Japanese Girls Speak Out!
Christmas is on the way and in Japan, the favorite pastime of the ‘season to be jolly’ is usually chasing members of the opposite sex rather than singing Christmas carols or roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Christmas here is all about dating, and if you are single, that means you’ll be making that last-ditch attempt to get Bob from the accounting section to come to your house for dinner, and if you are a couple, you’ll be polishing your candelabras in preparation for the most romantic night of the year.
According to the Ministry of Justice’s foreign affairs department, in December last year there was over 45,000 aliens (non-Japanese, not Martians) registered in Fukuoka. And with 1,000 new foreigners registering with Fukuoka Prefectural Office every year, the chances of a Japanese girl meeting a gaijin guy for dinner is improving, statistically at least, every year.
With all this in mind, Fukuoka Now decided it was time to find out what local Japanese women think about these gaijin guys. We conducted a survey of 100 women, the results of which you can see on the following pages, and also arranged for a small group to get together and have a frank discussion about gaijin guys. You can also read testimony from two Japanese women who are currently married to gaijin men.
Whether you’ve had a gaijin boyfriend, you want one, or you wouldn’t touch one with someone else’s ten-foot pole, read on and find out if the women of Fukuoka share your opinion! Check out www.feature.blog-city.com for more information on this hot topic and to have your say.
And our Survey Says…
We thought that a questionnaire of the kind of people we see around us every day would give us an insight into the community we are a part of. We visited a few of the local watering holes in the Oyafuko area and spoke to real people like you to find out what the current consensus is on international relationships.
The results are sometimes surprising, sometimes expected, but always interesting. Presented here is a selection of statistics and some of the more memorable quotes we collected. Please consider this information for entertainment only; it is by no stretch of the imagination a scientific survey! Enjoy!
Have you ever had a gaijin boyfriend?
No – 67%
Yes, currently – 15%
Yes, previously – 18%
If so, which country was he from?
U.S.A. – 38%
U.K. – 16%
Australia – 10%
others – 36%
Others: Canada, Korea, Italy, South Africa, Denmark, Israel, Taiwan…
When you were with your foreign boyfriend, were you thinking about marriage?
Yes – 48%
No – 49%
No recollection – 3%
Those who said ‘no’ cited reasons such as ‘I knew he was leaving the country’ and ‘We both knew it was only temporary.’
Do you want a gaijin boyfriend?
Yes – 44%
No – 11%
I don’t mind – 39%
Nearly 50% would like a foreign boyfriend in the future, or are already going out with a gaijin. For the gaijin out there, that is a pretty promising statistic!
If yes, which nationality?
U.S.A. – 19
U.K. – 18
Germany – 7
France – 6
Korea – 5
Canada – 5
Most people answered America or the United Kingdom. Perhaps it is due to Japan’s exposure to Western media being primarily English and American?
Do you think that children of mixed race are attractive?
Yes – 96%
No – 1%
No preference – 3%
Sex with gaijin guys
Of those with experience, 45% said that sex with a gaijin was different to what they were expecting. These are some of the more interesting comments we received – uncensored!
“He wasn’t as good as I was expecting!”
“Sex is like a sport to them.”
“Japanese guys act like they’re making an AV movie.”
“Foreign men are better at ‘aftercare!'”
“Gaijin men are bigger and stronger!”
“They are sex greedy. He had to stay off work the next day because he was exhausted…”
“He was just loud…”
“He was too good… I totally forgot about Japanese men!”
What are the good points and bad points of gaijin guys?
“I can broaden my horizons by going out with a foreign guy.”
“My second language skills will improve.”
“Gaijin guys are very romantic.”
“They know how to treat a woman!”
“I like the way they are straight-talking and to the point.”
“They are funny!”
“Foreign men seem to be more willing to help with chores.”
Well, from the top two answers, it looks like Japanese girls have their own agenda for dating gaijin guys. And for all the Japanese guys out there reading this, take note! Be funnier, and help out more!
“Communication is an issue.”
“They never have any money! The bills are always split!”
“Sometimes girls who go out with foreign men are considered ‘bimbos’.”
“They can be too straightforwards at times! “
“The cultural and religious differences are just too much sometimes.”
“We can’t reminisce about our childhoods together.”
Communication, particularly when arguing, seems to be a big source of frustration for Japanese women with foreign partners.
What is the difference between Japanese guys and foreign guys?
“Men – especially Kyushu men – are bossy.”
“On a date with a Japanese guy, you ride around in a car. With a gaijin, it’s either walking or by bike!”
One girl emphatically answered: “His looks!”
“Foreign guys are enthusiastic lovers.”
“Japanese guys are better-dressed.”
“Gaijin guys are more opinionated.”
“Gaijin guys have a better sense of humor.”
Want to Know More?
Read more information & leave your comments!
An Evening With…
We got a group of local Fukuoka girls together to discuss the hot topic of gaijin guys, and also to talk about the results of our questionnaire. Read on to discover what they had to say. Guys, prepare yourselves!
A – Positive-chan
B – Negative-chan
C – Undecided-chan
What’s your image of gaijin guys?
A They know how to treat a woman, they are brought up to be courteousﾉ
B But isn’t it just their culture, and not the person, when they are being courteous to you? And don’t forget, Japanese guys can be sweet too.
C My impression of foreign guys is that they are very straight-talking.
A They give us a lot of compliments and they are into the whole romance thing, you know, candles, music – they make us feel like we could fall in love… When a Japanese guy does that stuff it seems weird.
B Japanese woman are crying out for romance! We want to be treated like princesses!
In our survey, 44% of girls either had a gaijin boyfriend or wanted one. What do you think of this?
B I think foreign guys are popular just because they are unique, they have foreign looks. I think in their own country not many girls would look twice at them. Sometimes we call them BHLs – Back Home Losers. You know, Fukuoka is only a small city so I wonder why foreign guys choose to come here. Actually I find it kind of weird when foreign guys are really crazy about Japanese culture.
A I have a gaijin friend who speaks really great Japanese; he even has a Hakata dialect. I think it is cool, and his interest in Japan is very genuine. Besides, I hear that Fukuoka is becoming ‘hot’. There are lots of businesses setting up here and with its reputation as the ‘gateway to Asia’, I’d expect lots of foreigners to come here.
B Great, not just “education specialists” then…
We asked which nationality Japanese girls would like to date. America and Europe were the most popular answers.
A I think black culture is very popular in Fukuoka.
C I’ve always thought that gaijin, especially black guys, look really cool, no matter what they are wearing.
B Ugh, no way. Some of them have no taste at all! I’ve seen them wearing shorts and a polo shirt and sandals in the middle of winter!
C A lot of people answered ‘European’ to that question… It’s interesting because we are talking about Back Home Losers and foreign geeks, but 44% of girls said they either had or wanted a foreign boyfriend. I guess that foreign guys still hold a kind of mysterious allure for some…
The survey indicated that many foreign guys are misers. What do you think?
A They don’t seem to want to spend much money. But they earn a lot, and save up, and travel the world. I think it is good – They are enjoying their lives that way. They seem to enjoy their evenings and weekends off work, unlike Japanese men.
C My sister is dating a gaijin guy and they always go on holiday together to exotic places. It makes me jealous!
B Japanese guys only get short paid vacations. I think that might be the biggest difference between Japanese guys and Western guys – the work ethic. I notice that English teachers always seem to have time off, and enough money…
C Maybe the gaijin guys should start paying for more dates then!
A If a guy is hitting on a girl, no matter what country he is from, he pays for the dinner… “no money, no honey!”
On the subject of sex…
A I only know about European guys, but I find they have a much better approach. They seem to enjoy the foreplay more. They can be much more romantic – they are not just interested in the act itself, but what comes before and after too. They like the music, the candles, talking afterwards… They enjoy it and take their time.
B I find that Japanese guys, especially young guys, are good in bed though. Perhaps it’s because they have books and videos to learn from?
A No – they have the internet!
How do you see Japanese marriages in relation to marriages in other countries?
A Japanese culture and other cultures are different in the way that they think about having a girlfriend or being married. Traditionally in Japan a husband may have someone else who they spend time with, like a hostess in Nakasu, but it is not love. Very rarely do Japanese get divorced – even if the husband has someone else. It is not usually like that in Western countries.
C For Westerners, I think that marriage equals love. So what happens when two people are married but there is no love?
B I suppose they keep trying to make it work…
A No, they know it won’t last so they get divorced.
After your discussion, what are your opinions on foreign guys?
C I suppose I am positive about them and interested in meeting gaijin guys. But I don’t really have any chance to meet them…
B I’m still negative but maybe I haven’t met the right guy. Let’s go and get a ｴ100 beer and find one!
A Japanese, foreign, whatever – to get to know each other is the most important thing. And anyway, if you end up with a ‘weird one’, remember – it makes an interesting addition to your life story!
Wise Wives’ Tales
You’ve read the opinions of some single girls in Fukuoka. What about some of the more experienced women? We spoke to two wives living here with their foreign husbands to get their advice on marriage and the gaijin guy.
Living in Minami-ku
Married: 6 years
Age – Mid-thirties
His nationality: AUS
Q: Who controls the budget in your relationship?
A: We are generally independent in terms of budget. We both pay for what we use. At the moment, I am in charge of all the paperwork and paying the rent. I am on maternity leave now but when our child goes to kindergarten, I will go back to work. Usually in a relationship with a Japanese man, the husband brings in the salary, but I don’t have that situation! I am the bread-winner of the family!
Q: What was it like introducing your husband-to-be to your family?
A: The Japanese are known for being polite. So when I introduced him to my family they were very polite and welcoming; we didn’t meet any strong resistance. But we could both tell that my parents were acting polite rather than being natural and relaxed. This made my husband feel confused as he could sense the disparity between hidden and expressed emotions. My advice is to get your husband speaking Japanese as soon as possible and keep trying to make him a part of the family.
Q: What is your advice to a Japanese woman considering marrying a foreign man?
A: One thing I found out is that when marrying a foreigner a Japanese woman can keep her Japanese surname. And, the wife will be the primary name on the family registration certificate. If you have children, they will also take your Japanese name. If you decide to have children and you would like them to have dual nationality, make sure you prepare for this early and be informed about the process as it is a little complicated.
Living in: Sawara-ku
Married: 16 years
His nationality: SWE
Q: What language do you speak when arguing?
A: We start in English, our common language. But on occasion the fight gets really heated and we usually switch to our native languages, with me shouting and swearing in Japanese and him doing the same in Swedish! We always kiss and make up though…
Q: What kind of role did your husband play when your child was first born?
A: We were in Sweden when the child was born. In Sweden, there is more equality between the sexes. For example, he was able to take ‘paternity leave’ and stay at home to help me with the baby. He had no problem changing diapers and bathing our child… He was very helpful!
Q: What is your advice to a Japanese woman considering marrying a foreign man?
A: One thing you have to remember is that when people get old, they often long for their home. If you are married to a foreign guy you must realise that one of you will end your life in a different country. This is not an issue if you are marrying a Japanese. As for the relationship, I really think the key is to respect your partner’s culture and language, and give him respect. And expect the same!
We hope everyone enjoyed this month’s feature. Yes, we really did interview over 100 women, and we tried to be as scientific and balanced as possible, but please keep in mind that the information here is for entertainment purposes only and does not represent the opinion of Fukuoka Now nor its staff. Next month we’ll run a follow up report. Hang in there – or check our blog now! www.feature.blog-city.com