View Full Version : Japanese Men????
2003-09-15, 01:03 PM
I've recently started dating a Japanese man. I wouldn't call him a typical Japanese man as he's travelled the world and lived overseas. He is a very lovely man and has a kind heart but at times I find his ways difficult. He seems to put his work before anything else. I understand that his work is very important to him but he never seems to make any time for me and when he does it's on his terms. When were together he treats me like a queen but when were apart I feel that he doesn't even give me a second thought.
I've questioned him about it before and he's said that its Japanese culture and that I just don't understand it. Is it really Japanese culture or am I being taken for a ride???
2003-09-15, 01:07 PM
It's Japanese culture, it's not you. In our countries, we work to live. But here in Japan, they live to work.
2003-09-15, 02:19 PM
good point YakYak
You should just take the relationship for what it is, Potion.
2003-09-15, 02:37 PM
I still prefer gaijin western male, I dunno, they r just more attractive than the Japs.
2003-09-15, 05:06 PM
Everybody has their preferences. It depends what you are into. I'm sure there are a lot of people that think Gaijin men (although that term pretty much includes EVERYONE that isn't Japanese in this context) aren't as good looking as Japanese men. I, for one, am not attracted to any men, mainly because I'm not gay!
2003-09-15, 07:23 PM
My man sounds like your one! Except-I married him! Before marriage he always said work would come second to me, but that doesn't seem to be happening! AAAAAAHHhhhhhhh!!!!
We have plans to leave Japan next year and escape this work-a-holic lifestyle. I only hope we can do so before he is sucked in by his Bosses, before it gets too late!
Love dragon moving may help - a lot of the pressure comes from the company though, so if he is with a Japanese co abroad...good luck.
2003-09-17, 12:07 AM
Unfortunately, he is telling you the truth. Guys get incredible pressure put on them, not only from their boss but also from co-workers, mothers, friends. Society in general is the problem, and the only way you can solve it is to find a guy that has a more unconventional job, or who has the guts to buck the system.
Personally, I don't wait around for any guy to get off work and pay me some attention. I have places to go, things to do, and if they don't have the time, well......sayonara!
2003-09-17, 01:11 AM
Bucking the system is not the Japanese way. Complying to the system is what they are good at. Shikata ga Nai and Gaman
2003-09-17, 03:25 AM
a japanese man refused to date me because of his career goals. he claimed to be interested in me but mentioned that it would not be wise to date anyone until his career was on the right path. it is a cruel dating world sometimes, but you just have to move on and say 'nexxxxt!' and hope that the next one is a little bit less uptight about work and career obligations and 'sense of duty' issues. in a j-man's mind, if he cannot successfully manage his job, how could he possibly manage a relationship or family. in the west we figure it is the other way around but that is just one of many aspects that got switched around in the savoury east-west hot pot
2003-09-17, 04:54 AM
lost in japan wrote:
it is a cruel dating world sometimes, but you just have
> to move on and say 'nexxxxt!' and hope that the next one is a
> little bit less uptight about work and career obligations and
> 'sense of duty' issues.
Well said! There are plenty of fish in the deep blue sea. It is not wise to base one's self esteem on a few mismatches.
2003-09-17, 09:12 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys, I kind of figured it was the Japanese way. It's kind of hard not to notice that people work far to much living in Tokyo. It really can't be all that healthy can it and in the end what do they really get from it? Somwhow I don't think the answer is happiness.
I've decided to keep seeing my man but to keep things very casual. I'm always up for new experiences and somehow I think this will definately be one.
2003-09-18, 07:27 AM
Did you ever notice that married Japanese women have lives? No matter how many people try to convince themselves they don't, the reason Japanese women have lives is because their husbands are so busy. Okay?
2003-09-20, 01:54 PM
I also met a Japanese guy, who is very attractive,. sexy, and just the sweetest guy I ever met. He has lived abroad a lot but he was born and raised here, there is no question about it. The workaholic culture does not put me off, my own working environment is not much better either but it is the other culture aspects that make me doubt sometimes whether our relationshio can survive.
I am terrified of the politeness thing and slowly becoming paranoid about being perceived as selfish. He does not really give me feedback on whether I need to adjust my behavior, He is always happy with me, in fact too often, which makes me think if he is really happy with me or not but he does not say so. Is there a kind of mind-game I am supposed to read, like they have to do with the elder people?
I've gone through a couple of stormy relationships before, so this one is feels like still waters run deep - you sort of anticiapate some trouble is lurking.
His family, given that he is the eldest son, what should I expect?
Another thing he said is that Japanese don't have much sex in the marriage. Is it true? I don't care much if he want to marry me or not, it's not important for me, but it does seem to bother him. I sort of saw this view reaffirmed on a gaijin website but there are no Japan-savvy gaijin around me to ask, we are all sort of in a sterile environment, and I don't feel like discussing it with the Japanese co-workers...
The problem is I did not come to Japan for Japan itself - I'm just doing a term here with an international organization. I am trying to learn the language and the culture, but it is a slow process of course, given that I am starting from zero.
Any advice out there?
