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Question How to know if the Japanese person is a good person?

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I have known many Japanese people (both men and women) and often I have felt used in one way or another. That they weren’t a genuine friend, but associated with me to increase their status or learn english.
I have known many friends who have married a Japanese woman, and the vast majority of them have divorced. It was not uncommon to hear cheating happened during the relationship too. Sometimes I have heard a Japanese woman desire mixed race sons or daughters, and then cease putting any effort into the relationship and later apply for a divorce.
For this reason, I am apprehensive of ever dating a Japanese person. But I also think it’s unfair to portray all Japanese people as unsuitable for dating for being potential cheaters.
I think a person should be judged for their individual qualities, not based on which country they’re from.
But it seems to me that which country they come from, and which culture they grew up in, certainly seems to affect their behaviour.
However, many negative behaviours could be due to being in a high-stress environment (the Japanese working environment is often characterised as stressful) and not knowing how to release that stress in a healthy manner. Perhaps people from the countryside, even if they are usually happy and content, would also behave poorly if they also worked in the same stressful environment.

So I would like to know if there are any things to look out for which identifies a Japanese person as a good person, who has sincere, good and honest intentions with you? Both for friendship and romance?

I find Japanese people in general are very good at being clean, tidy, presentable, respectable and honest on the outside. But when getting to know them better, I have often felt shocked, disappointed or disgusted (I know not every Japanese person are like this, but I just had many unfortunate experiences).
Japanese women in particular are generally very good at appearing lovely, innocent, friendly, kind and warm-hearted at first, but later on I had found some of them to be extraordinarily heartless and cruel.
And I wonder how they could conceal their true character so well? I find it disconcerting that it’s so hard to distinguish between a good Japanese person and a bad Japanese person. How does one know whether a Japanese person has sincere and honest intentions with you, or whether they just see you as an object to increase their status, or serve their desires and get rid of you when they find someone better?

Thank you for reading.
 

mdchachi

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Although I have heard such stories it never seemed as though it was a Japanese characteristic. You find such people in all nationalities. Japanese may be a little better than average in hiding their true feelings. Not sure. In my experience I see Japanese people being used more than the other way around.
I’ve been (happily) married 20 years now so I can’t really support your hypothesis.
 

Lothor

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I have known many Japanese people (both men and women) and often I have felt used in one way or another. That they weren’t a genuine friend, but associated with me to increase their status or learn english.
I have known many friends who have married a Japanese woman, and the vast majority of them have divorced. It was not uncommon to hear cheating happened during the relationship too. Sometimes I have heard a Japanese woman desire mixed race sons or daughters, and then cease putting any effort into the relationship and later apply for a divorce.
For this reason, I am apprehensive of ever dating a Japanese person. But I also think it’s unfair to portray all Japanese people as unsuitable for dating for being potential cheaters.
I think a person should be judged for their individual qualities, not based on which country they’re from.
But it seems to me that which country they come from, and which culture they grew up in, certainly seems to affect their behaviour.
However, many negative behaviours could be due to being in a high-stress environment (the Japanese working environment is often characterised as stressful) and not knowing how to release that stress in a healthy manner. Perhaps people from the countryside, even if they are usually happy and content, would also behave poorly if they also worked in the same stressful environment.

So I would like to know if there are any things to look out for which identifies a Japanese person as a good person, who has sincere, good and honest intentions with you? Both for friendship and romance?

I find Japanese people in general are very good at being clean, tidy, presentable, respectable and honest on the outside. But when getting to know them better, I have often felt shocked, disappointed or disgusted (I know not every Japanese person are like this, but I just had many unfortunate experiences).
Japanese women in particular are generally very good at appearing lovely, innocent, friendly, kind and warm-hearted at first, but later on I had found some of them to be extraordinarily heartless and cruel.
And I wonder how they could conceal their true character so well? I find it disconcerting that it’s so hard to distinguish between a good Japanese person and a bad Japanese person. How does one know whether a Japanese person has sincere and honest intentions with you, or whether they just see you as an object to increase their status, or serve their desires and get rid of you when they find someone better?

Thank you for reading.
Some examples of such behaviour that you have experienced would be interesting. Even though I dislike many aspects of the culture, offhand I can only think of two Japanese people who have behaved in an underhand or manipulative manner toward me (that I've known about!) in 17 years of living in Japan.
 
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Some examples of such behaviour that you have experienced would be interesting. Even though I dislike many aspects of the culture, offhand I can only think of two Japanese people who have behaved in an underhand or manipulative manner toward me (that I've known about!) in 17 years of living in Japan.

Apologies for my late response. I stopped being so interested in Japan after I last posted. I’m not sure Japan and Japanese culture are right for me.

Maybe i’m just being sensitive, or maybe Japanese behaviour is too different from what I’m used to that there’s bound to be a misunderstanding, I don’t know.

I must mention I have never actually been to Japan. I’m only talking about my experiences with Japanese people in Europe and other parts of Asia i’ve visited. Below are most of the Japanese people I’ve met. Also I know of Japanese wives who married some of my friends for a while before divorcing.

