lifestyle

The state of kissing in Japan

44 Comments
By Karen Masuda

There are all kinds of kissing all over the world, but traditionally, in Japan there has only been two kinds and they are the romantic kissing done by couples or kissing babies. Public displays of affection have always been frowned upon, and still generally are: a kiss on the lips is serious business.

The moment for a romantic kiss on any Japanese TV drama looks excruciatingly uncomfortable, especially in comparison to the ”eat each other up” passion of Western dramas. The "jidaigeki," or Japanese period dramas, feature absolutely no kissing. With this in mind, SK Planet Japan did a survey on 400 20 to 30-year-old men and women to find out young Japanese people’s views on kissing — which is actually pretty interesting considering that kissing has always been an almost taboo subject.

It was found that 60% of the women polled had only kissed up to five people, signifying that experience in this arena is on the low side. By asking the question, “Have all your kisses led to a dating relationship?” it was found that 90% of the women questioned said “no.” In other words, more Japanese women are willing to kiss for no other reason but that they want to. The casual kiss has taken hold in Japan.

The results seem to point to the fact that kissing, for women, is not the big deal it used to be. A kiss used to mean a long-term promise, if not a bond lasting a lifetime. Of course, that notion would be considered out of date anywhere except in the more traditionally conservative circles in today’s Japan. Japanese women are learning to chill out over the kiss, though they still have discerning taste and won’t just kiss anyone.

Men were also found to be in the range of 88.2% when it came to taking part in kissing that didn’t actually lead to a relationship.

But wait. The statistics also go on to show that like the women, about 60% of the men have only kissed up to five people, which seems to imply a kiss is still something reserved for someone special.

This survey seems to say conflicting things. If a kiss is just a kiss, why are the Japanese kissing more people? Maybe the Japanese lack the finely honed instinct of knowing when to kiss, just like in the dramas.

In any case, cheers to SK Planet Japan for attempting this survey. Yes, the idea of kissing is no problem for the younger generation and men and women may not place much importance on a kiss anymore, but perhaps it is OK not to be so enamored by the joining of the lips.

Source: niconice news

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44 Comments
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The statistics also go on to show that like the women, about 60% of the men have only kissed up to five people, which seems to imply a kiss is still something reserved for someone special.

Or it could imply that both guys and girls, for whatever reason, don't kiss nearly as often as they'd like to.

It's kind of hard to find yourself in a "kissing" situation when few guys have the courage to approach girls, unless they're in a group of guys, or they're at some pre-arranged "dating" party.

I doubt that any guy would turn down an opportunity, should it present itself, because they were "reserving their kisses for someone special." Likewise with women.

This is just a shortcoming that is being presented as a benefit. Not peculiar in this country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mod: penultimate paragraph - finally -> finely

Moderator: Thank you. It has been corrected.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kissing encompasses a very special, uniquely personal intimacy, one that is also found in the West. It is for this reason that a prostitute will often forbid her customer from kissing her. She sees sexual intercourse as mechanical and detached but draws the line at kissing due to its highly charged, emotional and personal nature.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

N ice lips in the photo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Of course girls dont want to kiss a lot in Japan, the breath of a salaryman is deadly.

in all seriousness though, maybe its Osaka but I see more and more couples kissing in public. Im not against it at all, whatever floats your boat but tongue-hugging in public.....please do that at the hotel or something.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Interesting survey. I don't think having kissed 5 people is what I would call a small number for someone in their 20s. Would like to know what the average 'number of kiss experiences' is in the West for the same age bracket.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ben4short:

It is for this reason that a prostitute will often forbid her customer from kissing her.

Belle De Jour says differently - as an (ex) upmarket callgirl, she says kissing is absolutely fine. And she should know.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm just wondering how they defined a kiss in this research? As the author points out, there are different kinds of kissing, from kissing babies to the French greeting, to romantic kisses. Does the 5 kisses include all types, or just romantic kisses?

