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Japanese and Western intermarriages

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kinjo

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I hear a lot of Koreans and Japanese people claim that only Western men are marrying with local Korean and Japanese women, but it rarely happens the other way around. I have never been to Japan so I cannot comment on that. But, at the college I go to here in the USA, I see that to be true.

When I was still living in China, in the beginning it was mostly foreign men dating and marrying local Chinese women. Now, I see more and more of the opposite (ie Chinese men dating and marrying Western women in China).

As my home lies near the border with Russia and Afghanistan, I have been to business trips in Russia, Yugoslavia and Moldavia. In these places, I only see Chinese men with the local Slavic women marrying.

My culture (Uygur) is very influenced by the Turkish, Arabic and Persian mentality. I am not afraid to approach the women if I desire her.

Korean and Japanese guys need to be a little more expressive like the Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese if they want to attract Western women. It is not the looks that matter, but how you approach and speak to the women. They do not bite.
 

Maciamo

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I have been to business trips in Russia, Yugoslavia and Moldavia. In these places, I only see Chinese men with the local Slavic women marrying.
There might be economic reasons involved here. I am not exactly sure if Slavic people are totally "Western", as in Europe they are of course seen as Eastern, and they were all in the communist bloc during the cold war (which is probably why you've been there, as China was in the same communist bloc till it split in 1990-1).

There are also lots of Western women marrying Japanese men (also on this forum ;) ) but my feeling is that in 90% of the cases, it's the opposite that happens. In Japan, the majority of Caucasian women married to Japanese men are from Russia, and it is often for economic reasons (=>Japanese men have money).

It is often said that Western countries are masculine, while East Asian ones are feminine either physically or culturally. The scientific reason to this is that East Asian (that is Mongoloid : Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indonesians...) have lower testosterone (male hormone) level than Westerners (i.e. Caucasians) or Black people (i.e. Negroid). I am not sure about Turks, Central Asians, but I would say that Indians are more feminine, and Arabs more masculine.

Feminine countries tend to be more collectivist (group-minded) and peaceful (less aggressive, avoid confrontation), which may explain why they can afford bigger population density (look at India, Eastern China, Japan, Java...). Or maybe is it the other way round. Larger population (because of fertile soil) have led to more feminine societies, while people living in harsher regions (Africa, Middle-East...) have become more masculine. (?)
 

kinjo

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Hi,

I don't have statistics about intermarriage in Japan. However to explain that in couples, more often the foreigner is the husband, it's maybe because most expatriates, foreigners, living in Japan are men...
Even here in China, most foreign teachers are males...

just a thought.
 

kinjo

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^I agree.

But, I just think that when our world becomes more smaller and closer intermarriages should be more common. But, if there is a big disparity rate between the genders it is not on level playing field. Perhaps, the Western women still hold to media prejudice and depiction of Asian men?

I travelled to Mexico and met the Chinese community there. Almost all of them are married with local native Mexican women. In America, I only see the Western men and Asian women but rarely the other way around. Sometimes the love is not color blind. It is conditioned by social and media factors too.
 

kirei_na_me

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I happen to be one of those women that Maciamo was referring to that is married to a Japanese man.

I think Western women/Japanese men couples are becoming more popular. I am a member of about 3 or 4 groups just for those kinds of couples and there have also been books written about the subject. I don't know exactly why they're gaining popularity, though. I mean, let's face it, the Japanese male stereotype is not nearly as appealing to Western females as the Japanese female stereotype is to Western males. Japanese males are always portrayed as controlling, domineering, chauvinists who suppress their wives. Japanese women are portrayed as exotic, sweet and submissive little flowers. It's been that way for decades. Even before WW2, I'm thinking. It's going to take a long time for Westerners--in general--to overcome those stereotypes, if ever.

I must agree with Maciamo that in the case of Russian women marrying Japanese men, it can be purely economical. I think the same goes for Fillipinas or Chinese women or any other women that are from poorer countries. I've had numerous Chinese people say--after they found out my husband was Japanese--that the reason I married him had to have been because he had money. They never assumed it was for any other reason, I don't think. They didn't know I had plenty of money without him.
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by kirei_na_me
Japanese males are always portrayed as controlling, domineering, chauvinists who suppress their wives.
Is this something you see to some extent in the groups you're a member of and with friends' husbands as well knm....I'm really curious but haven't known enough Japanese men well enough to really tell.
 

neko_girl22

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*raises hand* I'm one too! I have been married just over a year to my Japanese husband.

