourselves and we pretend to understand entire countries mentalities.
mmmm very difficult.....
I have a relation with a japanese woman and i agree with some of the things that have been written here but i saw so many radical differences

Gaki
May 10, 2004, 07:01
The only thing i know that's different is about "Western" and Chinese weddings, where "Western" marriages the bride's parents pays for the wedding (from what i've heard) and in Chinese Wedding the groom tends to pay everything and usually gives lucky money to the bride's parents as well.

kirei_na_me
May 10, 2004, 07:48
Same in Japan. I guess that was something else they got from China? I know in Japan, the groom's parents are also supposed to pay for the wedding and give money to the bride's family.

Maciamo
May 10, 2004, 10:19
The only thing i know that's different is about "Western" and Chinese weddings, where "Western" marriages the bride's parents pays for the wedding (from what i've heard) and in Chinese Wedding the groom tends to pay everything and usually gives lucky money to the bride's parents as well.

I am sorry, but it seems a bit hasty to say "Western countries" here. Traditionally it is like that in England (even though expenses tend to be divided between both parties nowadays), but it is not the case in Belgium and possibly France and other countries. So that could just be in English-speaking countries, and not even in all cases.


Same in Japan. I guess that was something else they got from China? I know in Japan, the groom's parents are also supposed to pay for the wedding and give money to the bride's family.

I have never heard about that. Usually nowadays, the guests pay everything as they have to pay a fixed amount of money (usually 10.000 to 30.000yen in Tokyo, depending on the formality of the party, but I heard it could be over 100.000yen in some regions). That replaces the gift and pays for all the wedding's expenses.

kirei_na_me
May 10, 2004, 11:24
I have never heard about that. Usually nowadays, the guests pay everything as they have to pay a fixed amount of money (usually 10.000 to 30.000yen in Tokyo, depending on the formality of the party, but I heard it could be over 100.000yen in some regions). That replaces the gift and pays for all the wedding's expenses.

Oh, wow. That's interesting, indeed. I guess it's getting more modernized/progressive(don't know what term is best?) now? In Tokyo, anyway? Every Japanese person I've ever known has told me about the groom's family paying for the wedding and giving a gift of money to the bride's family. Of course, most all the Japanese people I've known are from the country(Gifu area) and tend to be a little more traditional and conservative than people I've met who were from Tokyo.

When my best friend got married, her husband's family gave her family enough money that they were able to take a 2 month long trip to S. Korea, Hong Kong, Hawaii, etc. They didn't waste any time. They left the same time the newlyweds left for their honeymoon... :p

jolan
May 10, 2004, 20:38
Very interesting topic, thanks everybody. I don't have anything to say... In my opinion, I would never marry a Japanese girl simply because I would never marry someone. I don't believe in mariage, Asian or Western...

But who knows? I'm very influencable.... Well I think before saying yes, I'd just check i'm not in Nagoya lol!

kirei_na_me
May 10, 2004, 21:18
Good thinking, jolan. My advice to anyone single: Never get married! :p

dreamer
May 10, 2004, 21:39
Lol good advice :D
A friend of mine got married and he's hell regretting it now :D

ippolito
May 10, 2004, 22:55
Well in Itay we have the presents list...the couple gives a list to a big shop
of presents that could be useful....eg. color tv with dvd washer etc....
this to avoid to receive like in the past the same presents twice or 3 times
but we still accept the the "envelope" with money inside....
normally the couple pays for the lunch church flowers etc....if both work
and are in the position to spend some money ...here we do not have the habitude to rent marriage dresses....we buy.....and remain with us all the life...
meanwhile parentes of both help to buy a house...but in the recent years there are many young couples that leave in parents house as cannot buy or rent an house...and here no many children like in the past......we are now at grow 0 the number of new babies is the same of deaths....is not very positive......sign.....
hello to all
Ippolito

Gaki
May 11, 2004, 03:33
I am sorry, but it seems a bit hasty to say "Western countries" here. Traditionally it is like that in England (even though expenses tend to be divided between both parties nowadays), but it is not the case in Belgium and possibly France and other countries. So that could just be in English-speaking countries, and not even in all cases.

That's why i put Western in "..." marks... (-_-' )

I never said ALL WESTERN COUNTRIES, in fact i never used the word "countries". :okashii:

ippolito
May 11, 2004, 16:58
I am agree with Gaki in western there are so many differences between our life
and us or Beligium or Danimark etc.....probably it is between Japan and Thailand or
Philippines....
Ippolito

yimija
May 13, 2004, 22:48
Good thinking, jolan. My advice to anyone single: Never get married! :p

well, it seems so, anyway.
With my tremedous experience (?!?!?) I can't be of any help excepted with the saying of a well known chinese philosopher : don't get into easythings, they usually are the hardest one to come out of...
good luck anyway.

to jolan :
you said : In my opinion, I would never marry a Japanese girl simply because I would never marry someone. I don't believe in mariage, Asian or Western...

you never know, one of those marvelouse little japanese doll (a real one, I mean) could well make you change your mind, all right. It's not a shame, but think twice and give her all your love anyway, even if you don't get married.

kirei_na_me
May 14, 2004, 01:27
well, it seems so, anyway.
With my tremedous experience (?!?!?) I can't be of any help excepted with the saying of a well known chinese philosopher : don't get into easythings, they usually are the hardest one to come out of...
good luck anyway.

And it is so true...*sigh*

ippolito
May 14, 2004, 01:34
To jolan

About marriage....I had 2 wife........and long stories...
I am agree to be free....but now perhaps you are young when you will older
perhpas you will need to stop and have only one woman near you...expecially in difficolt moments...
But anyone has his experiences positive and negative..
Do not look only on exterior and phisical aspect perhaps a nice gentle japanese
woman or korean could give you much more that a wonderful western woman
is the inside the most important thing..not only externally.....
i had so many problems with some italian nice girls that you cannot image
and receive love and kindness from oriental girls (Japan and Korea)
But everybody has his point of view about this agroment.....depence of the
exepriences
bye
Ippolito

yimija
May 14, 2004, 13:24
[QUOTE=ippolito]To jolan

About marriage....I had 2 wife........and long stories...
I am agree to be free....but now perhaps you are young when you will older
perhpas you will need to stop and have only one woman near you...expecially in difficolt moments...
But anyone has his experiences positive and negative..
Do not look only on exterior and phisical aspect perhaps a nice gentle japanese
woman or korean could give you much more that a wonderful western woman
is the inside the most important thing..not only externally.....
i had so many problems with some italian nice girls that you cannot image
and receive love and kindness from oriental girls (Japan and Korea)
But everybody has his point of view about this agroment.....depence of the
exepriences

I tend to agree with you, I had some problems with an italian girl, too. But 2 marriage Ippolito ? Your are like Blue Beard, he ??? LOL, No the number is not important, as long as you loved them, even if it turned out the "wrong way".
As for your age, dont tell me you are over 80 ? That's old. If you are less than 80, then you are still young. No worries,like Einstein used to say, time is just an illusion... But I hope you are happy now with your korean wife (is she Nー 3, you monster ????) re-LOL

jolan
May 14, 2004, 14:42
I meaned I have a (non japanese)girl friend, I don't know yet if we can plan something, but I'm sure I don't want to be married. That doesn't mean I don't want to live with someone one day or that I don't want to have child. No I think marriage is something you have to believe in, something that mean something for you. For me, it doesn't mean anything else that law obligation, society pressure, non-thinking-and-doing-it-the-common-way. I don't want to feel oppressed by the surrounding society, that because I'm married I should do things like this and not like this. You may think I act like a teenager rebelling himself against society and so on, but this is not the case. My background, my education have been building as it does happen foe everybody on earth, a certain way of thinking, a system of value which I tend to refer to. According to mine, marriage means strictly nothing. Hopefully my girlfriend thinks the same!
My parents aren't married, and they haven't face any kind of matter (except me, of course!) so far.

ippolito
May 15, 2004, 05:23
No i am 53 not so old as you wrote...so you had problems with an italian girl too i supposed you were a girl....
anyway the prolems are not finished....it is a long story not for a forum..
i
so how was the italian girl? She was nice? [
bye bye
Ippolito san




QUOTE=yimija]
To jolan

About marriage....I had 2 wife........and long stories...
I am agree to be free....but now perhaps you are young when you will older
perhpas you will need to stop and have only one woman near you...expecially in difficolt moments...
But anyone has his experiences positive and negative..
Do not look only on exterior and phisical aspect perhaps a nice gentle japanese
woman or korean could give you much more that a wonderful western woman
is the inside the most important thing..not only externally.....
i had so many problems with some italian nice girls that you cannot image
and receive love and kindness from oriental girls (Japan and Korea)
But everybody has his point of view about this agroment.....depence of the
exepriences

I tend to agree with you, I had some problems with an italian girl, too. But 2 marriage Ippolito ? Your are like Blue Beard, he ??? LOL, No the number is not important, as long as you loved them, even if it turned out the "wrong way".
As for your age, dont tell me you are over 80 ? That's old. If you are less than 80, then you are still young. No worries,like Einstein used to say, time is just an illusion... But I hope you are happy now with your korean wife (is she Nー 3, you monster ????) re-LOL

Golgo_13
May 15, 2004, 06:36
Using the same bath water grosses you out? It might sound terrible but really it's not that bad. Because they do all there scrubbing and washing outside the bath , the bath water is used only to relax in - just like an onsen.
I once had the last bath while staying with a family of 5. The water was fine!
(btw, as the guest I would normally bathe first, but I came home late.)

Just imagine the monthly water bill if you had to fill the tub 5 times each night!

yimija
May 15, 2004, 17:05
Just imagine the monthly water bill if you had to fill the tub 5 times each night!

take a shower, two by two. it'll save water, soap and time...

kirei_na_me
May 15, 2004, 20:53
take a shower, two by two. it'll save water, soap and time...

That sounds good to me...hehe

I still love my baths, though. I wish I had a huge tub... :blush:

aaronmcgrath
May 15, 2004, 23:54
all you people keep talking about the differences between the two (westerners japanese). there might be many differences in culture, but there is one common reason why two people stay together...love
Marriage is just a document. I could buy my girlfriend a ring and live with her and stay in her bed forever. Its not the same as marriage?

yimija
May 16, 2004, 14:20
all you people keep talking about the differences between the two (westerners japanese). there might be many differences in culture, but there is one common reason why two people stay together...love
Marriage is just a document. I could buy my girlfriend a ring and live with her and stay in her bed forever. Its not the same as marriage?

Yes, you do that, buy her a ring, but try to get OUT of her bed from time to time, there is a little housekeeping to be done outside !!!!!
lol.
but of course, I think you are basically right !!!


That sounds good to me...hehe

I still love my baths, though. I wish I had a huge tub... :blush:

Not only it sounds good but I assure you it feels good, too !!!

Never tryied ?? if not, make the proposal to dear hubby (once the kids are with grand'ma... mainly because of the "splashing around", we dont want the little marvels to be drowned....).

As for me (and that will NOT interrest anyone) I have never taken a bath in a bathtub in all my life (that I can remember) but only shower and that at least twice a day (yes, yes, I smell OK).


No i am 53 not so old as you wrote...so you had problems with an italian girl too i supposed you were a girl....
anyway the prolems are not finished....it is a long story not for a forum..
i
so how was the italian girl? She was nice? [
bye bye
Ippolito san

QUOTE=yimija]

Yes Ippolito san you're 1'000'000 times right :
I am a girl, and yes I had problems with a girl .

Is there anything that does'nt tally ? You know ? a woman can love another woman. It does happen, and that is the story of my life...

As for the Italian girl, she was an adorable Venezian woman. Her big problem was (still is probably) that she wanted too many things that <i could not / would not give her. You see, nothing so extraordinary ! Have a beautifull week Ipolito, take care of my sister, please and look well after yourself, too.

ippolito
May 16, 2004, 23:26
Well I can image but cannot understand what could be the feeling btwn 2 girls
as i never loved a man only girls and women....
I have been always actracted by 2 girls love....but not as passive watcher...
but would like to partecipate all 3....do you think is strange?
sayonara

yimija
May 17, 2004, 13:12
Well I can image but cannot understand what could be the feeling btwn 2 girls
as i never loved a man only girls and women....
I have been always actracted by 2 girls love....but not as passive watcher...
but would like to partecipate all 3....do you think is strange?
sayonara

Hello,
well I have never ever had experience with a man, of course, but I know and understand what love can do to two human beings. So it should not be too difficult for you to understand what love can do between 2 men or 2 women.

As for your envy to make it at 3, you are like all the men I know : 2 girls and you in the middle, no ? Try the other way : 2 men and your little woman in the middle. Would you appreciate ?

Now you can tell if it's stange or not. It all comes down to one thing : what's going on in your head. Then, once you know that, you can decide wether you are strange or not...

have a good week, Ippolito san

ippolito
May 17, 2004, 16:38
so you never have relations with a man...perhaps you never need him...
I respect your choice...you should have your reasons...
i do not find strange a love between 2 women or men but i perefer old style...
with a woman.....women are sweeter than men in this...so not rude....as 2 men could be with a woman.
i was talking to stay with 2 girls that love eachother...as i never saw this
this does not mean that i will do....it was just a desire of something to discover.
my little woman as you say would never accept that situation....
about your love in Venezia I saw there a lot of very nice girls....
so you have been in Toscana did you tried steak fiorentina?
I also like grappa and red wine but cannot drink anymore for high blood preassure
In Toscana is possible to find a very good cuisine...
one question do you live in Japan?
have a nice day
We write many things.....but the reality is different sometimes.....

yimija
May 17, 2004, 20:46
so you never have relations with a man...perhaps you never need him...
I respect your choice...you should have your reasons...

Dear Ippolito, thank you for your respect, I do appreciate and also, I DO have good reason : I'm born like that, Thank you to whoever is the donator of such a great present. I would never change anything,n ot a single thing.


i do not find strange a love between 2 women or men but i perefer old style...
with a woman.....women are sweeter than men in this...so not rude....as 2 men could be with a woman.
i was talking to stay with 2 girls that love eachother...as i never saw this
this does not mean that i will do....it was just a desire of something to discover.my little woman as you say would never accept that situation....

I hope you'll find peace of mind about all that. It's a good experience to come...


about your love in Venezia I saw there a lot of very nice girls....
so you have been in Toscana did you tried steak fiorentina?
I also like grappa and red wine but cannot drink anymore for high blood preassure
In Toscana is possible to find a very good cuisine...
one question do you live in Japan?
have a nice day
We write many things.....but the reality is different sometimes.....

I'm not sure about the steak fiorentina, it's possible, I might be a little confused with all the food I allread had in Italy... LOL.

Well, no I dont live in Japan, I'm a lot closer to you than you think. I "live" in Geneva (I say live because it's where I have an appartment,) but my work take me away most of the time and when I have holidays... I'll go somewhere else... But Venezia is only 5 hours drive from Venezia...

aaronmcgrath
May 17, 2004, 23:10
dude....just take it easy. dont get so excited.
Anyway dont you think it should be one and one...i dont have a problem with MM or FF relationships or whatever.
But with 3 people thats bad. i know i am just another ****** who still believes in love...but didnt you ever think you would have soulmate who would be the only one you are ever with?

yimija
May 17, 2004, 23:49
dude....just take it easy. dont get so excited.
Anyway dont you think it should be one and one...i dont have a problem with MM or FF relationships or whatever.
But with 3 people thats bad. i know i am just another ****** who still believes in love...but didnt you ever think you would have soulmate who would be the only one you are ever with?

Don't calll Ippolito san dude, mate, it ain't nice, and it's a nice & respectable forum here. From one aussie to another one.

And as long as you are not within the "3 people that's bad", everybody has the right to do what he/she/they want in their home. Of course I understand very well that you do not like it that way. But you are still young and you might well change your mind later, and there will be nothing wrong with that either.

So you see, life is simple and pleasant. Goodday, mate !

kirei_na_me
May 17, 2004, 23:49
As far as I'm concerned, one on one is the best way to go, whether it's male or female.

Anyway...back to our regularly scheduled program... :p

Golgo_13
May 18, 2004, 04:21
take a shower, two by two. it'll save water, soap and time...

What happens if one drops the soap? :D

yimija
May 18, 2004, 13:06
What happens if one drops the soap? :D
whatever must happend will happend, anyway, so what's the worry ?
but, if you are affraid, you can take a bath (two by two, too)
if not, dont choose any of the two solutions (not really recomended unless you live in the Taklamakan desert - where you'll never find a shower or an onse, anyway)

Golgo_13
May 19, 2004, 05:20
whatever must happend will happend, anyway, so what's the worry ?


You wouldn't be saying that if you were the one bending over ! :D :D

yimija
May 19, 2004, 13:03
You wouldn't be saying that if you were the one bending over ! :D :D

well, it will mainly depend on a lot of things, but since I only take showers with someone I know extremely well, I would probably still say that...

Do you take showers with strangers ??? LOL !!!!! Then your point of view is interesting, of course...

ippolito
May 19, 2004, 16:49
Well ono to one of course is the best opposite sex.....
But i have done many experiences with girls and woman
specially with orientals...
what I wrote as i am very curious....and as jimijia wrote (i am agree with her)
in a house we are free if the other girl or gilrs is in harmomy....and not forced.
but I did never tried ....it was only a shadow dream...perhaps it willl remain so.




dude....just take it easy. dont get so excited.
Anyway dont you think it should be one and one...i dont have a problem with MM or FF relationships or whatever.
But with 3 people thats bad. i know i am just another ****** who still believes in love...but didnt you ever think you would have soulmate who would be the only one you are ever with?

gokarosama
Mar 1, 2005, 21:20
I wonder if I'm alone in thinking the first post here is an amalgam of prevailing stereotypes and cannot in any way be applied accurately to individual couples. In other words, as they say here, "case by case"...

?

Maciamo
Mar 1, 2005, 21:40
I wonder if I'm alone in thinking the first post here is an amalgam of prevailing stereotypes and cannot in any way be applied accurately to individual couples. In other words, as they say here, "case by case"...

Well, that seems pretty obvious that we can never talk for everybody, just the most representative part of the population (that is, the major tendency found in a particulat social group, here the Japanese and Westerners).

Maciamo
Mar 4, 2005, 07:46
I have split the discussion about India/Bangladesh started by Rayc here (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15200)

misa.j
Mar 6, 2005, 08:48
I have been reading this thread lately since it was brought up again, have noticed the topic has been shifting to all kinds of directions, and it's very interesting.

It seems to me that a religion or one's belief take a huge part of decision making such as marriage, for some people. I'm very new to this idea and kind of makes me wonder if having different religions interferes a relationship in anyway.

Another thing I thought about is the reason why some Japanese men seem rather family oriented and serious than affectionate and romantic might be related to him being the oldest son in the family.

It seems like a lot of Japanese still think that the oldest child is supposed to be resposible for his/her parents and their own family, but it is indeed sad that some of them lose interests in maintaining other importances.

Mars Man
Aug 9, 2005, 00:56
This subject, in a lot of ways has been on my working desk for the past three years, and it is this very subject which brought me to the forum in the first place--marriage/divorce in Jpn.

As so often these days (I'm still new) I'm getting in on the end of the line, kind of. Maciamo, I think the original write-up is well done, plenty researched out, and pretty much gets all the facts right. Nice job! Kirei na me, I will jump up and down and shout it from the Tokyo tower--you've gotta really milk that cow! All the people and sites and such dealing with marriage/relationships/sex/love say that over and over again. I'm sure you know the likes of 'men from Mars, women from Venus' or the books by the Pease's. The brain people are saying it too. The Anatomy of Love is a good book too. SO... yes the love cocktail will only last at most some 18 months, long enough to have bred and developed some feeling of being used to the partner before that 'wild oats' sower would be on his way again, and so you've got to rekindle that hormonal flow with memories--they carry strong emotion kickers-in.

With all the gender awareness coming out of the states, I hope it will be sooner than later that it really starts getting into society here in Japan. I think a well-balance sex education program would really help in developing the love marriagae concept here. (I'm not saying it needs to be replaced, there are different strokes for different folks--although all the housewives I've talked to on this subject who had done that expressed an emptiness now, after the children had grown up. That may be one major cause in the 'older divorcee' problem that's still growing, it seems.

I'll get back with some good sites and stuff. I've got one good tutorial about schemas for female/male 'roles' which society unconsciously pressures us into. I've gotta go to bed now. (Oh, and my Japanese wife and I don't do it the Japanese way with the money, but we both report to each other, and we both share and keep open minds as oft as possible. GOOD NIGHT, my bride of youth (now who said I was old) is waiting !! (yeah, Mars Man, only in your dreams!)

-Rudel-
Aug 9, 2005, 11:23
Posted By: Maciamo

...That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening)....

I never want to cheat on my wife, considering I go by western standards. My wife tells me that being together is more important than money. It's amazing. I never heard anyone talk like that. Especially since I worry about money all the time. I just want the best for her. Just my 2 cents :-)

Keoland
Aug 10, 2005, 02:40
I once had the last bath while staying with a family of 5. The water was fine!
(btw, as the guest I would normally bathe first, but I came home late.)

And you got to use the water last? And liked it? It's usually quite cold by then... which I suppose is why the father always gets to go last (men suffer...)

Anyway, I'm glad someone pointed out that 'taking a bath' in Japan isn't the same thing as in the West, and that in a normal house isn't possible for two people to be in the tub at the same time (and even less likely that they wash together, because that would mean that one of them gets to freeze outside while the other sits in the water).

As for the big tubs, it is not shocking if the whole family is there - it helps to spend some quality time together.



take a shower, two by two. it'll save water, soap and time...

I heard that american males pee on their girlfriends when they are not watching if they take shower together (actually, I heard several americans bragging to each other about it). Is that true? :clueless:



I have never heard about that. Usually nowadays, the guests pay everything as they have to pay a fixed amount of money (usually 10.000 to 30.000yen in Tokyo, depending on the formality of the party, but I heard it could be over 100.000yen in some regions). That replaces the gift and pays for all the wedding's expenses.

In Japan too? I know that this is done in China: the guests have to bring in a certain amount of money and that pays for the wedding expenses. Which is why marriages tend to have many guests.

I was amazed at how chinese weddings were so similar to the ones in my country, really... we also have that tradition :o

In fact, a good deal of the things that are pointed out as "Japanese" were the rule here, too... my grandmother had to quit her job when she got married (even though she made more money than my grandfather and then they had some financial hardships for decades).

Also, until the mid 1970s, women in my country were the legal property of their husbands - if my mother fled from home, my father could call the police to get her delivered back home, no questions asked... :mad:

Also, it was still common for people of my generation to sleep with their parents... it did it on and off until I was 7, some till later on. It CAN affect independence (one of my friends still slept with them at age 30).

Also, here people tend to live with parents until married (some - like me - are exceptions, but most adhere to this rule), with the result that many people live with daddy and mommy till their late 30s, 40s or even 50s (my 55-year-old aunt never married, thus she never left the parental home, for example. And I have at least two friends in their 40s that still live with their parents).

I must say that the differences between 'West' and Japan seem to me to be less than what they are... or is my country that different? From the US, maybe. But not from all of Europe, surely!

Regards,
Keoland

ziad
Aug 10, 2005, 03:17
Quite interesting. :)

Silverpoint
Aug 11, 2005, 02:52
Usually nowadays, the guests pay everything as they have to pay a fixed amount of money (usually 10.000 to 30.000yen in Tokyo, depending on the formality of the party, but I heard it could be over 100.000yen in some regions). That replaces the gift and pays for all the wedding's expenses.

Since I'm getting married soon, perhaps I can give a little more insight into this process. I was in two minds about revealing the exact cost of my wedding party, but since this is basically anonymous (no one knows me other than as Silverpoint) I think I can safely fill you in on the details. I'll give (approximate) dollar figures as well for those who aren't familiar with Japanese yen.

My wedding will cost about 2,000,000 yen (about $20,000). This is reasonably high for Hokkaido where I live. Down south, especially in Tokyo, costs can be a lot higher.

Of this, each guest who attends the wedding will pay 12,000 yen ($60) and we will have about 75 guests. So in total the guests will pay about 900,000 yen ($9,000). Each guest absolutely has to pay. If you and your partner are both guests at our wedding you have to pay for both people. It's also worth pointing out that any singletons who come to our wedding who get married in the future will be pretty much obliged to invite us to their wedding, so over the coming years we will end up paying back a large amount of the money we receive.

This figure is pretty standard for Hokkaido. In Tokyo the guest fee is more likely to be 30,000 yen ($150) which is exactly what I paid to attend a friend's wedding last year. Although Maciamo mentioned that he's heard of wedding fees costing 100,000+ yen, I'd suggest this would be extremely unusual. Even if the couple getting married are wealthy, there are always going to be guests for whom 100,000 yen is a serious amount of money and considerably more than they could afford.

As you can see the money from our guests is considerably short of paying for the entire wedding (about 1.1 million yen short in fact!). The rest of the money is provided by myself and my fiancee, and both sets of parents. In recognition of the high cost of my entire family coming out to Japan for the wedding, my fiancee's father has insisted that his contribution should be higher. If both sets of parents were Japanese, I don't know for sure what would happen.

Tradition dictates that we have to provide a gift to every guest that attends (nothing major - just a token offering to thank them for coming). Each person will get exactly the same gift. Hotels keep a catalogue of gifts which the couple can choose from. I believe that our gift to each person will cost 1,650 yen which doesn't sound like a lot, but multiply it by 75 and you get 123,750 yen (or over $1,200 worth of booty which we have to give back). This money is provided by us.

All the money from the guests goes immediately to the hotel. Rather than financing the entire wedding, the guests pay only for their meal which is a fairly lavish affair (I believe it's 7 courses, although I'd need to check). The price of the meal is set by the hotel and is usually the same in pretty much every hotel you visit. Guests usually know the 'local' rate and so it would be impossible for us to ask for more.