At a guess I'd say that Westerners probably average much higher, with the emphasis on kissing, such as, "Sweet sixteen and never been kissed".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Belle De Jour says differently - as an (ex) upmarket callgirl, she says kissing is absolutely fine. And she should know.

And your point, Maria? I said "a prostitute will often forbid," not all prostitutes forbid.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

”Eat each other up” passion of Western dramas...to funny. However I do agree....American televison has the idea that sex sells....and it does. Yet I just do not want to watch it - seeing a passionate kiss is fine and then they cut to the next scene ....morning or pillow talk but good lord I really do now want to watch them grind for five minutes. I know many of us have seen outstanding movies that have no kissing or sex in them which are the type I prefer. I quick gentle kiss just to say I love you is fine in public...I think, but the Eat each other up thing in public....no way & it is all about self control.... Imagine if Anjelina Jolie got serious about kissing Brad in public she would take half his face with those bad daddys....the horror.....the horror.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do these statistics include making out with people at an oppai-pub?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is for this reason that a prostitute will often forbid her customer from kissing her. She sees sexual intercourse as mechanical and detached but draws the line at kissing due to its highly charged, emotional and personal nature

Certainly not true in Asia where the emphasis is on 'the girlfriend experience'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The survey seems to have concentrated on the more romantic or sexual side of kissing, and probably holds true in that sense. I feel that young Japanese people and those who move in more cosmopolitan circles are much more tactile in general than in the past. Greeting kisses certainly seem more common, as well as hugging in general, although this depends heavily on the peer groups involved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A kiss used to mean a long-term promise, if not a bond lasting a lifetime.

Says who?

Anyway, it lifts my spirits to see more PDAs in Japan. Japan is often such a cold place, and its not beneficial, or healthy.

And you know what? PDAs like this help you know who is dating who and makes it a heck of a lot easier to avoid mistakes, discomfort and embarassment when trying to find a girlfriend or boyfriend. The way it is now, you look at a table of Japanese, and its really hard to tell who is taken and who isn't without a lot of legwork and wasted time. Introducing PDA could well solve the declining birthrate. Eliminating them was like digging Japan's grave.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It was found that 60% of the women polled had only kissed up to five people

Don't worry, we'll soon get those averages up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Who cares about public? Public displays of anything are reserved in Japanese society. It's not a valid data point about how people really are. It says nothing about true behind-closed-doors intimacy.

You know, those American style public displays are actually in bad taste. This is why we have the phrase "get a room". And that, in turn, is a rude order, mutually embarassing to everyone.

Also, another thing is that surveys have to be properly conducted to eliminate the likelihood that people give dishonest answers, especially if the surveys are about something that is considered embarassing if leaked to the public. If the woman kissed 20 guys, she will put down 5 unless she's completely convinced that her answer sheet cannot be traced back to her.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You must remember this

a kiss is still a kiss

a sigh is just a sigh...

The fundamental things apply

as time goes by...

"As Time Goes By"

-Herman Hupfeld

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

An affectionate kiss anywhere and at anytime is fine with me. Who cares what anal onlookers are thinking.

I agree that aggressively trying to force your tongue deep down inside your partners throat is not cool in public, but a simple affectionate kiss in public is harmless and should be encouraged not frowned upon..

6 ( +8 / -1 )

Kissing is a part of romance in almost all cultures and really can find out a lot about a person that you're kissing, smells, taste, sound and tactile signals. Therefore it is a mandatory component of adulthood and mastering the mechanics of a good kiss can prevent a relationship from going down in a tragic makeout mishap. Thus if you have any reason to suspect you aren't a great kisser you're probably a bad one and you should seek help.So don't waste your time and enjoy the natural way of showing affection and play it safe with sweet and soft kisses. But as a rule of thumb know what your partner wants because they want to know what you want.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

from what ive seen in my wedding job most of them are novices..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not a Japanese shy issue, it is a culture issue.... In Japan, Kissing no.... but public group naked baths yes!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Seems to me that surveying Japanese people’s views on kissing is akin to surveying fish on jogging.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It is more of a cultural thing, it's true, watching a Japanese love story can be very tedious to watch on the eyes when it comes to expressing love. Having lived in South Korea for a number of years, although Koreans can be quite conservative, when it comes to kissing, they are a little better at, as to why that is, I have no idea. But expressing love, kissing, holding hands they are not as stiff and it is a lot more common to see than in Japan, it's changing slowly, but that's just culture, I guess.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