I'm only a member of one online group for foreigners married to Japanese men, but it would seem we marry men who are a little different. I don't know how I can back up this statement though, it's just my observation. I guess it takes a certain type of man to take on us gaijin girls :p

As for marrying him for his money .... I wish! lol he spent all his money travelling back and forth between Japan and NZ while we were dating....

I've heard the first 5 years are the hardest in intercultural marriages - what do you think K-n-m? My first year has been a mixture between shinconsan bliss and extreme adjustment to different cultural ideas....
 

kirei_na_me

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I would definitely agree that the men we marry are different from "normal" Japanese men. All of them are the nail that sticks up but the nail that isn't hammered down. Each of them to their own degree, though. My husband obviously being the more conservative of that group.

I think Westerners have heard only negative things about Japanese men over the years, though. That's what I was talking about. Have you ever really heard anything positive about Japanese men as a whole from the general public? I have to say that while growing up, I always heard they were brutal, chauvinistic, slave(wife) drivers, and had small *ahem*. I remember my lesbian cousin, who is a professor of women's studies, gasping when I told her I was dating a Japanese guy. She went crazy. "Do you know what Japanese men did to the Chinese and Korean women?!", "Do you really want to be controlled and treated like a slave?!", etc. etc. I got that same reaction out of a lot of people. They were either thinking I was crazy because they thought I wanted to be "controlled" or either thought I was crazy because of that other physical characteristic *ahem*.

Well, when I met my husband, I found all of those stereotypes not to be true--at least in his case. All of the stereotypes I had heard were pretty much shot to hell when I met him and all of his co-workers...(well...I still don't know about that one thing). Anyway, the stereotypes of both Japanese men and Japanese women were proven wrong when I spent lots of time with and observing many of each sex.

nzueda, I would have to agree that the first 5 years are hard. For me, it's still difficult to some degree. I think by now, I've kind of settled into whatever situation. I don't let things upset me quite as much as they used to.
 

Golgo_13

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I have found from my experience in the entertainment industry that Oriental males are not considered attractive or desirable by western females. Just as an example, in last year's People Magazine's Sexiest Men issue, of the 50 men selected from around the world only one Oriental male was selected. Guess who that was. Not Ichiro Suzuki, not Chow Young Fat, not Jet Lee . . . but Yo Yo Ma, the cellist. That was it. The editors actually thought Yo Yo Ma was the best the Oriental males had to offer. (At least in this year's issue Hideki Matsui, a 6' 2" 215 lbs New York Yankees player, and Jet Lee were chosen.)

As for interracial dating and marriages, I feel that if two people met, got along, shared laughs and tears together, came to truly love each other, who cares what race anyone is.

The only thing I'm against is to have a personal policy of dating women from only one race. I've known white guys who only dated Oriental women, and many Oriental women who don't give a time of day to Oriental men, etc.

Nzueda and Kireina_Me, I wish you all the happiness in the universe. And thank you for not being deterred by racial stereotypes from marrying who you want. You should ask your lesbain cousin if all blacks are criminals, if all Mexicans are illegal aliens, or if all Appalachian whites are in-bred.
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by kirei_na_me
I have to say that while growing up, I always heard they were brutal, chauvinistic, slave(wife) drivers, and had small *ahem*.
For some reason I find them physically extremely cute and lovable, although in the case being referred to it's more of a scientific fact than stereotype :devilish:. And I never really thought of Japanese men as slave drivers, just condescending, arrogant and patronizing towards their women (I don't allow it myself) which in my limited experience has pretty much been borne out.
 

kinjo

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I don't want to make this comparison, but I think that the Arab and Middle Eastern male image is even more butchered and character assassinated in the Western media depiction, but in the USA, Western Europe, Canada and Australia you see lots of Arabic, Persian and Turkish men dating and marrying with Western white women despite the negative depictions. Maybe it is because Middle Eastern men are for most part still a Caucasoid appearance?

I heard people say that black men were only highly coveted sexually (by women of all races) within the last 15 years due to hip hop, NBA basketball and thug image revolution and exposure in media?

Lately I have seen some young Asian American men try to break out this "box" and increasingly (esp. on West Coast cities) you see more dating white and Hispanic women.
 

noyhauser

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I'd have to agree with what you said Kirei... as you know my parents were in the same position, my father being Japanese and my mother Austro-Czech. My father is not the typical japanese male.