One thing that is interesting about Japanese weddings is who gets to attend. Certainly in England (and I daresay in many other 'western' countries) people generally get invited as couples. For example if I invited a co-worker, they would normally get to bring their wife/partner along. However in Japan, only people who are personally known to the people getting married are generally invited. So if if neither myself or my fiancee knows the co-workers wife or husband, they simply don't get invited. This works quite well for two reasons. 1) Everyone who attends knows the couple getting married. There are no people who feel a bit out of place because they've just been invited as a token gesture. 2) It avoids partners of guests having to pay to go to a wedding where they don't really know anyone.

If anyone has any burning questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.

cicatriz esp
Aug 11, 2005, 07:46
Not a question, but the concept of a guest being obliged to pay to attend a wedding completely boggles my mind. I'd never attend another wedding if that were a universal custom.

kirei_na_me
Aug 11, 2005, 07:56
Not a question, but the concept of a guest being obliged to pay to attend a wedding completely boggles my mind. I'd never attend another wedding if that were a universal custom.

You and me both.

Oh well, it's just the difference in culture...

Mars Man
Aug 11, 2005, 09:28
Silverpoint, you really paid through the nose for that one !! I truly wish you a great and most successful married life !! Remember to work hard to keep the ole 'love cocktail' alive over the years, and that it takes two to tango, two hands to clap, and that two heads are better than one.

My wedding was (well, second wedding, unfortunately) done in the kaihi style. All the guests were given a quote of the cost per person (of course ending in less than the estimated total on purpose) with the neighbors getting a little discount since their going is slightly 'giri' (obligation is a lose translation). Some gave more. We had the food served 'viking' style (buffet). To the best of my memory, it was at a total cost of some 620,000 yen. I don't like expensive, flamboyant weddings. I've seen some couples recently go quite simple--signing the papers and later having a simple party style reception. Love is more important than the show, would be my vote !!

Silverpoint
Aug 11, 2005, 11:01
Not a question, but the concept of a guest being obliged to pay to attend a wedding completely boggles my mind. I'd never attend another wedding if that were a universal custom.

Presumably in America it would be considered pretty rude if you didn't buy a wedding gift though? It's just the same thing expressed in a different way. It's not "paying" to attend. It's a system by which married couples are able to offset some of the costs of a very expensive day by everyone contributing a little. Since every couple that gets married gets the same deal, it allows almost anyone to have a reasonably decent wedding without worrying about completely bankrupting yourself.

Personally I think it's a very practical system. I'd much rather have my guests help pay for our day than get given half a dozen toaster ovens and bunch of kitchenware that I have no room to store.

Keoland
Aug 11, 2005, 17:20
As you can see the money from our guests is considerably short of paying for the entire wedding (about 1.1 million yen short in fact!). The rest of the money is provided by myself and my fiancee, and both sets of parents. In recognition of the high cost of my entire family coming out to Japan for the wedding, my fiancee's father has insisted that his contribution should be higher. If both sets of parents were Japanese, I don't know for sure what would happen.

:shock: Whaa...?

Over here, the cheapest of the cheapest weddings (a traditional one, unless you just show up at the civil registry, which isn't a proper wedding at all) is 10,000 euro [1,367,000 yen].

But that's the lowest! An average wedding - like my cousin's - went up to 20,000 euro (2,734,000 yen) and they go up to 50,000 euro (6,835,000 yen).

To compensate, the absolute minimum fee a guest has to give is 150 euro (20,500 yen), which is what I give, though it can go up to as high as 500 euro (68,400 yen). So guests effectively pay for the party, as long as you manage to invite enough of them (100-200 is recommended).

As a comparison of the cost of living, the *average* monthly wage here is 600 euro (82,000 yen).

So I reckon marrying in Japan is actually quite cheap... :souka:

Regards,
Keoland

TuskCracker
Aug 11, 2005, 21:35
Japanese relation to sex

There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.

Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.

In the age of AIDS, isn't this seen as not good. And then the cost of this, hostess bars, and such.
.
.

budd
Aug 12, 2005, 01:47
it's just different
smoking and driving fast cars ain't good neither, but people do it

Silverpoint
Aug 12, 2005, 03:17
In the age of AIDS, isn't this seen as not good. And then the cost of this, hostess bars, and such.


Actually it's total crap. The first poster is living in some kind of fantasy world.

cicatriz esp
Aug 12, 2005, 12:01
Ah, so wedding presents are not required to be given, then. Thanks for clearing that up, it makes more sense now.

And actually, in the west there is the concept of "registries" so the couple doesn't get a whole bunch of useless stuff they then have to sell on ebay.

Silverpoint
Aug 12, 2005, 13:47
So I reckon marrying in Japan is actually quite cheap... :souka:


Yes it is. It was one of the factors in our decision to get married in Japan. An equivalent wedding in London where I'm from would cost probably 3 or 4 times as much.

Minty
May 5, 2006, 05:54
Another great topic Maciamo!!!:cool:


Reason for marriage
Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%.
This is quite similar to Chinese.


Japanese family relationships
Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (this may not be true in international couples, from what I've heard).
In most families, children sleep with both parents or just the mother. The the latter case, the father has his own room. I've been told that this way he wouldn't wake his wife and children up when he comes back late from work.
Sleeping with the child(ren) in the middle of the parents is so common in Japan that Japanese and a special name for it, a comparison it to the kanji 川 (kawa = river). Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.
Well Chinese men regard his wife as a mother after their child is born but the difference is he also still sees her as his women. Some Chinese children sleep with their mothers too but not as old as 16.


Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !). They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls ! I guess that if the average Japanese man loses interest in his wife once she becomes a mother, there is no problem with children either.

That's culture shock to me!


I've heard a lot that Westerners would be afraid of crushing their new-born baby by sleeping in the same bed, but I was told that it never happened (of all mamals, only male sealions and pandas sometime crush their babies to death when sleeping with them, but never humans would it seem). The good point of the mother sleeping with the baby is that the baby doesn't cry because it feels secure near its mother and has a unexhaustable warm-milk bottle at its disposal. I've read that it was better for babies to be breastfed than drink other milk. That system definitely has its advantages.

Actually my husband's mother slept with her new born children and grandchildren down stairs because they were so noisy, and annoyed the men of the house. Yes, she is European.


Another concern is that the parents lose their privacy and can't have sex anymore - unless doing it in front of the child, which is a kind of taboo in the Judeo-Christian mindset. As Japanese parents stop having sex regularily after their children are born, that isn't a problem.
For international couples who do continue, I was told little babies can sleep very well even with the parents doing whatever they please right beside them. But they should have their own room from age 3 or 4 then.
Finally, lots of Westerners think it might cause psychological problems to the children to sleep with their parents. But Japanese do it and seem to be alright with it. The only drawback I can think of is the independence factor. Japanese are very group-minded and usually have difficulty thinking by themselves. It may be related.
That's why Japanese people are very attached to their parents and are kiddie. The Taiwanese seems to be also like that, but not so sure about loosing interest in the sex thing though.


Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?
1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will (or from what society has inculcated them). Japanese men also prefer that their wife stay at home once married. Women almost always want to spend as much time as they can with their babies (remember J-girls like what is "kawaii" ? The connection is evident).
2) Nursery schools are few and very expensive in Japan (I've heard about 200.000 yen/month). It make more sense for the mother to stay at home than work and pay almost all her salary for the nursery. In most Western countries, nurseries and kindergartens are free, which allows lots of mothers to work.
3) Paternity leaves don't exist in Japan, and (paid) maternity leave are not encouraged.
I think it's the same in Chinese. (Not sure about the mainland)


Japanese relation to sex
There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.
Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
Japanese men who miss talking to young and cute girls (or not so young and not so cute, depending on the price and place) go to hostess bars or "snack" after work. Nothing much happens there except dirty talk. Those who want to go more carnal have the soaplands and massage parlours, but Asian men's testosterone level is reputedly lower than Caucasian or African men, so they are often satisfied with just talking, watching - and groping...

Yes I supposed so, when I was dating my husband (boyfriend at the time) my Asian counterparts asked me whether "Western men are very sexual?" Also for Chinese it is possible to be boyfriend/girlfriend without sexual relationship but my husband said over here if people say they are boy/girl friend that means they have sexual relationship.


There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want. Remember that marriage is not much more than a man giving almosy all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. It suely sounds utterly shocking to lots of you, but after talking to (female) Japanese and other Asian friends I know quite well, they don't even see it as abnormal. It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).

I have seen Japanese drama that reflects this. This is why Japanese girls have sexual experiences much earlier than Chinese girls. I wonder when you say Asian friends where in Asia are they from. Yes a lot of Asians are materialistic.


Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status. My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia.
Divorce and charge of the children

Yes most Chinese women like cute babies too; this is one of the reasons why many Chinese have many children.


In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don't really care about them. He comes back late from work and rarely take part in their education. After a divorce, it's not normal for the father to just forget about his offsprings. He doesn't care very much. That's the mother's role to care for them.

That's how my family works too. Why you think I often say that as a Sino Malaysian instead of having Sino Malaysian accent when I speak Mandarin I have Taiwanese accent instead.


That might sound crude again to some Westerners, as in the West parents sometimes fight bitterly over the charge of their children, and in peaceful cases, it's usual to find arrangement such as the children stay one week with the mother, next week with the father, or, weekdays at the mother's and weekends at the father's. Anyway, lots of father would feel terrible not to see their children regularily. (see the thread about children abduction (http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=323) on this regard).

Hmmm, I think it depends on the family. I do know Western families where the males don't like children it's the females who want them.

Nana007
May 6, 2006, 07:36
Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !).

By western do you mean Caucasian? African American children tend to sleep in the bed with their parents. Although with married/dating couples the child tends to stop sleeping in the bed around 3/4. But children with a single mother tend to sleep in the bed for a bit longer. I myself had my own bedroom since I was 5. But for the most part I slept in the bed with my mom until I was 12. It really wasn't until I became a teenager and wanted to be independent that I really started to sleep in my own room, and even then when I was sick or maybe scared I would climb in her bed. The same thing with my little cousin she slept with her mom until she was 13. I notice the same trend amoung some hispanic groups.

Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.

bossel
May 6, 2006, 10:06
I think it's the same in Chinese. (Not sure about the mainland)

The mainland is different. Don't know about the countryside, but in the cities there is easy access to nursery schools & such (though it's not necessarily cheap). Many women work again after they had their child.



Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.
Why not with the father?

nurizeko
May 6, 2006, 20:15
For the reference of more recent viewers to this thread, do remember japan is a different country with different values, especially to love and relationships not tied to a christian pounded in sense that sex is somehow sinful and dirty.
Also Maciamo is now well known by his own admittance to have not liked living in Japan, he has proclaimed to have lived in many different countries.
Im not sure which but by his dislike of Japan i would assume their mostly if not entirely western/european countries.
Finally Japan is just one of those love-hate things like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.


Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.

For reference again, this is because western society of late has effectively cast all men as sexual predators who given half a chance would prey on the innocence and purity of virgins, and children or anything else they can stick their dick into.

bossel
May 7, 2006, 10:36
Im not sure which but by his dislike of Japan i would assume their mostly if not entirely western/european countries.
I wouldn't call it a general dislike of Japan. If that were so, he wouldn't have tried to assimilate as he did.


Finally Japan is just one of those love-hate things like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.
There is always something in between. I, for example.


For reference again, this is because western society of late has effectively cast all men as sexual predators who given half a chance would prey on the innocence and purity of virgins, and children or anything else they can stick their dick into.
Luckily it's not as bad yet in Germany. The US seems a horrible place in that regard. What's it like in Britain, nowadays? I know that there was this hysteria some years ago, but I thought that has died down.

nurizeko
May 7, 2006, 18:01
The main issue in britain is pedophilia, if your remotely suspected of being a pedophile you can bet your neighbourhood will rise up and protest outside your house, effectively pedophiles in britain are the modern witch, it's less about you being genuinly guilty, just the mere taint of an accusation is treated as fact, and your existance immediately relegated to the catagory of sub-human.

Rape and sexual harrassment social attitudes seem about normal for europe, in britain, britain isnt as bad as America in those regards.

But yeah, never accuse a friend even joknigly of being a pedophile here.

You know that thing where sometimes young kids show each other their nether regions?, its a rare and silly/embarrassing event for the parents but otherwise i'de considor it a harmless exploration of themselves (since they have no idea of sexuality at that age)...we've had people go ape-sh** over it as if somehow a carnal sin against human decency has been committed.

Ma Cherie
May 7, 2006, 23:23
While on the topic, there's a book entitled "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex"

This book was published in the US and it did cause a great deal of controversy. But this book raises the issue that children can have or better yet, teenagers sexual desires. The issue about protecting children from things like nudity, but the raises the question as to what society is really protecting children from.

osias
May 8, 2006, 00:23
I found this topic pretty stupid...Girls bathing with their own father at the age of 20???? I wouldn't say non-existent, but very unlikely..I think this is what Maciamo wants..Too much porno, or something..??

nurizeko
May 13, 2006, 18:36
osias, maciamo again, by his own admittance, didnt like japan, i personally feel he made wildly generalising statements about it, took things out of context or exhagirated them.

maciamo's cool, and has many good posts otherwise.

Maciamo
May 13, 2006, 20:55
osias, maciamo again, by his own admittance, didnt like japan, i personally feel he made wildly generalising statements about it, took things out of context or exhagirated them.

I think it belongs to me to decide whether I like Japan or not. In fact, I do like Japan. Japan is one of my favourite countries outside Western Europe. I love Japanese food, I like many things about traditional and modern Japanese culture.

What bothered me about Japan is the way Japanese do not differentiate much between foreigners from every country and have such strong stereotypes and prejudices against anything that is not Japanese (in very broad lines, I don't want to explain the details again). I also dislike Japanese politicians, and complained a lot about the relatively poor standard of living compared to what I was used to in Europe. But otherwise I do like many things about Japan. I just wouldn't live there anymore.

Dutch Baka
May 13, 2006, 20:57
Guess Maciamo made his point by this, and by many other posts about his opinion, so leave the guy alone about this!

meverieJp
May 18, 2006, 01:58
somewhat sounds true to some extent, but on the whole over-generalized.
Note: when I say Westerners here, it means Europeans and all those immigrants of the other countries who are originated from Europe.



Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household.

I'm not so sure what kind of resource this is based on but according to the statistics of National Institute of Poppulation and Social Security Recearch (http://www.ipss.go.jp/), which took place in 2002, only 7.6% of the marriage out of 6949 couples are arranged marriages.
However, I suspect that all the Japanese, not to mention the rest of the world, are genuinely choosing their spouse only for what you might call "love" as seen in trophy wives and gold diggers everywhere.



Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end.
pretty much sounds true. some J-guy seem to think marriage is a kind of opportunity to show how responsible he can be with family to the society. (course, it's not all about that though.)



Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.
Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !)
I reckon the 16 years old case is an extreme one. I've also found a statistics (http://www.cafeglobe.com/news/dailynews/dn20000210-02.html) which says 1/3 of British adult male under 36 are sleeping in the same room of their moms, which would be, of course, with no privacy.
I assume this would be also a matter of the space in a house.


They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls !
I reckon bathing with a 20 year old is entirely an extreme case. It even sounds like me saying "Don't forget they European have sexual intercourse with animals even if he is not a navy!". Well, This survey (http://www.fmy.co.jp/sp/present/old/001216.html)in 2000 shows the percentage of it. As for the girls, the first is 10 years old in 23.9%, 9 years old comes for the 2nd in 11.32%, and the 3rd is for 6 & 8 years old in 9.43%. As for the total, 10 years old is the first. It includes bathing with the same sex parent so bathing with opposite sex parent is expected to be lower than that.

I'd say that because the most Westerners don't have the habit of bathing with other people, it would sound unacceptable to have a bath with family members. Most Japanese would consider bathing with family members as a place to communicate for mutual affinity, singing together, playing hand games, talking about daily life etc.. And in old style public bath houses, it used to be a good place to deepen social friendship with non-family members and for kids to learn social manners from them. As you can see in the expression "Hadaka no tsukiai--skin to skin communication", which means "while naked, one can feel like speaking openly as they have nothing to hide". There was a time that we didn't have to worry about those possible perverts out there. But today, I wouldn't put my child in a bath of the opposite sex.

Incidentally, some Finnish people enjoy sauna naked with family as well as with others in public ones.
Moreover, given the existence of the nude beaches in Europe, this "even 20 year-old girls !" even sounds like a theatrical reaction.
* Why are they jogging only with a tank top on without wearing bra in public while bouncing their breasts, by the way? expecting to distract guys?:blush:



Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?
1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will
Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight.

Looking down on women at work would be true save for those relatively new companies such as venture companies. According to the statistics of NIPSSR, over 90% of Japanese women want their husband to understand and cooperate with their work. And the percentage of those who consider being a house wife as their ideal life course is 19% and the rest wants to work.
I assume this idea is more likely based on the Japanese men's fantasy or that of the women's taking advantage of it. Incidentally, this notion of house wife system originally came from America. I think Japanese marriage life is more codependent on its mind-set, of which they might deem it as love.

Well, I'd write more later as I still have something to say, but I'll put a period for now since it's long enough. And no offence, I would like you to be more careful when you use "lots of them", "most of them" or something to that effect without raising any objective stats if it's based on just those who you met with since it bothers me as much as you do when you are generalized with "most gaijins are yak yak yak". I dislike it to be honest.

meverieJp
May 18, 2006, 03:23
Well, sequel of the previous post.


Japanese relation to sex
There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else.

I'm not sure about individual's sex life but this sounds somewhat true although as far as people around me are concerned, the sex industry part is not applied unless obliged to hostess bars or snack bars for a social obligation. And they all are very cooperative with taking care of kids. I've also heard this American joke which sarcasticly describes their relented sex life after the marriage from men's point of view. So I assumed that the issue concerned with declined sex drive after the marriage is happening in the states.
As for women, it's normal to have a decreased sex drive after giving birth and I often find those Westerners suffering with this problem. Given the fact, I'm not so sure how Western men are taking care of that amount of libido. Just dreaming of a sexual intercourse with porn movies..? haha. Most likely would just switch the partner, I suppose.

And I've found this interesting survey (http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/~honkawa/2310.html). It shows clearly the difference of the desire degree between the ethnic groups. Westerners put much priority on sex than Asians do and it would prove their instinctive physical characteristics, life styles and the mind-sets. Japanese seem to like more sleep, sports and hanging out with friends rather than sex. Chinese put more priority on watching TV while Indians and Mexicans seem to focus on work (probably cause their countries are in an industrial boom). I find it interesting that champagne and chocolate are there as the answers.

And here is a world comparison of frequency of sex and its degree of satisfaction (http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/~honkawa/2318.html).
Be it married or not, Asian sex frequency is much lower than Westerners, which I think is because of the biological characteristics.
Belgium is the top runner in terms of the the degree of satisfaction while Croatia comes first in its frequency. You'll see Japan painfully has a certain problem here far behind the rest of the world although is slightly better than China in respect of its satisfaction.

This (http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/~honkawa/2314.html) shows the world percentage of one night affairs, pretended orgasms, virtual sex and paid-sex etc..
As for one night affair, Icelander, Norwegian, Finnish and Australian have good scores amongst Western countries while Vietnamese comes first amongst all. But as for developing countries, you'd have to take prostitutes into account. Relatively, Australians, Americans, New Zealanders, Canadians, Icelanders and Brits seem to play pretended orgasms. And Brits, Americans and Canadians all seem to like having virtual sex.

And from my small personal experience, I have a feeling that Western men tend to be more ardent to practical sexual research than Japanese guys and have less pride in asking her wish of it. I however don't say that sex is all about love.



Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
I am not so sure about the accuracy of the rate -- though I can agree its a high rate. That said, I despise this part of Japan culture either.



There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want.
I'd have to say this is too much generalization. Who are those "lots of/many" J-women? Those corrupted 4.4% of Joshi kousei..? And to be accurate, the definition of the word "Enjo kosai" is vague since some people deem it includes paid-dating without sexual intercourse. When you mean prostitution it has to be defined in the term "Uri".
Well, as far as J-women around me are concerned, none of them would consider "Uri" like it's never prostitution. As for prostitution as an industry, there is a movement by some feminists to make it a legal system like some European countries so that they can administrate more easily with the improvement of sanitation. (Note: this is NOT for "uri" of the minors, of course.)
So I assert the "alot of" should be applied to those pathetic J-guys encouraging their sexual disorder because I know the stats (http://www.acc.go.jp/kenkyu/ekigaku/2000ekigaku/eki_015/015.htm) of the men who have experienced prostitution is high (13.6 %) followed by Spain (11%) compared to the others and I know a stats that says about 75 % of the high school girls were asked for "Enjo kosai" by those immoral guys.



It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).
I would consider a man who even can't make a living just for himself without making any effort as a looser.:p I also wouldn't dream of having my parent buy me a car, a house, any of those materialistic things so I would never get along with this kind of guy.



Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems.
well, I don't like any of those save for a certain level of anime such as Jinro.

And as for weddings, I had a typical one only once before as a MC for "Nijikai" but haven't attended neither any weddings nor of receptions because I find it quite wasteful. The only party I attended was all treated by the couple including some game events and gifts. All I brought was a bouquet. Most of them even didn't ask me to come since I had repeatedly told them in advance that I would't be afford it. But this is not the end of the world since we still are friends.

Maciamo
May 18, 2006, 03:58
I'm not so sure what kind of resource this is based on but according to the statistics of National Institute of Poppulation and Social Security Recearch (http://www.ipss.go.jp/), which took place in 2002, only 7.6% of the marriage out of 6949 couples are arranged marriages.
When I got married in Japan, I wasn't asked by the town hall if it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage. I guess 99% of the people were never asked, and even if they were asked, they don't have to tell the truth. So how would that National Institute of Population and Social Security Recearch know ? About half of the Japanese I personally know who got married while I was in Japan got to know their partner through a o-miai, marriage agency or introduced through a parent (typically, the mother looking for a good husband for her 30-year old daughter). Even if the man and woman like each others, if they got to know each others through a kind of set-up, and needed their family approval to get married, then it is an arranged marriage in my eyes.
FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.

I reckon the 16 years old case is an extreme one.
Maybe (although it is somebody I know very well), but I actually asked most of the Japanese people I knew, and they almost all slept with their parents/mother until the age of 6 to 12. In Western countries, a typically child receives its own room immediately after being born, or no later than age 3.

I've also found a statistics (http://www.cafeglobe.com/news/dailynews/dn20000210-02.html) which says 1/3 of British adult male under 36 are sleeping in the same room of their moms, which would be, of course, with no privacy.
I assume this would be also a matter of the space in a house.
:D :D Do you sincerely believe that ? First of all, your "statistics site" about the UK is an non-official website in Japanese. Then I have NEVER heard of any adult or even teenager sleeping in their parents' room in Western Europe. In fact, all the people I know have had their own room (or shared with a sibling if they come from a big or poorer family) since their were babies or toddlers.

As for the girls, the first is 10 years old in 23.9%, 9 years old comes for the 2nd in 11.32%, and the 3rd is for 6 & 8 years old in 9.43%. As for the total, 10 years old is the first. It includes bathing with the same sex parent so bathing with opposite sex parent is expected to be lower than that.
Where I come from, bathing with a parent (same sex or not) is ok until 4 or 5 years old.


I'd say that because the most Westerners don't have the habit of bathing with other people, it would sound unacceptable to have a bath with family members.
That highly depends on the country and culture in the West. German-speakers and Finnish people are much more like the Japanese in this regard (Russians too I think).

Most Japanese would consider bathing with family members as a place to communicate for mutual affinity, singing together, playing hand games, talking about daily life etc.. And in old style public bath houses, it used to be a good place to deepen social friendship with non-family members and for kids to learn social manners from them. As you can see in the expression "Hadaka no tsukiai--skin to skin communication", which means "while naked, one can feel like speaking openly as they have nothing to hide".
I know. That is what I was explaining in my article. Big cultural difference for me ! I wouldn't even let my parents, sister or male friends (at school) see me naked for 2 seconds since I was about 6 years old ! I can only let a girl see me naked if she is my girlfriend/wife.
It's interesting to see how privacy is perceived so differently by people. My wife gets really upset if I check her email or mobile phone messages, while I don't care if she sees mine. But I would be very upset if someone else than her (even a relative or friend) saw me naked, even at an onsen (that's why I hate onsen, except if it's a private bath inside the room). I was shocked to see adults walk nude in the fitness club or swimming pool's changing room in Japan. In Belgium, swimming pools have individual changing rooms. Not even two family members (except children or couples) would go into the same one ! Funny to see that our German neigbours are much more like the Japanese regarding nudity.

Moreover, given the existence of the nude beaches in Europe, this "even 20 year-old girls !" even sounds like a theatrical reaction.
That's a minority of people (naturists, a kind of offshoot from the hippies, who believe that we should go back to living like at the prehistoric age when there was only nature unchanged by human civilisation), and it is only allowed only in some countries, and some particular beaches.

* Why are they jogging only with a tank top on without wearing bra in public while bouncing their breasts, by the way? expecting to distract guys?:blush:
That's it. How comes that Japanese can see each other nude at onsen, but not be topless on the beach ?

And the percentage of those who consider being a house wife as their ideal life course is 19% and the rest wants to work.
Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies. :blush: From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoise who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money. Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.


And no offence, I would like you to be more careful when you use "lots of them", "most of them" or something to that effect without raising any objective stats if it's based on just those who you met with since it bothers me as much as you do when you are generalized with "most gaijins are yak yak yak".
This is based on a serious 4-year research carried out everyday I spent in Japan "interviewing" people about their opinion on marriage and many other things. Yes, it is based on a limited sample (only a few hundreds people) of the Japanese population, and mostly in the 20 to 35 years old section, and only in Tokyo. But they represent the young generation of today, people that are in the age of getting married (and I did attend several Japanese weddings with my wife), and Tokyo is a melting pot of people from all parts of Japan. So I believe it is a quite representative sample.

One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.

Minty
May 18, 2006, 07:24
I think people are a bit hard on Maciamo, people can like certain aspects of a country and dislike other aspects. But maybe I can understand his point of views and don’t think they are offensive (even when he talks negative things to do with Chinese) are because my husband is French.

