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Things Japanese women love (and hate) about Japanese and foreign guys

83 Comments
By Casey Baseel

With the majority of the foreigners on extended stays in Japan being male, and more Japanese women than men having a strong interest in languages and cultures other than their own, it’s natural that the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

Of course, every society has its attractive and unattractive aspects, which Japanese women revealed by sharing both the things about their foreign boyfriends and husbands that thrilled them, as well as the less pleasant parts of the package deal of a romantic partner.

Given the relatively small foreign population in Japan, one could draw the conclusion that women with a beau from overseas first had to pass on romantic opportunities with their own countrymen. A poll by Japanese website Nico Video produced the following reasons why some Japanese women weren’t interested in Japanese men.

  1. No concept of chivalry – 48.3%
  2. Don’t express affection – 43%
  3. Don’t take initiative – 24.7%
  4. Don’t say nice things about their girlfriends in front of others – 17.6%
  5. Don’t have a good body – 14.5%

It wasn’t all bad news as far as Japanese men were concerned, though. There’s a lot to be said for the comfort and unspoken understanding that can come from a common background, as one woman explained.

“When I get married, I want to quit my job and be a housewife. I think women who have those kinds of domestic ambitions are better off with a Japanese guy, since that pattern’s been the norm for Japanese couples for so long.”

She wasn’t the only one to cite the advantages of home life with a Japanese husband.

“Japanese guys don’t have much to say about how to decorate the house, so most of the time the woman gets to make the decisions. The man usually picks up the tab for the interior decorating, too.”

Foreign men have a lot going against them, too, with the most obvious being the language barrier.

“I’m not a native English speaker like my boyfriend, and it’s frustrating when I can’t put the right nuance on what I’m trying to say.”

“If you forget to put the seat down one more time I will…murder you? Is ‘murder’ the right word? Is ‘slaughter’ better here?”

An international relationship can mean more bickering and extra time needed to settle your differences, as not starting from the same cultural footing means you often have to spend the beginning of a discussion just feeling each other out as to what you both think about the issue.

“My younger sister’s husband is South American, and they often squabble over cultural differences, and really have to make an effort to understand where the other is coming from.”

Even when you’re both willing to compromise, meeting in the middle is a complicated process when you’ve got the Pacific Ocean between you.

And things only get tougher if you and your spouse metamorphose into your stubborn, grumpy grandparents.

“As time goes by, my foreign husband and I argue more and more over food. When we were young, we were both happy to eat just about anything, but as we’ve gotten older our tastes have started reverting back to what we ate as kids. I think this is a big reason why some international marriages break down after many years.”

We feel compelled to point out that in most culinary traditions (Japan’s included), the foods that kids like shouldn’t present that much of a problem for full-grown adults to just make for themselves.

So with these strikes against them, how do foreign guys manage to snag a Japanese girl? For starters, in contrast to the above-mentioned hands-off approach to the home many Japanese men have, Japanese women are often appreciative of the way their foreign beaus and hubbies pitch in around the house.

“My Canadian husband says it’s only natural that he help with the housework.”

“I don’t know if he’s really diligent, or I’m just lazy, but I’m always impressed by how much my British husband does….When we have guests over for dinner, he vacuums, straightens up the house, and even puts out fresh flowers.”

But by far the most common compliment Japanese women paid to their foreign guys was how impressed they were by their romantic streak. In a culture where direct shows of passion are few and far between for many couples, this often crops up at surprising times.

“My boyfriend is from America, and whenever we talk on the phone, he says ‘I love you’ before he hangs up. It always makes me blush.’”

European men also lived up to their reputation of finding poetic ways to express their love, such as the Spanish boyfriend of a Japanese woman who begins every email he sends her with, “To the most beautiful woman in the world.”

And as expected, French men can be counted on to handle the situation with sophistication and flair.

“On my days off, my French boyfriend makes breakfast for me, and wakes me up with a kiss, saying ‘I couldn’t wait to see myself in those beautiful eyes of yours.’”

Of course, at the end of the day (or the beginning of the night, if it’s still too early in the relationship to be sleeping over), the important thing to remember is that you’re dating a person, not their nationality. The best course is to try to adopt all of the good points above, Japanese or foreign, and make sure you don’t let any of the bad ones get out of hand. After all, no one outside of visa fraudsters chooses who to go out with by looking at their passport.

Sources: Naver Matome, Nico Video

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japanese women list their foreign husbands’ odd behaviors -- 4 things to think about before you and your Japanese sweetheart tie the knot -- 10 Ways a Guy Can Instantly Repulse Ladies

© RocketNews24

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the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

Um, not it isn't. There are far more Japanese male foreign female marriages than the reverse.

14 ( +24 / -11 )

Indeed. If my experiences at immigration are anything to go by, I would say the vast majority are Japanese men married to ladies from either Thailand or The Philippines....

19 ( +22 / -3 )

the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

That is not even close to being true. Given that those statistics are so easy to find, I'm baffled that this falsehood made it past the editors.

