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A movie date? No thank you

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"What do you want to do tonight?" Aki is asking me as we stroll down the less-crowded side streets of Shinjuku. We’ve reached that point in our relationship where we dispose of drawing up complicated plans, where meeting once a week becomes a given and the long flow charts of activities for “date night” are replaced by a simple, dispatch-style message of time and place.   When a relationship reaches this sort of limbo, it all too often degrades into nights of wandering aimlessly before inevitably settling for “dinner and drinks.” Aki and I have decided to buck that trend and actively seek out new things to do, but tonight it’s getting late and it’s beginning to look disconcertingly more like another izakaya night.   “There’s this movie I want to see…” Aki offers, sounding hopeful.   The movies. I rub my eyes with thumb and forefinger like a weary politician, trying to find the appropriate words. See, I don’t like movie dates. No, I hate movie dates. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time than a movie date.   I actually like movies. But, I’m also a bit of an energetic guy and I find it difficult to sit still through any event that requires me to be seated for hours at a time. I’m the kind of guy that watches a movie at home in installments. I would also prefer to drop a few bucks on a cold drink, a stick of yakitori and a good conversation over spending nearly 2,000 yen to sit in a darkened room in total silence, shifting uncomfortably like a sugar-addled child.   I also hold a personal belief that the “movie date” is the canary in the coalmine – a surefire indicator that you’ve run out of things to talk about in a relationship, that things have become dull and routine, that you’ve decided to let movie stars entertain you, rather than each other.   Aki names the movie and suggests a theater down the street. I groan and rub my eyes with renewed fervor. She looks at me with concern, as I’m sure at this point it appears to her as if I’m attempting to blind myself. I finally manage, haltingly, “I… don’t really…want to see a movie.”   “But we’ve never done a movie before, and you said this one looks interesting,” she retorts.   I feel as though I’d be a hypocrite to argue with that logic, so I resign myself to my fate and we end up at the movie, my legs bouncing like pistons through all two and a half hours.   Aside from my childlike inability to sit still, a movie in Japan presents a number of other logistical problems as a date choice: Subs or dubs? Japanese movie or Western movie?   I consider myself lucky that the movie in question was at least an American film that I did, admittedly, have some interest in seeing. On the other hand, I might have seriously considered actually blinding myself had the proposed film been Japanese.   I watch Japanese television and find it entertaining for the most part. The variety shows can be funny at times, and the often bubbly tone of the news is a welcome reprieve for me, an American raised on a diet of blood-and-guts headlines and angry pundits shouting at each other.   Movies are another monster. The Japanese film industry is woefully behind American, European and Hong Kong cinema in terms of production value, and I think the subject matter of most Japanese movies fails to appeal to Westerners.   That’s all well and good. I’m not a movie critic. But, I find that the table talk at the ubiquitous post-movie dinner or coffee can suffer from a lack of understanding by one party or the other at a concept a film presents to audiences. In the few times I’ve chosen a movie date in Japan, the conversation afterward seemed stilted – like we were both grasping at straws for something interesting to put forward.   Should this really be surprising? As an American, after all, my culture – especially my pop culture - is very different from that of my Japanese partner. In each country’s film industry, there are visual and audio cues, story tropes, and filming techniques that have accumulated over time to create a sort of cinema language that is unique and requires the audience be educated in it to fully understand the themes of a given film.   It’s natural, then, that trying to explain a concept from a film to someone not versed in your country’s pop culture language can often feel like running in circles. I’d rather just avoid the whole thing and talk about events that actually happened in our respective real lives.   For me personally, all these forces collude to pretty much earn movie-going in Japan a strict ban from my “date choices” list. From now on, I’ll settle for dinner and drinks.   What do you think about movie dates with a Japanese partner? For Japanese readers, do you like going to the movies with your foreign partner? Have you experienced a relationship that fell into a certain routine, like always ending up at an izakaya?

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Lol, all Japanese movies are bad in your eyes? Isn't that a little bit of a generalization? I fail to see how this point has anything to do with Japan and or relationships. You just don't like movie theaters. As for dating in Japan, money makes it easier to have more options. No money means you'll have to think and be more creative and understanding.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Surely if one is dating and in love, being with that person is the most important thing also comprimising. In this world we cannot all get what we want and that is something most of us learn when we become adults.

going to a cinema is not black and white, depends on the film, the atmosphere, the company, many things. I don't go myslef, but then again i am never asked.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I must admit I'm not a big movie goer... and especially for first dates. But after I know the person and if there is a movie that they want to see and I'm interested in it to, I would definitely go.

Movies can create a great discussion if allowed the chance afterwards. For Mike, it seems like he doesn't want to explain the culture behind the movie, which is quite sad. If he were to explain the cultural bits to his friend, I'm sure that she would respond with some interesting cultural points about Japan. I'm sorry, but it seems like Mike should not try to hide his foreign knowledge such as language but instead embrace it at times to get more knowledge of Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've never understood the appeal of movie dates. When I go out with a woman for the first time, I want to start getting to know her immediately instead of having to wait until after the movie. I find that the conversation after a movie - exchanging opinions on the movie - tends to be fake, not even a good ice-breaker. I wouldn't go to see a movie with a date until we were well along into our relationship. Then it becomes a pleasant way to spend time together.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the long flow charts of activities for "date night"

Has Mike ever been in love?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

So you just kinda meet up and kinda hang out together? You kinda want something to do, and when she makes a suggestion, you pooh-hooh it?

Mike, if you don't put anything into a relationship you're not going to get anything out of it.

Don't wait until the two of you are aimlessly wandering the back streets of Shinjuku. Do a bit of planning beforehand, find activities and events you think she might be interested in. It doesn't need a 'flow-chart'. Just invest a bit of time in making her happy. Sounds one-sided, you doing all the work? Well, if you like her you need to give her a bit of encouragement; so far all you've done is knock her suggestions, so it's up to you to come up with a few. If I were Aki, I'd probably think you were pretty hard work. Stating that your relationship is in 'limbo' yet doing nothing to perk it up - you're just wasting her time, and your own.

If you're not into movies, that's fine. Find something that you're both interested in. if you find you don't actually share any interests and you're not all that interested in seeing that she has a good time and enjoys your company .... maybe it's time to get out of limbo, call it quits?

