“Son, I have something to tell you….”
Watch any Japanese drama or anime with a romantic plot thread, and a love confession or “kokuhaku” scene will inevitably crop up. I wanted to know whether this was just an on-screen phenomenon, or if it happened in real life, too, so I set out into Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood to meet some couples and ask them about how they got together.
Declaring your love, or even just your like, for a boy or a girl in Japan can be a pretty big deal. While we don’t think most people’s stories are quite as dramatic as in anime, with characters struggling for seasons just to admit their fond feelings for another, it’s certainly true that many Japanese people are pretty shy about asking each other out.
While it’s kind of cute and kind of frustrating if you’re used to a more forward culture, is it really that different from other countries?