In 2011, there were 25,934 international marriages in Japan involving a Japanese/non-Japanese pairing. Of that number, 19,022 were between a Japanese husband and non-Japanese wife, and the remaining 6,912 were between a Japanese wife and non-Japanese husband, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

This means, fewer than 27% of Japan's international marriages involved a Japanese woman marrying a foreign man. The source below gives a further breakdown of international marriages by nationality.

Source: "Table 1-37 Number of marriages by nationality of husband and wife , by year " Link: <www.mhlw.go.jp/english/database/db-hh/1-2.html>

21 ( +23 / -2 )

In this modern era marrying a foreigner is a no-brainer because it happens everywhere and anywhere. As long as two people of two different races understand the challenges of the culture divide you should be able to have a enjoyable relationship. Just welcome new ways of thinking, new mores, and new customs, and develop a deeper understanding of your spouse and things beyond your border. You should learn to tolerate the strange and the familiar, experiment with behavior that you never were capable of and sharpen your observation skills, refine your listening skills, and stimulate your curiosity more. Thus take the best of two worlds and share these with your children. But more importantly, you can acquire the gift of laughter and use it to heal wounds and diminish your ignorance of other cultures.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As the comments have already said, the statistics here are just wrong. Nothing but lazy "reporting" which preys on stereotyping.

I've written this before, but the fact that my wife is Japanese and I'm not is the least interesting thing about us. The two of us have often been puzzled by this idea of a culture gap in a marriage. It's never been a problem, nor is it interesting to read about it.

The similarities between us far, far outweigh the differences.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

"European men also lived up to their reputation of finding poetic ways to express their love, such as the Spanish boyfriend of a Japanese woman who begins every email he sends her with, 'To the most beautiful woman in the world.'"

Guess what ladies, good old Fernando is cutting and pasting that line into 6 other emails to the other ones he met last night,,,

24 ( +27 / -5 )

Usually starting off all the "honeymoon period" treatment is pretty much par for the course. Most do it. Its when one of you gets comfortable and starts pushing the buttons for the other to change, nonesense demands, and guilt trips. Thats when everything changes. Leave well enough alone ladies and enjoy what is good. If you want chivalry, romance and compliments dont turn into a freak once the guy is wrapped around the axle. Its a two way street. I lose total interest in doing any of these things when a woman starts to be this way.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As other posters mentioned, the majority of international marriages are between Japanese men and foreign women. Even for Japanese women, not all of the foreign spouses are westerners. I worked in a 400+ employees Tokyo company, as the only western person, I don't have a Japanese wife and except for a few exceptions I don't date Japanese women. The are so many amazing asian ladies(read Chinese/Korean) in Tokyo that Japanese women aren't just any match. Back to my company, one colleague in my department has a Chinese wife. I have also heard of at least two other guys having a foreign wife. One westerner not interested in Japanese women and 3 Japanese guys with foreign wives. Nothing scientific but nevertheless shows by how much this article is off!

When I get married, I want to quit my job and be a housewife. I think women who have those kinds of domestic ambitions are better off with a Japanese guy, since that pattern's been the norm for Japanese couples for so long.

At least they got this right, this is the reason me and one of the few Japanese GFs I had broke up, she just wanted to become a housewife and collect my pay check!

8 ( +9 / -2 )

People, when the sensational media says "foreign", what they really mean is "Caucasians". Those white tall sexy men like in the movies.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

in my short time in japan I got to the CONCLUSION that we foreigner men are just FASHION ACCESSORIES!!!!!!!! everybody want to date you, Japanese girls wants to be seeing with a WESTERNER!!!! and. 95% don't see you as a long term partner, they know you will be gone in 2,3 or so years. We are CHEATER!!!! LOL

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

@kibousha: I look like George Costanza with clown fringe and bald head. Quite fat as well and just under 5'6". Can I still be a charisma man?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Strangerland, quite right. None of these silly articles written for Japanese audiences can get their heads around the idea that a non-Japanese person is not a white American, just like ANA couldn't.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Strangerland: "Um, not it isn't. There are far more Japanese male foreign female marriages than the reverse."

Right you are, and that's part of why fluff pieces like this end up being stereotypical nonsense -- foreign women married to Japanese men by far outnumber foreign men married to (and living in) Japan -- it's just that the foreign women are usually Asian and therefore not 'noticeably' foreign.

As to the list of what the women don't like, I can see the 'bad body' part -- everyone likes eye-candy -- the rest varies from person to person and is not indicative at all of Japanese culture in my opinion. In fact, this sounds like a list of what Japanese women INITIALLY like because they're not used to it. Once the phase wears off, they get tired of the outward affection, etc. etc.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

This article pretty well sums up Japanese women if you put it all together.

What do Japanese girls want? A chivalrous, romantic, man with a good body who says nice things about her in front of others (even though she probably won't say nice things about him or be romantic), who has a great job so that she can quit her job and use his money to run a house.

But to be more specific, she wants to go out with chivalrous, romantic guys who say nice things. But if she gets married those things won't be so important. As long as he's faithful ATM who doesn't impose so much.

