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American woman/ Japanese man

kinjo

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It seems common to me to see Western men falling in love with and marrying Asian women. I have never (to my knowledge) seen it the other way around. I am an American woman who is engaged to a man from Tokyo. I met him online and fell in love with him the second that I saw his picture. We later talked, and have since met. I am to go to Japan in a few weeks, and I am really excited. My parents are both deceased, so there is no problem with him requesting permission to marry me. My sister is skeptical. My niece is excited for me. Everybody else just plain doesn't understand. Before I met my fiance, I had practically given up on men. American men did not treat me very well. They lacked comittment, understanding and were more concerned with the ten pounds extra on my body than what was in my head or in my heart. That was no so when I met my fiance. Interestingly enough, I am five feet tall, so he was still taller than me--a real concern with a lot of western women.

My main question is this: We are undecided if he should move to the US or I to Japan. I may be able to get an English teaching job, but I have a house here in the US. His apartment in Tokyo is very small. I feel that he would be able to get a job here, but he is very frightened. It would be a different culture and language for whichever one of us made the change. I am really sensitive to his fears of being put into an different environment. I am currently learning the Japanese language. He already speaks English. Do you think that it would be better for him to move or for me? Which one of us would have better luck seeking employment and making the necessary transition?

Also, do you recommend getting married in the US or Japan? I was told that if I were to take the paperwork to the US consulate in Tokyo, it would take half the time. If he were to come here on a fiance visa, he would have three months to do some sightseeing, get to know me better and line up employment. I have some Japanese contacts that would be willing to assist him.

My preference, actually, is for him to come here for about five to ten years, invest in yen, sell my home and retire to Japan but it is a mutual decision.😊 Doesn't this "smiley" look like Qoo?
 

Himura

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US woman and JAP man?? -Hey, why not? I would move to Japan without any doubts.... :clap:
 

kirei_na_me

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Hello manekineko2! I'm married to a Japanese man and have been for 6 years now.

As for my situation, I met my husband at work. He came here from Aichi prefecture back in '95 with his company to set up shop here. We married and now have 3 children and we decided to settle here in the US, and will probably never go to Japan to live, as he's a lot happier here.

Which part of the country are you in? Do you have any Japanese companies around nearby where he could get a job? Is he very interested in coming here to live?

I'd like to talk to you more about this sometime. There are plenty of us out there that are married to Japanese guys. I have a group on Yahoo for women like us and am a member of a couple of others.

Feel free to PM me sometime! :)
 

mdchachi

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As knm says, it's not unheard of for Japanese guys to marry western women but the reverse situation is much more common.

Have you been to Japan before? If not, I suspect you might find it harder for you to adjust to living over there than it would be for him to adjust to living in the U.S. And, long term, you are likely to achieve a better standard of living in the U.S. Actually even short-term this is likely to be true since in Japan your husband is likely to work longer hours and be at home less.

If you plan to have kids, take time to feel out his attitudes on the subject. I know second hand of a less-than-happily-married American to a Japanese. She says she's a single mother living with a Japanese husband. In other words, he apparently has practically nothing to do with his kids.

Best of luck to you.
 

kinjo

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Thank you

Thank you to everybody who has replied. I am going to see him in a few weeks. We will work out some more details. The most important thing is that we are all happy.

🙂
 

kirei_na_me

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mdchachi is right. In Japan, it's not unusual for the men to stay out until midnight every night--give or take. I knew I couldn't deal with that having children. Also, I knew I couldn't deal with having just a balcony and concrete as a place for them to play and am not too fond of living practically on top of lots of other people. That's just my personal opinion, though, and we know about opinions...

mdchachi, is your friend that you mentioned living in Japan or the US? I hear that same kind of story all the time. I even have that problem myself sometimes, but not nearly as much as someone actually living there, I know.
 

mdchachi

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knm, my story is about somebody in Japan. My friend met this American woman in the hospital as they were both giving birth to their second or third child at the same time.
 

kinjo

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This may sound like a really stupid question. If so, I apologize in advance. What DO Japanese men do when they stay out until midnight? Work, chat with male friends or work acquaintances, drink, women....etc? I am just curious. I am aware that Japanese men usually do not bring their wives to work functions. I have heard that sometimes they can be very formal. However, I just took a train ride to Florida from Virginia. There was a middle aged Japanese couple on the train. No. Nobody told me that they were Japanese, but sometimes you can tell. They were very quiet, but I could tell that he was really devoted to his wife. They held hands in the train station (eki). I thought that it was so sweet. Since I live in Florida, I go to Disney a lot. It seems to be the popular long distance honeymoon/ vacation spot amongst the Japanese--especially the Japanese pavillion at EPCOT. Home away from home. They even have a Mistukoshi there. I digress. But, they seem quiet, a bit on the conservative side compared to Americans, but really caring and gentle. This is a refreshing treat from my ex husband (latino) who was always there and very abusive. I have been told that it is difficult to get to know the Japanese, but if you do, you have found a treasure. I still need to get to know my fiance better to know his views on a lot of things, but I am looking forward to that.
 

mdchachi

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How very naive -- that Japanese couple you saw weren't married. They were carrying on an affair and taking an illicit overseas trip together. I'm just being cynical. You were probably right. I hope so anyway! ;-)

As for staying out until midnight. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that some people literally work until midnight. Or they might work until 9, 10 or 11, take their hour+ train ride home and get home very late. Working these kinds of hours is far more common than you can possibly imagine. The other reason is that many people socialize with their coworkers -- either because they enjoy it or out of obligation. So they will work until quitting time (7, 8 or 9) go out for dinner and a few drinks. And, therefore, not be home until near midnight. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but this is more common than not. Considering the unusual way you met your fiance, I would expect him to be an exception to some of these typical behaviors. But if you live in Japan it may be difficult to have him home at a "normal" time if everybody else he works with works typical hours.
 

kirei_na_me

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*sigh*

The Japanese work ethic. I could write a book, I think.

Most of them stay out of obligation, thinking they have to stay and hang out with their co-workers. You know, the "nail that sticks up is hammered down" syndrome. Doing what's expected of them so not to make waves.

That was one of the main reasons my husband decided to live here instead of going back to Japan. He is much more relaxed now than he was when he was in Japan. He still has unbelievable responsibilites at work, but he is not expected to put in those insanely long hours. He rarely comes home after 7 p.m. now, whereas in Japan, he was usually getting home around 1 a.m.
 

kinjo

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The work ethic

I think that you are right. I am learning to speak Japanese. The way that they introduce themselves to each other is for example "Mitsubishi ginkuno Matsumoto Yuji" They identify the company that they work with more than their own family name. When we were discussing him moving here, he wanted to make sure that he could get a job right away. I live in Florida. If it were me, I would want to make sure that we could go to Disney right away--then look for work. Oh well, I'm a gaijin.

:D :p
 

kinjo

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Ok. I have had some time to think about this. Maybe they do work a lot, but this work ethic that they have is what has made their country what it is. That is nothing to be ashamed of. I guess that it can be lonely at times, if you are waiting for them at home alone.

Some men, gamble, drink, play with women. So, they work a lot. I would rather that. There are way worse problems than that.
 

tasuki

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If I may pitch in my two cents...

I've married a Japanese woman, and I live and work in Tokyo, thus falling into the "Western man/Japanese woman" pattern.

I think that all the points made by mdchachi and kirei na mei are valid. Living in North America or Europe is in the long run more rewarding, if you are not a workaholic.

Coming to Japan for a time to get to know your fiance is a great idea, though. You'd get to see him in his "natural habitat", so to speak, which would not be the case in America. Plus, I find that working the English teaching beat is good for that. Working as an English conversation teacher for an extended period is not feasible, I think. Also, the English conversation industry is somewhat faltering at the moment, people having less money to spend on frivolous things such as studying a foreign language (the economy being what it is).

The Japanese work ethic also applies to foreigners. As long as you are working in an English school, you will not be required to do anything but "your time" and to attend a few school functions. In a Japanese company, foreigner or no, you will be judged by how much time you put in, just like your other co-workers. Personally, I think that you are expected to do more than your Japanese counterparts exactly because you're a foreigner. Anyway, it was that way for me and other people I know. I don't usually get home before 20:00 and I leave "early". To make up for it, I come in to work early in the morning.

Oh, and about investing in yen... I'd keep my investments in US dollars... The Japanese economy is not quite the place to invest at the moment...

Yet, no matter where you decide to settle in the end, it is going to be a strain... at first. It has been for me and my wife. If it's not the language, it's work or maybe the dependence that one of you is bound to develop toward the other for official things and such, of which there are a multitude in Japan for foreigners. Whether you iron it out or not is a sign of the strength of your relationship. I can tell you that me and my wife had more than a few ups and downs related to language only...

I really hope things work out for you. I really sympathise with your situation as we've decided to move back to Canada once our first is born. It's going to be a huge step, so I can very well imagine what you're feeling...
 

mdchachi

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Some men, gamble, drink, play with women. So, they work a lot. I would rather that. There are way worse problems than that.
Well these other types of guys are in Japan too. Plenty of all kinds to go around.
 