Now, on the topic of movies -

I find that the table talk at the ubiquitous post-movie dinner or coffee can suffer from a lack of understanding by one party or the other at a concept a film presents to audiences ...... As an American, after all, my culture – especially my pop culture - is very different from my Japanese partner.

Now you see, I would see that as a plus. Talking round your mutual lack of understanding, finding out about each other's culture - isn't that what dating is all about? I can't imagine anything more boring than having a conversation about a movie and the other person agreed with every single thing I said and brought nothing new to the conversation. By talking about it with someone who has a different take is a bit like having the chance to see the movie through different eyes.

14 ( +14 / -1 )

I've seen my fair share of Japanese, crappy movies, but the Japanese movie Okuribito (Departures - as most English speakers would know it) is in my top ten of amazing movies. Mr. Mike you seem to enjoy generalizations to an insane degree. You generalize American movies as better productions (when many of them aren't, not every movie looks like Avatar) and Japanese movies are poorly made (without too much work, I just thought of 8 movies that look great). I'm not going to judge the whole of Japanese cinema based on "Machine Girl" and "Hard Revenge Milly". (Older titles I know, but the "exploitation" filming style is still prominent in many new releases)

In your previous article, you were an anthropologist discussing your findings on the Japanese race based on the seconds it took you to read an English text message. This time you're a dating guru offering some sage advice, "Don't go to movies because you might have to talk about them afterwards." (Noticing a recurring them in your articles - I don't want to speak in English, I don't want to go to movies and talk about them. For someone who purports to be a journalist, you spend a lot of time complaining about communicating.)

Perhaps, if you wouldn't find it too much trouble, you could abandon your "field studies" and use your Japanese skills to find things to do...in Japan. Then, when date night rolls around you could tell Aki-san about how you discovered something you think she might like.

A little less negativity is all I'm asking for Mr. Mike...I hope you have an excellent weekend!!!

8 ( +9 / -2 )

Am I to understand that the mere act of choosing to see the occasional movie together somehow reflects negatively on the state of a relationship?

It was a few months into our relationship when my then wife-to-be met me in town for a movie. (She didn't live in the city.) Anyway, we saw several movies during our courtship and really enjoyed them. We both really love movies and, over our 30+ year marriage, we have enjoyed many hundreds from many, many countries.

We don't have know all about the inner workings of Italian culture to enjoy films by Visconti or Fellini, about Spain to appreciate Aldomovar, or about Iran to be moved by the films of Majidi or Kiarostami. (My personal favorite films are by the Japanese director, Yasujiro Ozu.)

I disagree with the sweeping generalization of Japanese films. We recently saw 歩いても、歩いても (English title "Still Walking") and really enjoyed it. The film "Departures" ( おくりびと ) was another one that was really great.

It’s natural, then, that trying to explain a concept from a film to someone not versed in your country’s pop culture language can often feel like running in circles. I’d rather just avoid the whole thing and talk about events that actually happened in our respective real lives.

There's a scene in Annie Hall that reminds me of this statement. The character played by Woody Allen addresses a random couple in the street:

Allen: Here, you look like a happy couple, um, are you?

Female street stranger: Yeah

Allen: How do you account for it?

Female street stranger: Uh, I'm very shallow and empty and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.

Male partner: And I'm exactly the same way.

Allen: I see. Wow. That's very interesting. So you've managed to work out something.

Great films, plays and genuine works art have the ability transport us out of our self-centeredness and into something much larger. A person who lacks the ability to become totally transfixed by a story to point of losing all sense of time is someone who can't get out of themselves. Some folks would call that being shallow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mike, it seems you've gotten the "BIJ syndrome" (Big In Japan), because otherwise I can't explain the total generalization about Japanese movies here. Japanese movies may not have a Hollywood budget, but this certainly doesn't mean that their value is poor. You decide you represent all Westerners all of a sudden, and because you don't like Japanese movies, they don't appeal to the rest of the world, obviously. Actually, movie industry is business like every other business, and they have target audience/consumers. 75% of the overall population has average or below average IQ, while audience with IQ between 110 and 140 is only 25%. Of course, if anyone wants to make money, they will make movie to be appealing to bigger audience, who has more time to hang in the movie theater or to watch DVDs at home. Japanese movies have their "thrash for cash", but they also have many, many good modern movies which represent specific ideas of the Japanese culture. If you had any basic knowledge of the culture of the girls you're dating, you certainly wouldn't brush away Japanese movies in general. I and my husband are international couple too, and we know how important is the mutual cultural understanding and knowledge. Movies provide excellent opportunity for getting aquainted with the culture of your partner, as well as learn their general views on life and society, kind of "If you were in such situation, how would you react?" type discussion.Before getting married we had many movie dates, and we also watched many movies at home. But every time we learned something about each other's culture and our personal views. Because we wanted to. There's no need to be a movie critic to be able to discuss a movie.And yes, if you can't explain a concept in a 2h long movie, how can you explain a concept in a book, a song, a painting , a festival or tradition? How can you explain some cultural aspects which are hard for a Japanese to grasp? But if you don't understand each other's cultures how do you expect this relationship to continue?What do you expect from a relationship with someone from different culture? And finally, I'm active person with many interests and never had an experience of routine dates. If the guy began to look for a routine ("No, I'd like to go to izakaya again"), I just pull away and move on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is definitely the tendency here to enjoy movies rather than analyze them. I realized this very quickly with my gf. I just save my movie discussion for my non-Japanese friends. I do miss it, though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Personally, I love "movie dates." Then again, I really love movies, and the movie theater experience is one that I've enjoyed since childhood. I have a good friend who is Japanese, and for almost five years straight we've been going to see American movies together and we both enjoy it. Granted we're just friends rather than a couple, but she has similar tastes in movies as I do so we always look forward to the new releases and have a good time discussing how good or how bad the movie was afterwards, and what made it so.

This however won't work for everyone of course. If the two people have very different tastes in movies, or activities in general, then movie dates won't work. I love watching American action, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, animated, thriller, slasher, and suspense movies but I wouldn't be able to stand sitting through a romance or drama from any country. As a result, me and my actual partner (who is Japanese) rarely watch movies together anymore, since we have very different tastes in films.

I think the important thing in a relationship, is before one even begins to start dating, is to find out if you have the same interests in activities. And I don't mean just one-time activities. Sure, many people like going to museums once or twice a year or so. But a lot of people wouldn't want to go every weekend. So before even considering if this person would be good for you in a long-term relationship, you should find out what they like doing on a regular basis. What activities do they usually prefer to do each weekend if given the opportunity. To me, dating is just a trial run, like a probation type of thing. It's not until you've run out of the usual date activities (restaurants, movies, amusement parks, museums, beaches, parks, etc.) that you start to find what a person's real routine is. And if your usual free-time routine doesn't match your partners (or at least you or your partner don't want to bend to match the other person's routine) then problems will arise.

The most common complaint I hear from women is that after being with their boyfriend for a while, he never wants to go on dates anymore like they did in the beginning. And a more common complaint I hear from guys is that their girlfriends expect to go somewhere new after several years of being together as if they were still newly dating when the guy would rather just do something more relaxed and casual. These kinds of issues should have been looked at early on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seems Mike has lost his curiosity.

Now, time to think a little bit different. How about a "date" with your children? Sounds strange? Not at all.

For example my wife has asked me to take care of our other 2 kids so that she can go with our oldest son to the movie "cars 2". He was very happy to be able to see this movie and he was talking a lot about the contents afterwards.

2nd example: my wife has asked me to take care of our 2 boys so that she can go with our daughter (her age is in between the 2 boys) for some window shopping, buying clothes and having a cake afterwards. Both really enjoyed.

3rd example: My wife took care of the youngest (2 years old), while I took the 2 older kids to Disneyland. First 100km by car, and then we had to change to train, because the highway was too crowded. Although it was quite hot, both enjoyed being in Disneyland very much. And finally on returning the adventure how to return back to the car at the highway service area parking, as the access gate from the train station was already locked. Luckily a worker from the service area had to put out some umbrella stand, so he re-opened the gate and we were able to use our car for driving back. It was a real adventure, and of course needed some planning. But not everything can be planned and that makes it interesting.

Like Cleo said, do some research before, put in some ideas, and a good result will come out. And, for having fun and a good time, why not think in a way that kids do?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mike I agree with the others.

You are fluent in japanese so no probs doing some research online etc as to what the ladies currently are into. Myself never dated in japan(perse) as I got here married to my J-Wife, but we often went for strolls in areas like Shimokitazawa, Nakano, Kichijoji, Shakuji-Koen, Ikebukuro, etc.

Lots of stuff to do and see there and many places to pop in for a nice meal, browsing goods like Village Vanguard. Also many good life-houses, Clubs.

It don't always have to end at the Izakya(Tengu, etc) maybe surprise her with a stroll and supper at an Italian, etc restaurant you researched beforehand or got recommended by one of her friends. That is another hint ask her friends what she likes, etc.

It was a game between me and my wife, on some dates she took the lead and suggested places, restaurants on others I did.

Recall one day we were in Shimokitazawa and she pulls out 2 Tickers for a life-house that night. Turns out one of her good friends sings for a band that played that night. Turned into a major party afterward as they hadn't seen each other for years and we hung out with the band.

Having a good and successful date takes a bit of prep-work and planning but be also flexible and Plans B & C in case circumstances change.

Just my view.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Theres another girl who wont be returning your mails then Mike :)

16 ( +17 / -1 )

wakatta

9 ( +10 / -1 )

ahh it's mike again, I was reading this wondering who thinks these things.... what this guy ponders way to much in life and is not living life but trying to define it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The BIJ commengt reminded me of an old song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c98qdFQF7sw

I have seen and talked to many people in japan after they spend 3-5yrs here and though they knew it all(aka became experts, some truly were).

Mike listen to the guys above and on other threads, many been here longer than you and got way more experiences. ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have you thought about going to a play, ballet, or some amateur youth production or concert?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mike, while everyone seems to want to pile on you for not being open-minded enough about Japan, I really enjoy the fact that you're so honest in your articles. It may not make you popular, but it definitely prompts a lot of readers to respond. Looking forward to the next one!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I kinda think he is being SELECTIVELY honest, but hey who wud lay it all out there

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Everything is so black and white with you Mike, so cut and dry. My way or the highway. Don't you know that things are more contextual in Japan? Maybe that's why you don't understand the Japanese people, and why you find them to be an 'exotic species'. Alot of Europeans think that way about Americans too to be honest.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's shocking. She was just using him so she could watch a movie. In English too. Ditch her.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Get a portable DVD player, and keep it close to your bed. That'll be a sure double winner.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mike, you remind me of two guys I know. One is about to get divorced, the other never had (and never will) have a girlfriend. There are countless ways you can enjoy dating in Japan, ending up in izakaya everytime just speaks bad of your relationship. Camping, one day trips, skiing in winter, momiji in Fall, museums, exhibitions, theme parks, regular parks, boats, cruising, etc, etc... Like cleo said - do your research and stop complaining.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Yawn!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

And stop using your former students as a dating pool. Disgraceful!

2 ( +11 / -9 )

And stop using your former students as a dating pool. Disgraceful!

LOL!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

While Japan does not make many big international movies like America does. The few Japanese movies that I have seen have been great even though the quality of the film was not as good as hollywood. I do not really care about the quality (to a point, if it is really bad I won't watch it) and mostly focus on the plot of the movie. It is the story line of the movie that makes it interesting, not the quality of the filming.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mike perhaps the lady just wanted to do and go somewhere different. Perhaps she is getting bored with the same old, same old. A compromise may be dinner and a show instead of the cinema.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's the problem with the eikaiwa industry today. All this piece does is promote teacher/student dating. Highly unprofessional and you people shouldn't be offering MIKE advice on his FORMER student. A relationship!? I can't believe we are even having a discussion.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Went to the movies yesterday with my better half. Rather enjoyed it. Shangai is good if anyone is interested in seeing it!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

tmarie, I love going to the movies here with my J-spouse. We used to go about once a month while we were dating. Then the rug-rats came along and we've only been once in about 5 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mike: 20 dates going to where you want to to go, 1 date suggested by your girl and you refuse to go. Relationships are about compromise, it makes me happy to do something my girl likes to do even if it wasn't something I might like. If my girl is happy I am happy, she knows I might not like this and I am doing it because I want to have a fun day, she'll do things she might not like for the same reason.

You can't throw a tantrum when you don't want to do something. Just because you've had more failed relationship that you can count on two hands doesn't make you an expert in relationships, your stories should be written as what not to do in any relationship.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I am with you most of the way on this one, Mike. I mainly only watch movies in the theater about 1% of the time now, and have managed to avoid mixing theaters and dating for the most part. One Japanese girlfriend of mine liked watching schmaltzy dramas, and that was fine: she recommended a program, I'd acquire it and we'd watch it together at home, where it's still possible to interact (on a variety of levels that aren't possible in public - sometimes we would cook for each other, too). I didn't necessarily like the shows to the same degree she did, but I had a good time watching things with her that I would have otherwise never have seen, and vice-versa. Win-win.

As for the quality of Japanese films: I find there is a lot of crud filmed in Japan now, and that saddens me. I would also say the same of Hong Kong and the US: too much focus on mind-numbing visuals with a vacuous formula plots. Part of that is my being old and bitter, no doubt. That said, I have to say that Japan has produced some fantastic directors and world-class cinema, many of my favourites, which makes the truth of its current mediocrity so much more disheartening: "I don't think 'terrible' quite describes the current state of the Japanese film industry. If there was a stronger world I would use it. The studios want huge Hollywood-style hits, but they also want artistic films. The result is a big mediocrity—an industry with no direction." - Takeshi Kitano, 1996

Mike, while everyone seems to want to pile on you for not being open-minded enough about Japan, I really enjoy the fact that you're so honest in your articles. It may not make you popular, but it definitely prompts a lot of readers to respond. Looking forward to the next one!

Seconded. It takes a rather thick skin to put anything personal before the jaded and embittered JT peanut gallery. You're doing fine. Keep it up!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

sit on a park bench, contemplate the moon and compose haiku with your date..............................

or cut the bs and go to love motel. Sure beat going to the movies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There are two types of people - international and local. Mike, you are a "local." Although you live overseas and speak a foreign language, you lack the internationalization necessary to understand foreign cultures, the curiosity to grasp foreign interests, or the motivation to be culturally flexible. It is apparent you bring a "local" mentality to your relationships (along with a dose of attention deficit disorder). My first suggestion is to remember that no matter where your date is from, she is your date -- not a cultural oddity! You need to be more proactive in your dating and prepare enjoyable events for the both of you. Sometimes this means doing things she likes. Second, encourage communication. Movies are adaptations of literature that encourage its audiences to think about a theme. Movies can provide an excellent opportunity to explore various themes with your partner. It also reveals strongly held beliefs and attitudes you may want to know as your relationship develops. Movies in any country can be powerful adaptations of great literature - and Japan has a list of powerful films that explore thought-provoking themes. So your statement that Japanese films do not appeal to westerners is unfounded. Finally, learn how to explain your own culture to others. As an ambassador to your own country, you need to be able, ready, and willing to explain difficult ideas not easily understood by other cultures. If you are unable or unwilling to articulate these ideas to your date, then you are best off dating another "local" from your own country. There are other "internationally minded" people who can give Aki-san the flexibility and communication exchange she deserves.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You like Japanese TV but don't like Japanese movies? That's pretty much the exact opposite of anyone else. There's tons of good Japanese movies to appeal to domestic and foreign audiences but TV? Eek.

There's good and bad Japanese movies to be sure but I think the hit-to-miss ratio is higher than Hollywood, for sure...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mike seems to view his Japanese aquaintances simply as culture vessels rather than people like himself. God forbid these girls (or guys) act up and deviate from the expected pattern of what he believes Japanese people to be like, an 'exotic species'.

There's good and bad Japanese movies to be sure but I think the hit-to-miss ratio is higher than Hollywood, for sure...

I agree. Also I'd rather watch a shitty Japanese movie than an American one anyday, because I can usually gain and pick up even a small insight into a culture I'm interested in, a culture which is the opposite in so many ways to the country where I was raised. I would have thought you would have been eager to watch Japanese movies Mike, since you claim to be so interested in the Japan. The differences in the ''visual and audio cues, story tropes, and filming techniques'' should have served as a new opportunity to find out more and not as an obstacle.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Dinner and a movie is the safest type of date one can go on. It can either be an excuse to not talk, or another way to get close to someone (particularly if they or you are shy) by holding hands or putting your arm around a girl when you are sitting in a dark movie theater together.

Also, it is fun to surprise a date with a picnic or a bottle of something good or fun like champagne, wine or beer, in a movie theatre. I have done this a number of times, and always with good results and good feelings!

If you make going to a movie a way to share an experience, and maybe act closer in a new way, it can be a great time!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mike, my personal experiences with Japanese movies have been hit or miss. Some are quite good, like Villain's Wife and "Mezon do Himiko" but a lot of the movies made for the masses include comedian-turned-actors. Don't touch those.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Great post Mike. Really perceptive

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hello readers!

I meant to drop a message earlier but my primary job kind of got in the way.

As always, thanks for the comments! It's great to read everyone's opinions and it's nice to see that they are generally quite diverse.

I do want to say, as I said once or twice concerning my last article, I'm not trying to generalize my experience in Japan with this column. If I use an anecdote, it's just that: An anecdote. A one-shot example of something I experienced here. I'm not saying I loathe movie dates (although I do avoid them), or loathe Japanese movies. I'm just giving a general opinion on something based on the experience in question in order to spark conversation or debate. It does not necessarily reflect my complete, unflappable opinions on the subject. I agree with one reader who said that the enjoyment you get out of a movie date depends on your partner, the movie, the venue, etc. Generally, I hold that philosophy to be true for all aspects of life.

Also, at least one reader suggested I use my language skills to gather opinions from Japanese and western folks about dating culture, and actually, that's exactly what I intend to do! Unfortunately, though, gathering that kind of data from reliable sources takes a bit of time, so due to time constraints, my first few stories are based on personal experience. I hope to eventually begin relying on (informal) survey results, etc. to drive the topics I present, but for a few weeks at least, bear with me!

A little more on topic, I think wnagler1 touched on something I feel pretty strongly about when they said, "[a movie date] can...be an excuse to not talk." This is actually my main issue with movie dates. I WANT to talk to my partner, not just sit still in a darkened room with explosions roaring and handsome actors/actresses spouting one-liners. A lazy afternoon watching Japanese variety shows or the Japanese news with your partner is one thing, but if you're out and about or actually on a date, a movie seems very impersonal. Am I the only one?

-Mike

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

oh, and @yabits,

Okuribito was a wonderful movie! I really enjoyed it. I also like a lot of Takeshi Kitano's earlier films, anything Miyazaki (who doesn't?), as well as a small selection of Beat Takeshi's films. I also liked Caterpillar, but I thought the story was really heavy-handed.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Mike,

I also like a lot of Takeshi Kitano's earlier films... as well as a small selection of Beat Takeshi's films

Um... it's the same person?????

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Umm, do you ever actually "consummate" any of your dates, or is it all intercultural language exchange with a peck on the cheek at the station? When I read stuff like this:

But, I find that the table talk at the ubiquitous post-movie dinner or coffee can suffer from a lack of understanding by one party or the other at a concept a film presents to audiences. In the few times I've chosen a movie date in Japan, the conversation afterward seemed stilted - like we were both grasping at straws for something interesting to put forward.

it makes me imagine your dates thinking something along the lines of "why is this guy trying to dissect the film like a poncy movie buff instead of subtly working in the question 'your place, my place or the place round the corner with the short stay rates?' into the conversation?" Save the film talk for the post-coital glow. Or maybe you "Generation X" dudes tick differently?

Mind you I've never met a Japanese woman who would consider "a lazy afternoon watching Japanese variety shows or the Japanese news with your partner" anything like a fun date, maybe I'm doing my flowcharts wrong? Do I need one of those plastic stencils? Please advise.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mind you I've never met a Japanese woman who would consider "a lazy afternoon watching Japanese variety shows or the Japanese news with your partner" anything like a fun date, maybe I'm doing my flowcharts wrong? Do I need one of those plastic stencils? Please advise.

Haha, so true. Why take your date to the latest Beat Takeshi or Takeshi Kitano film (they're different people you know), when you could just watch NHK at home? And they say romance is dead...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Try catching a Ken Watanabe flick. Most of them are pretty good and as an actor he goes alright.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Women like attention and romance. Sometimes you watch a rubbishy film they like as a compromise. You make them happy by watching some soppy film and later on they might show their gratitude in a more physical way. Mike, take it from me, an old timer, you have a lot to learn. Remember, give and take is the way, well, before the marriage it is at least.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I need to stop reading articles like these.

I figured this might be an article about how movies are losing steam as a date site in Japan, or something like that.

Again, I get a personal article about one person.

Is this suppose to be Japanese news? Or random people's blog.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my comment above, for 'Or maybe you "Generation X" dudes tick differently?' please read 'Or maybe you "Generation Y" dudes tick differently?'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, I trust you. Just digging at the 'culturally liberal “Generation Y” cohort of Americans who seem especially loath to follow the path their parents took in life' special snowflake-ism in his profile. "Generation KY" maybe?

Which reminds me, one of the better dates I had was when we went to see a Western film I kind of wanted to see, but due to an amusing set of translation mix-ups, ended up seeing a Japanese film with a very similar name, which turned out to be quite enjoyable. If memory serves correctly, afterwards followed the ubiquitous sitting-on-a-bench-in-a-park chatting about all kinds of stuff, mainly in English even though I might just admit to speaking a teensy-weensy bit of Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A lazy afternoon watching Japanese variety shows or the Japanese news with your partner is one thing, but if you're out and about or actually on a date, a movie seems very impersonal. Am I the only one?

I've never heard of anyone thinking this, do you find theater, university classes, graduation, presidential speeches the same way? You can't just sit there and enjoy or listen without discussion or chipping in your 2cents? In answer to your question, I believe you are the only one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd agree with Mike here. Surely the whole point of a date is that you're there to enjoy each other's company? Staring straight ahead at a cinema screen with your partner beside you, not opposite you, seems a bizarre way to go. Of course I go to see a film sometimes with the wife, but I wouldn't call that a "date".

When it's football, however, that's a different story.... ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You know, whenever I meet other foreigners in Japan, I am always floored by how conservative, narrow minded and angry many of them are.

It appears the JT readership is no different. Seriously, have you people no shame? You literally have nothing but a few hundred words to go on from this guy and you are literally attacking him personally for having an opinion about freakin' movies.

@the author: You might want to shift away from the dating thing and more towards the culture thing. Apparently your demographic are a bunch of old fogies that represent the "the next time your ball lands in my yard, I'm keeping it" constituent and they appear hostile to any idea that doesn't fit their deeply conservative and narrow worldview.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

This is actually my main issue with movie dates. I WANT to talk to my partner, not just sit still in a darkened room with explosions roaring and handsome actors/actresses spouting one-liners.

I can understand this for the most part, especially if the movie isn't very carefully chosen. However, choosing the right movie can and should lead to the kind of conversations where one can get insights into the other person's core values and personality that might take months to discover by happenstance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@oginome,

I can't speak for the author, but I think he may have made a typo and meant to refer to Takashi Miike. In my opinion, it's an honest mistake. Takashi/Takeshi. "Beat" sounds like a nickname the guy that filmed Ichi the Killer, a film in which the title card is spelled out in semen, might choose for himself.

It's funny that you and your ilk criticize this guy for being a "super gaijin" at the same time that you criticize him for getting small, insignificant cultural details wrong. I can picture you eagerly clicking the refresh button, waiting for some new development in the comments thread, neglecting your daily obligations to add your scathing remarks to an opinion column at the opportune moment. It's very big of you. You must own, like, 100 businesses and get alllll the ladies. I bet your Japanese is perfect, too. Anyway, there are recovery groups for that.

