View Full Version : Why do so many Western men marry Japanese women ?

Sep 20, 2006, 15:59
Almost every Western-Japanese couple one sees involve a Western man with a Japanese woman. The pattern is the same with other East Asian countries : Western men + East Asian woman. My first question is : how comes that the pattern is rarely reversed (Japanese man with Western woman) ? It happens of course, I know a few such couples. But it would be dishonest to refute that in the vast majority of the cases it is the woman who is Japanese/East Asian.

I believe that there are several reasons for the increase of Western-Japanese couples :

1) globalisation : it is increasingly easy to travel and live in other countries, as long-distance flights have got much cheaper since the 1970's, and more companies have branches abroad (esp. in IT and fashion).

2) It is noteworthy that the majority of cross-racial couples involving a Japanese are with Caucasian Westerners (or to a lower extent Black-Americans). It is rarer to see Japanese women with Indians, Arabs, Indonesians, etc. I guess that this is partly due to the "admiration" of some younger Japanese for the West, and also to their desire to learn English or other Western languages (such as French and Italian, which have a strong association with the luxury world). On the other hand, an increasingly number of Westerners are interested in Japanese culture, especially people who have grown up with or after the "manga/anime invasion" of the 80's and "video game frenzy" of the 90's. Likewise European/American food has become increasingly common in Japan, and Japanese food is booming in the West too. So, one of the reason is a mutual desire to learn about the other's language and culture.

3) So why is it Western men who usually marry Japanese women, much more than the reverse ? I believe that this is simply because Caucasians (and Blacks) have a genetic expression accentuating masculine traits. For instance Caucasian men are usually taller, hairier, physically stronger than their Japanese/East Asian counterparts. Western culture also puts more emphasis on masculine values and characteristics (directness, confrontation of ideas and opinions), which looks better in men than in women. Asian cultures are more feminine (non-confrontational, indirect, more considerate of others' feelings), which suits better women.

4) Then comes the socio-cultural aspect. Western societies have become less gender-biased than a few decades ago. Western men have become more willing or accustomed to help with house chores, and are increasingly taking paternal leaves after having a baby. This is still rare among Japanese/East Asian men, and Japanese women are well aware of it. This certainly increases the attractiveness of Western males in the eyes of Japanese women. From the Western men's point of view, Japanese women tend to be more feminine (and childish, which can be perceived as cute or even sexy) than Caucasian women (let alone Black women).

This leads to another question : do Japanese women make good wives, or just good girlfriends ?