...Meanwhile, in Italy...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I had a Japanese friend who said, "I prefer the French way of kissing" by which she meant brushing cheeks. The rest of us had a good laugh.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Now that explains why they don't know how to kiss - practice does make perfect!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seen anti-herpes drug commercials on JP TV? They must have some reason. I know some kids who 'somehow' got infected with oral herpes in primary school(!). Maybe not kissing around but sharing same drink/food, I don't know. Also a while back even carps in JP experienced some herpes problems. But we should think positive, have a nice weekend and - happy kissing!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What does koi herpes have to do with kissing?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It amazes me that public affection is so frowned upon in Japan where soap lands, delivery health, pink salons, oppai clubs are just around the corner! Japanese people need to wake up and see what really is going on in their city and not be so judgmental of a simple kiss in public.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@chumura "It amazes me that public affection is so frowned upon in Japan where soap lands, delivery health, pink salons, oppai clubs are just around the corner"

Those places may be open to the public, but what goes on inside is not in public. It's behind closed doors, in private rooms. In public, some of that would not only be frowned upon but likely get people arrested.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ben4short "Kissing encompasses a very special, uniquely personal intimacy, one that is also found in the West. It is for this reason that a prostitute will often forbid her customer from kissing her."

ROFL. Is this personal experience, or just what you learned from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese is very good at the so called French kiss behind closed doors, we would prefer the "salut" type of French kiss in public though. Asians in general are not used to show their emotions in public but it doesn't mean there is no depth or passion - same applies to kissing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is this personal experience, or just what you learned from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?

Closer match would be from Kevin Kline's "Luc Teyssier", in "French Kiss"....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

pamelot : a kiss is still a kiss

You got there first ! I could just see Bogey and "Bergy" in "Casablanca"...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When my wife (girlfriend at the time) first kissed me, she would bite my lip (literally). I though, " What is that?" Never had that kind of kiss before. She tried to be more careful a few more times later, but still did it, or did the short kind of kiss (a security/safe style kiss) until I showed her about kissing. Nowadays, she kisses so much better than before, but I'm part Mexican, Spanish, and Italian, so go figure!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm not a fan of this childish "no kissing in public" nonsense.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't really see why people frown upon these kind of things. Sure I can understand when watching people doing tonsil hockey it can be rather annoying to watch but is that really the point? We're human beings not robots. As Bernie Mac once said before "Express yourself" lol. When I see people showing affection for each other it creates this "cause and effect" or "chain reaction", of course not all these reaction are negative responses, they can be many positive responses. When I see people kiss I get this feeling of love, connection, jealousy, a warm fuzzy feeling, or we can say happiness. But I guess this is all in my perspective since I love anything romance related lol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kissing babies

Never see anyone kissing babies in Japan so Id have to say this is untrue. My wifes family have never kissed our kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's just a kiss away

It's just a kiss away

It's just a kiss away

It's just a kiss away

Kiss away

Kiss away

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This survey seems to say conflicting things. If a kiss is just a kiss, why are the Japanese kissing more people?

I don't understand this sentence. Shouldn't it be "why are the Japanese NOT kissing more people?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My state of kissing in Japan is in a very bad state since I broke up with my girlfriend.

:(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An Example of Japanese kissing <>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGMNuOMHsYk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

KISS AS A LANGUAGE I know really you love me every night kissing me you kill me

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zen student i dont think i'm a statistic indicator for the west and i think i got to kiss a lot more chica's (i suppose that kiss here means french kiss then or at least lingering on the lips) because at 15-16 it was somewhat of a sport when going out(its nice practice also), but when i count the ones whom i would consider 'serious' and with affection i dont think i get more than five or six either (before 20)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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