I supposed French native speakers share some form of common grounds in their views and I am used to that.

I also want to say that in my years of internet experiences this forum is one of the most decent forums I have been to.


FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.

I didn’t exactly ask for my parent’s approval, but my parents are very open-minded. I think for many Chinese families you need to. I did however bring him back to let my parents look at him before I married the guy.


Where I come from, bathing with a parent (same sex or not) is ok until 4 or 5 years old.

Well in Chinese families we take our own baths once we are eligible, only babies and young toddler take baths with their carers or mummies.


It's interesting to see how privacy is perceived so differently by people. My wife gets really upset if I check her email or mobile phone messages, while I don't care if she sees mine.

Well I get upset too if my husband reads my emails or checks my messages without my permission. But I think he also doesn’t like me reading his stuff without his permission, but of course since I don’t like people doing that to me I naturally don’t do it to them neither.


Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies. From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoise who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money. Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.

Most Taiwanese or Malaysian Chinese women like to be housewives and expect their husbands to work too. HK and SG women on the other hand like to work, and dislike staying home to have babies. That’s one of the reasons why they have serious birth decline problem.


One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.

The Taiwanese seem to have the same ideology of gaijin as Japanese, they think they are Americans; they all can speak English, some think French can only speak French but definitely cannot speak English. They think European clothes between each European nation are the same, they think all European pastries are the same, and they can’t make any distinction between each nation's things… (Mind you, this is not counting Taiwanese who have lived in foreign countries or the ones who can speak English and have experiences with Westerners).

Yes, it's like saying all Asians eat is rice.

Maciamo
May 18, 2006, 16:03
I didn’t exactly ask for my parent’s approval, but my parents are very open-minded. I think for many Chinese families you need to. I did however bring him back to let my parents look at him before I married the guy.

Well, my wife also met my family, and I met hers before we got married. It's just that both families didn't meet before. I think it's more important for me, rather than my family, to know her family and decide whether it's ok to get married. My feelings is that in Japan many people somehow wants their family to decide for them (need approval), while in the West there is some kind of devolution of the decision power to the children getting married. I suppose this could be because Western countries are more individualistic, and people prefer deciding all by themselves (esp. French, Italian and English speakers).


Well in Chinese families we take our own baths once we are eligible, only babies and young toddler take baths with their carers or mummies.

Here too. But parents like to supervise small children (till 4 or 5 years old), who might slip and drown or do stupid things (e.g. empty the whole bottle of foaming soap) in the bath.



Yes, it's like saying all Asians eat is rice.
And so do all Europeans (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21063). :blush: And all people in the world drink water. :p (no I am not generalising, this is an absolute truth !)

Meiki
May 18, 2006, 19:21
''Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage''

I don't think there's much an ''East'' and a ''West'' thing regarding relationships and marriage.

there's huge differences between countries in the ''West'' and huge differences between countries in the ''East''.

Dutch culture is very different from Italian culture, Italian men behave different from Dutch men in relationships like Whoa (I like Italian culture more).
I think Italian and Korean men have more in common, in terms of flirting, than Italian and Dutch.

meverieJp
May 23, 2006, 22:41
When I got married in Japan, I wasn't asked by the town hall if it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage.
The Japanese government CENSUS was probably taken while doing a National survey, as it is not customary of the government to check if it was arranged or not at the time of marriage. So of course, you weren't asked.


even if they were asked, they don't have to tell the truth. So how would that National Institute of Population and Social Security Recearch know ?
In that case, you wouldn't be able to rely on any stats in this world including all of yours in your posts. It's a census that a number of newspapers/publishers/organizations/enterprises etc. would consult.
At least, I suppose it's more reliable than your "a lot of", "many" etc. because it's evenly carried out across the country, above all, unswayed by one's bent.


Even if the man and woman like each others, if they got to know each others through a kind of set-up, and needed their family approval to get married, then it is an arranged marriage in my eyes.
Even if they got to know through the friends/siblings? as long as a person goes to see the partner's parents for the approval, are they all arranged marriages..?
That's very uncommon definition of arranged marriage. For me it's as irresponsible as saying, "Gaijin = American". At least, when it deviates from the common usage, you should raise your own definition in the first post. We should be careful of over generalisation or our posts will come across as half-baked.


About half of the Japanese I personally know who got married while I was in Japan got to know their partner through a o-miai, marriage agency or introduced through a parent (typically, the mother looking for a good husband for her 30-year old daughter).
Uh..huh.. So now the "Lots of" in your first post for this group has declined to "About half of"? Why is it so "flexible"? That's why I find it over-exaggerated.

I know the climate that parents get anxious about the daughter's marriage when she reaches around the big three-O and some would rush the daughter to the marriage (for their own sake). But I've NEVER seen what we call o-miai marriage (marriage through the parent/agency etc.) let alone forced marriage in over 30 year life in Tokyo, save for my 96 year old grandma. My folks got to know each other through work, school, friends, sports club etc..
Even so I do not think that a dating or marriage service equals an arranged marriage, as this is just a business of introducing people.

FYI, this stats (http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/~honkawa/2455.html) based on the census shows how they got to know each other.
the percentage of 2000 and later as follows:

from school ---------------------------------------- 9.3%
from work ----------------------------------------- 30.1%
through friends/siblings ---------------------------- 31.1%
from downtown/trip --------------------------------- 6.1%
from after-school job/casual staff ------------------- 4.9%
through arranged (through someone took care of it) -- 6.4%
through marriage agency ---------------------------- 0.7%


Japanese people I knew, and they almost all slept with their parents/mother until the age of 6 to 12.
確かに一般的に新生児や幼児のうちは放置しないだろう と思います。12歳は、私にも奇妙に思えるけど。 In general, I would suggest that the high rate is due more to the lack of living space than out of choice or custom.


FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.
Not surprising, I'm in the process on the same course as yours. My parent doesn't mind so much about it unless it bothers her life. My father has since passed away but I can assure you he wouldn't mind it either. I haven't met my guy's family yet although he is hoping me to do so. As for my friends, it was more like self-introduction for each other just to say "From now on, I am your step son/daughter/parent. Hope we will have a good time together". This may be because most of them were long term relationship so they knew each other on the dating stage.

Nevertheless, I know the people who adopt that kind of approval system exist here as well as America/Canada/England and some other countries. I suppose it would be applied more to cloistered girls/princess type(i.e. probably wealthy) brought up carefully with conservative family.


your "statistics site" about the UK is an non-official website in Japanese.
That's my misuse. I meant statistics site = site with figures(数字).
Yes, it's written in Japanese, so what? It even sounds like language discrimination as it is an article of a British writer of London.
And what exactly determines if it's "official" or not? If you say it's unreliable because it's "non-official", it means your personal story here would be just a two-bob watch since it's not "official".
I assumed it would be at least more dependable as it's about her own country (expected to be less subjective as it's not good thing for them), publicized through an enterprise (expected to be more responsible) and comes with the figures. The words such as "most", "many" and something like that can be swayed favorably by one's personal feelings like you did yourself above. I'm not saying you mustn't put your opinion/experience, it's a matter of violation against all of those cultural identities you mentioned in the first post.


Big cultural difference for me ! I wouldn't even let my parents, sister or male friends (at school) see me naked for 2 seconds since I was about 6 years old ! I can only let a girl see me naked if she is my girlfriend/wife.
I know the difference and respect your being shocked. But to me, it's not either a big deal nor something I should make a fuss about even though I know some people like jogging without bra. As for this, I may be in a neutral position.


That's it. How comes that Japanese can see each other nude at onsen, but not be topless on the beach ?
Whoa! Please don't flip my question. That's what I am asking here. OK, I'll rephrase it for you; How come are you making a fuss about it while knowing that kind of people exist in Europe?
What do you say to the German/Finnish culture regarding nudity?


Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies.
I strongly feel there is a big gulf lying between the people you met with and that of the people I know...
I'm guessing the folks you speak of, were brought up in conservative family, so the mother is most likely a house wife and the father is a salary man, in the upper or upper-middle class.
I DO NOT like housework and child-rearing. Shopping may be but I seldom spend money for shopping unless it's for books, something educational, movies or traveling. I however may find my baby adorable because it's mine!
I'd say this is a case of "Like draws to like". I know that kind of people you met with exist, whereas most of my people are working, some are working while raising kids, and one of their hubbies is doing house work and managing her salary while working and she seems socially successful.
And Even if they want to be a house wife, I don't think it's bad thing to like housework and child-care. far better than abusing one's own child(ren). I often wonder how many mothers would take advantage of baby-sitting service if it were sufficiently affordable and secure. As I sometimes see those mothers who suffer with themselves unable to feel affection for their babies or/and get support from the spouse/folks feel it ever so burdensome.


From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoisie who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money.
To be a bourgeoisie..? Rather, most of the people you met with would be in the upper or upper-middle class already, since those who can afford eikaiwa lessons tend to be more affluent. I assume those kind of people wouldn't want to lower their living standard by having a leach as a companion.


Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.
I doubt the 6949 couples were "chosen ones", but I 100% agree to the fact there are different kinds of groups in this society, and it's possible that they might have missed the survey.



One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.

I'm not denying your limited experience in Tokyo but there are 33375 people in Japan only for the 20-35 section. That's a lot of different viewpoints. And a person in a city or countryside, OSAKA or TOKYO etc, will all have various cultural differences too. My point here is you are contradicting yourself by over-generalising the people, describing as if it's all about Japan/East vs West while basing it only on the small group of people that you know.

So while you dislike over-generalising Foreigners you do the exact thing to Japanese based on the experiences that you have heard or had. We must all try to avoid the over-generalisation, and accept that there is no hard and fast rule to how a society behaves or thinks. It may be semantics but its a big deal at least to me.

For example, consider the differences in these sentences:

Japanese love to eat natto.
Many Japanese love to eat natto.
90% of Japanese love to eat natto.
Most of my Japanese friends love to eat natto.
In my experience, a lot of Japanese I've met, tend to love eating natto.

There are some subtle but important differences to those sentences, and I think we can agree the first statement is not the best one to use.

Maciamo
May 23, 2006, 23:46
Thanks for your reply, MeverieJp.



Even if they got to know through the friends/siblings? as long as a person goes to see the partner's parents for the approval, are they all arranged marriages..?
That's very uncommon definition of arranged marriage. For me it's as irresponsible as saying, "Gaijin = American". At least, when it deviates from the common usage, you should raise your own definition in the first post. We should be careful of over generalisation or our posts will come across as half-baked.

Well it is arranged if one of both parents (and possibly other relatives in addition) introduced the future husband/wife to their daughter/son because they wanted them to get married. I know that a lot of Japanese (or Korean) mothers worry about their daughter not being married at 30 years old. Where I come from people don't care so much about marriage, and parents tend not to interfere at all. In fact, less and less people are getting married in Europe. 80% of couples with children in Sweden, and 50% in the Uk are not married. According to government statistics, less than 1% of Japanese couples with children are not married. I think that's a big difference between Northern European and Japanese people. However Southern Europeans tend to marry more, and Americans even more (more than the Japanese, but also divorce more).

Uh..huh.. So now the "Lots of" in your first post for this group has declined to "About half of"? Why is it so "flexible"? That's why I find it over-exaggerated.
...
The words such as "most", "many" and something like that can be swayed favorably by one's personal feelings like you did yourself above.


I think that is just a matter of feelings, but for me half of a country's people is really a lot in this regard.

"A lot" or "many" does not give an idea of proportion, but just personal feelings (=subjective). For example, for some people 10% of people getting divorced may be a lot. For other 50% is a lot.

If I want to be objective but don't know the exact percentage, I use words like "all" (100%), "almost all" (95-99%) "most" (70-95%), "the biggets part" (50-90%), "the majority" (over 50%), half (50%), and I just use the negativewhen it's less than half...

I use other words for semi-accurate proportion of time(s) : "always" (100% of the time), "most of the time" (80-95%), "usually/generally" (60-90% of the time), "sometimes" (10-60%), "rarely" (3-10%), "hardly ever" (1-3%), "never" (0%).

Note that "often" or "many times" are subjective, like "a lot".

Because I use these terms very frequently, it would be better to get used to them and not confuse what I mean as "most" for "a lot" or vice versa.


But I've NEVER seen what we call o-miai marriage (marriage through the parent/agency etc.) let alone forced marriage in over 30 year life in Tokyo, save for my 96 year old grandma.

I have never seen a forced marriage, but I have seen a lot of o-miai.


確かに一般的に新生児や幼児のうちは放置しないだろう と思います。12歳は、私にも奇妙に思えるけど。 In general, I would suggest that the high rate is due more to the lack of living space than out of choice or custom.

There is no reason to be ashamed with that. It's just cultural difference (which is often used a good excuse for all kind of individual and non-cultural behaviour, btw :p ). I don't think it has to do with the size of the house because, in my wife's case (and some other people I know too), she is the only child, and there was space enough. I think it has more to do with getting used to sleep alone when you are not used to since a very young age.


Whoa! Please don't flip my question. That's what I am asking here. OK, I'll rephrase it for you; How come are you making a fuss about it while knowing that kind of people exist in Europe?

Because when I lived in Japan I just couldn't go to the gym, a sports club, swimming pool or onsen without having to worry about privacy in the changing room. I don't care about Finland as I have never lived there. I wouldn't care about Japan had I not lived there.



I'm guessing the folks you speak of, were brought up in conservative family, so the mother is most likely a house wife and the father is a salary man, in the upper or upper-middle class.

I agree that a good deal of the people I interracted with in Japan where upper-middle class (my wife too => Ginza shopping type). Most of my students (let's say 80%) were cadres or executives in Marunouchi, Otemachi and Nihombashi.


I DO NOT like housework and child-rearing. Shopping may be but I seldom spend money for shopping unless it's for books, something educational, movies or traveling.

So you do not feel isolated because you don't have the latest Gucci , Prada or Dior handbag and don't eat in famous restaurants 3x a week ? You must be out of norm for central Tokyo then ! (alright, here I am exagerating, but then I use "!" at the end of the sentence)


And Even if they want to be a house wife, I don't think it's bad thing to like housework and child-care. far better than abusing one's own child(ren).

Well, it's not bad per se. In fact I find it a little too good and cosy, especially if we don't have children yet and often eat in restaurants. :okashii:


I often wonder how many mothers would take advantage of baby-sitting service if it were sufficiently affordable and secure.

In my experience "baby-sitting" is kind of a misnomer, as parents would rarely let strangers care about "babies", but more typically children between 5 and 10 years old. My parents would only ask relatives or friends to babysit, never strangers.


And a person in a city or countryside, OSAKA or TOKYO etc, will all have various cultural differences too. My point here is you are contradicting yourself by over-generalising the people, describing as if it's all about Japan/East vs West while basing it only on the small group of people that you know.

Alright, I admit that it is more like comparing upper-middle class Western Europe to upper-middle class Japan and Korea, than just West vs East. :okashii:



We must all try to avoid the over-generalisation, and accept that there is no hard and fast rule to how a society behaves or thinks. It may be semantics but its a big deal at least to me.
For example, consider the differences in these sentences:
Japanese love to eat natto.
Many Japanese love to eat natto.
90% of Japanese love to eat natto.
Most of my Japanese friends love to eat natto.
In my experience, a lot of Japanese I've met, tend to love eating natto.
There are some subtle but important differences to those sentences, and I think we can agree the first statement is not the best one to use.

I try as much as I can to use percentage or objective words to substitute them (see above), and say whether this is baed on my personal experience or on official statistics. At least I am honest about that. Now you can't expect me to remind my readers at every sentence whether it's based on personal experience or not when it's fair enough.

jt9258
Jun 6, 2006, 20:57
I have read this thread with great interest, there were many things I was aware of which the thread has confirmed.
Would it not be better to say that the Japanese have tried to copy the western idea
of meeting a partner and fulling in love, yet as love has not been part of relationships in the past the Japanese partner still uses the same selection process when deciding to marry and calling it love.
The Japanese person in the relationship still expects the same things in the marriage as if they were married to a Japanese, problems only appear when the western partner feels un-loved by their Japanese partner and then asks questions.
Only to find that the reasons the Japanese partner gives for marrying the foreigner is based more on the persons ability to be a good provider or mother than a lover.
So it could be said that the Japanese have changed from arranged marriages to personal selection marriages and then labelling it as a love marriage.

geesehoward4life
Jun 9, 2006, 07:52
Thanks for the information. This entire forum has been one of the most frank and honest ones that I have seen or visited! Thanks!
:cool:

ippolito
Jun 9, 2006, 16:52
What I think that th us influence after the II world war had been heavy in Japan, I saw Tokyo and it was similar to many u.s. modern
towns...a lot of technology and eve for the sports baseball basket
golf....as i am black belt in karate I tried to find some old Japan
aspects....i think i was in the wrong city perhaps in Kyoto or Nara
it would be different.
About women there is one thing that is heavly differents than the western, it is very difficolt to understand what a japanese woman is thinking, behind a smile a gentless who knows what she thinks?
this my simple opinion and my short experience there

bye

Goldiegirl
Nov 10, 2006, 09:11
I found this thread very fascinating. My fiance is Japanese and we have had a few differences on marriage, but we actually have discussed them. What was especially important to me was not to be seen as just a mother after we have children. I want us to be a couple like we are now. I know that every relationship changes to some degree, but a loveless, non-intimate marriage is certainly not something to look forward to. We have talked about this and seem to be on the same page. Yes, sometimes it's still hard for him to be direct with his answers but I can now figure out what his indirect replies really do mean. He does say though that he wants a happy marriage filled with love and laughter...sounds good to me! :-)

Gentleman10
Nov 11, 2006, 18:44
Hmmm, what can I say on this...
I think what most people of two different cultures often go through these problems. I mean, we have enough differences between our genders in our own countries, so why bother branching out to other cultures where there are ***more*** cultural barriers that we have to cross. Well, if we go back to the foundation of marriage, most of us would find the base of it being (this will sound amazingly corny) love.
I think the issue between most of these relationships is that we, especially as two different nationalites, forget that expression of love is simply different in other places. The fact that two people have chosen to accept those differences by binding themselves together through marriage shows that the couple is ready to not only enjoy, but perservere the differences and difficulties the relationship will bring. In these cases, though, this also means both couples will be willing to jump cultural barriers to attain the same lv of happiness as a domesticly married couple.
Please remember this everyone, love is expressed differently all around the world. Although you may not feel loved by your spouse, or you feel as if the gap between you and your spouse is growing, remember your spouse is trying just as hard to keep another person of a different culture satisfied as well.
So whether it be an "I love you" or a reaffirming いってきます・いってらしゃい, keep in mind that although love is expressed differently, that doesn't mean that there isnt love at all :)

Tuxedo12
Nov 11, 2006, 21:31
"My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia."
Impression or not, I have to say that Chinese are not really like the Japanese in terms of seeing that there's no more love and the man can go out and satisfy his needs somewhere else after a period of 10 years or more. When it comes to court decision about who continues to care for the children, both parents similar to the west is very willing to care for their children even after divorce. Chinese value family values a lot, much like the Italian just like some of the dishes involved boiling soups and making sauces that is similar between Chinese and Italian.
One similiarity is that children also sleep between their parents or near them.
By the way, I really like your post, it's informative and easy to follow. Keep it up.:-) I know sometimes people respond to post that may make people like or dislike, but everything I say is based on my personal experiences and observations and in hope that others can share and believe in the same views as I am. This is my very first post as well, if anything is not really done well, please don't hesitate to point out. For example, I still haven't figured out how to use the quotation function yet for posting the post.:( Hope anyone who knows can help me, any suggestions will be appreciated.
Cheers

bento
Mar 23, 2007, 12:07
Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about the love relationships in Japan, except that the whole staying at home thing is kind of tradition. Although I don't know what it's like nowadays, it's not all about the money.
My grandmother (who I've brought up a lot in the few posts I made) came over here a little after WW2 with my grandfather who was a war medic. He didn't have a lot of money, but she still fell in love with him, got married, and moved to the US

Aerain
Apr 1, 2007, 11:04
Personally, I think the most important aspect in a relationship is communication, without it it is almost impossible to be happy, I personally don't care to let my wife decide over everything as long she doesn't make "selfish" and "careless" decision. I don't think sex is very important, but fidelity does as it is impossible to get along if you know that your wife cheats you... But the most important thing is to have children and raise them the best we can. I tend to be interested in older and more mature women, because they are less selfish, less superficial and seem to show more compassion. I am 20 yr old and I really wouldn't bother me to marry a women that is 5-10 years older than me.

srm
Aug 20, 2007, 23:05
This thread is absurd. The original author should do some actual research into the matter before posting his biased and unfounded opinions. This is just another example of some white guy learning a few words of Japanese, watching some anime, marrying a Japanese woman, and thereby becoming self-proclaimed a expert on all of Japanese culture.
Okay, the above statement is absurd too. I don't know anything about the author -- but, the above statement makes a good example. I observed a little tiny bit of the author and immediately made a sweeping judgment about him. This is exactly what the author is doing to the entirety of Japanese views on marriage and love.
I apologize for the excess negativity. It just seems to be that this 'article' is riddled with bias, cultural interpretation and judgment. It carries the typical western motif of 'look at what all those silly little Japanese are doing'. If you're going to post an article such as this, maybe it would be beneficial to just post the facts and leave your interpretation and judgment for the ensuing discussion.
Anyway, sorry for the rant. If it rubs you the wrong way, please excuse my sarcasm.

Taiko666
Aug 21, 2007, 12:23
This thread is absurd.
So a thread that has provoked lively and interesting discussion for 4 years is absurd? Are all the people who've contributed to this thread also absurd?


This is just another example of some white guy....

I think you're exhibiting racist tendencies here.


... learning a few words of Japanese, watching some anime, marrying a Japanese woman, and thereby becoming self-proclaimed a expert on all of Japanese culture.

I'm surprised you're putting 'marrying a Japanese woman' in the same category of experience as 'watching some anime'.

And stating one's observations or interpretations is not the same as claiming to be a 'self-proclaimed a expert on all of Japanese culture.'


I observed a little tiny bit of the author and immediately made a sweeping judgment about him. This is exactly what the author is doing to the entirety of Japanese views on marriage and love.
Your frank admission totally invalidates your opinion of the original poster.



It just seems to be that this 'article' is riddled with bias, cultural interpretation and judgment.

Granted, the OP made a couple of sarcastic comments (eg 'grope') But do you think cultural interpretation is a bad thing?

If you totally disagree with the OP, why not raise some counterpoints instead of just shooting him down?

GodEmperorLeto
Aug 26, 2007, 14:02
The original author should do some actual research into the matter before posting his biased and unfounded opinions. This is just another example of some white guy learning a few words of Japanese, watching some anime, marrying a Japanese woman, and thereby becoming self-proclaimed a expert on all of Japanese culture. ...
I observed a little tiny bit of the author and immediately made a sweeping judgment about him. This is exactly what the author is doing to the entirety of Japanese views on marriage and love. ...
It just seems to be that this 'article' is riddled with bias, cultural interpretation and judgment. It carries the typical western motif of 'look at what all those silly little Japanese are doing'.

First, I'll give you some advice. LURK MOAR.

Before making a sudden, rapacious post like this (especially since it is your first), I'd suggest you take a look at the rest of Maciamo's threads.

Now, not everyone agrees with him, me included, but I do have a lot of respect for him. He's lived in Japan, married to a Japanese woman, and has been exposed to everything positive and negative about Japanese culture. You didn't just go make a sweeping generalization about him, you put your foot so deep into your mouth it's incredible.

Maciamo is well informed and can back up every opinion he has with facts. Now, yes, he does focus on the negative, and he is most definitely a "glass is half empty" sort of person in regards to Japanese culture. However, he is most certainly not some kid who's watched some anime and taken a course or two. He's got first-hand experience regarding this subject.

Then again, considering how many people I've seen making posts like this and never popping up again, I seriously doubt this will make a big difference.

Glenski
Aug 27, 2007, 08:02
Personally, I think the most important aspect in a relationship is communication,
This says it all.

I'm married to a Japanese, and we don't speak each other's language perfectly, but we try very hard. Our kid is bilingual, too, without us really trying.

Anyway, communication is key. I read a book about intercultural relationships before we got married. It covered more than just Japanese people with other nationalities. Lots of documented research. It all boiled down to communication.

If you don't understand what is expected of each other before you tie the knot, expect problems later. How serious those problems are will depend on you and your situation. That is...

1) are you the husband or wife in a male-dominated society?
2) which one works?
3) do you live in the husband's or wife's home country (where the language barrier may hit one of you), or do you live in a totally different country (where you may be forced to deal with everything together)?
4) what are your cultural/religious expectations of raising a family?

A simple list, only 4 items, but they pretty much seemed to encompass so many of the situations that the book went through with REAL examples of people married to other nationalities. VERY enlightening.

One more thing is certain: you cannot expect to change your spouse, not 100% anyway. Each person is going to have to give a little in order to get along, not just communicate.

SouthernBelle82
Aug 28, 2007, 03:30
I learned a lot about Japanese relationships. Sadly at the time I don't know any Japanese men so I probably won't need it but hey who knows. I still found it very interesting so thanks for sharing. It's always useful sooner or later in life to learn and understand another culture.

SushiShin
Aug 28, 2007, 03:38
im not very familiar with either of these information, i never have complaining of neighbours in the Philippines (japanese area) or Asian people in Belgium (antwerp).

Not everyone is the same i have saw women who likes smoking but hate drinking, and also in the opposite way.

Japanese women are quickly offended while western women are a bit lazy.
but then again at night (xxx) the asian women is a small animal and the western is (sometimes) like a bag of flour :relief:

if somebody doesn't share my opinion please don't shoot me :relief:
(this is my opinion and i hope everyone respects it like i do with your opinions)
(in my eyes western females are hardworking and asian females not but western female are after a time boring while asian females always find something to keep you amused not just sex but im speaking in generally)
i didn't said this counts for all asian and western females! i only write down as the way i see it with my own eyes :relief:

srm
Aug 29, 2007, 01:08
First, I'll give you some advice. LURK MOAR.
Before making a sudden, rapacious post like this (especially since it is your first), I'd suggest you take a look at the rest of Maciamo's threads.
Now, not everyone agrees with him, me included, but I do have a lot of respect for him. He's lived in Japan, married to a Japanese woman, and has been exposed to everything positive and negative about Japanese culture. You didn't just go make a sweeping generalization about him, you put your foot so deep into your mouth it's incredible.
Maciamo is well informed and can back up every opinion he has with facts. Now, yes, he does focus on the negative, and he is most definitely a "glass is half empty" sort of person in regards to Japanese culture. However, he is most certainly not some kid who's watched some anime and taken a course or two. He's got first-hand experience regarding this subject.
Then again, considering how many people I've seen making posts like this and never popping up again, I seriously doubt this will make a big difference.
As I said in my original post -- admittedly I was being sarcastic and judgmental. I even went so far as to state that my 'opinion' of the poster was entirely sudden and unwarranted. This thread is linked to sites as some sort of authoritative summary of what a Japanese marriage is all about. That's what ticked me off more than anything. No one is going to read through 4 years of postings to realize the authors statements are only an interpretation of Japanese culture and not necessarily a valid summary of it. I apologize if my posting was personally insulting to the original author. If I was to request one thing from the author, that would have been that he would have been slightly more clear about what was his personal opinion and what is generally accepted by Japanese as true.
Frankly, I think Japanese culture is misrepresented and abused by western societies, who rather than try to understand that what they're experiencing is an entirely different culture, interpret their experiences in terms of their own norms. That, to me, is absurd, albeit a completely normal thing to do. A lot of the statements made by the original author, I felt had the air of being cultural judgments rather than truly accurate descriptions of the cultural phenomena he had witnessed.
I think, in general, especially with Japan, there is a tendency for cultural descriptions to be heavily laden with the spectators cultural bias. Seriously, go to an english website and search for anything related to Japan. You have to dredge through mounds and mounds of total garbage before getting to anything remotely accurate. How is anyone who is not intimately experienced with Japanese culture to discern between opinion, bias, fact and fiction? That is my angst.
Prior to my original posting, I spent hours searching for english language information on Japan for a friend of mine. I was sort of appalled by what I found, which is precisely what lead to my posting. I'm ashamed for my rudeness, but please accept my statements as opinions not necessarily any more or less valid than original author.

GodEmperorLeto
Aug 29, 2007, 01:45
SRM--

Firstly, I'll applaud you for continuing to post here. All to often people post once or twice in inflammatory or controversial manners and then vanish. My opinion of you just shot up.


I apologize if my posting was personally insulting to the original author.
Believe me, he's probably used to it by now. That is, if he still posts at all.


That, to me, is absurd, albeit a completely normal thing to do. A lot of the statements made by the original author, I felt had the air of being cultural judgments rather than truly accurate descriptions of the cultural phenomena he had witnessed.
Okay. However, I must admonish you with one piece of advice... go to Japan and experience it for yourself. Now, I'll be honest, I've never been there myself. I have plenty of friends who have, and I know plenty of Japanese people through my job. That doesn't equate with having been there myself, but until I graduate, it's the best I can do.

Anyway, no culture is perfect. They are human institutions, thus they are flawed. Nevertheless, some are better or more productive than others in certain areas. Japanese society works if you've been raised in it and are comfortable being a cog in a machine. The same mentality exists in Western cultures, but not to the vast extent. Thus, I know a number of Japanese people who want to live and work in the West because they feel more free to express themselves than back home.

I'm prattling on. So I'll cut it short. In regards to love and marriage, Maciamo has a lot of good points. The truth is usually something very hard to swallow, and I'm going to take it as it is. This doesn't mean that I think Japanese wives are better or worse than Western ones. People need to be taken on an individual basis. Personally, I don't think Westerners marry for love anymore, they marry for lust, money, or because they think the other person will make them happy (i.e. not for altruistic reasons) which is why the divorce rate is very high. So, in that regard, the Japanese are more honest with themselves and with each other (at least, generally speaking) than Westerners.

So, who is better? In my opinion, neither. But cultural trends and mentalities exists on a broad level, and it is up to the individual to overcome them or adopt them as they see fit.


Prior to my original posting, I spent hours searching for english language information on Japan for a friend of mine. I was sort of appalled by what I found, which is precisely what lead to my posting. I'm ashamed for my rudeness, but please accept my statements as opinions not necessarily any more or less valid than original author.
Nah. I'm sorry if I came off very hard on you. When you explain yourself this way, I can understand where you are coming from better.

srm
Aug 29, 2007, 03:22
Okay. However, I must admonish you with one piece of advice... go to Japan and experience it for yourself. Now, I'll be honest, I've never been there myself. I have plenty of friends who have, and I know plenty of Japanese people through my job. That doesn't equate with having been there myself, but until I graduate, it's the best I can do.

Actually, I've been living there for years now.. :) I'm visiting some family back in the US at the moment.. which is why I was prowling through the web looking for information to begin with. ;)


Anyway, no culture is perfect. They are human institutions, thus they are flawed. Nevertheless, some are better or more productive than others in certain areas. Japanese society works if you've been raised in it and are comfortable being a cog in a machine. The same mentality exists in Western cultures, but not to the vast extent. Thus, I know a number of Japanese people who want to live and work in the West because they feel more free to express themselves than back home.

About culture.. this is true. But, I think culture really, to a greater or lesser degree is more like a lens through which you view the world rather than something tangible. It's only somewhat visible in a tangible sense when you're an outsider in a different culture. But, the thing is, these tangibles really aren't culture itself, but rather the result of it. Typically, these big in your face type things/differences become the focus of stereotypes and misunderstandings about a particular culture rather than true representations of it. I guess what I'm saying is, when it comes down to it, real culture is a way of thinking and viewing the world, not something that can be experienced in a physical sense.
I think the whole 'cog in the machine' thing is a bit of a stereotype. Its really a matter of group mentality verses individualism. In my experience, westerners tend to be more individualistic and focused on their personal goals, whereas Japanese workplace is more focused on group identity and group goals. There are good and bad aspects to both sides of the picture. In either case, it's not true that a typical Japanese person has no personal identity and/or always behaves strictly in line with his/her particular group.
Anyway.. I'm babbling now too, and am going off on a tangent, so... thanks for the response and your understanding of my position!

kireikoori
Sep 24, 2007, 19:58
omg this topic is like a nightmare. I think Japanese women are very cute and certainly wouldn't mind being married to one....but...I don't want to stop having sex after having kids. And I don't want my wife to feel like she has to quit work after getting married either. :(

I definitely want to have children myself, but love comes first for me.

Han Chan
Oct 22, 2007, 23:44
I find the original article so full of generalisations and stereotypes that it comes close to racism. I have been married to a japanese woman for 9 years now and know many japanese couples. Frankly I can not recognize much of what was written from my personal experiences. Trying to describe Japan as contrary to the west usually does not do Japan justice. I would think that it is about time to re-write the article.

Sharingan
Oct 23, 2007, 01:56
I find the original article so full of generalisations and stereotypes that it comes close to racism. I have been married to a japanese woman for 9 years now and know many japanese couples. Frankly I can not recognize much of what was written from my personal experiences. Trying to describe Japan as contrary to the west usually does not do Japan justice. I would think that it is about time to re-write the article.

Maybe the article is not about Western-Japanese couples, but Western-Western and Japanese-Japanese couples ?

I thought it was interesting. I like this sort of analysis because there are stereotyped generalizations. There are always exceptions everywhere. How would you re-write the article based on your knowledge ? That's something I am looking forward to read. It is easy to criticise but difficult to write such an article yourself. I couldn't.

kireikoori
Oct 23, 2007, 02:28
Hmmm...when I was in Japan I stayed with a family. Living in their house. A mother with three kids and her swimming team coach husband. She worked, after having three kids she still worked. I guess you'd have to to support three kids.

Han Chan
Oct 23, 2007, 05:43
Maybe the article is not about Western-Japanese couples, but Western-Western and Japanese-Japanese couples ?
I thought it was interesting. I like this sort of analysis because there are stereotyped generalizations. There are always exceptions everywhere. How would you re-write the article based on your knowledge ? That's something I am looking forward to read. It is easy to criticise but difficult to write such an article yourself. I couldn't.

OK you challenged me!

Below you will find the article with my comments with large fond.

First of all: The writer is a westener who had a short marriage to a japanese woman. So obviously not more expert in japanese-japanese marriages, than myself.

After you have seen my comments you understand why I find that the whole article should be replaced with one describing "Marriage life in Japan".

(Not so) Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage
________________________________________
It's not the first topic on the subject, but I'll try to summarize what I've learned in all my discussions (most of them with Japanese people in real life). I've also talked with some Korean friends and it seems Korean and Japanese mentality about the followings are very similar. (Not true! Actually Japanese and Korean culture and family structure are quite different – however lately the changes in youth culture are even faster than in Japan. One example: the birth rate have plummeted to an even lower level than in Japan during the last few years) (It also appears that Western way of thinking, whatever the country, from Europe to America to Australia is basically the same on these issues. (Not true! Actually Americans are getting far more children than Europeans. Within Europe there are big differences between Catholic and Protestant communities) Here it is. (This section should be deleted).

Reason for marriage

West : Love => people promise to love each other for ever when they get married (even if it's often a dream). Modern laws make it the same to get children outside marriage, so that if people only want children, marriage is not even necessary. Marriage is usually a proof of love and comitment for life. If love disappears, people tend to divorce easily (Not true! Actually in Catholic communities like in Ireland divorce is not easy) (except sometimes when there are small children, to avoid perturbing them psychologically).

Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") (Not true! Since the late 60’ies love marriages more common than miai. By 1998 less than 10&#37; of marriages in Japan were arranged. http://web-japan.org/trends98/honbun/ntj980729.html) and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. (Actually 22.2% of the workforce in Japan today are working mothers. http://www.iht.com/articles/1992/06/22/womj.php
Now 26.3% of the brides are pregnant when they get married. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN016635.pdf )
Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%. (It is fair to suggest that most couples are in love when they get married and often the marriage is prompted by pregnancy).

Japanese family relationships

Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. (A survey shoved that married Japanese in average have sex 17 times a year. Around one third of the interviewed answered that they had not had sex for more than a year. This is a sizable minority but the majority do continue having sex http://whatjapanthinks.com/2006/08/28/what-goes-on-beneath-japanese-marital-sheets-part-1-of-3/ ). The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (This is certainly true in some cases – both in Japan and the west, but most women continue to show affection towards their husband) (this may not be true in international couples, from what I've heard).

In most families, children sleep with both parents or just the mother. The the latter case, the father has his own room. I've been told that this way he wouldn't wake his wife and children up when he comes back late from work.

Sleeping with the child(ren) in the middle of the parents is so common in Japan that Japanese and a special name for it, a comparison it to the kanji 川 (kawa = river). Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house. (Though this practice seems common, it certainly do not hinder the adults having sex when the children are not around or when booking into a love hotel).

Western reaction to children sleeping with parents

Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !). They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls ! I guess that if the average Japanese man loses interest in his wife once she becomes a mother, there is no problem with children either.

I've heard a lot that Westerners would be afraid of crushing their new-born baby by sleeping in the same bed, but I was told that it never happened (of all mamals, only male sealions and pandas sometime crush their babies to death when sleeping with them, but never humans would it seem). The good point of the mother sleeping with the baby is that the baby doesn't cry because it feels secure near its mother and has a unexhaustable warm-milk bottle at its disposal. I've read that it was better for babies to be breastfed than drink other milk. That system definitely has its advantages.

Another concern is that the parents lose their privacy and can't have sex anymore - unless doing it in front of the child, which is a kind of taboo in the Judeo-Christian mindset. As Japanese parents stop having sex regularily after their children are born, that isn't a problem.

For international couples who do continue, I was told little babies can sleep very well even with the parents doing whatever they please right beside them. But they should have their own room from age 3 or 4 then.

Finally, lots of Westerners think it might cause psychological problems to the children to sleep with their parents. But Japanese do it and seem to be alright with it. The only drawback I can think of is the independence factor. Japanese are very group-minded and usually have difficulty thinking by themselves. (The group-mindedness of Japanese is a stereotype, and claiming that they have difficulty thinking by themselves, is outright nonsense). It may be related.

Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?

1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will (or from what society has inculcated them). Japanese men also prefer that their wife stay at home once married. (This might be true for women living in traditional communities, but many urban women want to continue working). Women almost always want to spend as much time as they can with their babies (remember J-girls like what is "kawaii" ? The connection is evident).
2) Nursery schools are few and very expensive in Japan (I've heard about 200.000 yen/month). It make more sense for the mother to stay at home than work and pay almost all her salary for the nursery. In most Western countries, nurseries and kindergartens are free, which allows lots of mothers to work. (True).
3) Paternity leaves don't exist in Japan, (About 0.5% of male company workers take paternity leave. http://www.japantoday.com/jp/news/381128 ) and (paid) maternity leave are not encouraged.


Japanese relation to sex

There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.

Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone (Not everyone! Most find this behaviour bad) reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.

Japanese men who miss talking to young and cute girls (or not so young and not so cute, depending on the price and place) go to hostess bars or "snack" after work. Nothing much happens there except dirty talk. Those who want to go more carnal have the soaplands and massage parlours, but Asian men's testosterone level is reputedly lower than Caucasian or African men, so they are often satisfied with just talking, watching - and groping...

There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want. Remember that marriage is not much more than a man giving almosy all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. It suely sounds utterly shocking to lots of you, but after talking to (female) Japanese and other Asian friends I know quite well, they don't even see it as abnormal. It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).

Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status. My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia.


Divorce and charge of the children

In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don't really care about them. He comes back late from work and rarely take part in their education. After a divorce, it's not normal for the father to just forget about his offsprings. He doesn't care very much. That's the mother's role to care for them.

That might sound crude again to some Westerners, as in the West parents sometimes fight bitterly over the charge of their children, and in peaceful cases, it's usual to find arrangement such as the children stay one week with the mother, next week with the father, or, weekdays at the mother's and weekends at the father's. Anyway, lots of father would feel terrible not to see their children regularily. (see the thread about children abduction on this regard).

Glenski
Oct 23, 2007, 06:36
Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") (Not true! Since the late 60’ies love marriages more common than miai. By 1998 less than 10&#37; of marriages in Japan were arranged. http://web-japan.org/trends98/honbun/ntj980729.html)

You are confusing number ("lots of") with percentages. There is a difference. I find this very amusing because... well, look below how you used it in just the opposite way.



and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. (Actually 22.2% of the workforce in Japan today are working mothers. http://www.iht.com/articles/1992/06/22/womj.php
Now 26.3% of the brides are pregnant when they get married. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN016635.pdf )

Now you are saying that 22% is a significantly large amount, when above you talk about 10% being insignificant. Is this evidence of a smoke and mirrors approach to statistics, or are you just naive about how to use numbers?

I'm not even going to get into your other "statistics". They are just as faulty.

Han Chan
Oct 23, 2007, 18:14
You are confusing number ("lots of") with percentages. There is a difference. I find this very amusing because... well, look below how you used it in just the opposite way.
Now you are saying that 22&#37; is a significantly large amount, when above you talk about 10% being insignificant. Is this evidence of a smoke and mirrors approach to statistics, or are you just naive about how to use numbers?
I'm not even going to get into your other "statistics". They are just as faulty.
Really! When less than ten percent do somthing you can not say "lots of" and base your whole article on that minority as if was the majority.

When 50% of the population are women, and 22% of the whole workforce are working mothers, it indicates that it have become quite normal for mothers to work!

This is not so difficult to understand, unless you simply want to misunderstand or enjoy hairsplitting!

MadamePapillon
Oct 24, 2007, 03:42
(A survey shoved that married Japanese in average have sex 17 times a year. Around one third of the interviewed answered that they had not had sex for more than a year. This is a sizable minority but the majority do continue having sex

I don't know why you bothered to write this then because you basically proved the other guys point. One third goes without sex while the rest is getting it about 1% of the time. :p



woman often to quit working and care about the household. (Actually 22.2% of the workforce in Japan today are working mothers. http://www.iht.com/articles/1992/06/22/womj.php

This one is tricky because there's 'work' and then there's WORK, if you get my meaning. Are they doing meaningless stuff like pouring tea, filing papers, being a gopher, or are they actually working as a valuable member of the team.

Han Chan
Oct 24, 2007, 05:29
My main problem with what Machiamo wrote is not that it is not true - people write so much nonsense in the various threads. What really bothers me is that it was places as an authorative article at this site under Culture > Marriage.

The article is a very subjective point of view, and it is generalizing, stereotypical and insulting towards japanese people! I bothered to write where I found it was wrong, because I really think it is about time it is beeing removed.


I don't know why you bothered to write this then because you basically proved the other guys point. One third goes without sex while the rest is getting it about 1&#37; of the time. :p

Lets see what I am objecting to:
Maciamo wrote: Japanese family relationships
Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end.
I find this statement a generalisation. Obviously there are a sizable part of the interviewed who seem to have very little or no sex life. But it is not fair to the majority who actually do have a sex life to clam that they have none - it is mis-information.

I wrote: A survey shoved that married Japanese in average have sex 17 times a year. Around one third of the interviewed answered that they had not had sex for more than a year. This is a sizable minority but the majority do continue having sex.
I even bothered to give the readers a link: http://whatjapanthinks.com/2006/08/2...s-part-1-of-3/

I can agree that it seems like more japanese couples do have little or no sex life, than in other countries. This is indeed interesting if it is true - but it is not fair to claim that after giving birth to their first child japanese husbands do not regard their wife as "a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end".

The comment regarding the work of japanese "working moms":


This one is tricky because there's 'work' and then there's WORK, if you get my meaning. Are they doing meaningless stuff like pouring tea, filing papers, being a gopher, or are they actually working as a valuable member of the team.
This simply sounds like something an old male chauvinist could say - and not a 21 year old canadian woman!

I can not understand how the same person, on the same day, can make the remarks above and post this:
I think the saddest part is that many people don't really seem to think about japanese girls/women as people (at least that's what the attitude seems to be conveying). You hear a lot about how cute they are, how submissive, how user friendly so to speak, almost as if they were blowup dolls that aren't much good for anything but looking pretty.


http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8130&page=3

MadamePapillon
Oct 24, 2007, 10:48
And yet it's the truth. There is a big difference between being a part time secretary that fetches everyone coffee and writes memo's all day long and someone who is there in the thick of things, making desicions and moving the company forward.

I suppose I should have phrased it as work and a career. Are the 22% just doing part-time menial work or do the have careers with opportunities to advance?

And this wasn't a chauvanistic comment, it's the truth. There aren't many japanese women (especially those with husbands and children) with actual careers, they may work but there isn't much opportunity for advancement into a leadership position. It's a response mostly to the second part of the statement that got left out.


Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight.

Han Chan
Oct 25, 2007, 16:56
And yet it's the truth. There is a big difference between being a part time secretary that fetches everyone coffee and writes memo's all day long and someone who is there in the thick of things, making desicions and moving the company forward.
I suppose I should have phrased it as work and a career. Are the 22% just doing part-time menial work or do the have careers with opportunities to advance?
And this wasn't a chauvanistic comment, it's the truth. There aren't many japanese women (especially those with husbands and children) with actual careers, they may work but there isn't much opportunity for advancement into a leadership position. It's a response mostly to the second part of the statement that got left out.
OK, now I begin to understand your point of view. You think that japanese men look down on working women and that the women are often given tasks and responsibilities far below their potential level. I do agree. Actually the fact that women are often offered tasks and contracts far below the male counterparts with the same qualifications. Right now a lot of potential is wasted in Japan because well educated women either stop working or work part time due to their child rearing duties.

Interestingly, the Danish company Novozymes recently recruited a lot of Japanese female researchers. They are now responsible for some of the companys most promissing developments regarding enzymes for production of alternative fuel. I think that more non-japanese conpanies will soon start going headhunting among the wast ressource base of highly intelligent, creative and highly educated japanese women.

Sharingan
Oct 26, 2007, 01:00
Han Chan, you didn't write a new article of your own. What you did was criticise paragraph by paragraph the original article. But could you write one on the same topic from scratch ? I doubt...

Where do you get your knowledge about Japanese marriages, except from other articles on the web ? Have you lived in Japan ? Do you know something about Japanese families ? That is not the same as Western-Japanese couples !

Han Chan
Oct 26, 2007, 03:32
Han Chan, you didn't write a new article of your own. What you did was criticise paragraph by paragraph the original article. But could you write one on the same topic from scratch ? I doubt...
Where do you get your knowledge about Japanese marriages, except from other articles on the web ? Have you lived in Japan ? Do you know something about Japanese families ? That is not the same as Western-Japanese couples !
No problem.

I could write a new article, but the theme would not be to compare Japan and West, and adding a lot of personal stereotypical points of view.

The article could be about family life in Japan. However, I would spend some time to do some more ressearch on the issue, before claiming to be an expert. I am a Social Scientist so I do have the qualifications to do this kind of ressearch. But I will not even start this work, before I know if Jref would be interested in replacing the article made by Machiamo.

My knowledge about japanese family life is based on my experiences from visiting friends and family in Japan. Further my japanese wife has for more than nine years now been my main key informant. She used to work as "gender expert" for JICA. She is a keen observer of problems, trends and changes concerning the role of women and men in Japan. It seems clear to me that the gender roles are changing fast among some groups in Japan now. However, there seem to be a lot conservatism regarding the expectations towards the role of mothers. One of the consequenses is that many young japanese women do not want to marry, because they do not find the role as "housewife" attractive. She have made me realize that there are actually very significant regional and generational variations, therefore I would be vary cautious about saying japanese men think...or...japanese women are... Generalisations are often pointless.

Sharingan
Oct 28, 2007, 04:55
That all sounds very nice but we cannot judge how good your article will be till you write it, can we ? After that let members here decide if you did the best use of your Social Scientist qualifications. I may not be the best person to judge, but I am sure there are enough knowledgeable people here who will.

krisxtokyo
Nov 17, 2007, 01:58
I want to break this false image Westerners have of the "Japanese wife-servant". Whereas gender roles are clearly defined, Japanese women are far from being servants. Men work hard all day and come back home late. They don't have time or energy to cook and do housework. As women only have to care about houseworks (once children go to school, they haven't much to do all day long, but housework and cooking).
I understand how Westerners would consider unacceptable a situation where the woman is the only one to do the cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, etc. while the man watches TV, because most Western women work, and their husband might be home at 6pm.
But if the man is home at 11pm and the woman doesn't work at all, it's not to much to expect from her to cook 1 meal and care about house chores. I actually don't know how Japanese men would cope living single by themselves. Women have the "good role" and most are happy to get married just to stop working and use their husband money for their hobbies or care about the children they had longed for.
Kirei na me has it right when she says women have decsional power on the family finances. I was surprised how my own wife turned into a meticulous accountant spontaneously and without training once we started living in Japan (or got married, as it happened at the same time). I've read and heard many times since then that virtually all Japanese woman had this "gift" for "calculation". Marriage is a real business in Japan. Fortunately my wife also believe in love marriage (she says I don't have money anyway :D ).

Strongly Strongly Agree. Alot of my friends in the states most of whom have never been out of the country or even have any interst in Japan, only know of the stereotypes. They always ask me why I would marry a Japanese man because I'm just going to be "his slave". I try to explain to them the cultural gender roles difference but the majority just don't understand. When I tell them I have no intention to work after I get married they usually say that I have been "too heavily influenced by Japan". Japan did influence my views on marriage and gender roles but I have had "traditional" family views my whole life and my mom was a stay at home mom so I always thought of it as normal, not negative.

kireikoori
Nov 17, 2007, 03:46
I am quite simply, against gender roles period.

distressed in japan
Nov 13, 2008, 09:31
I have been married for 2 months to a japanese national. In those 2 months I think we have had sex maybe 5 times including the honey moon. does anyone have any suggestions? I have tried talking to her about it and nothing changes. I fear if this trend continues Ill be divorced before years end.

Crystallize
Nov 13, 2008, 09:39
Around one third of the interviewed answered that they had not had sex for more than a year...

But there are so many people in Japan, and you don't get children without having sex ... and really, why on earth would you still be married to someone if you hadn't had sex for over a year ??? well, it's beyond me anyways !!! :p

Dogen Z
Nov 13, 2008, 19:09
Sounds like distressed needs a marriage counselor. Just my 2 cents.

yersinya
Nov 21, 2008, 06:26
This reminds me of talking with a Japanese boy (20 years old) about arranged marriage. He was very surprised that in Europe arranged marriage is a really rare sight. The he asked "But what about men who can't find a wife? Don't the parents do anything about it?" And I told him that in most cases parents don't meddle in the love affairs of their grown up children and that it's best if the man finds someone on his own. He was really surprised and I was surprised by his reaction. I've been thinking arranged marriage is only found in Muslim countries and not in a such a developed country like Japan.
However, I've been talking to other Japanese guys and they said that love is not important in a marriage and that number one priority in a marriage for Japanese girls is how much money their husband earns *yuk*. 本当に,this country is socially lagging behind. Before coming to Japan I didn't know that most of japanese society is so sick. I mean I really enjoy living here and many Japanese people are very nice and polite and I respect their culture and customs BUT don't you think that something very important is missing in their life. There is more to life than work and money. However, they seem to be very happy with it (ignoring all the people who committed suicide).

@crystallize:yeah you've got the western concept of marriage. Marriage in Japan doesn't mean that you love each other and have sex for fun purpose. I remember hearing that they (husband and wife) lead a life like brother and sister. Visiting prostitutes than sleeping with his wife is very common in Japan.
Japanese women change after getting married as I heard from some male sources ^^#. At the beginning they're really cute and passionate (not all though) but then they turn into viragos and order their husbands around and losing interest (if they had any before).Some are even appalled by touching their husband's underwear when putting it into the washing machine.
Japanese women is a funny topic anyway. They seem to be so obsessed with looking good (mostly kawaii than sexy) that anything else which happens in the world and the people around become indifferent. So I would say that it's going to be worse for "distressed in japan" after some years of marriage.

Chidoriashi
Nov 21, 2008, 07:49
Frustrated Dave, you wanna handle this one, you always say it the best.
All i have to say is that Yersinya, those are some very blatant generalizations, and I don't think it is a real reflection of Japan. (Been here 4 and half years and really have not sensed it like that).
And to say that they are socially lagging behind? Don't you think you are judging them a little out of context and I little bit to much from your own cultural lens? Is that fact that they are a virtually crime free society compared to the rest of the world another one of their socially sick and retarded points? You may not agree with how they do things, but that doesn't necessarily make them backwards and wrong you know.

FrustratedDave
Nov 21, 2008, 11:02
This reminds me of talking with a Japanese boy (20 years old) about arranged marriage. He was very surprised that in Europe arranged marriage is a really rare sight. The he asked "But what about men who can't find a wife? Don't the parents do anything about it?" And I told him that in most cases parents don't meddle in the love affairs of their grown up children and that it's best if the man finds someone on his own. He was really surprised and I was surprised by his reaction. I've been thinking arranged marriage is only found in Muslim countries and not in a such a developed country like Japan.
You clearly have no idea on what an arranged marrige is here in Japan, all you are doing is lumping all your assumptions on "arranged marrige" and choosing that that is the way things are done here. I am not even going to bother telling you how much you don't have a clue...


However, I've been talking to other Japanese guys and they said that love is not important in a marriage and that number one priority in a marriage for Japanese girls is how much money their husband earns *yuk*. 本当に,this country is socially lagging behind. Before coming to Japan I didn't know that most of japanese society is so sick. I mean I really enjoy living here and many Japanese people are very nice and polite and I respect their culture and customs BUT don't you think that something very important is missing in their life. There is more to life than work and money. However, they seem to be very happy with it (ignoring all the people who committed suicide).And the crap just keeps on comming... Your system for analyzing the entire Japanese population on a few guys comments is astounding. And since comming to Japan you still don't know anything, so what has changed? And while we are talking about assumptions you seem to be a very ignorant person judging an entire society on your clearly very, very short time spent in Japan.


@crystallize:yeah you've got the western concept of marriage. Marriage in Japan doesn't mean that you love each other and have sex for fun purpose. I remember hearing that they (husband and wife) lead a life like brother and sister. Visiting prostitutes than sleeping with his wife is very common in Japan.
Holy cow, where do you get this stuff from? Is it made up or did you actualy read it in a manga or horror flick or something like that.

Japanese women change after getting married as I heard from some male sources ^^#. At the beginning they're really cute and passionate (not all though) but then they turn into viragos and order their husbands around and losing interest (if they had any before).Some are even appalled by touching their husband's underwear when putting it into the washing machine. Any marriage anywhere in the world has the potential for this, just the level varies, and just like anywhere else their are many households in Japan where the man is the boss, but again I am just admiring the way you can judge and entire nation from a few "guys" testimony.:okashii:

Japanese women is a funny topic anyway. They seem to be so obsessed with looking good (mostly kawaii than sexy) that anything else which happens in the world and the people around become indifferent. So I would say that it's going to be worse for "distressed in japan" after some years of marriage.I genuinely feel sorry for you, maybe one day you will wake up and get a clue.
Again, I have to say you really remind me of this girl...

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww


Frustrated Dave, you wanna handle this one, you always say it the best.

LOL, I just read this....:bluush:

Glenski
Nov 21, 2008, 12:08
I have been married for 2 months to a japanese national. In those 2 months I think we have had sex maybe 5 times including the honey moon. does anyone have any suggestions? I have tried talking to her about it and nothing changes. I fear if this trend continues Ill be divorced before years end.
You don't give us much to go on here, and that doesn't mean you have to spill your guts to a bunch of anonymous forum posters, but we don't know anything about your situation.

My main point, though, is that if you are considering divorce just because you don't get enough sex (and 5 times per 8 weeks is more than many get), then what was the marriage based on?

Be careful about divorce, too. She gets half these days.

yersinya
Nov 21, 2008, 13:17
You clearly have no idea on what an arranged marrige is here in Japan, all you are doing is lumping all your assumptions on "arranged marrige" and choosing that that is the way things are done here. I am not even going to bother telling you how much you don't have a clue...
yes, you are right. honestly, i haven't read about arranged marriage in japan but still, it is the opposite of love marriage and therefore it sounds too purpose-focused (getting a child and status as a married person). i pitty the people who get married only because of these superficial factors.


And since comming to Japan you still don't know anything, so what has changed? And while we are talking about assumptions you seem to be a very ignorant person judging an entire society on your clearly very, very short time spent in Japan.
Granted, in contrast to you I've been staying in Japan too short to get a deeper insight into the Japanese way of thinking. You shouldn't expect of me making the same experiences as you did. Moreover, you seem to be in a completely different age group anyway. Which means that you and me are aquainted with Japanese people who think and behave in adifferent manner.
Therefore, I might look like an ignorant person to you or just be someone who just made her first and experiences.I just scratched Japanese culture on the surface. It still might be the culture shock though.

I genuinely feel sorry for you, maybe one day you will wake up and get a clue.
Again, I have to say you really remind me of this girl...

You don't need to feel sorry for me because I'm not stuck in my way of thinking. It might change throughout my stay in Japan. Btw. the link is really funny. Maybe I should take part in this ;P But actually, she reminds me of some Japanese girls in my English discussion seminar. They really don't have a clue. They think that women and men shouldn't be treated equally (concerning salary) due to old Japanese history. ..:okashii:

FrustratedDave
Nov 21, 2008, 14:07
yes, you are right. honestly, i haven't read about arranged marriage in japan but still, it is the opposite of love marriage and therefore it sounds too purpose-focused (getting a child and status as a married person). i pitty the people who get married only because of these superficial factors.
You need to understand that "arranged marrage" does not translate that way over here. It is called an "お見合い""omiai" , now this is where it is quite different. The way an "お見合い" works is the involved parties look at pictures and they then choose who they want to go on a date with. Most people will either decide whether they want to go on further dates and if all goes well they get married. This procces can be repeated many times before a suitable partner can be found. Now this might shock you but it is very similar to a dating service you might see in the US , ect, ect. It is not like your parents organising a partner for you and you have no choice in the situation and there is always a matchmaker. Of corse there is social pressure and pressure from parents to get married and this can help with the quickening the decision.


Granted, in contrast to you I've been staying in Japan too short to get a deeper insight into the Japanese way of thinking. You shouldn't expect of me making the same experiences as you did. Moreover, you seem to be in a completely different age group anyway. Which means that you and me are aquainted with Japanese people who think and behave in adifferent manner.
Therefore, I might look like an ignorant person to you or just be someone who just made her first and experiences.I just scratched Japanese culture on the surface. It still might be the culture shock though. My advise to you is not to say it in such a general matter of fact sort of way, lumping the entire population from a few peoples words which mind you can easily be taken out of context due to differences in language if you did not have much knowledge on that subject. Maybe if you were to throw in a little bit of scepticism in your statments you would not come off so ignorant (excuse the harsh word, that is all I could think of :relief:)

You don't need to feel sorry for me because I'm not stuck in my way of thinking. It might change throughout my stay in Japan. Btw. the link is really funny. Maybe I should take part in this ;P But actually, she reminds me of some Japanese girls in my English discussion seminar. They really don't have a clue. They think that women and men shouldn't be treated equally (concerning salary) due to old Japanese history. ..:okashii:
I am not only surprised and glad that you have an open mind on things over here and I think that if you can open your mind like you say you will have a great experience while in Japan. As for gender equality , that is a whole different kettle of fish.

bdiego
Nov 22, 2008, 15:13
Great post, just want to add some thoughts. While the tendencies you've listed are true to a degree, they're rather broad and outdated stereotypes. For example, it would be much more true if you're talking about the East and West of the 60's to 80s. In that vein, you might as well claim that Japanese generally practice arranged marriages, and people don't get divorced in the West. Both used to be true to a large degree, but those are inaccurate characterizations today.


Reason for marriage
Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%.

"Lots of marrage are still arranged" - I wouldn't characterize 20% as lots, they're definitely not the norm. Again, somewhat outdated. For example, this is like saying lots of Japanese are rustic rice paddy farmers. Sure, maybe 10% are.

"Loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce" - These days false and outdated. That's not to say that arranged marriages can't fare better than unarranged marraiges (generally true), I'm merely discussing your outdated "rarely" claim. In recent years there has been a huge spike in divorces among arranged marriages, and it's actually accelerating at double digits thanks to more lenient laws. Exactly like the West after no-fault divorces and progressive alimony were enacted into law. Do a search on the year these laws passed in each country and compare to divorce trends.

A lot of your points are valid to some degree, but they're also broad generalizations that can distort what you can typically expect in marriages happening today. For example, it would be like saying that many American and Japanese men beat their wives (true), but that's certainly not the norm. This then spawns entire "my country is better than yours" threads better left to other websites.

"people promise to love each other for ever when they get married" - They do this whether it's an Asian or Western marriage. I certainly did, and I'm Asian marrying native Japanese. Your "love is not very important" comment is rather outdated and exaggerated. For the last 6 friends of my wife that got married, I'd say love was extremely important to all 6 of them and that's the norm today. What is true is in my parent's generation, love wasn't considered as important. Hence, outdated. The same principle was true among some grand parents and most grandparents of my Western friends, especially from more traditional countries.

"Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (this may not be true in international couples, from what I've heard)." - This is a pretty extreme example. These extremes definitely do happen more in Japanese marriages, but you've also described a ton of Western marriages to a degree. Your statement could be precisely rephrased as "In Japan, couples only have 1 child and the wife doesn't have sexual interest in her husband ever after." Or, "In Japan, the typical salary man either dies from overwork or suicide."

Rather than going line by line and correcting some broad generalizations you've made based on legitimate issues, it's easier and more insightful to talk about why these stereotypes arise. A lot of these stereotypes were more accurate 20 or 40 years ago, but are now more loose tendencies and trends. For example, it would be equally inaccurate to say that San Francisco is gay.

There's also multiple explanations for some of the things you've brought up, and some fairly inventive explanations. They are along the lines of "Japanese are so afraid of infection that they will die of fear if they wear shoes in the house." How about just saying "Japanese don't wear shoes in the house" and asking why that is? =)
Some of the things you've mentioned, are flat out absurdities your friends were playing on you. =)

bdiego
Nov 22, 2008, 15:25
yes, you are right. honestly, i haven't read about arranged marriage in japan but still, it is the opposite of love marriage and therefore it sounds too purpose-focused (getting a child and status as a married person). i pitty the people who get married only because of these superficial factors.

(begin generalization)
I haven't read much about it, but it's just like Westerners and their obsession with mail order brides. Not only is it purpose-focused, but it is sexually predatory (marrying someone purely based on looks and for free sex and cooking). I pity the people who marry only for sex and cooking.
(end generalization)

Neither of the above paragraphs really speaks from a stance of accuracy or fairness, and it's easy to draw a lot of conclusions based on little info.

Arranged marriages aren't that common these days, and most of them don't operate much differently than dating agencies in the West. In fact, they're far tamer than mail order bride agencies in that most of them entail a dinner or lunch after looking over different people's profiles. If you aren't interested, it takes zero effort to move on.

"Therefore, I might look like an ignorant person to you or just be someone who just made her first and experiences."

I don't see that you're ignorant, just unfamiliar with the topic. If you had asked "I heard X, is this true?" You'd probably get "I'm sure that still happens, but these days it's normally Y."

"They really don't have a clue. They think that women and men shouldn't be treated equally (concerning salary) due to old Japanese history. ..:okashii"

You're projecting your own viewpoint as other people's motivations. This is equivalent to saying Americans don't save money because they like gambling. Or Europeans drink wine because they think they're better than us.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 3, 2008, 05:33
Hello everybody. I'd like to caution that I am not familiar to posting on blogs and it may show in my ignorance for proper etiqutte in these matters. Yet it is important for me to establish how much I respect the opinions of everybody whom contribute to this site and its threads. For this information provides me an insight that I am otherwise unable to get on the topic of Japanese culture. I wanted my appreciation noted. I also would like to say that with this being my first post and without anything from which this community can read of me to base its opinion of my personality on, that I hope nobody construes me as picking on them with the things I wanted to address. Alright, enough of my formalities. The following is what motivated me to contribute....

To those whom are of Japanese origin that are offended by what may possibly be misguided European allegations towards their impression of Japanese culture and its people: I'd like to say to please be patient with our viewpoints. Forums such as these provide a venue from which we can share our opinions, explain the sources for why we got these opinions as justification, and hopefully be criticised appropriately if our impressions are wrong. Many opinions given on this thread alone have been emotionally based. If we are not of Japanese origin and have misguided views. Then please by all means educated us, correct us. Though try not to be too offended or feel like there is any alienation going on. Resources such as these threads provide valuable education and ignorance can't be resolved if we don't openly communicate our opinions and interpretations.

As for the majority of the regulars who have been discussing arranged marriages: I personally don't know if "arranged marriages" are prominent in Japan, what they're based on, or how they're conducted. Yet I can agree that relationships based on intervention and not on fate, is something I personally would not want for myself. I wouldn't call it wrong and I certainly am not going to judge a culture or participants whom exercise this option.

I am starving for information about the age groups, personality types, upbringings, and intentions of the females in Japan. I don't mean to discriminate Japanese males. Yet being a male myself and heterosexual, I am only interested in building a relationship with a female. Why my interest is in a Japanese female falls more into my choice for hobbies. When it comes to historical culture, modern culture, scenery, entertainment and intellectual interaction. I just find myself constantly attracted to Japan as a whole. I'd like to think I don't direspect Japan by only picking out what I like and discarding the rest. I'm trying not to have any unrealistic expectations either. I'm just a man who appreciates more about Japan than most other countries. There are great things from any culture or country. Just Japan appeals to my personal interest. Yet my research, whether accurate or not, has been telling me that most Japanese women are taught to put on a sort of societal act. To suppress their intentions and emotions, compliment out of politeness rather than sincerity, share the opinion of the masses, and now according to this thread; to marry for status and obligation rather than love. As much as I think I would adore Japan (having not yet visited it myself.) I am desperate to find a sign of hope that there is a large enough demographic of Japanese born and raised women whom are anomalies to this mindset. Women who look for love in the definition of those portrayed in sappy American romance movies. Who find an importance more in the emotional bonding rather than the status. I'm not asking the woman to be trained in knowing how to express emotion and love. I only ask that she sincerely desires to learn. If I can find such a woman as that in Japan and if we get along in our hobbies and interests (which that part is highly likely because as I've already said, most Japanese things appeal to me.) Then I will have succeeded in finding a very good bond worth investing my life to. With all of this said and put out there, my bottom line question is. "How likely is it for me to meet a Japanese woman whom shares the mindset and desire for love as it stands in its emotional definitional?" If it helps to know, I will be moving to the Aomori Prefecture of Japan in less than a year. So perhaps knowing that I will be in a more rural part of Japan can help provide a basis from which to answer this question on.

Thank you to everybody for your patience in reading all of this and addressing my concerns.

jt9258
Dec 9, 2008, 10:18
My knowledge about japanese family life is based on my experiences from visiting friends and family in Japan.

So experience is gained from visiting friends and family in Japan, who follow a
culture of Honne/Tatemai, where there real face may not be shown.


It seems clear to me that the gender roles are changing fast among some groups in Japan now.

There may be some change, though I have yet to witness this change.


However, there seem to be a lot conservatism regarding the expectations towards the role of mothers. One of the consequenses is that many young japanese women do not want to marry, because they do not find the role as "housewife" attractive.

While many do not find the role of being a "housewife" attractive, many find it difficult to accept change, because they feel they have a role and responsibility within a marriage, and would feel guilty and lazy if they were expected to accept a lesser role, than what they regard as being normal, so they just stay single.

I feel it is wrong to think that only young Japanese women are not getting married, there many Japanese women of all ages who have never been married. And there still are Japanese women who will take a husband, because of peer pressure from family members, and these women are not happy, because they really did not want marriage.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 11, 2008, 01:37
So experience is gained from visiting friends and family in Japan, who follow a
culture of Honne/Tatemai, where there real face may not be shown.
There may be some change, though I have yet to witness this change.
While many do not find the role of being a "housewife" attractive, many find it difficult to accept change, because they feel they have a role and responsibility within a marriage, and would feel guilty and lazy if they were expected to accept a lesser role, than what they regard as being normal, so they just stay single.
I feel it is wrong to think that only young Japanese women are not getting married, there many Japanese women of all ages who have never been married. And there still are Japanese women who will take a husband, because of peer pressure from family members, and these women are not happy, because they really did not want marriage.

First off, thank you for your detailed reply and concern for my situation. The insight is very helpful.

However, you are refining my apprehensions about marrying a Japanese woman. I am well read on the soto/uchi and honne/tatemae social behavior of the Japanese people. Though I also believe that no matter what the culture is, there are always people whom don't share the same mindset as the rest of their peers. It is in that from which I hope I am able to find such a woman like that in Japan and to somehow draw out her sincere honne.

My concern is deep seeded. I am devoting as much of my time as I can afford to learning the Japanese culture and language. Shujin, Kanai; words like these and other are used to describe the husband as master of his house and the woman as its caretaker. Me knowing things like this will make it that much easier for me to help liberate a Japanese woman's mind to not be subservient. I want an equal, not a slave. I like Japanese women for their physical beauty, their humbleness, their delicate nature, fun-loving hobbies, and metaphorical innocence. That is what I'm looking to marry into. I don't want a woman who panders to my needs by obligation. Who is with me because she thinks she has to be or that she is unworthy of anybody else. I guess for me to delve into more detail only beats the obvious to death.

Chidoriashi
Dec 11, 2008, 09:40
ShawdowSpirit> I have lived in Japan about 4 and half years. And reading your posts I feel like you maybe are allowing what you have read about Japan to narrow your understanding and openness towards what you actually may experience. I guess what I am saying is you should not take what you have read as gospel. I think you will find many of the things you have read to not nearly be as all encompassing and black and white as I sense you feel they are. That is not to say they are untrue per se, but do not let what you have read push a lot bias upon what you actually experience.

I also get the sense that you may be planning things a little to well. And there is so much that is really not in your control, so I say have your eraser ready to change things when necessary, because they way you are envisioning things now will most likely not entirely reflect reality.

Oh and lastly, most of the Japanese women who will be available to, and most interested in you, I doubt will need much help from you in "liberating" them.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 11, 2008, 10:20
ShawdowSpirit> I have lived in Japan about 4 and half years. And reading your posts I feel like you maybe are allowing what you have read about Japan to narrow your understanding and openness towards what you actually may experience. I guess what I am saying is you should not take what you have read as gospel. I think you will find many of the things you have read to not nearly be as all encompassing and black and white as I sense you feel they are. That is not to say they are untrue per se, but do not let what you have read push a lot bias upon what you actually experience.
I also get the sense that you may be planning things a little to well. And there is so much that is really not in your control, so I say have your eraser ready to change things when necessary, because they way you are envisioning things now will most likely not entirely reflect reality.
Oh and lastly, most of the Japanese women who will be available to, and most interested in you, I doubt will need much help from you in "liberating" them.

Chidoriashi! Thank you. This is precisely the kind of response I've been searching for. I'm hoping to read more like it. I understand your opinion of me researching too much into it and I agree that what I read may not necessarily all apply when my fateful visit to Japan comes. Yet I still have until the end of this upcoming summer until I will be in Japan. During which time I don't have much else to do then to read up on it while I wait patiently for my relocation. During which, it's difficult not to be apprehensive when multiple sources, whether books or individual opinions, tend to all point in the direction of the things I have addressed in my line of questioning for this thread. It gets discouraging when I can't find at least one person (aside from yourself) who says. "Relax. Not everybody is as you think they are. You'll see, there are plenty of women who fall into what you seem to be describing." Instead I just read time and time again, including from pen-pals, about how disimilar relationships in Japan are from most European countries. Which if those differences were what I considered positives, then it would be fine. Yet this whole business persona that seems to come with marriages is just unsettling for my own preference.

Again, for those who either side with arranged marriages or are native to a culture that practices this. I want to convey that I am not passing judgment to it. Even in emotional bonds, a couple can get into it without the same mindset being shared and thus defeating the purpose of it being an alleged love relationship. I feel that so long as two people share the same philosophy (and not necessarily the philosophy of their peers, society, or culture) on what their love is based on, then it good for that couple and shouldn't have to please anybody else. This all ties into why for myself, I have painted in detail as to what I would like my relationship with the woman to be based on and in essence am hoping there is a reasonable probability that such a relationship will be found.

Again, thanks for the info. Sorry if my use of "liberating" seemed a bit direct. It seemed like an appropriate expression to use at the time but in passing I would rather had chosen my words more carefully.

Chidoriashi. What have your experiences in dating or marriage been like since being in Japan?

Chidoriashi
Dec 11, 2008, 10:52
I will say my experiences have all been unique compared to the others. Among the Japanese I have gone out with, some where just a few dates, some were more serious.

There are all different types of Japanese women, just like there are all different types of American women. What I was insinuating with the comment about some of the women not needing liberation, was the fact that many Japanese women who are interested in foreigners have already had experience abroad, or hope to escape Japanese society, or already have a more open mind about the world.

It is really hard to generalize, but one of my Japanese friends, who plans on staying in Japan, and will probably marry a Japanese (however she is an English teacher and studied abroad), was engaged to a Japanese man , but before the wedding she realized that he was more "tradtional" and expected their roles to be more ridged and defined, meaning he wanted her to quit her job after some time. She refused this because she wanted her career, and she broke off the engagement, as far as I can remember they were dating for like 3 years.

Anyhow, I think you will find there all types of Japanese women, and more than likely only a few will fit exactly into the mold the books you have read place them in.

And there is no problem about you continuing to read about Japan from those books, but I think language ability more so than those books will be a much greater asset to you in Japan. So I would focus on the Japanese language from now if I was you. It will be more challenging of course, but then again, things that are really worth it usually are.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 11, 2008, 11:22
You brought up another point I find confusingly intriguing. In regards to your friend breaking off an engagement with a man she had a 3 year relationship. To which I find this to me more to her fault (no offense to your friend) than to her mate's. Because I can't fathom how she could be with this man for that long and not realize or believe to change his traditional ways. I think her situation is one that occurs in America often as well. For both career minded men and women whom aspire to influence their mate to settle out of their career. I'm curious though. Do you know whether this man of hers was traditional in other ways too or was it only in his ideas of her staying at home?

Good advice on the language studies. I have put quite a bit of time into it already. Anything from movies, college textbooks, reference books, audio tapes, rosetta stone, videogames, and movies. I'm trying to surround myself as much as possible with the language. Which it all combined still isn't even a fraction as useful as actually being immersed in the culture. Yet it's helping as a basic guideline for grasping the language. Plus I'm confident I can get around town in Japan without having to speak English. The language studies have been contributing to why I've learned so much about the culture and have arised with the questions I do. Books such as and of the ilk of "Japanese in Mangaland" tell a bit about the culture of Japan and set me on a personal path to fill in the blanks for what it doesn't answer upon.

Thanks again Chidoriashi. You have been doing a great job of putting my mind at ease. I'm not going to try and trap you in a chain reaction of questioning. Yet, any tips on what to expect, say, or do (in general of course) for picking up a girl at an izakaya? Is that even such a place for meeting girls at or would I just have to stick with clubs?

Oh yeah. Slightly unrelated question. What's the deal with most Japanese women not liking irezumi (tattoos?) Is it a Yakuza thing? I have 2 tattoos and am hoping it won't be an issue with deterring women.

Chidoriashi
Dec 11, 2008, 12:57
Well, in regards to my friend, i do not think it is really a who's fault situation to her, she realized that he is not the right person for her in the end. I honestly do not know all the details upon what brought her to this revelation however. Relationships are complicated. Not to mention it was quite some time ago and at the time, it just did not seem like it was right for me to press her for information. I suppose I could ask her again now. Anyway she made the right decision I think (if it was going to end) to end it before they got married rather than after.

For meeting girls, hmm.. izakaya.. yeah its possible, its not my favorite place. But really to each his own I guess. Also in many izakayas everybody is sectioned off, and people are not really approachable most of the time. Regular bars are better.
Oh and for me.. usually I have dated people I have met through a friend, or non public bar related social event.

If you feel most comfortable in the bar scene though I imagine you would have the most luck at "gaijin bars" (places where lots of foreigners are known to hang out, or where the owner is an English speaking foreigner). Japanese that go to those bars usually already have some interest in foreigners, for one reason or the other.

Remember there is a good chunk of Japanese women who could really care less about foreigners, let alone consider dating one. Therefore you are likely to have more luck at international events, and places where the patrons are likely to already have an inclination towards you.

There also are probably some Japanese women who would not mind dating a foreigner, but do not speak English or another foreign language and therefore really do not consider it a possibility. So meaning unless your Japanese is good enough to conduct a meaningful romantic relationship with someone, those people will fall out of your loop. Not to mention these types probably have a very limited understanding about you which would make things even more challenging.

Another thing I should mention, is Japan is a place just like any other. It has its good points and its flaws as well. So do not put Japan on a pedestal, because you may be disappointed in some aspects. Be prepared for all kinds of treatment too. Some treatment will be good, some will be bad, but a lot of how you feel in situations will fall solely upon your attitude and how much you try to understand things from their perspective. So you need to be able to remain positive, especially at times when things do not meet your expectations and you become disappointed.

And the tattoo thing.. as far as I know it is generally frowned upon not so much in the aspect of dating, but ones appearance at the workplace. So if the tattoos can be covered up it is probably not a big deal. I really do not think it will affect your dating life.

ASHIKAGA
Dec 11, 2008, 13:03
What's the deal with most Japanese women not liking irezumi (tattoos?) Is it a Yakuza thing? I have 2 tattoos and am hoping it won't be an issue with deterring women.

