lifestyle

Japanese-American YouTube couple discuss marital arguments, culture clash

24 Comments
By Evie Nyan, SoraNews24

YouTube couple Rachel and Jun have been married for five years and regularly upload videos about life in Japan and their international marriage on their YouTube channel. Their most recent video discusses some of the issues that lead to arguments in their marriage.

Let’s check out the video first.

The first two issues revolve around Japanese husband Jun’s propensity to avoid strong shows of emotion and standing out in public. In contrast, American Rachel wouldn’t think twice of, for example, gently chiding someone for stepping in front of her in line or giving her bad service in a restaurant. “You have to be firm but polite!” she explains, as Jun responds with, “If it’s something small I don’t care.” Jun’s approach is reflected in the oft-used Japanese phrase shikata ga nai (which means “it can’t be helped”), and of how Japanese society often prioritizes social harmony over rocking the boat.

Language issues can lead to arguments, too. Miscommunication can be a big cause of conflict in any relationship, but with a dual-language marriage, subtext and nuance can often be missed or over-inflated, leading to hurt feelings. For example, Jun’s completely innocent use of the English phrase “What’s wrong with you?” as opposed to “What’s wrong?” tends to make Rachel see red.

Compromise seems to be the best solution to such issues, but how do you balance staying true to your cultural identity with respecting the values held by your spouse and the culture of the country you’re currently in? Do you think the onus is on the non-native spouse to make the most effort to assimilate into the native culture or should both parties hold firm to their cultural identity and celebrate their differences regardless?

Source: YouTube/Rachel and Jun

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- YouTubers introduce five words you didn’t know were Japanese, we come up with five more!

-- Awareness campaign warns foreigners in Japan of “Divorce without Consent”

-- Blogger offers her top four tips for Japanese women dating foreign guys

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

love their channel, so happy to see them on the front page of JapanToday!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I dislike all these channels of english speaking people who pretend to be the "voice of Japan to the world" because they happen to live in Japan.

These guys make it so their personal opinions or experiences think can be a reflection of what "Japan is acutally like" or "How Japanese people are actually like".

But in reallity, regardless all the idea that "oh, Japanese culture is soooo diferent", modern Japanese culture is actually extremely western like (In fact, I concider it part of Western culture at this point) and people come in all shapes and colors, and that also includes Japanese people.

I know many Japanese people who do not follow the "Shikata nai" mantra, I know Japanese people who speak perfect English, and I know many original foreigners in Japan who assimilated completely.

The only reason I see so much of a disconnect is because of the language barrier, that most people from both sides just see it as something "impossible" and they just give up without even really trying.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

"I dislike all these channels of english speaking people who pretend to be the 'voice of Japan to the world' because they happen to live in Japan."

One, the dude is Japanese. I'm assuming you're not. Two, how is what they're attempting to do any different than what most of do on JT, offering our 2 cents about life in J-town?

"Japanese culture is actually extremely western like (In fact, I concider it part of Western culture at this point)"

Dude, I implore you to start your own Youtube channel. With ideas like this, I'm sure you'll chalk up millions of views in no time!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

jcapan

One, the dude is Japanese. I'm assuming you're not. Two, how is what they're attempting to do any different than what most of do on JT, offering our 2 cents about life in J-town?

I'm actually not trying to show to the rest of the world how Japan is actually like, I actually kind of assume that most people on this page live in Japan. Maybe my asumption is wrong, but that is my perspective. I'm not interested on "showing the rest of the world" how Japan is like. If they are interested they can come, see for themselves and make their own Judgement.

Also, I find it amusing that you think that pointing out that one of these guys is Japanese is actually relevant. It is not. That guy can only speak for himself. Trying to speak in the name of all Japanese people is absurd.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Luis David Yanez

"But in reallity, regardless all the idea that "oh, Japanese culture is soooo diferent", modern Japanese culture is actually extremely western like (In fact, I concider it part of Western culture at this point) and people come in all shapes and colors, and that also includes Japanese people."

Dude, are you serious about this statement?

Do you happen to live in Japan?

Cause my impression is nothing to do with that, I have been living in Japan for 5 years, working on Japanese company, married with a Japanese national... and believe me.. nothing at all about what your stating...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But in reallity, regardless all the idea that "oh, Japanese culture is soooo diferent", modern Japanese culture is actually extremely western like (In fact, I concider it part of Western culture at this point) and people come in all shapes and colors, and that also includes Japanese people.

I like living in Japan and have been here more than two decades. I'm free lance so I don't have the problems of the work culture but this statement is not like anything I have experienced which is also mostly positive. Someone needs to remove their very dark shades. Most of the culture here is very different from my own which is one reason why I like it. If it was the same, might as well just go back home.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Wicho

Do you happen to live in Japan?

