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Thread: Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage

  1. #151
    Regular Member Han Chan's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    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.
    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":
    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    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:
    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    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/showth...?t=8130&page=3
    Last edited by Han Chan; Oct 24, 2007 at 06:34.
    There are good and bad people everywhere

  2. #152
    Fear my Niftyness MadamePapillon's Avatar
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    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.
    All Hail to the HYPNOTOAD *clap* *clap* *clap*

  3. #153
    Regular Member Han Chan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadamePapillon View Post
    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.

  4. #154
    忍心してます! Sharingan's Avatar
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    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 !

  5. #155
    Regular Member Han Chan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharingan View Post
    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.

  6. #156
    忍心してます! Sharingan's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    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 ).
    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.

  8. #158
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    I am quite simply, against gender roles period.

  9. #159
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    married 2 months

    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.
    Last edited by distressed in japan; Nov 13, 2008 at 11:55.

  10. #160
    アイウエオ カキクケコ Crystallize's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    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 !!!

  11. #161
    Nobuta Power 注入 Dogen Z's Avatar
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    Sounds like distressed needs a marriage counselor. Just my 2 cents.

  12. #162
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    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.

  13. #163
    In imagination land Chidoriashi's Avatar
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    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.

  14. #164
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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...

    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    @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.
    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chidoriashi View Post
    Frustrated Dave, you wanna handle this one, you always say it the best.
    LOL, I just read this....
    Last edited by FrustratedDave; Nov 21, 2008 at 11:04. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  15. #165
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by distressed in japan View Post
    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.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    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. ..

  17. #167
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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 )
    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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. ..
    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.

  18. #168
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    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. =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by yersinya View Post
    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. ..kashii"

    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.

  20. #170
    normal is so passe ShadowSpirit's Avatar
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    hajimemashite

    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.

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    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.

  22. #172
    normal is so passe ShadowSpirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt9258 View Post
    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.

  23. #173
    In imagination land Chidoriashi's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #174
    normal is so passe ShadowSpirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chidoriashi View Post
    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?

  25. #175
    In imagination land Chidoriashi's Avatar
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    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.

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