Many traditional/old fashioned Japanese women (and men) may have negative views regarding tattoos. I don't think it's anything that's unique to Japan, though. If some woman doesn't like your tattoos? Too bad. Find someone who does. Also, when I see someone's tattoo, there is a big difference in what my opinion of that person would be if the tattoo is THUG LIFE across their belly compared to some tacky tribal pattern or a Tweety Bird on their arm.

Re : dating Japanese women, why is it that it is always the non-Japanese who has to cater to Japanese women's every quirk and whim? Although you may be a foreigner in Japan, the basic rules are the same, no? Cultural differences? VERY much blown out of proportion if you ask me. People just need to be courteous just like they would in their home countries.

jt9258
Dec 11, 2008, 13:31
Though I also believe that no matter what the culture is, there are always people whom don't share the same mindset as the rest of their peers.

Agreed! But while they may not share the same mindset as there peers, they may very well receive peer pressure to conform, it could also be said that the reason Japanese people marry foreigners and live outside Japan, is because they escape this peer pressure, and can express themselves and live a more free and relaxed relationship with there western partner. Living in Japan, they may never escape this peer pressure to conform, after marriage and children, the children enter the educations system, the peer pressure will be there for the mother to conform.


It is in that from which I hope I am able to find such a woman like that in Japan and to somehow draw out her sincere honne.

I fully understand, though it can be very difficult, public displays of affection are frowned on, so it would prove difficult to offer a wife a simple kiss good bye, when she goes off to work, or an appointment etc, trying to separate what she can and cannot do is very difficult, because the type of relationship you are looking for, means that any wife, would have to conform to what is expected of her in public, but behind closed doors in your own house, she should be more relaxed with the type of relationship you share, and not do things out of an obligation.


Me knowing things like this will make it that much easier for me to help liberate a Japanese woman's mind to not be subservient. I want an equal, not a slave.

But they do not regard themselves as being a slave, as mentioned in my last post, there are Japanese women who do not want to follow the traditional role of housewife, and want some thing better, but the reality is, that they feel guilty and lazy, when they are not doing what they regard as normal. So it should be remembered that while there are Japanese women who say they want a different type of relationship, and may even like the idea of the prospect of change, in most cases they would find it very difficult, if not impossible to change.
Trying to liberate a Japanese women may be much harder than just accepting her and how things really are, following this route of liberating a Japanese women can bring much stress and frustration for yourself, I should know, I have been married to a Japanese women for 7 years, while my wife does not like many aspects of the culture, and the requirement to conform, she feels obligated to do so, because if she did any different, she would be hammered down by her peers.


I like Japanese women for their physical beauty, their humbleness, their delicate nature, fun-loving hobbies, and metaphorical innocence. That is what I'm looking to marry into. I don't want a woman who panders to my needs by obligation.

OK! In most cases a Japanese wife would be looking for a husband to provide for her, and any children that come along, a husband being a good provider will be very important to her, while you may be happy to assist with the housework, cook and look after the children, a Japanese wife may be pleased and happy that she has a husband, who will share in these tasks, though she may also still have strong feelings, that her husband is failing in his "obligation" to be a good provider, because she may feel its her duty to do these tasks around the house while her husband should be working to provide for the family, so its not just about a wife's "obligations".

ShadowSpirit
Dec 12, 2008, 03:02
Chidoriashi:

Thanks, but it isn't necessary to probe your friend for more information regarding her ex. It was just a fleeting curiosity I had. Nothing more.

I do feel more comfortable in a bar scene but hadn't realized that izakayas are confined or sectioned off. It does make sense now that you mention it. I appreciate the advice on international venues. I will keep those options open and look more for places of that nature.

I'm certainly not putting Japan on a pedestal. I'm a well traveled man who is well aware that there are positives and negatives to every culture. I have just been focusing my energy on hopes I have for Japan, but certainly do not have any expectations. I acknowledge there are things that will both positively surprise me and negatively impact me when reaching Japan. I will only truly understand those things when I experience it for myself. I do appreciate your concern. I'm just acting like a kid with a keen curiosity and fascination. I know that Japan is romanticized in America and its difficult not to be a bit excited. I also know that only the surface of Japan is advertised. I had lived in Hawaii and learned much about what lies below the surface there as well. A great place if you're a tourist just passing through, but if you live there you find out that there is much about it that is almost unbearable.

In regards to the irezumi. I'm fortunate that you have confidence it might not be an issue with me dating. There is something I can't quite shake off my mind about it. On my wrist, I have the kanji for 気 tattooed. I got it ages ago, long before it was ever a white-boy fad to have Asian characters tattooed on the body. I never thought I would end up in Japan nor China and I didn't think much of it at the time. Yet now as an adult whom is about to be going to Japan, I'm embarrassed to have it. Because it's like I'm advertising. "Hey everybody! Look at me! I'm a white guy who thinks I will be accepted by Asian cultures because I got kanji tattooed on me." I'd rather not be giving off that impression to people.

Ashikaga:

I agree with your assessment about not having to cater to every quirk and whim. I do feel that it is a privilege for me to be a guest in country foreign to my own and that it requires greater responsibilities from myself. I should hold myself to a higher standard to learn about the customs, absorb as much of the language as I reasonably can, and flex to the reasonable demands of the Japanese woman. However, I'm not going to expect it to be a one-sided effort. I recognize that the woman is sacrificing a lot by rebelling against her upbringing to long for a romantic relationship. I feel a lot of credit is due on that factor in itself. Overall, I agree with your comment.

jt9258:

You brought up quite a few good points. It is very much appreciated. You mentioned this one last, but I wanted to address it first.... I do realize that there are obligations I have to the woman. The only reason I haven't discussed them is because what I'm willing to provide just didn't fit into the context of my inquiries. I have stable income, no debt, and am in an established career path. If I didn't feel I could provide for a Japanese woman, I certainly wouldn't bother even trying. Security is a moot point for me. I want the impossible dream. That is, to find a woman who falls for me not because she knows how financially stable I am, but because I make her emotionally happy. I know this is asking much. Since what reasonable thinking person would voluntarily put themselves with a person that can't provide for them. Yet that is the sacrificial test involved. If the woman figured. "Well, he makes me happy and if we plan together, we'll survive in this world." Then that is a philosophy I would be very happy for her to have. I wouldn't want her to know that I'm actually quite capable of supporting her for life. At least I wouldn't want to advertise that up front. This probably isn't going to be one of those things I'll be able to avoid getting around. Yet I've gone out with women before who didn't know much about what I do but just knew I wasn't in any danger of ending up on the streets. It's very possible for a successful businessman to be deep in debt and for a woman to inadvertently marry into that. I'd like a woman to take a risk on me based on the idea that I may possibly be in debt, but only to find out that I'm actually way far from it. Again, this is all wishful thinking (in regards to the woman appreciating me on an emotional level that is. There isn't any wishful thinking about my finances, I am well secured.)

You make a point about the slavery mindset as well. I was referring more to the women who think that I expect them to clean or take care of me in such a manner. My mother was an old-fashion woman who exhibited the same mindset as many of these Japanese women. My mother felt unuseful if she wasn't cleaning the house or cooking meals. It took me many years to understand that it was what she felt she is best at and that she wasn't happy if she wasn't taking care of the house. I'm certain that many Japanese women feel the same way in this situation. Again, I just wanted the woman to know that if being a housewife isn't what she enjoys doing, that she certainly doesn't have to be limited to it. That I won't think less of her if she decides to go to school full time, gets a job, or if she doesn't make the house spotless at all times. I just didn't want her thinking that I expect these things of her and that I would judge her based on her performance in these areas.

You make another valid point about the peer pressure and lack of PDA. I have considered that thought in my mind and don't find it too difficult to master the prediciment. I will do what I can to avoid putting her in an awkward situation where she may be scrutinized by her peers. I also have considered that to be emotionally open that the potential girlfriend/wife may request that she be taken out of the Japanese environment completely so that she can develop a comfort for casuality that she otherwise would not be allowed to practice.

jt9258
Dec 12, 2008, 10:53
I do realize that there are obligations I have to the woman. The only reason I haven't discussed them is because what I'm willing to provide just didn't fit into the context of my inquiries.

In the eyes of a Japanese women its not about a potential husband being willing to provide, its about him proving that he can be a good provider, and in many cases there would be a need for a potential husband to prove himself to be a good provider. It should be remembered that when you marry a Japanese women, in many cases the parents need to know that you can provide for there daughter, the spoken word in these cases is not enough, which means they may very well need to see that you can be a good provider, and worthy of there respect, actions speak louder than words.


That is, to find a woman who falls for me not because she knows how financially stable I am, but because I make her emotionally happy. I know this is asking much. Since what reasonable thinking person would voluntarily put themselves with a person that can't provide for them.

For Japanese women money is king. So while a husband may be able to provide today, and for many years to come, should a time arise in the future, where her husband cannot provide for her and the children, the wife can, and will end the marriage, just as easy as they entered the marriage.


Yet that is the sacrificial test involved. If the woman figured. "Well, he makes me happy and if we plan together, we'll survive in this world."

Planning together is not some thing Japanese women would do, making decisions for the family on your own, is what she will be looking for, trying to do things on a joint bases, would only be viewed by a wife, as a sign of weakness on your part, and remember in many cases its regarded as normal for a wife to look after your monthly salary, handing back to her husband an allowance (Pocket Money).


Again, this is all wishful thinking (in regards to the woman appreciating me on an emotional level that is. There isn't any wishful thinking about my finances, I am well secured.)

The toughest part will be, how you will actually know if she loves you emotionally, or if her love is based on your status and financial position, too many men have fallen for the charms of a Japanese women, only to find that
after marriage and children the emotional loving relationship they shared has gone.


You make a point about the slavery mindset as well. I was referring more to the women who think that I expect them to clean or take care of me in such a manner.

Its not what you want or expect your wife to do, its what they will do for you, as they regard it as being disrespectful to do anything less, for them it will be normal to do things for you.


Again, I just wanted the woman to know that if being a housewife isn't what she enjoys doing, that she certainly doesn't have to be limited to it. That I won't think less of her if she decides to go to school full time, gets a job, or if she doesn't make the house spotless at all times.

It may very well be possible to find a Japanese women who would like to continue with some form of career or employment, though a lot will also depend on her mother's views, of her daughters role after marriage, because many Japanese women still take the lead from there mother's, so should your wife continue to work or seek work after marriage, it could send a message to the parents that you are not a good provider.


I just didn't want her thinking that I expect these things of her and that I would judge her based on her performance in these areas.

As long as you provide for her and the children you have, it will not be about you judging her on her performance, though your ability to provide will be judged not only by her, but her parents, while you are providing for the family, you will gain her respect, though fail to provide and its finished.


You make another valid point about the peer pressure and lack of PDA. I have considered that thought in my mind and don't find it too difficult to master the prediciment. I will do what I can to avoid putting her in an awkward situation where she may be scrutinized by her peers.

While you may not have a problem mastering different situations, so as not to create a problem for your wife, I feel that you are expecting her to follow two different set of rules, the first being that outside your home, she would follow the Japanese rules, though when at home, she could relax and be more open to live a western style loving relationship, and not just be a slave to you.
While this may sound ideal, in practice it can be very difficult, to impossible, for a Japanese women, to follow this type of life style, this is because as you may already know, Japan is group orientated, everything in life is done on a group bases, Uchi/Soto, so while your wife may be in the comfort of her own home, if located within Japan, then she would be living within the Japanese group, so she would feel, that she has to follow the rules appropriate for living within this group, that is why Japanese people can relax more outside Japan, because they are completely outside the group.


I also have considered that to be emotionally open that the potential girlfriend/wife may request that she be taken out of the Japanese environment completely so that she can develop a comfort for casuality that she otherwise would not be allowed to practice.

Yes! This could very well be a possibility, there are many Japanese women who want to live outside Japan with a western husband, though while this will allow a potential girlfriend/wife to live a more casual life style, her roots are still within the Japanese group way of thinking, and there may always be feelings of wanting to return to Japan, responsibilities to her aging parents etc.
However there are men who have lived good lives with there Japanese wives outside Japan for many years, many then return to Japan as a family, though some men have also lost there wives, because the Japanese wife has returned to Japan without saying anything to her husband.
The reason for this, is that Japanese people, do not like creating or being a problem to others, so while a wife may appear to be happy living outside Japan, she may over time develop the need to return to Japan, she will feel that to explain her feelings to her husband would only bring him trouble so for her its better to just leave without saying anything.

Chidoriashi
Dec 12, 2008, 12:45
JT9258> While I know you speak the truth when you post and your advice is solid, I must interject that your observations (as mine too) are still subjective. Many of the posters on this forum who have talked about their international/marriage and relationship, tell a different story..as well as all of the international married couples I know personally. And I also even I know some of those couples parents and how they view things.. So for ShadowSpirit, when he does come here, get married etc.. he may in fact experience things just as you say, but remember he may not too. Though there are generalizations that of course can be made about Japan, and Japanese society, we cannot forget that those are still generalizations and never absolute. Every family has some differences, even in a country such as Japan. So I want to encourage ShawdowSpirit to come here and experience it for himself with an open mind, before he draws any concrete conclusions.

jt9258
Dec 12, 2008, 13:15
While I know you speak the truth when you post and your advice is solid, I must interject that your observations (as mine too) are still subjective.

Thank you! And yes I would agree.


So for ShadowSpirit, when he does come here, get married etc.. he may in fact experience things just as you say, but remember he may not too.
Though there are generalizations that of course can be made about Japan, and Japanese society, we cannot forget that those are still generalizations and never absolute. Every family has some differences, even in a country such as Japan. So I want to encourage ShawdowSpirit to come here and experience it for himself with an open mind, before he draws any concrete conclusions.
This is also true, but there will be no way of knowing in advance how things will turn out, I do agree that when ShadowSpirit comes here, that he should approach his relationships, with an open mind, and experience Japan for himself, with the knowledge of what may or may not happen, and then decide for himself if he still wants marriage, with a Japanese women.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 14, 2008, 01:28
I don't know. I continue to appreciate Chidoriashi's optimism. Yet overall there has been a dreary picture painted about marrying a Japanese woman for what my personal needs may desire. This is of course my own problem and I'm not afforded anything more than what is offered. I do believe every culture has its anomalies and I was just trying to find out how likely it would be for me to find such an anomaly. If I have to stick with the more international hangouts to find such a woman, so be it. If I can't find what I'm looking for regardless, then I guess that is just the way things will turn out. Yet I dread the idea of being with a woman who has the mindset to just up and leave me when she feels I'm not providing a good life for her; whether I can or cannot provide is irrelevent. It's the principle in itself that upsets me. Cause I would be there for her through better or worse. If she was paralyzed, or impaired, rich or poor; I wouldn't turn my back on her. I expect the same respect. This isn't to say I'm going to fail in life. Yet what if I was dependent on stock options? Would she leave me during this time when the economy is dropping and people are finding themselves struggling for work? Things like this plague my mind, and as I said, whether I am well established or not. I just think it's messed up that she would up and leave at a moment's whim.

All of this discussion is relative when one considers that I'm going to Japan regardless. I was just hoping to get an idea of what to expect. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the insight I've been given thus far, whether positive or negative. I certainly do not ask for anybody to candy-coat things for me. I need brutal honesty and am fortunate to get some of that. It would have been nice if the general consesus came out in a different direction from what it has. I guess I'll keep jt9258's cautions to mind and Chidoriashi's points to consideration.

jt9258
Dec 14, 2008, 11:12
I don't know. I continue to appreciate Chidoriashi's optimism. Yet overall there has been a dreary picture painted about marrying a Japanese woman for what my personal needs may desire.

I can only appologize, because the reality of a large proportion of Japanese women cannot handle some thing different than what is regarded as normal for them here, even if they dream of change.


I do believe every culture has its anomalies and I was just trying to find out how likely it would be for me to find such an anomaly.

The problem is as mentioned, you may never really know what a Japanese women will be like in a marriage until you are married, though I do feel that it may be better to actually explain what you would expect from a wife before marriage, its no good waiting until you have been married a year, for your wife to say "I thought you would not want sex!", its no good saying anything to defend your reasons, or thinking because in many cases the reply will be, "Go and get a girlfreind".


Yet I dread the idea of being with a woman who has the mindset to just up and leave me when she feels I'm not providing a good life for her; whether I can or cannot provide is irrelevent. It's the principle in itself that upsets me. Cause I would be there for her through better or worse.

I understand, and can fully appreciate how much this would cause any western man pain, but the reality of the Japanese is that they do not want to bring trouble to other's, and that includes her a husband, though a wife would not want a husband giving her trouble, even if it's only to say you do not like what she has cooked, its better to just eat it and hide the trueth.
"For Better or worse" does not really exist in the concept of many Japanese marriages, if a husband cannot fullfill his role as provider, in many cases he will not be regarded as a good husband, and could very well result in divorce.


If she was paralyzed, or impaired, rich or poor; I wouldn't turn my back on her. I expect the same respect. This isn't to say I'm going to fail in life. Yet what if I was dependent on stock options? Would she leave me during this time when the economy is dropping and people are finding themselves struggling for work?

It does not matter what kind of work you do, as long as they see the money coming in and it increases each year, they will never complain and appear to be happy, though this happiness is no guarantee that there will be an intimate relationship between husband and wife.


I certainly do not ask for anybody to candy-coat things for me. I need brutal honesty and am fortunate to get some of that. It would have been nice if the general consesus came out in a different direction from what it has.
When you get to Japan, you will definately notice that the women will have an interest in you, but then that is because you are not Japanese, just take things slowly, and never be afraid to say what you are looking for in a wife, should you meet some one that you would consider marriage with, this may mean that many will never be seen again, but then you will know that they were not right for you.

Chirpy9
Dec 18, 2008, 13:31
Firstly, Maciamo thanks for starting this thread. It is quite interesting and then various opinions on this thread has made it more lively.

ShadowSpirit, you dont have to go anywhere, no izakaya or pubs/discs. The kind of description that you have given about yourself through your posts, many girls might already have fallen for you. Just check your Friend invitations, i guess you are loaded now with girsl asking you to be their friend.. :)

Guys, one thing that have come forth, is that Japanese women care a lot about money. Why I am concerned about this fact more is because this one particularly is very different from India. As in, in India, once a girl gets married, she will stay with her husband and will defnitely not leave him on monetary ground, until and unless the money that is spent is because of husband's bad habits like gambling, etc. If for example, today economy is not that healthy and the husband has been fired, the wife will not leave him in these conditions. She will try to stay with him and try to put ends together in best possible ways.
Having said that, every country has its own customs and uniqueness.

Pachipro
Dec 19, 2008, 01:39
There have been alot of generalizations made here in the recent posts this year about Japanese women that there are too many for me to quote and comment on, so I will direct my reply to Shadow Spirit based on my own experience.

Granted, what has been said in that many Japanese women today are looking at how much money a man has is true to an extent it is not indicative of the entire culture as you have probably surmised by now.

You will be moving to Aomori Prefecture to live and work and it will not be even close to what you would experience had you chosen to live in Tokyo, Yokohama, or Osaka or Kyoto in that Aomori is more country and thus, to an extent, more traditional and not as "international" as the cities I mentioned above and their surrounding areas. Therefore, what jt9258 said may be closer to the truth, but not necessarily so.

As with any culture you will find various types of women in Japan. Some will be traditional in that they want to be a housewife and raise children after marriage, while others may prefer to work after marriage and maybe so even after they have children even though it is still frowned upon in Japan. Some will be independent and may not want to have children. Some may even decide to break up with you because their family disagrees with their daughter dating a foreigner even though she is madly in love with you as happened to me.

The key point is to know what you want and to not to settle for less until you do find what you are looking for or you just may end up regretting it in the long run. Also, do not take things too seriously. Just be yourself, know what you want, and you will find what you are looking for.

I have been married to the same Japanese woman for almost 21 years now and we have been together almost 28 years. However, it is not my first marriage. I made the foolish mistake of marrying one of the first women I met in Japan and the marriage only lasted for 2 1/2 years due to immaturity and lust on my part. I was just a dumb 21 year old at the time. Granted, she was a great woman/wife and it was an amiacable divorce, but I acted with the "small head" and the not the big head if you get my drift. I will not go into details, but suffice it to say, our goals were not the same. Thankfully there were no children.

After that I vowed never to marry again, if ever, until I met someone I was completely compatable with in all aspects and I would not compromise. After four years and many dates with many women, I found what I was looking for even though I was not even looking for it at the time!

It was difficult in the beginning with her father and she being an only child and it took 7 years for him to come around. But come around he did and we became the best of friends.

In my experience Japanese women (like many women elsewhere) are as different as snowflakes in that almost no two are alike. You will have your gold diggers and those who care not how much money you make. You will have your submissives and your dominants and you will have your slobs and your clean freaks. Some will know how to cook and others will not. Some will enjoy your hobbies, others will not. Some will be the best sex you've ever had (even after marriage) while others will be rag dolls and care not for sex after a while. Some will be jealous and insecure, while others will give you all the freedom you desire.

Also, there are other things to take into consideration like the culture and how open she may be to leaving her country and family and will she desire to return home when her parents are aging and if so, are you willing to follow her? That's a question you must answer before desiring to settle down. In my own case, I know I will be returning to Japan shortly to care for my aging mother-in-law as my wife is an only child and I promised my father-in-law before he passed away that we would care for her. That's a given and I knew it from the start. You must ask yourself if you would be willing to live out your life in Japan if it came to that and have a definite answer.

Also, your knowledge of the Japanese language and her yours plays a vital factor in how well she will adapt to life in a foreign country in that she may desire to work if you move back to the US or you decide to remain in Japan. That you must decide before you marry. If you cannot answer it or think that you can't, then don't do it.

A marriage to a Japanese woman is not so difficult as some make it out to be providing one knows the culture and language of the person he/she is marrying. I cannot stress that enough. Sure there will always be those underlying cultural differences, but they are not that significant if both fully understand where the other person is coming from.

Also, as a foreigner in Japan, especially in an out of the way place like Aomori, you will have more than your fair share of women wanting to meet you just because you are a foreigner and an oddity. You may even feel like a celebrity at times. Some may even want to date you as it is considered cool and chic to have a foreign "boy toy" accessory and have no desire to ever settle down with you although they may give that impression. Then they will drop you before you ever knew what hit you and you will be saying, "WTF?"

I had my best experiences in meeting Japanese women in places where foreigners did not frequent in that I knew the language, was comfortable, and I was not on the prowl. It was often they who made the first move in that they wanted to meet a person who knew the language and culture and know more about a foreigner who was living in Japan.

In the end, it has been my experience that Japanese women appreciate the way a foreigner treats them in the long run in that they are treated as an equal and fairly as has been said to me on more than one occassion. Many a Japanese women have mentioned that they despise the way they are treated by Japanese men in the long run.

Japan can be a wonderful experience if you study the language and culture and go with the flow.

As I said above, the point is knowing what you want and not settling for less. Sound impossible? Not really as I thought it was also. Enjoy your time in Japan, don't take it too seriously when it comes to meeting women, and just go with the flow. It will make your time there that more worthwhile. I wish you the best.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 20, 2008, 03:59
Chirpy9: Your opinion is most welcome. This thread has been lacking a feminine touch for far too long. The sentiments you extend to me are sweet, but I confess that it is not as you have presumed. I guess there just aren't many women on this site who are reading my posts yet. :D

This vote of confidence you place on me is refreshing. I hope this does end up being the popular opinion to the women I meet in Japan. I consider myself a handsome guy and established. Yet I hold things like that at face value when it comes to matters of the heart. I suppose being raised by just my mother shows in my sentimental mentality. I've learned to look beneath the surface and desire to be judged on those same principles. This is a fortune that I think shines well when it comes to writing letters on the internet, but this side of me might not be so obvious if you saw me in my club attire with a drink in hand and a frat boy smile.

I do encourage you to continue contributing to this thread whether it be in extended opinions or questions.

Pachipro: My hat off to you kind sir. You have definitely put a lot of my fears to rest on that post. You broke down the wall I was having stacked on me in regards to Japanese women. Answering the question I had reworded a hundred times over. That being, I know what to expect of the traditional Japanese woman, but had been wanting to know if it was possible that woman in that culture break the mold. You answered that gloriously for me. That yes, there are. Sure, it might be harder to find in some areas as opposed to others and I'm willing to accept that. Yet having been a man who grew up and was confined to North America, I am oblivious to the mindset of cultures outside of America. Afterall, I grew up in California, the most diverse part of the melting pot of America. Yet despite this, I still encounter man Californians whom harbor prejudice and practice discrimination. So if people can develop this mindset when in a culturally expressive society, then I can only imagine what to expect of women from a society that stifles the woman's creativity, defines her role in life, and pressures her to those ideas. It just made me wonder if those women longed for something beyond that and would recognize it when it came to light. I wanted to believe this to be true, but I had definitely encountered a lot of antagonizing viewpoints that cloaked any light in my thinking.

Though Pachipro has contributed to the optimism I received from the likes of Chidoriashi. For that, I am greatfully thankful to you. Granted, I am not getting my hopes too high on this nor am I expecting to find what I'm looking for as a result. I just like knowing that it isn't impossible. That there are women in Japan who don't fall into the norm regardless of how scrutinized they may be for it. If such women exist, I can now just hope I will run into one. I'm not woman hunting per se. I just didn't want to be living in a region that couldn't afford any possibility (no matter how slim) of me finding a good woman to build a relationship with.

You brought up a good point about some women wanting a gaijin boy toy. I have read about that as well and will try to be mindful of the woman's intentions. I served a tour in Hawaii and was surrounded with women of that same mindset. It made being in Hawaii a depressing place for me. Great if you're a playboy, but not so much if you're a caucasian military man looking to settle down.

My thanks goes to jt9258 as well. For he has done a great job to caution me of what I could land myself into if I'm not careful in my tracks. I will take that caution to heart and not let a pretty face and timid actions be selling factors for me to jump into a relationship over.