Cause my impression is nothing to do with that, I have been living in Japan for 5 years, working on Japanese company, married with a Japanese national... and believe me.. nothing at all about what your stating...

I've been living in Japan for more than 9 years. I came to Japan when I was 19 all alone and without any guidance.

And I actually do not dispute your point, and it actually helps my main point. People's perspective is completely different. You and I have had completely different experiences on the same country which has lead to completely different ideas about this country.

That's why, I think, what any single person can say about a country is not really representative of that country at all.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Most of the culture here is very different from my own which is one reason why I like it. If it was the same, might as well just go back home.

I agree to disagree. First, I hate my home country, so I wouldn't ever go back to that place. Also a country is not just the culture.

And

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Aparently this thing has a bug and cut most of my comment.

What I said is that your point once again just show how people's perspective and experiences are different even about the same place, event or anything, and that is why I don't like people claiming to show how this country "really is" with just their narrow experience and perspective.

This is a nation with over 120 million people. Claiming to know what is going on with all of them is absurd.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Dump her ASAP!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan is different, so different. And yet, there's a sense of familiarity about it. It's hard to pin down exactly what it is about the country but I'm guessing that's down to the experience of the individual. And on any given day, you can experience very different facets of Japan - warmth, aloofness, wonder, dismay, uniqueness, mass production, entertainment, mundanity, nature, industry etc.

I've seen these guys before on YT. They're fine but I'm more of a Kyde & Eric fan, tbh.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A: what do you do for a living

B: I'm a youtuber.

A: Oh so you are unemployed?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

She is more Japanese that the dude.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why should it matter what a person does for a living? Plenty of Youtubers have jobs and even if they don't, what's the bother?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I want the time back I wasted on watching these two. My own life is much more interesting.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Dime a dozen these types of YouTubers. Can't stand them much neither.

What's​ lame is A LOT of ppl overseas take these vlogs as gospel when in fact they're just relating their experiences through their eyes...and sometimes off base of what the reality is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In contrast, American Rachel wouldn’t think twice of, for example, gently chiding someone for stepping in front of her in line or giving her bad service in a restaurant. 

Americans, along with British and Aussies seem to be the most vocal anywhere they go, quick to create drama and become confrontational at the slightest 'perceived' offense.

It's probably no wonder that this aggressive behavior likely results in them having the highest rates of heart disease.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Leave it to the Internet to be over-dramatic about a YouTube video. I've watched their videos a lot and never got the impression they were claiming to speak for all Japanese people. Most of the time they're just going around filming various locations that might be of interest if you want to visit Japan or showing something interesting about Japanese food or some local custom. Apparently that's now considered offensive on the Internet or something. Of course it's important to be aware their videos only represent their experience, but I think only young people or hardcore weaboo types would take their videos as gospel. It's easy to say just move to Japan and experience yourself but not everyone can afford to do that or are able to learn Japanese to get the most out of the experience. Videos like these are just fun for entertainment and if encourages people to learn more about Japan from a wider variety of sources, I don't really see the problem. In any case, I think it's equally problematic and kind of reductionist to minimalize the cultural differences between countries and make it sound like Japan and America are exactly the same and setting up false expectations. If you lived in the Southern U.S. states all your life, I somehow doubt living in Nashville is exactly the same as living in Tokyo.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I have traveled to about 20 other countries, and I enjoy the different cultures. IMO, it helps to go with a positive attitude. One should be open to enjoying new and different ways of looking at the world, even if everyone everywhere still share things like love for their parents and children. It helps to have a sense of humor, and patience, and to experience a joy of life.

Never been to the Orient myself, but my mother went on a tour of Japan, and came back raving about what a good time she had.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rachel was an officer in the US Air Force

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I watched the video, and I didn't hear them says "Japan is " or "Japanese people are ".

They gave their own thoughts on their arguments. It's once facet of millions. Anyone who thinks they were trying to speak for all of Japan or all Japanese is pre-judging the video based on their own prejudices.

As the kids used to say: "take a chill pill".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing new,not that I watched. They've been married for 5 years and without any kids. Just a glorified boyfriend and girlfriend couple at now stage like my wife and I once were. Didn't need to make a video about it either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Didn't need to make a video about it either.

There's a lot of things people don't need to do, yet do because they enjoy it. Why shouldn't these people do something they enjoy, particularly when it's obviously viewed positively by a lot of people?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's a lot of things people don't need to do, yet do because they enjoy it. Why shouldn't these people do something they enjoy, particularly when it's obviously viewed positively by a lot of people?

Actually was talking about when I was married after 5 years,that I didn't make a proclamation to the world about it.

And I'm now sitting here eating lunch and I told the wife about this same ol',same ol' topic and suggested let's have a look at the vid together.Barely got to the halfway mark when she said they must be hima. But if people enjoy their vids knock yourselves out. To each his or her own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites