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Recently, I interviewed a lot of people for my book who had dated or married Japanese women. ‘All right, let’s leave,’ Andre said, and they left.
They wanted to explore the area more, but in order to do that they had to take the ropeway. They joined the queue, even though they were a bit put off by its length. Looking back, that was just one of their numerous miscommunications. The ‘bars’ they talk about are western-style bars which are relatively rare in Japan.Andre’s case was misfortunate because he had a particularly direct communication style and his ex-girlfriend had a particularly indirect communication style. When Charles, a British guy, met her, he immediately liked her. A few days later, Charles sent her a message: ‘Hey, let’s go out again sometime.’ To this, she politely replied, ‘No thanks.’ Her lack of interest wasn’t the only problem. Some of these restaurants are managed by Japanese-Indian couples.James is a British man who is said to have slept with more than 100 Japanese women. She was a rock musician but she dressed very nicely. Charles didn’t speak much Japanese, and she didn’t speak any English at all. (I know this because the Japanese wives tend to be very friendly and often talk to me.) Danuja, a Sri Lankan man who has lived in Japan for 11 years, had two long-term relationships with Japanese girls prior to his current Japanese girlfriend. They became friends first and it took six months for them to start dating.When I asked him what kind of advice he would give to western guys, he said ‘Don’t find them in a bar.’ James remembers meeting a Japanese girl in an Irish pub in Tokyo. He still liked her, so he decided to give it another try. (He says that rock musicians tend to not pay attention to clothes.) She and Charles hit it off well, and they exchanged contact details. In fact, she didn’t have any interest in western culture. He got tickets for a concert of UA, her favourite Japanese artist, and asked her to come. They have now been together for one and a half years.He dated her, but then he found out she had been cheating on him. Everything seemed fine this time, but one day, she suddenly broke up with him. Unlike other musicians, she didn’t listen to American or British music. Danuja seems to like to take time to get to know the girl first before dating her and that seems to work well with some Japanese girls.‘I should’ve known better because I met her in a bar,’ James says. Joshua, a Kenyan man, has mixed experiences of dating in Japan.
He sometimes feels that being an African can be a disadvantage. In a club, he often meets girls who are specifically interested in African-Americans.
When he tells university girls that he is from Kenya, many of them just remark, ‘Is that in Africa? When they learn that Joshua isn’t from the states, they quickly lose interest.
But if you want to leave, let’s leave,’ his girlfriend said.
Often, she would say something she didn’t mean, and Andre took her literally. Some of the women who frequent them are looking specifically for western men and not all of them are looking for a long-term (or honest) relationship.
In Japan, people tend to rely on non-verbal cues more than the literal meaning of messages. There’s nothing wrong with short-term dating and hook-ups.
These non-verbal cues are not obvious to everybody. The problems here are the differences in expectation and the dishonesty. Do Japanese women date Indian and other South Asian guys? The easiest way to confirm this is to visit Indian restaurants in Japan.