Be warned.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@Sensato

The numbers announced by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare would be skewed since the female that had gone into international marriage would most likely nationlized to the husband's nation. I am not saying all but many would follow that path especially if they moved to the husband's nation or married abroad. If they did their records would be removed entirely since they are no longer Japanese nationals.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

the important thing to remember is that you’re dating a person, not their nationality.

Bam. I really liked this line. It's so easy to get caught up and fall back on the crutch of, "We're just different and we can't understand each other!" but... that's lame. If you love someone it doesn't matter that you have cultural differences, I don't think. Love conquers all, right? At least that's what Disney told me.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

reckless -'To the most beautiful woman in the world.'" Guess what ladies, good old Fernando is cutting and pasting that line into 6 other emails to the other ones he met last night,,, ROFL - that is absolutely spot on mate.:)

Just love these gems of an opinion - “When I get married, I want to quit my job and be a housewife. I think women who have those kinds of domestic ambitions are better off with a Japanese guy" and “Japanese guys don’t have much to say about how to decorate the house, so most of the time the woman gets to make the decisions. The man usually picks up the tab for the interior decorating, too.”

Why would anyone want to marry this kind of a lazy princess who just wants to sit at home and use the husband as an ATM is beyond me....the scary bit is there are legions of them around. Choose carefuly gentlemen.

11 ( +13 / -3 )

So it looks like a good plan for a Japanese woman is have an unattached relationship with a foreign man.

Then commit to a Japanese man later.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My Father was French and a real ladies man and knew how to charm them. From an early age he gave me tips on how to behave around women and this advice served me well in the years to come (although it took me until late teens to understand what he meant when he said giving women flowers was a small investment with a big return). And so, if I may modestly say, I too became a bit of a ladies man because of my manners around women. But when I applied the same in Japan it put me at a whole new higher level in women's esteem. And it is not hard. Saying thank you to the wife for something she has done for you. Saying you decide movie/restaurant/activity. Opening doors. Buying flowers for no reason other than to say I appreciate and love you. Saying I love you (in Japanese works best). It's not hard, it's nice to do and makes both parties happy. Perhaps my wife is different from the stereotype Japanese wife you hear about. Could be it's because she is from Kagoshima. But I reckon no matter where your spouse is from: give, and so you shall receive.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

While her comments are harsh, she is just saying what many (most?) Japanese women are thinking. Which supports your final comments there.

To be honest, my wife has never said such words for me - but she doesn't work, and I leave the domestic stuff to her almost entirely. I really don't care how the house is decorated, and she does a pretty good job of it. The whole idea of not sharing the duties, and both contributing to the income, is an antithesis to what we expect of a marriage in the west, but it's got its benefits as well. For me, not having to worry about laundry (which often didn't get done properly when I was single), grocery shopping (I ate a lot of delivery pizza when I was single), paying bills (sometimes got cut off because I'd forget to pay), and raising children (my kids have a full-time parent at home, instead of having them raised by someone else while we are at work), is much preferable to us both working, and having to try to juggle schedules and all these duties together.

I'm not saying all marriages should be one way or the other - some wives would go crazy not being out in the workforce. And some guys go crazy working. But the idea that 'wife wants to be a housewife' = bad wife, isn't as cut and clear as some would like to think. What's important is that the couple knows what the expectations of their partner are, and that they are ok with this for the rest of their life, regardless of what these expectations are. Thinking that the wife must work is just as wrong as thinking that she must stay home. What's important is that both partners are happy with whatever roles they end up in after marriage.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Anecdote time, right?

Japanese friend and Filipina wife. Both nice and both happy. The end.

Last time we were weird,this time we're nice. What will the next in-depth article tell us?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

some statistics:

http://www2.ttcn.ne.jp/honkawa/1190.html

the number of foreign wives is more than double than foreign husbands. But the latter are on slight increase, probably because of recent popularisation of international marriages by dramas and "celebrities"(?), and the former are on decrease (I don't know why, poor economy?)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Still only representsa the opinion of a tiny fraction of Japanese women. My guess in the high 90 percents wouldn't even consider dating a foreigner......

5 ( +5 / -1 )

"I look like George Costanza with clown fringe and bald head. Quite fat as well and just under 5'6". Can I still be a charisma man? "

Absolutely mate, Japan is your oyster, you can roll around with a Japanese hottie on your arm in no time - especially if you tell her she can be a housewife and you,d just love to hand over your paycheck to her every month...lol..this place is a charisma paradise :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Typical shallow and inaccurate article. The bit about paying money ans staying out of the missus' hair kinda true.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“When I get married, I want to quit my job and be a housewife. I think women who have those kinds of domestic ambitions are better off with a Japanese guy, since that pattern’s been the norm for Japanese couples for so long.”

Ambitions?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You cant just make up a fact because you want to write an article about something. The most common pairing is Japanese man and SE Asian woman.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Like Psycho Sensei once told a friend of mine in class, "if you have money you can get any girl, including Japanese... but you'll never have to worry about either one!"