A funny thing though, I think that perceptions are changing. My parents live in Vancouver, which has been the scene of the most drastic demographic changes due to immigration (huge asian influx). I find girls here now are almost colorblind. Girls love asian guys mixes and for guys its vice versa. Ethnic is in here which was a huge change from eastern canada where I matured into the dating scene during university. I guess my parents were trailblazers if you think about it.
 

kirei_na_me

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Another reason I think Vancouver would be the ideal place to live! The more I hear about Vancouver, the more I want to move there.

Anyway, noyhauser, I do think your parents were trailblazers. Out of the groups I'm a member of, there are only maybe 3 or 4 couples that have been married 20 years or more, as opposed to the couple/few hundred who have been married 10 years or less.
 

budd

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"I heard people say that black men were only highly coveted sexually (by women of all races) within the last 15 years due to hip hop, NBA basketball and thug image revolution and exposure in media?"

a myth propagated by other MEN that just backfired...
they are the same as any other men, with maybe some slight (if at all) differences that can be explained by social and economic factors.
i know PLENTY of american american/black men that have NEVER had a girlfriend, much less being desired by one
not to mention all of the purse-clutching situations

regarding men of japanese nationality, if i had it as good as my friends regarding girls? hmmm
 

Zero-sen

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I know this may be stlightly OT but i once asked my partner why she fell for me. She said it was because unlike Japanese men i had no hesitation in showing her affection or giving her support. She has quite a stressful job and when i know she's had a hard day i'll let her vent it all and get it off her chest. She said she'd never been with anyone who had considered her feelings or expected her to be a maid and cook. Just thought i'd add that one.
 
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My wife is Japanese and her family has taken me in as one of their own... perhaps it's because I speak Japanese that they were really polite and openly read to except me...

but I haven't had any problems with it, and in all actuality prefer my Japanese family over my own family...

Just better people...

my family also took my wife in with open arms, But the reason for that is probably because of my huge obsession with Japan hehe
 

cristiand

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Hi everybody, i really appreciate the open minded atmosphere i find here.
I m with a japanese girl and the last thing i can say about her is that her nationality is japanese. She s my woman that s all, it s just the fate that decided that my woman had to be 10000 km far from me, i know about the cultural differences, but i can find it between italian people too. i think we have more personal common things than cultural differences.
Maybe i think this because i m a mix too, my father s italian and my mothers german, and i was very lucky to grow in an international family, where people is seen not from the colour side but from what they really are, despite of racial difference. I m sorry for my terrible english, maybe i couldn t explain my thoughts very well and somebody can misunderstand. However please reply, i don t care if you agree with my idea or not, i just wanna know your experiences

Ciao
 

tsukinoko

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This is a highly interesting thread!
I belong to those western girls who is/was with a Japanese man and I can't find any of the stereotypes mentioned above, too.
I agree with many points of yours, kirei_na_me and nzueda. For example my boyfriend is different from "normal" japanese men. And what was always told to me about east-asian, especially Japanese men was not very positive as well and still I was always attracted by them. When I started dating my boyfrind I had to listen to things like "how could you/ they all look like girls/ don't you want a real man", to my relief those comments didn't come from my family or from close friends.
I wouldn't say that the relationship between western women and japanese men become more popular, but there are more chances for it, I think. There's more cultural exchange, more women working in positions where they can meet men from other countries etc.

Reading the comments of kirei_na_me and nzueda gives me a lot of hope, actually. My boyfriend and I broke up recently, but we're still in quite close contact - maybe there's still hope for us! We'd been together for almost three years, so that's still within the highly critical time of the mentioned five years. And I'm more and more understanding about him by learning so much about Japan and by living in Japan for a while, which will be continued.

cristiand, it's the same with me: I don't think of my boyfriend being japanese, he is just my boyfriend with good and less good sides, like everybody else, just the cultural difference is a little hurdle sometimes, because it can cause misunderstandings, but that was certainly not the reason for us to quit! Well, I even was surprised sometimes when people mentioned his being Japanese, because I didn't think of it most of the time, and his physical appearance is so normal for me and makes me not think about it more than if I would be with a blond or fat or sqare-jawed one.

I really think, that on the long run there will be no difference in the amount of relationships of western man and east-asian woman and the other way round, because through more cultural exchange there will be more understanding and the prejudices will increase - at least that's my wish (the increasing of prejudices)!
 

neko_girl22

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Originally posted by tsukinoko
cristiand, it's the same with me: I don't think of my boyfriend being japanese, he is just my boyfriend with good and less good sides, like everybody else, just the cultural difference is a little hurdle sometimes, because it can cause misunderstandings, but that was certainly not the reason for us to quit!
I dated my husband for 2 1/2 years before we married. During that time I didn't have any cultural problems. After we married though there has been a lot of adjustments to make! I'm newly married though (less than 1.5 years) so I guess we'll balance out soon. That said we're very happy and cliche is correct - love conquers all things!
International relationships / marriage is alot harder than we think in the beginning though eh! :p
I guess around 3 years is the difficult period - it's not the exciting beginning, nor have we yet settled down exactly. My hubby found it the same living overseas, 3 years was the tough time of adjustment.