-ShiroUsagi-
Dec 26, 2008, 08:48
I am very very new here so please so I apologise for anything that may come off as too stand-offish and/or offensive lol. :relief:
Im just wondering though since it looks like the post has turned more into about japanese women.. what about japanese men?
example-
It should be remembered that when you marry a Japanese women, in many cases the parents need to know that you can provide for there daughter, the spoken word in these cases is not enough, which means they may very well need to see that you can be a good provider, and worthy of there respect, actions speak louder than words.-
Im sorry I forgot who said this but I just thought it was interesting! So if the parents and the daughter are question whether the potential husband can provide, my question is what is it like vice versa?
As well I wanted to add... that ShadowSpirit even though you sound like a decent fellow, dont get me wrong but I dont know about your expectations.. its like you really are putting the country and the women on pedestals, as well as yourself. Like you are the man who's in search of his true love and will liberate her from her woes.. lol I know I havent been to Japan so maybe I shouldnt be saying this. Ah well you will be immersed in their culture soon enough, but as Pachipiro said go with the flow, be yourself but dont force yourself..and as many have said here, just keep an open mind and expect the unexpected.
I wish you luck!:wave:
p.s. for anyone that can help a silly girl, to directly quote someone on this blog how is that done?(without typing it all myself that is lol)

ShadowSpirit
Dec 26, 2008, 13:30
As well I wanted to add... that ShadowSpirit even though you sound like a decent fellow, dont get me wrong but I dont know about your expectations.. its like you really are putting the country and the women on pedestals, as well as yourself. Like you are the man who's in search of his true love and will liberate her from her woes..
Ack! What is all this talking of putting Japan and myself on a pedestal? I certainly didn't want to give that impression and hopefully I can put this idea to rest right now...
ShiroUsagi: I'm just trying hard to understand the culture. I will be spending quite a few years in the region and don't want to walk in without any knowledge of the culture, people, and as my focus portrays: the women. If I can be lucky enough to meet a woman that I will get along well with to possibly marry, and if she happens to be Japanese, I want to understand what kind of upbringing she has had. I just thought it was the responsible thing to do and that this post was a good place to gather some of that knowledge. Which I am glad that I asked, cause it has given me the opportunity to learn a lot and meet the acquaintance of great people on this forum.
As for putting myself on a pedestal. Are you referring to me boasting about my financial stability? I didn't say that to be arrogant. I was trying to convey a point to help get the best advice that I can. I didn't want it to sound like I can't take care of a woman. I wanted it known that I can, but that I didn't want to be judged on that alone. I guess there is no easy way to play out that scenario without sounding a bit pompous about it. With all said and done, I am going to be myself while in Japan. I just don't want my potential friends or mate to say. "You don't understand what it is like here." If I can avoid having that card played on me, it would be nice. Afterall, cultural barriers are something I take seriously. I feel the least I can do is show my respect by trying to learn as much as I can. It isn't like I'm going to deny who I am or where I came from. I would gladly share that part of my personality with anybody willing to learn.
I guess I could keep talking this subject to death and still give misleading impressions. I don't know if it is the words I choose to use, how much time I have spent writing, or something else. Yet I assure that I am not meaning to put anything on a pedestal. Least of all myself.
Now, for the discussion of Japanese men. I wish I had some info to give you on that subject. Yet as you can see, I didn't even know much about Japanese women. I'm going to know even less about the males. I do hope Japanese guys like having American friends though.
Well, so that I'm not entirely useless to you. The way to quote someone. There are options on the lower-right corner of each person's post that says 'quote.' If you use it, it should take you to the standard reply window with the text of that person already placed in as a quote. I hope this helps.

jt9258
Dec 26, 2008, 18:38
what about japanese men?


Interesting question! Japanese men are looking for a mother! they are looking for a women who will make a good mother for his children, and to replace his mother, because most Japanese men cannot look after themselves, the relationship they have will be more of a business relationship, in which they live there lives fullfilling there own roles to raise the children, this means that the Japanese man will not view his wife, as an attractive women after child birth, he will only see her as being a mother, so would not consider an intimate loving relationship with her.

This is why many foreigners have problems when being married to a Japanese partner, they both have different expectations of the relationship/marriage, the Japanese partner will expect their partner to act, and behave in a certain way, the concept that a western partner could act, or behave differently than a Japanese partner is hard for them to understand, or even accept. So while the foreign partner is looking at sharing an intimate loving relationship with their Japanese marriage partner, the Japanese partner is not.

When listening to Japanese men of most ages, I found that husbands really do not have any interest in their wives after children, and they regard it strange when a foreigner want's an intimate relationship with there wife, after marriage, and children.
.
Today I was lucky enough to raise these questions with a Japanese man, who is married, and has children, and I can say that he showed nothing but disgust, at the thought of having an intimate relationship with his wife.



Im sorry I forgot who said this but I just thought it was interesting! So if the parents and the daughter are question whether the potential husband can provide, my question is what is it like vice versa?


I think I wrote that!

A Japanese man is only expecting his wife to be a mother to him, and his children, though with his work schedule, and social life after work, his wife, and children will not see that much of him, and in many cases will only view him as a nuisance when he is at home, so the only one to really suffer if the wife does not fullfill her role as house wife, will be herself, and the children, though it should be remembered, that most divorces here are started by the women.



p.s. for anyone that can help a silly girl, to directly quote someone on this blog how is that done?(without typing it all myself that is lol)


Copy and Paste, and use the quote button in bottom right of post.

becki_kanou
Dec 26, 2008, 21:33
Interesting question! Japanese men are looking for a mother! they are looking for a women who will make a good mother for his children, and to replace his mother, because most Japanese men cannot look after themselves, the relationship they have will be more of a business relationship, in which they live there lives fullfilling there own roles to raise the children, this means that the Japanese man will not view his wife, as an attractive women after child birth, he will only see her as being a mother, so would not consider an intimate loving relationship with her.

This is why many foreigners have problems when being married to a Japanese partner, they both have different expectations of the relationship/marriage, the Japanese partner will expect their partner to act, and behave in a certain way, the concept that a western partner could act, or behave differently than a Japanese partner is hard for them to understand, or even accept. So while the foreign partner is looking at sharing an intimate loving relationship with their Japanese marriage partner, the Japanese partner is not.

When listening to Japanese men of most ages, I found that husbands really do not have any interest in their wives after children, and they regard it strange when a foreigner want's an intimate relationship with there wife, after marriage, and children.
.
A Japanese man is only expecting his wife to be a mother to him, and his children, though with his work schedule, and social life after work, his wife, and children will not see that much of him, and in many cases will only view him as a nuisance when he is at home, so the only one to really suffer if the wife does not fullfill her role as house wife, will be herself, and the children, though it should be remembered, that most divorces here are started by the women.


You certainly take a pessimistic view of the situation. While many of the things you said may very well be true for many people of the older generation who view their relationship as more of a business one than a romantic one, it's not true for all of them. I know many older couples (50s and 60s) who are quite good friends, love to spend time with each other, and have very loving relationships.

For the younger generation I don't think it's really that true at all. All of my married friends in my age range (20s-late 30s) are love matches and they interact together much the same way that Western couples do, laughing and joking together, doing little romantic things together, regardless of whether they have kids or not. It's true that things are still more old-fashioned at home with the wife mostly staying home and raising the kids and the husband working a lot, but that doesn't mean that they don't have a loving relationship.

In fact I'm married to a Japanese man myself and he is the sweetest, most romantic, funniest guy I've met of any nationality (that's why I married him!) He does work long hours, but when he's home we spend our time together enjoying each other's company, going out together, walking the dog together etc.

It's been said before, but people are people regardless of their race or nationality and every single one is different. There may be trends or patterns within a culture, but not everyone is going to fit into that pattern.

kusojiji
Dec 26, 2008, 22:02
Interesting question! Japanese men are looking for a mother! they are looking for a women who will make a good mother for his children, and to replace his mother, because most Japanese men cannot look after themselves, the relationship they have will be more of a business relationship, in which they live there lives fullfilling there own roles to raise the children, this means that the Japanese man will not view his wife, as an attractive women after child birth, he will only see her as being a mother, so would not consider an intimate loving relationship with her.

This is why many foreigners have problems when being married to a Japanese partner, they both have different expectations of the relationship/marriage, the Japanese partner will expect their partner to act, and behave in a certain way, the concept that a western partner could act, or behave differently than a Japanese partner is hard for them to understand, or even accept. So while the foreign partner is looking at sharing an intimate loving relationship with their Japanese marriage partner, the Japanese partner is not.

When listening to Japanese men of most ages, I found that husbands really do not have any interest in their wives after children, and they regard it strange when a foreigner want's an intimate relationship with there wife, after marriage, and children.
.
Today I was lucky enough to raise these questions with a Japanese man, who is married, and has children, and I can say that he showed nothing but disgust, at the thought of having an intimate relationship with his wife.



I think I wrote that!

A Japanese man is only expecting his wife to be a mother to him, and his children, though with his work schedule, and social life after work, his wife, and children will not see that much of him, and in many cases will only view him as a nuisance when he is at home, so the only one to really suffer if the wife does not fullfill her role as house wife, will be herself, and the children, though it should be remembered, that most divorces here are started by the women.

Oh brother...

Categorical statements and sweeping generalizations are rarely conducive to serious, constructive discussions.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 26, 2008, 23:38
It's been said before, but people are people regardless of their race or nationality and every single one is different. There may be trends or patterns within a culture, but not everyone is going to fit into that pattern.

Very well stated. :)

-ShiroUsagi-
Dec 27, 2008, 06:01
Ah well I think it is very helpful to know two very different points of view, so thank you very much jt9258 and Becki kanou :) So basically the situation can go either way for either age groups lol. I was only wondering because yes japanese guys are pretty good looking ahaha but I personally always hear about the women, so I have no idea what the men are like. Anyway good to know, I will keep an open mind ^_^ ...but at the same time ahaha Im still curious.. so jt9258 to you are all japanese men like this? and where do you get your information? let the discussion continue! :P

jt9258
Dec 27, 2008, 11:32
Oh brother...
Categorical statements and sweeping generalizations are rarely conducive to serious, constructive discussions.


Can you support your opinion with some constructive discussion.



Ah well I think it is very helpful to know two very different points of view, so thank you very much jt9258 and Becki kanou :) So basically the situation can go either way for either age groups lol.


Depends what Becki, regards as a Loving Relationship! I say this, because many foreigners who are married to Japanese, complain about the lack of, or no interest there marriage partner has in an intimate relationship, while they may both love each other, in many cases the Japanese partner does not show there love through intimacy, after marriage.

Many Japanese people do not link "Love" with having an intimate relationship with there marriage partner, howevewr while dating in a "Love Match" relationship the Japanese partner can be very passionate, though after marriage, and children this changes quickly, for foreigners who feel that good discussion in a relationship is important in resolving problems, they can find that the Japanese partner is separating "Love" and "Intimacy/Sex",and regarding sex as a seperate activity that has nothing to do with "Love", with some foreign men even being told to take a girlfriend, this can be extremely hurtfull to a man who wants to love his partner intimately.

I should add that for many Japanese women "Love" is related more to a mans ability to provide, than it being related to sharing an intimate relationship, money is king for Japanese women.

However it should not be forgotten that while many "Love Match" relationships with a Japanese partner does not always end in marriage, while the Japanese partner can be very passionate in this relationship, as time progresses the passion can deteriate quickly if the female partner does not see the relatiosnhip resulting in marriage, though for those foreign men, who make it clear to there Japanese partner, at some point in there relatiohsip, that they have no immediate desire to get married, they can find themselves loosing contact with there partner very quickly, because in the eyes of many Japanese women, if there is no prospect of marriage, then they see no point in continuing the relationship.



I was only wondering because yes japanese guys are pretty good looking ahaha but I personally always hear about the women, so I have no idea what the men are like.


Japanese men are not the same as western men, life for a man is about devoting ones life to the company they work for, this can, and will mean working late, after work
it means spending social time with co-woorkers, which can last into the early hours, while they will initially meet as a large group, as the night progresses the group will break up into smaller groups, visiting different bars, some even break off, and continue the social evening on there own, visiting hostess bars, soaplands etc.

Most Japanese men, do not show much interest in raising children, for what ever reason this may be, I am still confused by Japanese peoples lack of caring, though there work schedule does keep them away from there family, and they do not appear to have a problem with this, it can mean that the only real family time they have will be on a Sunday, though as mentioned each partner has a role to play in the marriage, with the wife being a mother to the children, and the husband being a provider, so his lack of interest with the children could be related to him only placing his role as provider, and placing more importance in devoting himself to the company he works for.

Though one explanation for a lack of caring in Japanese people, could be related to the fact that children are placed into nursery schools full time, at a very young age, so they fail to develop a strong relationship with there parents, only being surrounded by other children and care givers.

I should add here that while foreign men will fight to keep there children, or have contact with there children after a divorce, many Japanese men do not, so they can loose all contact with there children after divorce.



Im still curious.. so jt9258 to you are all japanese men like this? and where do you get your information? let the discussion continue!


I am not saying that all Japanese men and women are the same, though from the knowledge I have gained being married to a Japanese women, living, working, and socilizing with Japanese people, many are as I have said in my postings, additionally for a two year period I was in a unique position, in having a job working with other Japanese men, that permitted me to see into the private social lives of Japanese people, and I can say it was a real eye opener.

I would add here that the Japanese men that I worked with, and met as a result of
my work, found it strange that a man would want to have an intimate relationship with his wife, and as mentioned in my last post some even find the thought disgusting.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 27, 2008, 13:19
Actually, I do have something to contribute on the subject of Japanese men and relationships. I recall a BBC documentary I had seen long ago that I believe provided some information that applies to this topic.

Just please keep in mind that 1) This is NOT my personal opinion of Japanese men or the Japanese culture. I am only describing what the documentary discussed. 2) What is in my personal opinion though, is that I'm certain not all Japanese men can be categorized as having the mindset of what I'm about to describe.

Okay. With the disclaimer aside. The topic of the documentary was in regards to Japan's notorious adult industry. Before you jump to conclusions about separating the mentality of men whom employ the use of such services apart from those whom don't. The point that stood out in my mind is why the school girl image is so profoundly popular for Japanese men. Unlike with most western men, whom find this image to be attractive because of the playfulness, youthful image, or of its ilk. Japanese men find comfort in the innocence that comes with the sight of a girl still trying to learn about the world. Japanese men feel awkward talking with women who speak their mind and have an opinion. It plays on the men's insecurities and unassurance for talking with such a woman. Whereas school girls tend not to have such independence or strong viewpoints. This brings about a comfort to the Japanese male that has helped to escallate the popularity of the inexperienced school girl.

The point being, that most Japanese men (as explained in this documentary) are shy and uncertain people when it comes to dealing with women. Which would help to reinforce jt's argument that Japanese men have a mama's boy mentality in a sense.

uchimizu
Dec 27, 2008, 17:40
This is a great post, and I mostly agree with what Chidoriashi says. Unfortunately, I have the feeling many foreigners have opinions on Japan based on outdated information. There is also the issue that Internet, while providing mostly accurate information (there are not that many liers out there) often fails to provide the context (like how frequent is the story). This is why we often think exceptional behavior is the norm (every time I search for some medical information on the internet, I end-up convinced I have 3 cancers, and I need a physician to give me context, and explain me that I just have a cold). Also, we often compare the ideal situation in our country with the real situation in Japan, which is not fair.

One good example is "Omiai", or arranged wedding, which seems to be quite rare in Japan nowadays. The only time I heard about it what for people I know from the countryside, as they obviously cannot meet many people in their rice field, and especially not the rare woman who would accept the quite inconvenient life in the countryside. Arranged marriage was more common 50 years ago, but it was also so in Europe (not sure about the US).

Also, even in Europe, I found that combining 2 "top-level" professional careers and a family life can be really challenging, especially of one of the careers implies changing town every 3 years (would be the case in French public service for example). The pragmatic choice, even here in Europe, is often to have one "top career" and a more flexible one inside the couple. This is not so far from the japanese model where women will have "office lady" jobs until they have a child, and go back to work (sometimes for the same company) where the children go to school. Also, "office lady" does not mean serving tea to men in the company (this is pretty outdated), but sometimes doing quite interesting work, with less pressure and also less pay than the full time male employees.

I wrote two stories about couples in Japan (http://uchimizu-en.blogspot.com/2008/11/japanese-couples.html) and International couples with a japanese partner (http://uchimizu-en.blogspot.com/2008/12/international-couples-with-japanese.html) on my blog, and would love to have your feedback about it.

Mikawa Ossan
Dec 27, 2008, 17:54
One good example is "Omiai", or arranged wedding, which seems to be quite rare in Japan nowadays. The only time I heard about it what for people I know from the countryside, as they obviously cannot meet many people in their rice field, and especially not the rare woman who would accept the quite inconvenient life in the countryside. Arranged marriage was more common 50 years ago, but it was also so in Europe (not sure about the US).
It's not as uncommon as you might think, as I've done it myself, but in my experience at least, it's not nearly as formal as what many people imagine.

ASHIKAGA
Dec 27, 2008, 18:23
I am sure this has been pointed out by others before but Omiai does not really translates to Arranged Marriage. Omiai, at least in today's Japan, is the act of bringing two people together by arranging a meeting between the two.

Just think of it as a dating service. Someone you or your family know, a family friend, an aunt/uncle, etc., introduces you to someone you may be interested in. First, they show you a picture of your possible dream date, then, if you are interested, you meet with her/him in a public setting, like a restaurant accompanied by your matchmaker, who often excuses themselves after a while if they think that two of you are getting along. After the meeting, the matchmaker ask each of you (seperately) if there was any spark between you two and if you'd be interested in pursuing it further. If Yes, you are pretty much on your own from then on. You get in touch with your date directly. After that, it is no different than any other relationships.

As Mikawa Ossan wrote, it is not that uncommon. My mother tried to bring together my cousin and a daughter of one of her friends last year.
The three of them met in a restaurant one day but it was just not meant to be....

jt9258
Dec 27, 2008, 20:04
This is a great post, and I mostly agree with what Chidoriashi says. Unfortunately, I have the feeling many foreigners have opinions on Japan based on outdated information.

Oh! Outdated Information! Sorry! I have lived in Japan for many years with my Japanese wife and children.


One good example is "Omiai", or arranged wedding, which seems to be quite rare in Japan nowadays.

More common than you may think, just less formal.


The only time I heard about it what for people I know from the countryside, as they obviously cannot meet many people in their rice field, and especially not the rare woman who would accept the quite inconvenient life in the countryside.

Most of the Japanese people who live, and work land in the countryside are over 65 years of age, most of the young leave the countryside for the city, and is the main reason countryside communities are dieing here.


Also, "office lady" does not mean serving tea to men in the company (this is pretty outdated),

Again! this is not as outdated as you may think!


It's not as uncommon as you might think, as I've done it myself, but in my experience at least, it's not nearly as formal as what many people imagine.
I would agree! Though in some cases the reason for marriage can just be a case of peer pressure, a mother may just say to her daughter " I think its time you found a husband", if she fails to find a husband, her parents may very well introduce her to some one, though there are cases where a women has taken a husband, and really does not love them.

pipokun
Dec 27, 2008, 20:19
Can you support your opinion with some constructive discussion.

*snip*

I am not saying that all Japanese men and women are the same, though from the knowledge I have gained being married to a Japanese women, living, working, and socilizing with Japanese people, many are as I have said in my postings, additionally for a two year period I was in a unique position, in having a job working with other Japanese men, that permitted me to see into the private social lives of Japanese people, and I can say it was a real eye opener.

I would add here that the Japanese men that I worked with, and met as a result of
my work, found it strange that a man would want to have an intimate relationship with his wife, and as mentioned in my last post some even find the thought disgusting.

The supporting opinion is yours.

What I don't understand is that you construct *snip* argument (I mean sounding a bit generalization), even after your co-workers actually show you quite different examples you might think. And it sounds quite unique that you think you are in a unique position just to have Japanese co-workers.

kusojiji
Dec 27, 2008, 20:22
In countries all over the world friends and family members introduce loved ones to people in the hopes of making a match, and have since the beginning of time. It is the "oooh, its foreign!" fallacy that leads people to construct all manner of specious explanations for behavior that is all but universal.

There are warm, loving relationships in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

There are long-lasting committed marriages and tight-knit families in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

There are fathers in Japan who are very involved in and committed to raising their children just like there are in whatever country you are from.

There are fathers and husbands who are cold, distant and uninvolved in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

There are marriages that work out or don't work out for a great variety of reasons in Japan just like in whatever country you are from.

In other words, Japanese people are *gasp* human beings, despite what the impulse to dramatize and alienate would lead some to believe. It's a weakness that ought not be indulged.

jt9258
Dec 27, 2008, 21:38
even after your co-workers actually show you quite different examples you might think. And it sounds quite unique that you think you are in a unique position just to have Japanese co-workers.


My Japanese co-workers did not show me anything, listening, and observing are a good ways to learn, what life is like here. though while I live my life here, life is much easier when the culture is understood, though understanding it, and accepting it are two different things, most of what I understand, and accept today, is through making my own observations of how Japanese people live there lives, and then combining this with research.

I gave up trying to explain how things are here, to foreigners fresh of the plane, many years ago, mainly because while they want to understand, they refuse to accept what they hear. I posted here to assist ShadowSpirit better understand what he could expect, though at the end of the day, what he accepts is up to him.

Lastly I would say that the only unique position I was in, was doing a job that gave me a different view point that many foreigners would never have.

kusojiji
Dec 27, 2008, 21:58
Trying to pass off your subjective opinions and ill-considered generalizations as 'truth' to people who may not know better is hardly helpful.

jt9258
Dec 27, 2008, 22:26
Trying to pass off your subjective opinions and ill-considered generalizations as 'truth' to people who may not know better is hardly helpful.


Please explain how you see things in Japan.

kusojiji
Dec 27, 2008, 23:01
........

See post #203.

jt9258
Dec 28, 2008, 00:59
In countries all over the world friends and family members introduce loved ones to people in the hopes of making a match, and have since the beginning of time.

Yes! People do introduce friends, family members, and loved ones, to people, but not for the sole purpose of marriage.


It is the "oooh, its foreign!" fallacy that leads people to construct all manner of specious explanations for behavior that is all but universal.

I have never constructed anything, why would I do this when the main reason for understanding, and researching the culture, was to better understand my Japanese wife, and she is definately not like any women I have been involved with in the country I an from.


There are warm, loving relationships in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

Yes! There are warm loving relationships in Japan, but its not to say, that either partner is Japanese.


There are long-lasting committed marriages and tight-knit families in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

Yes! There are long-lasting marriages, and tight-knit families here, though it does not mean that the husband does not have a mistress, or does not visit hostess bars, or soaplands etc.


There are fathers and husbands who are cold, distant and uninvolved in Japan just like there are in whatever country you are from.

Yes! Many Jaopanese husbands are cold, distant, and uninvolved, because they are devoted to the comapany they work for, the company they work for is more important than there own family, it is not unusual for the children to regard their father as a total stranger, this would not happen in the country I am from.


There are marriages that work out or don't work out for a great variety of reasons in Japan just like in whatever country you are from.

Yes! Agreed! However in Japan, most divorces are started by the women, and in most cases because their husabnd failed to provide.

Money is king in Japan.

Let me just say this, my wife said some thing to me many years ago, and I will never forget this, she said " How can I love a man who cannot make money", while you may feel this to be a reasonable statement to make, when making this statement, it does not matter if I have the ability, experience, or knowledge, or work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to make money, what matters to a Japanese women, is actually physically holding that money in there hands, until then, nothing else is acceptable.


In other words, Japanese people are *gasp* human beings,

Yes! Japanese people are human beings, though there thinking in the majority of cases is 180 degrees the opposite to western thinking.

kusojiji
Dec 28, 2008, 02:38
Your ignorant generalisms are bordering on bigotry. What a load of BS.

-Yes, people all over the world make introductions with the hope that marriage might result, and it has been explained to you before that omiai does not always carry the expectation of marriage.

-All of the other examples you rehashed above could be said of any and every country on earth.

-"would not happen in the country I am from" and "Yes! Japanese people are human beings, though there thinking in the majority of cases is 180 degrees the opposite to western thinking." are statements well beyond stupid.

You are an offensive character.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 28, 2008, 05:54
kusojiji, jt9258: Gentlemen. Try not to get personal about this. Both of you raise valid points and have noble intentions. I think things are just getting a bit misunderstood.
kusojiji: I have a pen-pal who is a 35 year old woman caucasian woman from Canada. On a whim, she decided to act on an offer to teach English in Yokohama approximately 3 weeks ago. She knew absolutely nothing about Japan and I found her friendship based on a profile she had set up asking for friends to help her learn about the culture. I didn't tell her anything in my findings. Instead I have been teaching her some of the basics on the language and in turn she has been telling me about things she experiences or learns about the people from her personal standpoint.
Why am I bringing this up? Because plenty of the things that jt9258 has told me was also said to me by this woman as well. Including a few other things I was surprised she revealed to me considering that I never probed her on the topic. Such as a Japanese man propositioning her for sex because he says his wife is pregnant and is no longer someone he can be intimate with. He claims his wife knows of his pursuits for sex elsewhere and has his consent. I've also researched the CIA World Factbook about Japan. The birth rate per couple is 1.5. Which tells me that oftentimes, procreation doesn't happen 'often' after the first child is born.
As much as I may hate to admit it. jt9258 is accurate in a lot of ways. Even if he paints a very general and often cynical perspective of relationships in Japan.
jt9258: However, kusojiji is also correct and he shares an opinion that I hold myself. I'm not taking sides on this, I'm just being honest in admitting that I understand where kusojiji is coming from and I feel the same way. jt9258, you need to understand that what might be the popular opinion of the masses, is not necessarily the entire truth as a whole. If you've read anything Pachipro has written of himself, or more so of his life experiences in Japan which he has been kind enough to divulge to me; You would see that he has met many women and men who don't fall anywhere near the stereotypes you have painted for Japanese people.
Furthermore, America in the pre Women's Rights days was portrayed as a place where women respected their husbands, cleaned house, and upheld the image of being happy and content. This was the common practice of America and to the untrained eye, it seemed like this was very much how it was everywhere. Yet just as kusojiji argued, people are people. If women were so happy, there wouldn't had been this uproar for women's rights. Which serves to demonstrate that even while women in America kept mostly quiet about their feelings on matters, doesn't mean that they didn't secretly want to resist the life they lived. Nor did all women conform to this way of thinking even while they were quiet about it.
I suppose when you put a label on people. It robs them of the potential to be something more. This can upset some people and confuse others. As I've said. Both you men have a point. Japan does have a culture that it practices as a large part, and understanding as much as I can about that helps me to at least know what is expected of Japanese people, even if they choose to not participate. So for that, I thank jt9258's perspective. Though people do break from their molds or often never had a mold to begin with. For that, I also thank kusojiji's passion for letting it be known that humanity is too complicated of a thing to be defined by stereotypes.

jt9258
Dec 28, 2008, 10:14
-Yes, people all over the world make introductions with the hope that marriage might result, and it has been explained to you before that omiai does not always carry the expectation of marriage.