We called her phycho sensei because of her "funny stories" in which she always shared with the class when she was bored! She was also very good about expressing her feelings...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Love the stereotyping of Japanese women here - and recalling the furor over ANA's silly ad. Hmm...

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

On a cultural level, displaying affection is just not something that is commonplace in Japan. This goes for both men & women. Have you ever watched a Japanese drama where the man tries to be "affectionate"? It's cringeworthy to say the least. Same goes for on-screen kisses - awkward! Even parents with their kids don't walk like a 'loving couple', if you know what I mean.

Even small things like holding hands are absent from a lot of couples. I'm not saying there's anything against this, as I'd go as far to say that there's a little too much PDA (public display of affection) where I'm from (Australia).

I think this yearning for affection would also come from Japanese men - foreign women also have a different way of displaying their affection.

Before you jump on the "Yeah, well my Japanese girlfriend..." bandwagon, I know there are some exceptions. I'm just trying to give a balanced argument, here!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sounds like these women are looking for a sugar daddy, not a husband

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

Sounds like these women are looking for a sugar daddy, not a husband

That's the ethnocentric western woman way of looking at it. Most of these women also want to be a good housewife, and maintain a proper household while raising their children, which isn't the same thing as looking for a sugar daddy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wanting to be a housewife... well, first of all, what's wrong with wanting to be a housewife? Good housewives work very hard - raising children while making sure that the house is clean and laundry is done, cooking meals and all that isn't being lazy. I work full time but while I was on maternity leave, I got to hang out with some of the housewives in the neighborhood. I honestly thought that being a full time mom and a full time housewife was a lot more work -little kids calling "mommy mommy", climbing up on the shoulders, pulling arms, wanting to play, wanting attention while making sure to get things done.

So, when someone says "I want to be a housewife" it doesn't always mean that she wants to collect husband's paycheck... it often means that she wants to be home when kids come home from school, wants to take care of the house work so that the husband doesn't need to worry about home and can come home to relax.

I am not saying all the women who say they want to be housewives are like that, but I am just saying that some people hear the word "housewife" and automatically think they are just hanging out being lazy and collecting paycheck... well, it doesn't work that way!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is just a rehash of previous articles, for example this line:

“On my days off, my French boyfriend makes breakfast for me, and wakes me up with a kiss, saying ‘I couldn’t wait to see myself in those beautiful eyes of yours.’”

That is from other articles that JapanToday has published on this website.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

European men also lived up to their reputation of finding poetic ways to express their love, such as the Spanish boyfriend of a Japanese woman who begins every email he sends her with, “To the most beautiful woman in the world.”

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“On my days off, my French boyfriend makes breakfast for me, and wakes me up with a kiss, saying ‘I couldn’t wait to see myself in those beautiful eyes of yours.’”

Hee hee!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My (Japanese) husband has just gone out the door to work. I stood by the door and said "Sooo?" He said "What?" I said "Dont you want to see yourself lost in these beautiful eyes of mine?" He said "Huh? What the f*** are you talking about? Move - Ive got to go!"

Yeah - Fernando and Olivier may be talking out of their butts. But at least they are talking.... :( !

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I always thought because the Japanese/Asian women believe they could get a blond hair blue eyes kids while in reality they will not unless they also carry that hidden gene. The skin and hair colors are lighter. The facial and body sculptures are also different, but you can still tell they are neither. Just like my sons, niece and nephew.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandJAN. 22, 2014 - 08:20AM JST the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

>Um, not it isn't. There are far more Japanese male foreign female marriages than the reverse.

Oh, not even close. It's on the order of 5-to-1 foreign husband to Japanese wife vs. Japanese husband with a foreign (meaning N. American, Australian or Western European) wife.

As someone up thread mentioned, the statistic is about even if you figure Asian wife (which share pretty much the same cultural norms within marriage) with Japanese husband. Furthermore, how many of the "Chinese" and "Korean" husbands were actually Japanese of Chinese or Korean ancestry?

But otherwise, what would a N. American, Australian or Western European woman want with the typical backward, chauvinistic mamma's boy that is the Japanese male?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"Oh, not even close. It's on the order of 5-to-1 foreign husband to Japanese wife vs. Japanese husband with a foreign (meaning N. American, Australian or Western European) wife."

Why does foreign for you only mean North American, Australian, or Western European? Are you under the impression that Chinese, Koreans, Thais, and Filipinos aren't really foreign in Japan? Well, please tell that to older Japanese couples who have a daughter in-law from one of those countries. They'll be surprised to hear that.

"But otherwise, what would a N. American, Australian or Western European woman want with the typical backward, chauvinistic mamma's boy that is the Japanese male?"

Oh brother, where are you getting these assumptions from? Cue the Western (i.e. white) females married to Japanese men who read this....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anecdotes do not equal data, and as other posters have shown Japanese data available shows it's mostly Japanese men and foreign wives. It's interesting to see here in publication the perpetuation of institutional stereotypes while Japanese themselves do not. Reminds me there is a Japan that no one sees, but lives.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland

What's important is that the couple knows what the expectations of their partner are, and that they are ok with this for the rest of their life, regardless of what these expectations are. Thinking that the wife must work is just as wrong as thinking that she must stay home. What's important is that both partners are happy with whatever roles they end up in after marriage.

