View Full Version : The appeal of foreign men
2002-06-20, 02:21 PM
Threads on this site variously celebrate or bemoan the extraordinary popularity of foreign men among Japanese women, but none accounts for it. What is the appeal? What are Japanese women expecting to find in foreign men that they can't get from Japanese men? Are their expectations likely to be met?
Having been married to a Japanese woman for the past ten years and having dated female students in my conversation school (hell, I know its unthethical but when I was there it wasnt un-PC like it is now, and they often asked you out) I can only offer you my own take on what Japan women see in foreign men ( who by way are not all Prince Charmings and can be as unattractive and boorish as the local variety)
1. The grass is always greener: they have dated Japanese men and want something different. They get sick of the same 'flavour'. For some women having a foreign boyfriend is somewhat akin to a 'status symbol' like having a Chanel handbag or a chance to speak English.
2. Many want to learn to speak English- I have met women who felt suffocated by living in Japan because of its rules and restrictions and general oppression of women. Some feel liberated and free to vent their feelings by saying things in English they wouldnt or couldnt say in Japanese.
3. Becuase Japan is like a straightjacket society for many young women with oppressive social expectations- they would like to escape to live in foreign countries where there are wide open spaces, they are treated a speople and not as potential housewives, mothers etc, and having a foreign boyfriend or husband is a good opportunity for them to do this.
4. I dont know about today but ten years ago during the bubble era most Japanese guys get married to their companies, work long hours, play golf or drink on the weekends with their colleagues and have no time for their women. The ladies arent going to sit around waiting for Kenji to come home from work at midnight, too tired to do anything, so the women go out and make their own fun. Just a hunch. Just look at all the middle aged and elderly women who have husbands who sit home all day with nothing in common or nothing to talk about.
5. I dont know if it true or not but many Japanese women have this idea that 'Western' men are gentlemen- 'Ladies First' is the rule. How many Japanese men let women get into an elevator or walk through a door first? How many Japanese men tell their wives or girlfriends they love them? Sometimes women want and need to hear that from their menfolk. (Whether western men do or not Im not sure- that is the perception at least)
Any comments would be welcome- this is only one persons point of view.
2002-06-20, 09:44 PM
You know, I heard that letting the woman go first through the door originated from the nobility (in which Western country, I don't know). You see, noble men were so fearful that they may walk into a room which was trapped or had assassins lying in wait, that by sending the woman in first, they could "test the water", so to speak.
2002-06-20, 10:37 PM
In my opinion, its probably just the thrill of having something different. As well, I think that perhaps the reason there is more Western men hooking up with Japanese girls than vice versa is the fact that the Gaijin want girls who will act like the Japanese do.They get the best of the culture since Japanese women tend to treat their men good. On the other hand, I think its way harder for a foriegn girl to date a Japanese guy (even though I have) because of the culture not being so "far ahead" as far as the treatment of women goes. Most western girls arent as likely to take crap from a guy who expects them to be..sometimes, "less" then them.
2002-06-21, 06:55 AM
My Japanese wife talks to her Japanese female co-workers all the time about me (American husband). Their questions are pretty much like what Paul stated in his point number 4. They always ask if "Ladies first" is still happening to us. They ask if I call her "honey". Or if I tell her I love her. Or if I mind if she goes out with the office girls (or even with the office guys) occasionally. (I don't mind at all.) Or if I cook, clean around the house, help with laundry, etc. Whether they presume foreign men are gentlemen and/or help around the house, I don't know, but it seems obvious to me that they WANT that sort of thing.
2002-06-22, 09:32 AM
Glenski and Paul are right. I have the same experience. I let my wife do what ever she wants to do, I tell her that I love, although I don't call her honey. That name is overused. I cook and clean often. I teach her English and in return she helps me with my Japanese.
My wife told me that she would never go back to a Japanese man, even if we where to ever get a divorce. Japanese women just have it better with us, even if we are not as wealthly as Japanese men.
And it helps, that fact that we will someday return to the U.S.
2003-01-02, 01:24 AM
I agree with Paul for the most part.
One additional fact may be that local men are not necessarily trained in the social skills associated with 'chatting up' burds. Foreign men usually are, and even the dropouts from Western 'Social School' are more competent than people who've never been trained at all. Local females tending as they SOMETIMES do (only OCCASIONALLY, and not wishing to create any stereotype God forbid), to be low hanging fruit, only need a little tug on the vine, which foreign men (even Quasimodos) can provide.
Superman syndrome I call it, which sadly often goes straight to the ego's of some of the dysfunctional lurching neanderthals who are Don Juans here in Japan.