I hope things work out for you in the end, or perhaps you even find a better man tsukinoko!
 

cristiand

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Konnichi wa, i think that EVERY relationship is more difficult than we think in the beginnings. Once i had an italian girlfriend and it was like we were speaking different languages, we were speaking both italian but our ideas about relationship and life was so so so different.
I think, i m sorry for my simple ideas, and i m almost sure you ll agree with me, that every relation is a different universe, we can try to find cultural and social reasons to explain the problems we meet during a relationship but we also have to look inside ourselves.
I m sorry i can t explain better my idea, please help me
ciao
 

neko_girl22

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Originally posted by cristiand
Konnichi wa, i think that EVERY relationship is more difficult than we think in the beginnings. Once i had an italian girlfriend and it was like we were speaking different languages, we were speaking both italian but our ideas about relationship and life was so so so different.
I agree with you! some NZ guys were a lot more difficult than whatever adjustments I've had to make with my J husband.

we can try to find cultural and social reasons to explain the problems we meet during a relationship but we also have to look inside ourselves.
But it's still different. I would think......"why is he doing this.... or not doing that" and then later find out that it's easily explained by learning a little more about Japanese culture.... it wasn't a fault in our relationship, just a misunderstanding or a lack of knowledge about the other's background. Although there is a lot of learning and growing in any relationship, I just think there is a lot more in an intercultural marriage.

but, I don't know.... perhaps you're right...perhaps living in Japan and coping with a whole new life here has made me put too much emphasis on cultural differences. :p
 

tsukinoko

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Originally posted by nzueda

I hope things work out for you in the end, or perhaps you even find a better man tsukinoko!
Thank you so much for your nice reply!
 

tsukinoko

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Originally posted by nzueda

But it's still different. I would think......"why is he doing this.... or not doing that" and then later find out that it's easily explained by learning a little more about Japanese culture.... it wasn't a fault in our relationship, just a misunderstanding or a lack of knowledge about the other's background. Although there is a lot of learning and growing in any relationship, I just think there is a lot more in an intercultural marriage.
That's exactly what I was talking about! And it really has to do with the different culture. My sister is having the same experiences with her Syrian boyfriend. He is completely different, of course, from my Japanese one, but the misunderstandings seem to be the same, quite often.
Learning about each others background is very important, even in a relationship of the same culture.
 
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I don't have statistics about intermarriage in Japan. However to explain that in couples, more often the foreigner is the husband, it's maybe because most expatriates, foreigners, living in Japan are men...
Maybe so, but the same pattern holds true for interracial marriage among Americans. White guys tend to marry East Asian gals, and black men marry white, and Asian women. East Asian men do not tend to marry either white or black women. I think there is a perceived manliness scale involved. Women tend to see black men as the most manly, followed by whites, then Asians. Men tend to see Asian women as the most feminine, followed by whites and then blacks.

This works fine for everyone except Asian men and black women. The more mixing that goes on, the tougher the time they have finding partners. Of course I'm talking about general trends and patterns here, and their are lots of individual exceptions.
 

Keeni84

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It is often said that Western countries are masculine, while East Asian ones are feminine either physically or culturally. The scientific reason to this is that East Asian (that is Mongoloid : Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indonesians...) have lower testosterone (male hormone) level than Westerners (i.e. Caucasians) or Black people (i.e. Negroid). I am not sure about Turks, Central Asians, but I would say that Indians are more feminine, and Arabs more masculine.

Feminine countries tend to be more collectivist (group-minded) and peaceful (less aggressive, avoid confrontation), which may explain why they can afford bigger population density (look at India, Eastern China, Japan, Java...). Or maybe is it the other way round. Larger population (because of fertile soil) have led to more feminine societies, while people living in harsher regions (Africa, Middle-East...) have become more masculine. (?)
Hmm. This is very interesting. Testosterone levels might have something to do with how "feminine" I country is, however, most African nations were Community based before colonialism (and some still are)

I'm not too sure about Arabic folks, but I do know that the tribes in Africa relied more the "collectivist" that you talk about when describing countries such as India, Eastern China, etc.

I also find it interesting how you described Westerners as Caucasian, but black people as Negroid.
 
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