Agreed, good comment. This comes back to getting to know your (potential) partner, communicating about expectations, ambitions, values and finding a mutually agreed balance that suits you both best.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Marriage is mainly about culture, race, etc. only if you choose to make them the focal point. I married a woman who happens to be Japanese. I never once said 'Wow, I'm marrying someone who isn't from the same group as I am.' She may have seen the non-Japanese aspect but it played absolutely zero role in my mind. It's more about two people working to have a successful union and it can be difficult no matter what the circumstances.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland

the idea that 'wife wants to be a housewife' = bad wife, isn't as cut and clear as some would like to think.

Spot on, my friend. Excellent post.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it often means that she wants to be home when kids come home from school, wants to take care of the house work so that the husband doesn't need to worry about home and can come home to relax

In that case I don't need a husband, I need a wife.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

AKBfan

Still only representsa the opinion of a tiny fraction of Japanese women. My guess in the high 90 percents wouldn't even consider dating a foreigner......

This is probably true. At the same time, we foreigners are an even tinier fraction of the population, so the odds are still pretty good. At least anecdotally speaking, there never seems to be any issue finding Japanese people interested in meeting us foreigners, so....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't understand the "Don't have a good body" part... Most Japanese guys I know still have a "six-pack" into their late 30's, but most North American friends I know at the same age have a pretty proud beer gut.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“On my days off, my French boyfriend makes breakfast for me, and wakes me up with a kiss, saying ‘I couldn’t wait to see myself in those beautiful eyes of yours.’”

Narcissist!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's on the order of 5-to-1 foreign husband to Japanese wife vs. Japanese husband with a foreign (meaning N. American, Australian or Western European) wife.

I think you need to dig out a dictionary. Foreign means anyone not from the local country. The world is a lot bigger than N. America, Australia and Western Europe. You've left out entire continents.

I don't understand the "Don't have a good body" part... Most Japanese guys I know still have a "six-pack" into their late 30's, but most North American friends I know at the same age have a pretty proud beer gut.

Sadly true. But the quote in mind was likely speaking of the stereotype, not the reality. Think Prince Charming.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dear god, I could never marry a woman who's plan is to quit her job the instant we get married and to devote her life to housework..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

“If you forget to put the seat down one more time I will…murder you? Is ‘murder’ the right word? Is ‘slaughter’ better here?” That's so cute! Lol! Wish they made an itemized list for us foreign guys like they did for the Japanese fellas.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

GOOD BODY ? ? That's just so funny. So, would you like the obese American, or perhaps the hairy Englishman ?

Sometimes my wife asks me why I don't have a body like Brad Pitt.....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Dear god, I could never marry a woman who's plan is to quit her job the instant we get married and to devote her life to housework..

So you shouldn't. But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with a woman who wants to do so.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Dear god, I could never marry a woman who's plan is to quit her job the instant we get married and to devote her life to housework..

I'm puzzled by this, too. Housework does not take eight hours a day, not in this day and age. I should know. What puzzles me most is when housewives spend a couple of hours in the morning pushing a few buttons on the washing and dishwashing machines, and waving a feather duster around, and then spend the afternoon in the gym doing fitness classes (paid for by ... ?). Is there something wrong with this picture?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What puzzles me most is when housewives spend a couple of hours in the morning pushing a few buttons on the washing and dishwashing machines, and waving a feather duster around, and then spend the afternoon in the gym doing fitness classes (paid for by ... ?). Is there something wrong with this picture?

If husband and wife both agree that's the way things should be, there is nothing wrong with the picture at all. If the husband resents being the only earner, if the wife resents not having an income of her own, etc., etc., then there will likely be friction within the marriage, but that is no one's business except the people concerned.

Where something does go wrong with the picture is when a childless couple are affluent enough to choose to have one of them stay at home and are then given benefits by the state in the form of free pension, free health care, reduced tax burden etc., paid for out of the taxes and contributions of other people, including people who might like to enjoy that lifestyle, or would like to stay at home to look after their own kids, but cannot because of the need to work for financial reasons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So you shouldn't. But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with a woman who wants to do so.

I'm just stating my opinion, never mentioned anything about it being wrong? But yeah, no way in hell would I ever. Not even if she has a part-time job. Completely ridiculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People, when the sensational media says "foreign", what they really mean is "Caucasians". Those white tall sexy men like in the movies.

Exactly, as opposed to a mail-order Fillipina bride married to a farmer in inaka.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tahoochi -Do any of those 'six-pack' sporting men have anything resembling chest muscles? A 'good body' is usually about overall definition not simply a flat, (probably) tone-less stomach.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If husband and wife both agree that's the way things should be, there is nothing wrong with the picture at all.