Seriously, the comments here are so hypocritical. You mean to tell me none of you have ever told your date that you dislike something? You just go along with it all the time? You are all very mature and perfect and intelligent, and never lie. I encourage you to go into politics.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@ Human Target. Pointing out a mistake he made doesn't mean we think we're infallible ourselves. I think revealing the Beat/Kitano mistake is fair. Never claimed to be perfect, btw, but I wouldn't place myself at the forefront as an 'expert' of anything, knowing I'm not one, but that's exactly what Mike (or JT) is trying to do here, so therefore the standards placed upon him will be higher.

Seriously, the comments here are so hypocritical. You mean to tell me none of you have ever told your date that you dislike something? You just go along with it all the time? You are all very mature and perfect and intelligent, and never lie. I encourage you to go into politics.

He's not willing to put anything in. They'd never gone to the movies before, but he 'nearly blinded' himself at the thought of going to the cinema, even though Aki was just interested in seeing that one movie, one time. Mike only went because he liked the look of the movie himself. If the movie had been Japanese, he would have outright refused, he says this himself in the article, remember? Compromise are a part of all relationships, romantic or otherwise, but that just showed a complete lack of consideration for Aki. Clearly the conversation isn't up to much in the first place because all they seem to do is walk aimlessly around Shinjuku ending up at the izakaya at the end.

I just hope Aki doesn't start using him for English lessons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@oginome,

yeah, compromise is a part of all relationships. You wouldn't take a person who doesn't drink to a bar, or a person who can't dance to a club. You wouldn't ask a person who doesn't like movies to go to a movie.

This isn't rocket science. For all you know, the authors next article might be about how a Japanese person took him to Yasukuni shrine and lectured him about how Japanese war criminals were heroes and how he went along with it.

You never know, you know why? Because you don't frikkin know the guy. Based on the things you personally have written here in the comments section, you are an infallible demigod who can do no wrong and is always right and is omniscient. Is this true? Somehow, I sincerely doubt it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

yeah, compromise is a part of all relationships. You wouldn't take a person who doesn't drink to a bar, or a person who can't dance to a club. You wouldn't ask a person who doesn't like movies to go to a movie.

Actually, you would. If you care for someone and are interested in seeing what they like, then sometimes you will compromise. It was only ONE TIME remember, Aki wasn't telling him 'let's go to the movies on all of our dates from now on!' I wouldn't put off going to a bar with someone I cared for once or twice even though I don't drink.

This isn't rocket science. For all you know, the authors next article might be about how a Japanese person took him to Yasukuni shrine and lectured him about how Japanese war criminals were heroes and how he went along with it.

But it won't be.

You never know, you know why? Because you don't frikkin know the guy. Based on the things you personally have written here in the comments section, you are an infallible demigod who can do no wrong and is always right and is omniscient. Is this true? Somehow, I sincerely doubt it.

He's putting himself forward here, and there's a comment section, so it follows that people will give their opinion. You claim I don't know the guy and so who am I to judge, but then you don't know me either and still say I come across as ''an infallible demigod who can do no wrong and is always right and is omniscient.'' You're using the same critieria to make judgement that I am. At least be aware of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@oginome,

I'm using you as an example to say that your criteria is flawed. That your argument is fundamentally wrong. You are literally jumping to substantial conclusions about the author based on a few hundred words that he wrote. It's an opinion, not an end-all-be-all philosophy he holds about life. He has said so several times in his comments, actually. How do you jump to the conclusion that he never listens to his date from one singular story he writes about not liking movies?

Like the author, I have experienced "relationship limbo" and I suspect you have, too. You just don't want to admit it because it's not the perfect, utopian image of a relationship we see in the movies. The author isn't even saying that it's a good or a bad thing. He's just saying it's a phenomena that exists. Everyone wants to say, "well, if your relationship is stuck in a rut, do something about it." But what if you are a college student and you don't have the money to, say, go to another country or on vacation somewhere? Let's say your girlfriend's days off are wed/thurs and your days off are sat/sun. Obviously, going out to Kamakura isn't in the cards any time soon, is it?

I'm saying based on your comments you come across as thus, because your comments reflect the "you" that you want others to see. Is it the real you? Obviously not. Maybe JT named the author an expert because he has the cajones to present an unpopular opinion. But who are you to say he's going to hell just because he commits the same sins we all do?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Let's say your girlfriend's days off are wed/thurs and your days off are sat/sun. Obviously, going out to Kamakura isn't in the cards any time soon, is it?

No, but if your meetings are so rare and precious and long-awaited, you'd want to do more than just 'wandering aimlessly' and ending up in the izakaya again for want of anything better to do.

I'm sure we've all experienced 'relationship limbo' - it's the beginning of the end of a relationship that isn't going anywhere. Bottom line is that relationships need to be worked at, but if you're really, really keen on the other person it doesn't feel like work. If you can't think of anything you want to do with that person for the odd afternoon or evening, your prospects of spending a lifetime with them are pretty slim. or Grim.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cleo, you're right. But I don't recall the author ever saying the he refuses to work at relationships. He's only two articles in. You never know what is going to come next.

Also, I didn't say that different days off equals rare and precious and long-awaited dates. The point is, some people, namely those of us that are poor/hold two or more jobs/hold unconventional jobs/have recently graduated/etc. only get to see our significant others on works days. Which, generally speaking, means, on a weeknight from 7 pm to, let's say, 10 or 11 pm. In that case, a movie is a pretty major commitment. Or, on the other hand, just walking around shinjuku holding hands is a precious opportunity. Everyone seems to be acting that dating equals lavish dinners and vacations.

Which goes back to my earlier point that JT readers seem to be really classist.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I'm using you as an example to say that your criteria is flawed. That your argument is fundamentally wrong. You are literally jumping to substantial conclusions about the author based on a few hundred words that he wrote. It's an opinion, not an end-all-be-all philosophy he holds about life. He has said so several times in his comments, actually. How do you jump to the conclusion that he never listens to his date from one singular story he writes about not liking movies?

How is fundamentally wrong? He's written 3 articles now and the same 'qualities' seep through in each of them. You're entitled to your opinion of me, just as I am of Mike. And yes, you can use my comments to base judgement, so go right ahead, I don't mind. I wouldn't be posting here if I didn't accept that was obviously going to happen, just like Mike should have known the same when he posted his 'articles'.