2003-09-26, 04:52 AM
Potion-san I am Jguy who once fell in love with foreign girl and I lost her because of I was just like your man. I am pretty sure that my love felt exactly same way as what you feel about attitude from your man right now. I loved her so much but ended up I only hurt her. I still regret about it and as matter of fact, it still hurts me very much.
Once I belived that real man should work hard, must take their girl out to the expensive restaurant, buy them nice clothing or jewlry and have a fancy car or something, but I didn`t realised that all she wanted from me was just spending time with her and just showing her how much I care about her.
I also had lot`s of pressure from my family in Japan and I always cared about " Sekentei" which means What people think or see about you. In Japan "Sekentei" is very important to us. If you absent from work because of your girl and then they think as you pussy, even you can`t really take your girl freind or boy freind to their "Nomikai" which is kind of drinking party held by your co-workers or boss. I remembered my ex often asked me to go her freinds party or something but I only refused because I thought it was "Hadsukashii" thing for real man. She got very upset indeed. so that`s how I lost my love because of I did care about "Sekentei" too much but I didn`t care about my girl enough.
I still regret that I made her sad. I was just weak and stupid.
Now I am living in Japan and the way I see Japanese people is not same as I used to.
I now know what is the important thing and what is not. I love Japanese culture I think its a beautiful but I don`t think many Japanese people still have beautiful culture and spirit.
My co-worker once said "Syohganai and Gaman" is "Yamato-damashii" so that you should not complain about work, just do it! sometimes you have to put your girl freind or best freind even your family after anything but work first.....that`s the real man supposed to be! I don`t think so! I do not after what I have learnt.
They took "Yamato-damashii" wrong meaning. "Yamato-damashii" as in Japanese spirit comes from "Samurai spirit" The Samurai used to fight for their "Syukun"
"Syukun" was the person who looked after them, their country and everything. Samurai could easily die for Syukyn which means they had no hesitation to die for their family, freinds and their pride, so if necessary they had "Gaman, Syohganai" for long time but they didn`t complain because they did it for their love.
They used to put "Chuugi, Jingi(loyalty,faithfulness,devotion,morality)pride and love" before anything, but these days people seem to forget about it. but just work hard because of money, career,fame, expensive brand thing or nice food and may be nice car things like taht.
They live to work not work to live,,Yes they have to if they want to get all those greedy things.
No complaining and just work too much for money is not "Yamato-damashii" but still many people think it that way. It`s very sad.
Unfortunately your man is living in this world and he can do nothing to do with it. I am pretty sure that he can`t change his work place`s environment but I am pretty sure that he can change his life stlye a little bit better for you. It may not be a huge change but it doesn`t matter as long as if he put some effort into your relationship which also means he does care about you, Right?
so Please Please don`t blame him about his work. As matter of fact I am even Japanese but I am sufferd from work and Japanese stupid system here. I am still trying to not think about too much and just shut up, do "Gaman" think like"Syohganai".....but It`s very hard for me to fit that system!!
Potion-san you`d better tell about your feelings and talk about how to solve the problem with your man, I am pretty sure he will find nice solution for you, because he loves you !
I don`t want see another nice couple separate because of cultural differences,,,NO NO I don`t want!!!
All you have to do is talk about it with him, don`t hide your feelings, Okay?
Good Luck Potion-san.
P.S Sorry about my poor English.
2003-09-26, 08:54 AM
Miyagi-san, thank you. It's nice to read a long, in-depth message that is serious.
2003-09-26, 04:50 PM
Shortly put, it`s actually a circle. Time = money.
In order to be able to live in Japan, one need a considerable amount of money.
And to earn even close to that amount (especially if the person is a junior or 後輩, where you get to do extra work for the seniors 先輩) one has to work real hard in Japan (or at least appear to be very hardworking). It is very much established in the Japanese working culture. No matter how much you earn, as long as you`re working for THE company, you have to make sacrifices for it (be it neccessary ones or just plain for show stuff), and one of the most valuable thing a person can sacrifice is time. Like, you have finished your work totally on time, but you can`t go back home yet cause most of your co-workers, and especially your boss, is still at the office. Also as retrenchments being more common than they used to be in the past, not keeping up with your "competitiveness" in the office could well be detrimental to your career. I heard that this culture is currently changing tho, but at an extremely slow, and painful pace. (Japan, being the bureaucratic based country that they are, could hardly do it any other way I think...)
My friend has been married to a Japanese man for over 4 years, and though she appears quite ok with the relationship, she feels that her husband is not compensated adequately for his work, and she worries constantly for the future of their young child. (Especially since she claimed that the insurance cover her family is under would only be enough for a funeral ceremony should anything happen to her husband). And so she`s currently looking for part time work, which is tough since her Japanese is not good (having a baby dulls your brain, she said., and considering all the things one got to do to take care of a young child full time, I`d agree.)
One more thing to note about Japanese man that I have been told : they tend to change somewhat after marriage in their requirements from their life partner (and no it`s not about sex :P). Once a women becomes a wife, there seem to be an unspoken "wife rule" which normally include a certain degree of subservience. Even the sweetest guy could turn to a "mini-shogun" once he becomes a husband. (I`ve also been told that they current generation are less prone to this disease). They seem to have this inbuilt "cultural trigger".