I can't agree. Yes, there is something wrong with the picture if a middle-class housewife is successfully outsourcing the care and education of her kids to the state, and avoiding taking care of her elders in the same way. In fact, the average middle-class housewife is doing very little except enjoying life on everybody else's dime. If she does work at a casual job (which is remarkably easy to pick up, and equally easy to drop) it's because she wants more personal spending money than anything else. Taking care of small children does take a lot of work, but it's only for a few short years. Ditto the care and feeding of elderly parents (although almost nobody actually does this nowadays). I know of which I speak, through my job I'm acquainted with dozens, if not hundreds, of middle-class, middle-aged women who are in this actual situation. Refusing to breed? Refusing to work/pay taxes? Refusing to take care of their elders? As far as I'm concerned, the lazy housewives of Japan are contributing greatly to its downfall.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

there is something wrong with the picture if a middle-class housewife is successfully outsourcing the care and education of her kids to the state, and avoiding taking care of her elders in the same way. In fact, the average middle-class housewife is doing very little except enjoying life on everybody else's dime

Now you're adding in extras. I specified a childless couple, and pointed out that giving such a couple state benefits is where the picture goes wrong. As long as she's enjoying herself on her husband's dime, there's no problem. It's when she starts taking our money that the problems arise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I specified a childless couple,

Fair enough, but even most "child-full" couples in Japan only have one or two kids, these days. Raising them is most certainly not a life-long affair. Women, especially well-educated ones (which pretty much applies to everyone, no?), have no excuse for resting on their laurels and expecting to be taken care of for the rest of their lives in exchange for a few years of child-rearing.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Raising them is most certainly not a life-long affair.

How many kids have you got? :-)

Women, especially well-educated ones (which pretty much applies to everyone, no?), have no excuse for resting on their laurels and expecting to be taken care of for the rest of their lives in exchange for a few years of child-rearing

Whether they're well educated or not, if she and her husband want her to be at home, then that's their business. Just don't expect me (and you) to pay for her free pension, health care and what have you, while her hubby gets tax benefits on account of being able to afford to keep a live-in housekeeper. If she can afford not to work, she can afford to pay her share. Once that's sorted, what she does in her spare time is her own affair.

I wonder how many afternoon gyms, culture clubs, lunch restaurants, language schools would go under if the lazy non-working housewives all got jobs?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How many kids have you got? :-)

I meant the messy, hands-on, sleep-deprived years where you go about with unbrushed hair, dreaming about being able to finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold ... it's only a few years, not actually that long, given the typical lifespan (at least, I hope not).

I wonder how many afternoon gyms, culture clubs, lunch restaurants, language schools would go under if the lazy non-working housewives all got jobs?

Most of those businesses seem to be flash-in-the-pan operations, anyway. What I would like to ask is, how much Japan would benefit if the women of this country actually pulled their socks up. The whole world would change!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I meant the messy, hands-on, sleep-deprived years where you go about with unbrushed hair, dreaming about being able to finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold

So... as soon as she gets her hair combed and drinks her coffee, her child-raising days are over? Funny.

Shoes. mile. walk. :-)

Most of those businesses seem to be flash-in-the-pan operations, anyway.

Whether they're flash-in-the-pan or not isn't really important; if one closes down, another one will open down the street. While they're operating they provide employment for lots of folk who would be out of a job if the pampered housewives all got themselves 9-to-5s.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

While they're operating they provide employment for lots of folk who would be out of a job if the pampered housewives all got themselves 9-to-5s.

And if those pampered housewives got jobs? And hired other people to help raise their kids and clean their homes? And actually paid taxes, like normal working folk? Well, that would be providing employment too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And if those pampered housewives got jobs?

The gym trainers, calligraphy instructors and English teachers would be out of work.

And hired other people to help raise their kids and clean their homes?

What if they want to raise their own kids? Why should they do something they don't want to do so that they can pay someone else to do what they do want to do?

And actually paid taxes, like normal working folk?

If they want to stay at home, their normal working hubbies who are earning enough to keep them there should pay their share instead of getting tax benefits. (How does paying taxes create employment?)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Fair enough, but even most "child-full" couples in Japan only have one or two kids, these days. Raising them is most certainly not a life-long affair. Women, especially well-educated ones (which pretty much applies to everyone, no?), have no excuse for resting on their laurels and expecting to be taken care of for the rest of their lives in exchange for a few years of child-rearing.

You are making many assumptions here, you don't know what means to raise children, since you think it's only a couple of years of sleep deprivation, messy hair and so on.. every child is different and although the "messy years" are 1-to 3 you never stop being a mom, you have to take care of raising them, teaching values, see their nutrition and education (and if you think that that part is solved by state education you are thinking wrong, education starts at home, with discipline and good manners), My sister has two children and it was never easy for her, she didn't long for housework but the children, especially the little one (2 years old) requires all her attention and she barely can keep the housework done, additionally, she has to keep tabs on the older one (12 years old) because he is a pre-teen. Luckily, my brother-in-law helps her around the house.

