Five Characteristics to Expect when Dating a Japanese Woman

  • Surely each individual is unique, and generalizations/stereotypes about an entire culture can’t be made based on a very little number of individuals. However, from an anthropological perspective, certain cultures tend to practice same rituals due to the culture transmission throughout the years, and even though an individual may have his/her particular characteristics, a community in many cases is fostered and developed to shape a shared mindset that may not always function exactly the same way but definitely in parallel. Moreover, Japan has tremendously developed throughout the years politically and socially. Even the Heisei Era itself has experienced social and political changes. Nonetheless, Japan’s current citizens’ mindset has shaped to cope with the latest changes and here is what to expect when dating a Japanese woman: 5 typical characteristics as below.

    1. Highly Organized

    Spontaneity is definitely a feature that couples love in a relationship, however, with Japanese women in particular, you have to plan most hangouts in advance due to their busy schedules with planned hours of part-time jobs or hangouts with other friends or family. They usually have a little calendar in their purse where all their plans for a month or more are planned in advance. If you ask them to hang out, you have to give the specific time and date to know if they are free.

    2. Independent and Busy

    At a young age, Japanese people are advised to have a part-time job, especially for university students. University students or not, however, most women try their best to get a part-time job or job after High-school as they are no longer “as dependent” on their parents. Regardless if they still live with their parents or not, or if their parents are forcing them to work or not, most of them feel the need to be part of the labor force (whether arubaito, haken or freeter) in order for Japan, as a community itself, to grow collectively. Therefore, expect your Japanese girlfriend to be independent (especially on you) and busy with her work.

    3. Interested in relationships but slightly afraid of long term commitment

    This is not just a feature of Japanese women, but of many women and even men around the world. However, the labor system in Japan after WWII with the permanent employment has made it very difficult for previously employed women to re-enter the labor force (especially the same company they used to work at). In addition, the childcare and elderly care leave accommodations are not very beneficial and certainly not boosting any means of an incentive to have more kids (which is a problem for Japan considering the low birth rate). Furthermore, Japanese women are definitely interested in relationships, however, they tend to be afraid of the longer commitments due to their future struggles created in contemporary Japan.

    4. Language barrier (unless you’re fluent in Japanese)

    Japanese women are very interested in dating foreign men and Vice versa. You can find many Japanese women really good at English, generally from an international school though. Despite countless Japanese taking English classes from school throughout the university, it is believed that many may be really good at it but afraid of making mistakes and, therefore, prefer not to speak it as often. On the other hand, many develop exceptional writing skills that are way higher than the conversational one. Thus, if we consider an average female in Japan as a none fluent English speaker and a foreigner that isn’t fluent in Japanese, we will most likely obtain a relationship with two individuals that use all the skills they have in the beginning to create wonderful times but may however (if they don’t work hard on the significant other’s language) to create a language barrier where the limited skills that you have are not enough to really express what you want to deliver. Accordingly, many believe that due to this language barrier Japanese women may prefer a foreign boyfriend for the short run but a Japanese boyfriend for the long run.

    5. Tolerant & Free

    It is important to consider the fact that Japanese people have become a lot more tolerant and open minded throughout the years. As mentioned earlier, Japanese women are interested in dating foreign men and they are truly interested and accepting of their culture. Most are adventurous and willing to try new types of food, new cultures to visit and new environments to encounter. Perhaps due to the lack of high dedication to religion, Japanese people tend to be very free with their choices (just as Nietzsche or Jean-Paul Sartre describe it). Many people believe, however, that this tolerance occurs due to tatemae and honne contrast. Tatemae is the behavior or opinion the Japanese individual portrays to the public and Honne the true feelings and desires that she has. Regardless, if you’re dating a Japanese women you shouldn’t worry about being accepted due to differences.