Just some opinion from me (Need to use some English time and then, else it might get dull too with all these Japanese lerning ;s )
2003-09-29, 08:22 AM
Miyagisan wrote one of the best posts I have ever read on this site. We all sit around discussing how japanese people think but rarely do we get our information directly from the source. I wonder how many japanese people out there have similar thoughts. In my (albeit limited) experiences with japanese people it seems like most of them never have a deep thought about anything. It's like they have been told what to do and how to live and they just blindly accept it. This problem exists everywhere I guess; it is the herd mentality. But it seems ridiculously prevalent in japan. It is obvious to me now that there are HUGE barriers keeping us apart, but maybe it is as simple as finding the door.
2003-09-29, 08:45 AM
I would ignore anyone who says"culture difference".An absolute cop out.Culture difference is kilts vs. kimonos,sushi vs. curry etc.etc. and it does not include ignoring your other half.
2003-09-30, 10:52 AM
Cheers to Miyagi-san. We actually get an intelligent, well-written post here!! It must be a first...
2003-09-30, 12:57 PM
Culture difference also means different ways of thinking and behaving (quite extreme in some cases), not just clothes and food.
Plus, cultural "differences" are not just applicable across different countries. Different companies do have different "working culture". A japanese company operating in New York, for example, will most likely have a different culture as compared to an american one operating just next door. Even companies from the same country could differ in culture, despite having people living in the same city working for them.
Post Edited (10-02-03 14:43)
2003-11-11, 06:01 AM
I am also a Western woman (Scottish) with a Japanese partner of 4 years.
Although we met in Scotland , we have lived together for a while in Tokyo and he also takes his work very seriously I.e works long hours etc.
At the beginning of our relationship I also found this difficult to understand, and like you thought it was something to do with me, of course it was not, its just a cultural thing thats all. The past 2 years have been great in terms of my understanding of his work situation and his understanding of my needs as his partner. I think now we always try to meet each other half way and try to understand each other feelings in terms of how our cultures define what is normal in terms of work and free time. Like your guy, mine has also lived and travelled overseas for a few years in his study and business. These days I can find no cultural differences between us and I sometimes forget he is Japanese.
I hope that you can understand each other as much as we do (however it does take take a combination of personal compatibility, patience, understanding and love.
2003-12-22, 02:30 PM
Wow, Miyagisan, thanks for that post. I'm in a relationship with a Japanese man and can totally relate to the girls here. Yeah this problem is a cultural one.... but i think it can be overcome. My boyfriend is a work-a-holic and i hate it, but you can't change people. Thanks Miyajisan, i know some relationships can survive cultural problems. My boyfriend and i sure intend to.
2003-12-23, 10:02 PM
Without denying that compulsory workaholism is a fact of life here, I do want to point out that whether you're Japanese or a foreigner, it IS possible to live in Japan without being "sucked in." I have all the free time I need to do my own thing, and all my friends (male and female) have worked out their own compromises with the system whereby they do too: some of them work as temp staff (派遣会社), some of them dodge the lethal overtime by any means necessary (and probably won't get promoted as a result, but so what? Who wants to be 課長, anyway?), some of them are freelances (daytraders, DJs, interior designers etc), and some of them are artists. Basically, if you have a clear enough idea of what you want, you can carve out a niche that is YOURS... here, just as anywhere. Of course, the downside is that you won't be toting a Hermes bag, living in Shiodome, or driving a Lamborghini anytime soon. Again, so what? Some people will say that you need plenty of disposable income just to have a life in Tokyo... but I disagree. When you have a few friends who you enjoy being with, a single cup of coffee leaves you feeling better than a 3 man yen night out on the town.
Post Edited (12-23-03 22:07)
Tokyoite, I agree with you that it is possible to have a life without working all the time, but for some people, particularly if they have families, money IS an issue. Being a DJ, a daytrader, or a temporary worker wouldn't really cut it if you have a spouse and a few children. I think what really needs to occur is a realization in Japanese society that more hours spent at the company does not equal increased productivity and profits, and that shorter working hours with more concentrated work would free up people to spend more time with families, friends, and on hobbies, or whatever they wanted to do. After all, if working long hours was the primary key to economic success, why would Japan have been in recession for over ten years?
2004-01-04, 11:17 PM
I am from the USA. I used to work 12-16 hours a day and most of my friends too.
I would say about 75% of the people I know work 12 hours a day and do alot of project related work at home.
I also used to go to school and work fulltime. Hell I even worked in highschool.
I think in alot of places people are work-a-holics. But in Japan maybe they never express that they are "getting things done". My girl friends were always up-to-date on my work, so was my family etc,
Maybe because things seemed to be moving and there was dialogue about the work, it helped. Please tell me where I can work, besides Japan, that is laid back and easy ? My teaching job here is a snap. But I wont be here forever. Kind of dreading the 16 hour days ahead.
2004-01-27, 03:21 PM
Shan, don't get me wrong, but are you married? You seem like you would be a great wife. I really mean that in the very best way.