My brother, who is a widower, has a Philippine girlfriend now, and even though my brother is very open minded, he longs for a wife who would stay at home happily and take care of him (the previous one was completely the opposite) and this girl love him so much that even though she is well educated, she does take care of the household, laundry, ironing, cooking, etc. and works part-time.

And Never underestimate the work of a house!!!, it is really hard work and not all the women are up to it, you don't do proper household chores in two hours, it at least takes you all morning to clean, laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. I don't like people who thinks that housework is a poor choice for a woman, I was never able to do it and I respect those who do, like my sister and my mother, so lay off.

As for the article, it is clearly biased towards Japanese married to western spouse, they said foreign, but the article means across the pacific ocean, US, SouthAmerica and Europe which may be true that you'll find more Japanese ladies married to a westerner than a Japanese guy married to a westerner girl.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

meant the messy, hands-on, sleep-deprived years where you go about with unbrushed hair, dreaming about being able to finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold

if you have just 1 child, maybe after a few years you probably get to sleep... but what if you have another child? I have 3 kids.. 4, 10 and 12. Pretty much the past 12 years I've been very occupied with the kids (and I work full time outside of home). I sometimes feel bad that I am not home when my oldest comes home.. I sometimes feel bad when I have to work late and pick up my youngest from daycare late.. It is not about being a housewife but it is about being there right by your children.

Being home with children isn't being lazy.. it does so much good to the children.. just being there and listen to them and watch them.. being able to actually welcome them home when they come home from school. I know some housewives who decided to stay home and become housewives because their moms worked when they were growing up and they wished their moms to be home.. I also know some husbands who want their wives to be home because they had working moms and wanted their children to have more time with their mom.

don't judge housewives based on your assumption.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Didn't mention anything about farting out loud.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm puzzled by this, too. Housework does not take eight hours a day, not in this day and age. I should know. What puzzles me most is when housewives spend a couple of hours in the morning pushing a few buttons on the washing and dishwashing machines, and waving a feather duster around, and then spend the afternoon in the gym doing fitness classes (paid for by ... ?). Is there something wrong with this picture?

My wife gets up at 7am, and makes our kids' bentos, and then my breakfast. She wakes me up at 8, then starts making the breakfast for the kids, who get up at 8:15. She hustles them out the door at 9, at which she finally makes her own breakfast. Then she makes my bento, and starts doing laundry, and cleaning. By the times she's done all that, it's 11:30. She has until 1:30, which she'll usually wash the floor, clean the oven, or do one of the other million chores that keepign a proper houshold involves. Then she's got to go pick the kids up. By the time she gets back from that, it's 2:30 or 3:00. She gets a little while to relax, then she usually goes shopping, then cooks their dinner. By the time they finish eating, it's 6ish, and I'm getting home. She makes our dinner, then cleans up while I take care of the kids' baths. She puts them to bed, and it's 9:00 at least. Then she wakes up and does it again... every single day.

Yeah, maybe she doesn't work 8 full hours a day, but she has work to that takes the whole day, every day.

I used to say the same thing - it doesn't take a whole day to do housework. This is when I was a bachelor, willing to do all my laundry on one day of the week, and let the dishes pile up for 3-4 days before I got to them. Then I saw how much work goes into actually keeping a house proper.

But for me, the main point is that she is spending time with our kids every day, raising them with our values. The kids aren't at a hoikuen for long hours being raised by someone else from morning to night every day, they are being raised by one of their own parents. There is enough value there for me to not want my wife to work, even if she did end up sitting around for half the day, which she definitely does not.

Fair enough, but even most "child-full" couples in Japan only have one or two kids, these days. Raising them is most certainly not a life-long affair.

I'd say many/most Japanese women do go back to work after their children reach a certain age. They just can't get full-time work, because most companies aren't willing to hire them as full-time workers. But look at all the middle-aged women you see working at supermarkets, convenience stores, sentos, and/or wherever. It's not like all these women are childless.

And if those pampered housewives got jobs? And hired other people to help raise their kids and clean their homes?

Why would you ever want someone else to raise your kids if you can afford to do it yourself? I wish I had enough money that I didn't have to work either, so my wife and I could raise the kids together. I only work out of necessity, and I wouldn't want my wife to work unless it was necessary. Or vice versa - I'd be fine with staying home while she worked, although I don't think I'd do nearly as good a job as she does. And she doesn't have the same earning power that I do.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have a Japanese boyfriend.A t first it was difficult for us to adjust our different cultures but at the end little by little he was able to understand ,,in fact he is getting baptized to Catholic which I really appreciate.In short, having relationships with different cultures depend between you and your partner on how you are going to understand each other

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

if you think that that part is solved by state education you are thinking wrong, education starts at home, with discipline and good manners

don't judge housewives based on your assumption

I work with children, and quite a few of them are in fact lacking in discipline and good manners ... and guess what, the majority of their mothers are housewives.

Why would you ever want someone else to raise your kids if you can afford to do it yourself?

Will somebody please do that?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

StrangerlandJAN. 24, 2014 - 01:36AM JST

My wife gets up at 7am, and makes our kids' bentos, and then my breakfast. She wakes me up at 8, . . .