1. The first time I met someone from Japan was a foreign tourist who was visiting a place I was local to. We were the same age and I was interested to meet him as it was the first time I had met someone from Japan. I showed him around the city, and I introduced him to the local food, while paying for some of his meals. He said that I was welcome to visit him in his hometown in Japan whenever I arrive. We exchanged contact information and when he was about to leave, I gave him a present of a bag of local fruits I had brought for him. The next day, I had realised that he had just left my gift behind. A few days afterwards I contacted him on the LINE app, but he never replied. I never heard from him again. I thought we became friends, but I felt a bit used.

2. The second time I met someone from Japan was a Japanese shop owner who served taiyaki and other japanese fast food. He seemed very friendly the first time I was there, but then every time I went there to sit down, order a taiyaki and talk to him (the table was right in front of him), he became more cold and less welcoming. I stopped visiting his shop because of a feeling I was unwelcome though I don’t know why.

3. When I started learning Japanese very briefly, I booked a few sessions with a Japanese teacher. During our time together, she seemed really friendly and even allowed me to stay in her home afterwards for a while to eat an authentic Japanese meal she made for me. She was previously married to a foreign man but had since divorced him. She was really nice, asked a lot of questions about me because she was just very friendly and interested, and was really patient with my questions about Japanese. After I had finished my lessons with her, I spoke to her once more a few weeks later on the LINE app and she seemed really nice and friendly again. A few weeks passed, and I sent her another message with a question about Japanese. I didn’t receive a response. A few days passed, and I sent another message and there was no response again. I was confused and I sent the Japanese question to the company she worked for instead. They responded, but asked why my Japanese teacher didn’t answer it, and I said that she didn’t seem to be responding to my messages. The next day she sent me a bit of an aggressive message to me, basically saying it was my responsibility to learn Japanese through practice. I wondered why she seemed very angry and why she was ignoring my messages. I didn’t reply to her and I didn’t hear from her again.

4. In this situation, I began talking to a Japanese woman on twitter. I have never met her before. We would often send messages to each other and she seemed really friendly and happy to talk with me. I sent her an e-mail asking if we could be friends. She never responded. I remembered all my previous experiences of Japanese people, and just assumed she was just initially friendly out of politeness.

5. There was a Japanese singer I really liked, but unfortunately she didn’t speak english and I couldn’t speak Japanese, so my messages to her were hard for her to understand. But there was a Japanese man the same age as me who was really friendly to me and would often translate my messages into Japanese and her responses into english for me without me even asking. He would always send me nice messages and ask how my day was. He asked me if I could be his friend and I agreed. One day I mentioned that I didn’t have some of her merchandise. He responded by offering to send it to me from Japan. I was impressed by his kindness and initially agreed, but the next day I refused and I sent him a message that I couldn’t give my full name and address to people on the internet. He seemed really understanding and friendly still, but when I offered to keep in contact with the LINE app, he never added me. Though he didn’t seem like a bad person, I still wondered if we were still friends, or if we were ever friends at all, if he didn’t want to contact me on the LINE app.

There seems to be a trend of Japanese people being really friendly, and then one day they stop being friendly and I never hear from them again.
 

Lothor

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Thanks for the detailed and interesting reply, and I can certainly understand why you feel somewhat used. I've found that adult Japanese tend to not make friends easily - a surprisingly large number of friends tend to be from school or university - and the friendships I have with Japanese people (mainly women) have evolved at a very slow pace, much slower than the time scales of your examples. If you make allowances that Japanese people can be socially awkward when in unfamiliar situations, which may be why you often get showered with polite nothings or overfriendly behaviour, it may be helpful..

I also reread your earlier post and you may be barking up the wrong tree by referring to the "true personality" of Japanese people (understandable if you're from the west, where we tend to think of ourselves as having a core identity that stays with us during our lives - as a fellow Brit, I certainly do). From my observations and the complaints of a lot of foreign men married to Japanese women (she became a different person as soon as she became a mother!), the "true personality" of a Japanese person may be more flexible, particularly when you consider the strong social requirements placed on people to behave in a certain way at a certain age and in a certain situation. It may be helpful to see the incidents you described as people showing two sides of their personality rather than superficially nice people on the surface being not very nice inside.
 
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It may be helpful to see the incidents you described as people showing two sides of their personality rather than superficially nice people on the surface being not very nice inside.

The Japanese call this honne and tatemae, right?

The surprising thing is that South Korean, Chinese and other nationalities who seem to be a similar culture to Japanese people aren’t like this at all, and I found it much easier to genuinely make friends with them.

In fact, I found South Korean people to be the exact opposite. They were initially very cold and a bit rude. But in no time at all they become lifelong friends. Their honne is very warm, and their tatemae is aloof and stoic. But similar social requirements are placed on South Korean people since a young age.

I wonder what it is about the Japanese culture which could explain how Japanese honne and tatemae are so different, despite sharing a similar culture, economy, population density and environment with South Korea?

Perhaps Japanese culture encourages Japanese people to be submissive, hospitable and accepting of their elders and guests, while South Korean people are encouraged to compete, get ahead of others and perhaps be a bit machiavellian?
This cultural influence causes Japanese people to act in a way that pleases others for tatemae, and their honne is a reaction to the unreasonable expectations of hospitality that Japanese society expects of them.
And it causes South Korean people to show strength in front of others for their tatemae, while their honne (a reaction to society’s unreasonable expectation to always show strength in front of others) is a way for them to relax and be accepted for their weaknesses due to society‘s expectations of them having to show strength all the time?
 
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