Sorry! unable to include a link to the Wiki, for "Omiai"

Quote from Wki:-


Miai (見合い, literally "looking at each other") or omiai (お見合い, where the "o" is honorific.


My wife went through this process many years before I met her, and she did not want to get married to anyone at that time.

Quote From Wiki


Many modern women are stereotyped as looking for three attributes: height, high salary, and high education


And the modern Japanese women calls this the "Love Match", it really has nothing to do with love.

kusojiji
Dec 28, 2008, 12:26
Are you not paying attention, or what?

jt9258
Dec 28, 2008, 18:36
Your ignorant generalisms are bordering on bigotry. What a load of BS.


I respect your opinion, though could you offer an explanation as to why you feel that what I wrote to be BS?



-it has been explained to you before that omiai does not always carry the expectation of marriage.


Ok! So if omiai does not always carry the expectation of marriage, then can you offer an explanation as to what the expectations are?

I will add that I have spoken with my wife on this subject, with her explaining that when these meetings took place the thinking in the mind is "marriage", and my wife also said that she has had two of these meetings in the past, though as she had no image of what marriage life could be, she was not interested, but more importantly she did not really want marriage.



-"would not happen in the country I am from" and "Yes! Japanese people are human beings, though there thinking in the majority of cases is 180 degrees the opposite to western thinking." are statements well beyond stupid.
You are an offensive character.


Could you offer an explanation as to why you feel that my statements are stupid?

kusojiji
Dec 28, 2008, 19:49
I've explained it to you already. Are you 'slow' or something?

jt9258
Dec 28, 2008, 20:07
I've explained it to you already. Are you 'slow' or something?


No! You have provided a list of what could be regarded as generalizations, though nothing
specific that would support your reasons for disputing what I have written, additionally
you are also disputing what I have said about my wife.

kusojiji
Dec 28, 2008, 20:36
First of all, leave your family out of this. Have a little class at least, if you can manage it.

Secondly, I've told you that every "In Japan THIS happens" generalism you keep repeating occurs in every country on earth.

I am convinced at this point that you are a no-class bigot, as well as a weak minded simpleton.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 29, 2008, 02:00
:okashii: Okay. This is getting nowhere fast. Things are getting really sour on this topic when it probably should remain friendly and educational. It's apparent that there isn't going to be a compromise between jt9258 and kusojiji. So if possible, I'll try to take the direction away from a debate and just concentrate on the facts.

Here is an enlightening poll I encountered in regards to trends for relationships in Japan. I've picked out highlights of the poll, as it is too long to post the whole thing. This should help answer some questions for people fond or curious of Japanese females and males alike...

-----90% of single Japanese men and women in their twenties and thirties hope to marry someday, with motivations including love, the wish to create a home, and the desire to have children. The most important criteria by which these people judge prospective marriage partners are character, shared values, and compatibility. They see the ideal couple as equal partners who talk a lot and can discuss anything. However, one in three singles does not wish to have a wedding ceremony, while nearly 70% want only one or two children, and 15% do not want any children at all. With people tending to marry later nowadays and a growing number of people choosing not to marry at all, the number of children is on the decrease.

In another multiple-response question, the survey subjects were asked how they would like to meet their future spouse. The most commonly chosen answer was "in a natural fashion, at school or at work" (87%), followed by "through an introduction by a mutual friend" (50%), "at a meeting arranged by a matchmaker" (20%), and "on a group date" (18%).

The survey asked respondents to list the top five attributes they seek in a marriage partner. The five most frequently listed criteria were "character" (cited by 69% of respondents), "shared values" (55%), "compatibility" (46%), "kindness and consideration," (45%), and "my affection for him/her" (40%). Other qualities included "income and wealth" (cited by 35% of respondents), "his/her affection for me" and "honesty/faithfulness" (both cited by 34%), and "attractiveness to the opposite sex" and "appearance" (18% each). Women appear to have become less concerned than they once were about a man's height, education, and income - the "big three" benchmarks against which women have traditionally judged prospective husbands. Only 2% of respondents to this survey cited academic background as a key criterion in selecting a marriage partner

Meanwhile, responses more prevalent among people living outside Tokyo were "when I feel looked down upon by society for being single," "when I feel ready to separate from my parents," and "when my parents and the people around me start to pester me about getting married." The findings reveal that while the Tokyoites' attitudes toward marriage are strongly tinged with individualism, those of people living elsewhere are more imbued with concern about relationships with parents and the surrounding community.

Among both sets of respondents, "character" topped the list of desired attributes for a marriage partner. However, that attribute scored higher among people living outside of Tokyo. "Income and wealth" was also more prevalent among non-Tokyo residents. Meanwhile, both "my affection for him/her" and "his/her affection for me" were chosen more often by respondents living in the capital than by their provincial counterparts.

As for the attributes of the ideal couple, respondents in the metropolitan area said that number one was being "equal partners" and number two was being able to "talk a lot and discuss anything." Province dwellers cited the same top two, but in reverse order

Views of the ideal couple differed as well. Most important to men were, first, that the couple be equal partners; second, that they talk a lot and be able to discuss anything; and third, that the man share in the housework. Women put conversation first and equal partnership second. And the number-three response among women was "the couple go on dates from time to time even after the children are born."-----

So it leads right back to the same thing we had been discussing earlier. The more rural you get from Tokyo, the more old-fashion the person is going to be. The women are more concerned with love and affection than they are with being equal partners. The women also do hope that the relationship stays intimate long into the marriage, even if things don't end up that way. Matchmaking services (which I don't personally feel is anywhere the same as an arranged marriage) is a popular service, but is not a preferred one by women. It would seem that peer pressure forces women to use whatever option they can to hopefully find a man to be with. It must be difficult for some women in Japan (and men) to find a mate when they live in a society that has strong expectations of their relationship. Afterall, how can a man and woman be free to marry whomever they want if their parents are old-fashion and have certain expectations of them?

Things played out just as the majority of the people posting on this thread had guessed it would. With the couple wanting a loving relationship, the women desiring affection, the men wanting someone they can talk to, and yet still a significant fraction of people follow very traditional values. Sounds just like (for those of you familiar with the United States) comparing California to Georgia.

I guess the safer thing to do is just to assume that anything discussed that isn't cited nor a personal experience, is instead an opinion about one personality type of person. jt9258's wife might very well be the cookie-cutter traditional Japanese woman that gets portrayed in Madame Butterfly stories. He should know better than us, he is married to her. When it comes to learning about the opinions and attitudes of women like that, then his advice can prove to be very valuable.

Though lets do our best not to assume that all women in Japan are like that. From the demographics I listed in this post, it would seem that most aren't like that at all. Once again, take note that there are always exceptions to these numbers. For all we know, most of these same people did end up marrying into arranged marriages or live out similar lives to that of jt9258 and his wife. Yet that could be because it was expected of them. The point being, that what people feel and what people do are separate things. There are likely men and women who think they want to have a traditional Japanese lifestyle, then end up meeting someone they fall emotionally hard for, and completely change their minds about tradition by marrying into a relationship based on loving emotions.

kusojiji
Dec 29, 2008, 03:41
At the risk of beating this very dead horse (when eating it would be a much better use), let me say:

In America, tall, rich, handsome men are generally more attractive to women (and more likely to get the best job, promotion, be elected President, etc) than short, ugly, poor guys. It's the way of the world, regardless of nationality.

In America, couples married for 20, 30 years or more are much less likely to be going at it like bunnies or staying up all night gazing lovingly into each other's eyes by candle light and sucking on opposite ends of a piece of spagghetti and composing poetry to each other than newlyweds. If not, sitcoms would lose more than half their material.

In America, it's a lot harder to 'go out on dates' after little ones arrive than before. It's also harder to be 'sexy' and romantic when you are covered in vomit, smell of dirty diaper, and have not slept in three days. That's life, not a particular culture. Maybe some people are too young to understand this and what it really means.


None of these 'things' about people and relationships apply to Japanese couples any more than they do American couples. It's just life. We tend (or decide) to see things differently when we view them through the bias of "foreign," and judge them by a different standard. That is weak and simple thinking and at its root the same misapplication of an ancient survival instinct that leads to racism and all its related evils.

I think a better question (and one that we could discuss with far less discord) is to what extent the difference between 'traditional' and 'modern' is really a difference between 'practical' and 'indulgent' and what that might mean.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 29, 2008, 04:56
*cooks one of the horse legs* We'll just bit by bit gobble this horse up.

kusojiji: You make another valid point. I'm just not sure why you keep thinking that this is a 'foreign' perspective? I can speak on anybody else's behalf. Thus from my own perspective, I see this discussion as more of an exercise in Japanese practices rather than foreign differences. Just as my posts on this thread first stated, I was determined and convinced that the stereotypes surrounding Japanese people couldn't possibly apply to everybody. I was just on a trek to learn just how common or uncommon some of these practices may be.

We've definitely beaten this whole theme of every country having a bit of everything. Whether it be rich vs poor, clean vs sloppy, modest vs arrogant, and so forth. It's an exercise in learning what traditions, practices, or customs are often practiced in Japan. The similarities between Japan and other countries are obviously going to be dead on to each other. Cause as we both agree, people are people. Our desires, our hopes, our dreams, are all going to be similar and the usual suspects will brance out into their typical groups (rebels, conformists, etc..) There will be the subtle similarities too, such as going into a Japanese store with the greeting of. "Irrashaimase." Else go into an American Walmart and hear. "Hello, thank you visiting Walmart." Basically, I think we all get it. People are people, similarities are abound. Though to pretend that one country doesn't run itself different from another is blinding. Japan's population consists of over 99% nihonjin. This doesn't make the country better or worse than another. It does however make it different then the United States as an example. Animation was a more financially feasible means of adult storytelling after WWII in Japan and helped to create a cult phenomenon that thrives today in the affectionately named anime. Whereas in America, the concept of adult storytelling by use of animation has been tried (in such flicks like Heavy Metal for example,) but never really sparked the same kind of appreciation as Japanese did for their animation. Which now has resulted in Japan housing some of the most talented artists in the world and showing the rest of the world just how powerful drawn animation can be.

I'm going off on a tangent again. I bring this all up to say that differences are there. Try not to read too much into all of this nor take it personally. Most of us on this thread aren't out to put a label on anybody. We're just discussing the traditions and practices. The subtle differences that exist. Just like if someone was to ask me what California is like (as I'm a native of California.) Then to ask me. "Well, I hear Californians are homosexual." I don't get upset by comments like that. It's obvious that a geographic location isn't going to decide what a person's sexual orientation is. However, I am going to acknowledge that California has some very liberal areas such as the infamous San Francisco, and as a result, homosexual behavior is accepted in public. Thus, it is at times easier to identify who has a homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual orientation. Since very few people are hiding it in those parts of California. So once again, the subtle differences do exist and it is understandable that someone outside of California would get the wrong impression.

Granted, jt9258 might be a bit one-sided in his views (in my personal opinion) and doesn't show too much consideration for people whom don't fall into his views. Though I don't feel it is much in his interest to argue against his own point. He's just trying to get his feelings across, he feels passionate about it. We learn from it too. Even if we choose to not agree with what he says, or if anybody chooses not to agree with what I say. You still learn something about the impressions that people possess on subjects. If we discourage others from speaking their mind, then bigotry is going to thrive. Whereas if they get their views out on the table, we can start discussing the facts and hopefully help each other realize that differences are mostly arbitrary.

I realize that on the surface, all my inquiries and mongering on Japanese culture might give a bad impression, as if I'm not capable of looking at them as people instead of mystical objects in a collector's glass case. But this is not true to who I am. I have only the best intentions in mind. Hell, I even feel gitty like a child. I'm excited to live in a country outside of my own. Though, true to my actual personality; I'd like the people who have been reading my posts to know that if I do end up in a serious relationship or marriage with a Japanese woman, I am not going to treat her like a Japanese person. She's going to be my friend, my lover. Whatever traditions her or I choose to practice, will be out of our habits or liking. It isn't going to be about me having expectations of her because she was raised the Japanese way, and I don't want her having expectations of me having been raised as an American. It's from the heart first. Still, it doesn't help for me to know things in advance, such as my potential girlfriend probably wouldn't appreciate it much if I didn't remove my shoes before entering the house. :p

kusojiji
Dec 29, 2008, 05:21
My objections were not directed at you Shadowguy, but at jt####. You seem to have a reasonable, balanced view of things.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 29, 2008, 05:31
ah, ok. Well, try not to be too hard on the guy though. Yeah, he did ask questions about things that you already pointed out in earlier posts. Though he means well. I guess he just didn't realize you answered his questions already.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 29, 2008, 06:13
jt9258: I'm going to try to help you out a bit by pointing out when kusojiji answered your questions and elaborating on some of it...

jt9258 said. "I respect your opinion, though could you offer an explanation as to why you feel that what I wrote to be BS?"

kusojiji said. "Japanese people are *gasp* human beings, despite what the impulse to dramatize and alienate would lead some to believe. It's a weakness that ought not be indulged."

My opinion. Basically jt9258. Every time you ask kusojiji to explain himself, it is repetitive. Because he already summarized that you aren't being fair by categorizing all Japanese people into one mindset. Everytime he tells you that your views are BS, and you ask why, it's always going to point back to the idea that so long as you keep labeling people, that he won't take much value in the things you're saying. You can't just say things like. "I have never constructed anything, why would I do this when the main reason for understanding, and researching the culture, was to better understand my Japanese wife, and she is definately not like any women I have been involved with in the country I an from." and not expect it to be upsetting. Because think about this statement for a moment. You honestly expect people to believe that every Japanese woman (when it probably isn't even most,) is exactly the same? Outlook on love, outlook on marriage, outlook on life in general. Yet not a single woman in your country of origin outside of Japan acts anything like a Japanese woman? You make matters harder on yourself when you say things like this...

"Yes! There are warm loving relationships in Japan, but its not to say, that either partner is Japanese." and also. "Yes! There are long-lasting marriages, and tight-knit families here, though it does not mean that the husband does not have a mistress, or does not visit hostess bars, or soaplands etc."

That's kind of harsh. Whether you meant to be rude or not. You just outright said that no Japanese person, male or female alike, can function in a loving relationship. Whether both partners are Japanese or not. Furthermore, you portray all Japanese men as unfaithful to their wives. It's one thing to say that most Japanese men (whether it is true or not, I do not know) are unfaithful. Yet to say that a man of any country, whether Japanese or otherwise, does not have any ability to be faithful. Is very insulting to that race and culture. jt9258, are you from a country where all men are faithful to their wives? If so, you might want to let that secret out of the bag for the sake of the ladies. I bet many of them will want to start husband hunting there.

jt9258 said. "Ok! So if omiai does not always carry the expectation of marriage, then can you offer an explanation as to what the expectations are?"

kusojiji said. "In countries all over the world friends and family members introduce loved ones to people in the hopes of making a match, and have since the beginning of time."

My opinion. Well, you both agree that omiai means to make a match. What you're overlooking jt9258 is that kusojiji already told you that there isn't anything new in matching people up. Whereas the English word for it is match-making, Japanese apparently call it omiai. Though it doesn't mean the people are destined to get married. You gave an example of this yourself. "my wife also said that she has had two of these meetings in the past, though as she had no image of what marriage life could be, she was not interested, but more importantly she did not really want marriage." Well, that is contradicting. Cause you said omiai is only for marriage-minded people. Maybe someone might want to settle down and welcome help friend peers, family, or even dating services. Yet it doesn't mean they're going to get married. They are probably just looking for help to find friends, romance, love, as well as marriage. But not exclusively on the latter. If you managed to read the demographics I posted earlier, you'll notice that marriage as a business proposition is not as popular in Japan as you make it out to be. Still the same, there are women in America whom proposition marriages on a financial basis. We call them gold diggers. Which goes right back to kusojiji's point. That no matter where you go, you're going to see the same things in people. Thus, if there are plenty of gold diggers in America. That must mean there are plenty of romantic and faithful people in Japan. To say or pretend otherwise is just upsetting and enfuriating.

jt9258 said. "would not happen in the country I am from" and "Yes! Japanese people are human beings, though there thinking in the majority of cases is 180 degrees the opposite to western thinking."

My opinion. Again I have to ask. What country are you from exactly? Don't answer this question though if you don't want me finding substantial evidence that the negative things you have said about Japanese people applies also to people of your homeland. Cause I consider myself a crafty researcher. I will find the similarities of both good and bad between nihonjin and any country you pick on the globe.

jt9258 said. "Could you offer an explanation as to why you feel that my statements are stupid?"

Again. Asking this is likely testing kusojiji's patience. Because until you realize that all people aren't the same, and stop making Japanese people sound like their practices are so alien to western countries, you're just going to keep underminding the first point kusojiji already made to you. That being. "Japanese people are *gasp* human beings, despite what the impulse to dramatize and alienate would lead some to believe. It's a weakness that ought not be indulged."

Hopefully this helps put things into perspective for you jt9258.

-ShiroUsagi-
Dec 29, 2008, 13:22
Well this is definitely getting out of hand. Im also agreeing with shadow I mean you two are just being like children. take a deep breath. Jt I think well all value your opinion and the same goes to kuso but! I think jt shouldnt always bring up the wife part, just because well its her opinion, that makes it yours and not necessarly the country ya know? and really there shouldnt be any insults! this is a discussion here not a war.. :(
yes theres disagreements.
yes theres opinions.
So deal with it and each other with proper respect please :) maybe the topic should be changed?

FrustratedDave
Dec 29, 2008, 14:39
I gave up trying to explain how things are here, to foreigners fresh of the plane, many years ago, mainly because while they want to understand, they refuse to accept what they hear. I posted here to assist ShadowSpirit better understand what he could expect, though at the end of the day, what he accepts is up to him.

Lastly I would say that the only unique position I was in, was doing a job that gave me a different view point that many foreigners would never have.
And your doing a bang up job at that...

I had to laugh at your statement, that a Japanese women will dump you the second you can't provide for them for one reason or another...

Sorry that one just stood out much more to me then your other obvious ill informed opinions.

Mikawa Ossan
Dec 29, 2008, 14:58
I had to laugh at your statement, that a Japanese women will dump you the second you can't provide for them for one reason or another...
Well, my ex-wife dumped me the first chance she got, but then again, I wouldn'T blame her being a Japanese national for that. After all, divorce is no stranger to my family.

ShadowSpirit
Dec 29, 2008, 15:43
Mikawa: Sorry to hear that.
This thread is starting to get depressing. Okay. I'm going to try and lighten it up with a slightly amusing true experience I had.
Not long ago I was living in Hawaii (I'm actually on a combat deployment right now, even though my profile says I reside in California. I can't list my current location so instead I chose my home state.) Well I was eating dinner with a friend at a popular downtown Japanese steak house called Kobe's. As one would expect of such an establishment, the seating places groups of people together around a chef whom entertains with his culinary skills.
One of the couples accompanying the table I was at happened to be a newlywed couple from Japan. They were sitting directly next to me at one end of the table. At no point during their time there did they speak any English. My nihongo is very limited right now, and was even more so the few months ago that this story took place. I know it was rude of me to try listening to their conversation, but I was trying to use the opportunity to train my ear for the tone of Japanese speakers. Not thinking that I would be able to actually understand anything they were saying, I was able to learn a few key things: 1) The husband wanted to know what they should do after dinner. 2) The wife felt it was getting too dark outside and suggested they go back to their hotel. 3) They were talking about what to do while at the hotel. Yet this was when they really lost me in the conversation, cause I didn't understand any of the words being used at that time.
A few glasses of sake later, and I muster up the courage to test what little nihongo I knew. I call out to the chef and ask him to please pass me the soy sauce. The newlywed couple were talking happily loud, laughing, and having a great time. That was until they heard me speak Japanese. Then suddenly, they get this terrified look on their face. The husband asks his wife if she thinks I could understand what they were talking about. She shrugs. Then they suddenly become extremely quiet for the rest of the dinner. No longer talking.
Haha. I don't know if they discussed intimate things that they were afraid I might had heard, or maybe they insulted me and were afraid I heard that. Not saying they would have done such a thing. Yet apparently they were jostled about something after fearing that I might be able to speak Japanese. I felt bad actually. I didn't know they were going to get quiet afterwards.
Okay. That's my story. Anybody have a good culture shock story to tell? I suppose one that sticks more to the theme of this thread than my blatantly off topic story.

jt9258
Dec 29, 2008, 18:41
My opinion. Basically jt9258. Every time you ask kusojiji to explain himself, it is repetitive. Because he already summarized that you aren't being fair by categorizing all Japanese people into one mindset. Everytime he tells you that your views are BS, and you ask why, it's always going to point back to the idea that so long as you keep labeling people, that he won't take much value in the things you're saying.

It's not about labeling people, it's about providing information about what I have experienced, seen, and heard.


You honestly expect people to believe that every Japanese woman (when it probably isn't even most,) is exactly the same? Outlook on love, outlook on marriage, outlook on life in general.

No! I do not expect anyone to believe that every Japanese women will be the same, or even have the same personality, they are all different. But when they live in Japan, they feel they have to do what is expected of them, and follow cultural roles that they may very well not like, Japanese women are leaving marriage until much later in life for this very reason.


Yet not a single woman in your country of origin outside of Japan acts anything like a Japanese woman?

There are women outside Japan that have similarities to Japanese women, but they do not live within a culture that means they have to conform to what is expected of them, or have the mind that they feel they must conform.


Furthermore, you portray all Japanese men as unfaithful to their wives. It's one thing to say that most Japanese men (whether it is true or not, I do not know) are unfaithful.

I am not saying that all Japanese men are unfaithfull, what I am saying is that Japanese men do not have an interest in there wives after children, because they do not view them as women anymore, so many do have relationships outside the marriage, or seek a "Sex Friend", and there are wives who will actually encourage there husbands to take a girlfriend/sex friend, and do this without questioning or complaining, because that's how things are done.


jt9258, are you from a country where all men are faithful to their wives?

No! though the difference is that when a man has a mistress here in Japan, the mistress will have no expectations from him other than the time they spend together, she will respect him as being a married man, and will never expect him to leave his wife for her, even when she may be under peer pressure to take a husband, and in most cases they will even share the cost of the time they spend together.


If you managed to read the demographics I posted earlier, you'll notice that marriage as a business proposition is not as popular in Japan as you make it out to be.

While surveys may show that the concensus is that it is not as popular, it does not mean that in reality Japanese women can accept living different married lives, that do not follow what is expected of them, as I have mentioned, Japanese women are leaving marriage till later in life, because they feel it wrong to do some thing different than what is expected of them, though with older age, it brings the problem that many Japanese men will not be interested in these women, because they prefer younger cute women, though when they do get married, they may very well just regard it as a business relationship, and label it as a happy marriage.
Also it should be remembered that there are Japanese women ( Not All), who marry foreign men because they want a different better life, than being married to a Japanese man, though in reality they still follow the cultural norm, when living in Japan, and treat there foreign husband, as if he was the same as a Japanese man, which results in many foreign men complaining of living in loveless, sexless marriages.


Still the same, there are women in America whom proposition marriages on a financial basis. We call them gold diggers.

Yes! I agree! though a gold digger would never consider a relationship/marriage with an english teacher or a salary man, on an average salary, and then expect him to live in a sexless, loveless marriage, Japanese women are looking to ensure that a man can provide for the family, and will place more importance on this than an initmate loving relationship.


That must mean there are plenty of romantic and faithful people in Japan. To say or pretend otherwise is just upsetting and enfuriating.

I am not saying that there are no Japanese people that live romantic, and faithfull lives, what I am saying is that there is no way of knowing how any relationship would develop after marriage, because many foreign men have as I have mentioned, complained that their once passionate girlfriend, is no longer interested in sex after marriage, and many foreigners do not feel loved, by their partners when there is no intimate relationship between them..


Cause I consider myself a crafty researcher. I will find the similarities of both good and bad between nihonjin and any country you pick on the globe.

I am not disputing that there are similarities, though making comparisons to people living in other countries, while not considering the culture that they feel they must follow is not respecting the Japanese.

kusojiji
Dec 29, 2008, 19:24
Post #216 x 2. Have you even read all the posts in this thread, numbskull? Unbelievable.

becki_kanou
Dec 29, 2008, 23:00
Kusojiji-
Even if you disagree with jt, there's no need to resort to insults. Let's keep the discussion civil, shall we?

kusojiji
Dec 30, 2008, 02:30
His attitude; what it implies, the effect it may have, and its persistent ignorance is hardly 'civil.' I cannot but conclude at this point that he is a detestable human being.

Uchite
Jan 24, 2009, 19:40
Very, very interesting topic and intelligent replies. One of the best I have read on JREF!

IpekBLC
May 9, 2010, 05:17
Question! What do Japanese men think about foreign women? I am really confused about that matter.