8am!? Lazy sod.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A t first it was difficult for us to adjust our different cultures but at the end little by little he was able to understand

Were you also able to understand, or is he making all the running?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

8am!? Lazy sod.

I'd sleep until 10 if I wasn't so busy!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd sleep until 10 if I wasn't so busy!

Or you could get up at nine and give the wife a bit of a hand. :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The kids aren't at a hoikuen for long hours being raised by someone else from morning to night every day, they are being raised by one of their own parents.

Slightly confused about this point, silly me! At what age is it suddenly okay for children to be exposed to other people's values? Age of three? Age of six (which is when most kids start school)? And what difference does it make either way, unless you are planning to homeschool and take complete control of their educations and social lives until their teens? Like it or not, it is an inescapable fact that your children are going to be exposed to nasty "other people and their values" at some stage. If you really and truly are living in a situation in which you are surrounded by people who you don't trust with your children ... then I'm sorry, you messed up.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Or you could get up at nine and give the wife a bit of a hand. :-)

Only if she comes and cleans my office :p

Slightly confused about this point, silly me! At what age is it suddenly okay for children to be exposed to other people's values? Age of three? Age of six (which is when most kids start school)? And what difference does it make either way, unless you are planning to homeschool and take complete control of their educations and social lives until their teens?

My kids both started kindergarten at 3, so lets go with that age.

But when they finish kindergarten at 2pm, they go home with their mom, and spend half the day with her, until I come home and spend the evening with them.

If we were both working, they would be at hoikuen for most of the day.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing hoikuen, on the contrary I think it's an important service. But, I don't understand why anyone would choose that route if they had the circumstances to be able to spend the time with their children, instead of having someone else do it. I'd put my kids in hoikuen if I needed to, and I'd be happy with the service they generally provide, but I wouldn't do it unless I needed to.

Like it or not, it is an inescapable fact that your children are going to be exposed to nasty "other people and their values" at some stage.

I'm ok with that. In fact, I think it's important that they be exposed to uncomfortable people and uncomfortable situations, so that we can discuss them after the fact, teaching my children how to figure out how to deal with these situations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

teaching my children how to figure out how to deal with these situations.

I like that way you put that, that's actually pretty cool. Not "how to deal with these situations" but "how to figure out how to deal with these situations." It's an important distinction, one that's lost on most Japanese (hardly surprising, considering the education system).

It's not necessarily only parents who can impart this kind of wisdom, though.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's not necessarily only parents who can impart this kind of wisdom, though.

I agree, but:

one that's lost on most Japanese (hardly surprising, considering the education system)

This is why I'd prefer it's my wife and myself spending time with our kids over someone else.

But thanks for the comments :D

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Cleo

What if they want to raise their own kids? Why should they do something they don't want to do so that they can pay someone else to do what they do want to do?

Well said! I couldn't agree more with this statement. But it's understandable that there are some who see it the other way: why not work at a job she loves if she can find a nurturing daycare/nanny to watch over her kids. To each their own.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

To say that nationality and culture is what shapes a man/woman's behavior would be short-sighted of the individual's true nature (upbringing). If you want to have a successful relationship with anyone be it foreign or of the same "nationality", date their parents and friends first. Find out what their favorite romance flicks are. Or if they are into romance flicks. There's a saying "Only Fools Rush In".

I find the "statistic" that more japanese men marry foreign women quite surprising, but perhaps this is because this number is of couples in Japan? Most of the interracial couples involving a Japanese that I know of or am acquainted with usually is an American man and Japanese woman (greencard purposes?). But you also may find that the "type" of American man who marries a foreign woman isn't your typical macho American with ATVs and BBQ trailers. Really, men come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. To attribute kindness/thoughtfulness to a nationality/culture is a convenient way for people to fault others.

My wife cooks, does the dishes, screws in lightbulbs, records all receipts etc. She actually isn't that romantic unless its one of those special designated days like V-Day or X-Mas. I on the other hand would rather be romantic all the time and don't need a special day to show her that she's special. Some women are suspicious of romantic men as well, wondering if they are like that with all women, or if they are trying to make up for some infidelity. The point is, be straight, honest, and yourself, and stick with the person who likes you that way. It has nothing to do with being Japanese or foreign. My wife is my queen and Cleopatra - I'll never let her get on her hands and knees to scrub floors or clean toilets ( I hated the sight of my mother cleaning up after my brothers and I). Maybe that's why she picked me over the other japanese guy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

To say that nationality and culture is what shapes a man/woman's behavior would be short-sighted of the individual's true nature (upbringing).

And to ignore their culture (nationality is irrelevant) would be short-sighted of the individual's cultural lens. People can have different cultures even when they are the same nationality, growing up in the same country. A South Indian American is going to grow up with a different cultural lens than white West Virginian who grows up in the hills. Both of their cultures will influence their way of thinking.

I find the "statistic" that more japanese men marry foreign women quite surprising, but perhaps this is because this number is of couples in Japan?

The statistic is for marriages in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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