Like the author, I have experienced "relationship limbo" and I suspect you have, too. You just don't want to admit it because it's not the perfect, utopian image of a relationship we see in the movies. The author isn't even saying that it's a good or a bad thing. He's just saying it's a phenomena that exists. Everyone wants to say, "well, if your relationship is stuck in a rut, do something about it." But what if you are a college student and you don't have the money to, say, go to another country or on vacation somewhere? Let's say your girlfriend's days off are wed/thurs and your days off are sat/sun. Obviously, going out to Kamakura isn't in the cards any time soon, is it?

OK, people are time-bound and financially strapped. That's a given. Then why she shoot down the offer of going to a movie if it's something your date wants to do and you're in a limbo anyway! Going to the movies is hardly financial robbery. Poor Aki.

I'm saying based on your comments you come across as thus, because your comments reflect the "you" that you want others to see. Is it the real you? Obviously not. Maybe JT named the author an expert because he has the cajones to present an unpopular opinion. But who are you to say he's going to hell just because he commits the same sins we all do?

Mike's articles also reflect the ''him' he wants us to see. And it's not a pretty picture. 'He has the cajones to present an unpopular opinion?' Sorry, I don't think he's that noble. Not everyone likes the movies That's not the issue. Mike's articles just unwittingly revealed a self-centered creature who's offended by Japanese who speak to him in English, doesn't think he should speak to his friends in English if they haven't spend money like he has on language lessons and has been either rude or inconsiderate to the women who showed up in his writings so far. If my comments in return showed my worst side, well then so be it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Target, walking around holding hands with a special person is a wonderful way to spend a date - if that's what you want and what makes you happy. But Mike talks of it 'degrading' into something 'disconcerting', so I think we can safely assume that he doesn't see it as a precious opportunity. Making the effort to plan a date so that it doesn't degrade into 'limbo' needn't be hard work, and needn't cost lotso cash. People have to eat anyways, so enjoying a meal together is a great way for poor/busy folk to spend time together. The meal doesn't have to be lavish. Dates and vacations are completely separate animals.

I don't recall the author ever saying the he refuses to work at relationships.

Not in so many words. But if you are working at a relationship it doesn't degrade into limbo (unless you really, really aren't well matched in the first place), and getting one email in your native language normally isn't enough to make you worry about complicating the relationship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@oginome,

They certainly do show your worst side. They show you are a self-centered person who is incapable of understanding other people's hardships. God forbid the author want Japanese people to speak to him in their native language, in their own country! gasp! An american using a Japanese person to ensure he can function in their society! Highway robbery!

I would argue the author's articles actually don't represent the him he wants us to see. Wouldn't any normal person in that case write something like, "My date wanted to see a movie. I said, "yes!" and bought her cookies and flowers and told her I want to go shopping for antiques to present to her mother, whom I love like my own mother!" Obviously, 1) you know that's fake, 2) it isn't interesting reading, and 3) it doesn't really lead to any discussion. Just like your comments. Your arguments are shallow and narcissistic and only peripherally related to the topic. Instead, you would rather make personal attacks on a writer who has made an honest attempt to present legitimate questions to his audience and that's about as low as accusing Warren Buffet of being a socialist.

The way I see it, he tells a story we have pretty much all experienced and is the only person on this entire forum with the manhood to say it outright. Every comment here pretty much amounts to, "I am perfect and always work hard in relationships and have never experience a failed relationship! I and my partner are great and understand each other 100% of the time!". Which we all know in our hearts to be complete BS. Whenever someone confronts you with the truth, there is a psychological need put yourself above that person, even if it means ignoring your own shortcomings. That's exactly what is happening here.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

They certainly do show your worst side. They show you are a self-centered person who is incapable of understanding other people's hardships. God forbid the author want Japanese people to speak to him in their native language, in their own country! gasp! An american using a Japanese person to ensure he can function in their society! Highway robbery!

An American who can speak fluent Japanese (by his own admission), and who tells his Japanese friend of TWO YEARS who has never spoken English to him, to not do it again when she finally does, is someone who is beyond self-centered. Mike's 'hardships', OK.

I would argue the author's articles actually don't represent the him he wants us to see. Wouldn't any normal person in that case write something like, "My date wanted to see a movie. I said, "yes!" and bought her cookies and flowers and told her I want to go shopping for antiques to present to her mother, whom I love like my own mother!" Obviously, 1) you know that's fake, 2) it isn't interesting reading, and 3) it doesn't really lead to any discussion. Just like your comments. Your arguments are shallow and narcissistic and only peripherally related to the topic. Instead, you would rather make personal attacks on a writer who has made an honest attempt to present legitimate questions to his audience and that's about as low as accusing Warren Buffet of being a socialist.

Actually I think this is the him he wants us to see. There's a sticky air of self-congratulation in all his articles. He expected people to sympathise with him and take his side, like when he kept ranting on about 'ugly cultural double standards'. 'JT clearly wanted articles for this 'Dating in Japan' thing they're trying to push for whatever reason, and Mike was more than happy to oblige for money, so obviously he has to write about challenges people face in this aspect and not the 'love you like my own mother' crap. He'll still try and present the best 'him' he knows how.

The way I see it, he tells a story we have pretty much all experienced and is the only person on this entire forum with the manhood to say it outright. Every comment here pretty much amounts to, "I am perfect and always work hard in relationships and have never experience a failed relationship! I and my partner are great and understand each other 100% of the time!". Which we all know in our hearts to be complete BS. Whenever someone confronts you with the truth, there is a psychological need put yourself above that person, even if it means ignoring your own shortcomings. That's exactly what is happening here.

Not really. No one here claimed to be perfect like you keep on insisting we did.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I may take issue with some of the things that Mike writes, but I certainly think he's perfectly capable of learning and growing. I have been cursed with a pretty good memory -- and can recall only too well how self-centered I could be when I was in my 20s and 30s.

I will continue to read and enjoy these articles and the comments they inspire. One thing's for sure, however: JT readers sure can be a tough crowd.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have been cursed with a pretty good memory -- and can recall only too well how self-centered I could be when I was in my 20s and 30s.