Zade

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I could understand that he would be frightened due to the culture change, but the door swings both ways, wouldn't you kind of feel strange in an environment where you had a rough time to communicate?

Its really your call, you guys should probably talk about it a bit more, make a list of pros and cons.👍
 

kinjo

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I will be going there soon. It may work. It may not. No matter what, it should be an experience and a chance to grow.
:clap:
 

Jan

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Post # 9 voiced my first thoughts exactly. Cynical yes, but Japanese men aren`t very physically affectionate. But they seem to have fun with their girlfriends.

I too am an american married to a Japanese (with 3 kids) we live in Japan. I know several "international" families. Many with problems, but also many "same culture" families have problems. Every situation is unique and you need to get to
know your guy, figure out for yourselves what is best for you.
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by mdchachi
How very naive -- that Japanese couple you saw weren't married. They were carrying on an affair and taking an illicit overseas trip together. I'm just being cynical. You were probably right. I hope so anyway! ;-)

As for staying out until midnight. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that some people literally work until midnight. Or they might work until 9, 10 or 11, take their hour+ train ride home and get home very late. Working these kinds of hours is far more common than you can possibly imagine.
I can vouch for my boyfriend in Tokyo as well, who generally works until 10 or 11, doesn't actually get to sleep until after 2, is up again at 7 every morning and in the office by 9. Often working both Saturday and Sunday (or at least one of these) as well. All without compensation, in the guise of "service overtime," of course. And I'm quite content to be in touch via email at the moment :).
 

budd

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i have heard that women do not have the same rights
that they do elsewhere ???
while in kyoto i met a lady working a curio/souvenir/omiyage shop
we talked for a while -- she had spent ten years in england -- about her family, she has three children and an english husband that is teaching same, and the world in general
it kind of depressed me
 

neko_girl22

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We talked about that article on MIJ (online group for women married to Japanese men living in Japan). I found the article very disappointing - a lot of tired old stereotypes - also was only based on American statistics which annoyed me.

One comment which I agreed with :
"Interracial marriages require both partners not only to learn each other's language,but also to adjust their attitudes and expectations. Love is a great and essential start,but more is needed for a relationship to last."

Also interesting they mentioned G-women + J-men marriages are more likely to last than J-women+ G-men.....
 

kirei_na_me

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I also read that article via MIJ, which I'm not an active member of anymore, and I also thought that it was just putting out the same old stereotypes. I've noticed a lot of the articles on Japan Today can be kind of biased. It seems they are always putting Japanese men down in some way. They(nor many others) never seem to address the good characteristics(and yes, they do have them) Japanese men can posess in comparison with their Western counterparts.

I've always heard that relationships between Western women/Japanese men tend to last longer than marriages between Western men/Japanese women. I won't get into why I think so, though. I think I've already taken that on, and not many people agree...
 

neko_girl22

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I didn't know you're on MIJ ;) Did you live in Japan at some time? Hopefully getting together with a couple of the ladies in my area - should be fun! I don't post a lot on MIJ, because they mostly talk about children, but it's nice to have contact with other women who know what you're going through. (living in a foreign country etc etc)
 

kirei_na_me

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Yeah, I've been a member of MIJ for a couple of years now, I guess? I've never lived in Japan, but at the time I joined, it was the only group I knew of like that except for AFWJ(which I wasn't going to pay to join when they are more focused on those living in Japan). There are several other members of MIJ that are not living in Japan, I believe. Several in the US and in Europe, I know. I just didn't think that group was for me. I couldn't identify with living in Japan, of course, and also, I got tired of a few attitudes... 😊

By the way, in my search for AFWJ just now, this turned up in my search results: http://forum.japantoday.com/Unattractive_foreign_wives?/m_10927/p_1/tmode_2/smode_1/tm.htm

I saw where you posted a couple of replies, nzueda. What is up with guys that come to those conclusions? Jealous that we choose Japanese guys over them, I guess, even though they adamently deny it. I know that you and I are darn attractive(I don't mind saying so), and so are a lot of the other foreign women I know that are married to Japanese guys. Sheesh, these people...
 

neko_girl22

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urrgh the Japan Today forum is full of gaijin I'm embarrassed to think live in Japan :mad: I didn't read my old posts from your link - I'll probably be embarassed to see what I wrote hehe


Y'know, I'm not sure MIJ is totally for me, but I don't have much choice (I'm not paying for something I don't know if I'll like or not) and at least I have met a couple of ladies from there. (online, haven't met any in person *yet* we're trying to arrange something which should be fun)

You have your own site eh knm? Hope it's going well ;)
 

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