I'm 22, I know plenty of people my age or younger who aren't noticeably arrogant or self-centered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JT doesn't pay for these articles and they retain the republishing rights, you get what you pay for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Humantarget,

After making a comment of my own and reading the comments of others, the issue is not that Mr. Mike doesn't like going to the movies. I certainly enjoy the freedom of watching a movie at home and being able to get up at any time to eat or...you know. The point of this article besides the seeming disdain for Japanese movies is that Mr. Mike doesn't want to trouble himself to explain the "finer points" of American cinema to his Japanese date.

It’s natural, then, that trying to explain a concept from a film to someone not versed in your country’s pop culture language can often feel like running in circles. I’d rather just avoid the whole thing and talk about events that actually happened in our respective real lives.

Based on the context of the article, and in light of the previous article, Mr. Mike doesn't want to be bothered to do anything that he finds troublesome. Talking about his "pop culture's language" is just too daunting a task. When the sum of Mr. Mike's written experiences are taken together, we can infer the likelihood that he does not want to invest his valuable time into people when it's an inconvenience for him.

However, I'm also beginning to draw another conclusion. Mr. Mike dislikes Japanese movies because of low production values but on the other hand, enjoys Japanese variety. He insists on only speaking Japanese when he can, but has difficulty talking about vague cultural cues and would prefer to talk about real life events.

I'd almost, almost be willing to speculate that Mr. Mike, for all his expensive university training, still is challenged when attempting to express or understand abstract ideas. This would explain his dislike for Japanese movies (complex) and like for variety (simple). Movie plots and cultural cues (complicated) vs. real life experiences (simpler).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Years ago, after comedies but also other genres of film, I would sometimes wait in the lobby of the theater in the Japanese town I then lived in to see which local gaijin , rows ahead or behind me, I had laughed aloud with (to the consternation of my date and the other J-folk in the theater) at certain and obviously untranslatable scenes and quips in the movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty ornery for being in your twenties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Mike

What do you think about movie dates with a Japanese partner? For Japanese readers, do you like going to the movies with your foreign partner? Have you experienced a relationship that fell into a certain routine, like always ending up at an izakaya?

It's YOU again.(笑) So I guess the crap hit the fan and Yuko went down the drain, huh? New date now? Hmm

As a "Japanese" reader, do my partner(actually husband!) have to be foreign? I mean, we are both from here, you know? Next time try to add: "For Japanese couples....blah blah, etc" Being married for 10 years now and have remained loyal to the movies. We used to go to the movies when dating and after getting married and having children, we are STILL going to the movies, at least once every 2 months. We like to watch both local and foreign films. Went to watch Avatar (original & special version) and the local samurai film "13 Assassins" twice... They were excellent, both of them. I think you should open yourself more to possibilities, explore and do more research just like Cleo said. Generalizations are lame, really. Women are WOMEN, regardless of their race or nationality!!! Still, If you really want to date women in my country, get your act together and avoid being some 雑魚

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Juz relax man, variety is the spice of life. Bet you the next story is about a gal who he had dinner with for a number of years, always using chopsticks.... when suddenly she had the NERVE to ask him if he wanted a fork.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@y3chome

Juz relax man, variety is the spice of life. Bet you the next story is about a gal who he had dinner with for a number of years, always using chopsticks.... when suddenly she had the NERVE to ask him if he wanted a fork.

Hahahahaha You post made my night!!! ROFLMAO~~~~

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The comments are good, so at least the editorial descision to let someone talk about dating was good.

Assuming that this article is not just about Mike, and there is some tendency for Japanese to like movie dates more than those from Mike's culture, then....what support is there for this assertion?

I recommend Osamu Kitayama's "Looking Together" ' (2005, "Kyoushiron, Boshizou no Shinrigaku") theory which, from an analysis of Ukiyoe, modern cinema, and even Japanese dating practices (more likely to prefer to sit side by side rather than facing each other) suggests that Japanese have a tendency to enjoy looking at things together.

Professor Osamu encourages his postgraduate trainee psychotherapists to look at things with their patients rather than just geting the patient to talk.

How do people get to know each other? Is it through linguistic discussion or through shared experiences and seeing how others react?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

timtak; What you say is interesting and living in Japan does make you notice this kind of stuff. I don't honsetly think MIke has looked at this matter with much depth though. His articles are very self centered and seem to show a man who needs to learn how to empathise more.

A relationship take time and unplanned evenings may take several courses, but we must always consider what the other person enjoys or wants from the time. I am no expert on J films but have seen some that are very good and have excellent insight into human behaviour. J TV though is dire on almost all fronts, something i never watch anymore.

I am slightly comcerned about people being labelled "experts", possibly another name could be used bacuse MIke's 2 articles show little expertise towards the subject matter.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You've obviously never been to the yearly Asian film festivals in north america. The Japanese movies and award winners. There are serious movies,and all out campy horror splatter movies. I live in nyc,and half of everything I watch is in Japanese.Movies and TV . If you cannot go to a movie once in a while,without thinking its the end of a relationship ,the problem is all yours. And there are tons of things to do besides izakaya. Go bowling,play pool,go to a club for music.Go to an aquarium.There are half a dozen in Tokyo alone. Ride a Ferris wheel.Take a river cruise.Yes,they have cruises .look into it . Go to kichijoji park and feed the Koi. As if dating anywhere else in the world is not the same. Its who you are with ,and what you make of it.If she wants to go to a movie just once,go,and make HER happy. God men are so dense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I understand Japanese modern culture,all too well,and as a western woman,I can tell you,most of us end up disgusted with our male counterparts.Needless to say,their Japanese brothers,have just as many hang ups.It is rather disheartening after a while. Oh well....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am slightly comcerned about people being labelled "experts", possibly another name could be used bacuse MIke's 2 articles show little expertise towards the subject matter.

Would have to agree here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ HumanTarget

How ironic that you criticise people for making assumptions about Mike based on just a few hundred words, yet make all kinds of assumptions yourself about the people you criticise, based on even fewer words.

On the article itself, I agree that going to the cinema isn't the best way to spend a date, which, for me at least, were about finding out more about the girl I was with, and having her find out about me. But seeing as you had no plan for the evening, why the fuss? In fact, the article even mentions that she chose the movie because you had mentioned that you liked it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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