Crossdressing and genderbending are not only long-time staples of Japanese anime and manga, but also of TV and celebrity culture. From this, anyone would think that Japan was one of the most open and accepting countries when it comes to people who don’t fit into traditional gender roles or relationships. However, the reality outside of media and entertainment is often quite different. Family and work life are both still clearly divided down gender lines, and men who engage in anything that blurs or crosses these lines are generally shunned. But could the girl who dumps a guy just because he turns up to a date in a dress be the one who’s really missing out?
relationships in japan
- Cara Clegg
Aug 30, 2013
How often do you want to see your boyfriend or girlfriend? It’s a pretty important question for anyone in a relationship, and if each half of the couple’s expectations don’t match up, it can become a problem. Do you feel your girlfriend is too clingy when she asks to see you every night of the week? Or maybe you’re questioning if your boyfriend really likes you, since he doesn’t seem to want to spend that much time with you.
Market research company Cross Marketing conducted an online survey where they asked 300 Japanese men and women in their 20’s and 30’s “How often do you like to meet your boyfriend/girlfriend?”. The results were pretty interesting, and maybe not quite what you’d expect.
- Karen Bremer Masuda
Oct 1, 2012
In Japan, goukon, are mixers meant to set the stage for finding a mate. They are designed to help young adults find at least a relationship, if not a suitable marriage partner, and are often organized by businesses like in the ad above.
The average goukon brings together around three to five people of each gender and takes place at a restaurant or izakaya (Japanese-style bar). Groups are seated randomly, usually with seats alternating by gender so everyone can get to know each other better.
Business organizational skills aside, most women know that the chance of a relationship forming from a goukon depends on the efforts of the participants. A certain protocol must be followed if a man wants a woman to give him the time of day. If he is too out-of-place, then it could cause embarrassment all around.
Japanese website Otome Sugoren surveyed their female readers to find out what kind of guy they think shouldn’t even bother showing up to the goukon party. Men: be sure to pay attention so you know what not to do at your next goukon. After all, while you may be there to play the field, women are serious about finding someone! Read More
- (alcohol • boyfriend • comfortable • communication • conversation • drunk • enjoyable time • even number • finding a mate • finding someone • girlfriend • goukon • grab your fancy • husband • ice breaker • mixers • relationships in japan • sober • stylishly dressed • talk to men • talk to women • uncomfortable • wife)
Let’s be honest; there are a lot of distinctly average-looking foreign guys living in Japan dating jaw-droppingly beautiful Japanese girls. We’ve all witnessed it- a woman who could play the female lead in the next James Bond movie, walking down the street with a guy who, if we searched for him in the same movie’s end credits, would more likely appear as something along the lines of “man in post office # 3”.
Were the same couple to be seen out and about in the guy’s home town, pretty much everyone would be looking from her to him, then back to her again and whispering to their friends “Wow, that guy’s punching above his weight….”
Shallow? Yes. Narrow minded? Definitely. But no matter how much we remind ourselves that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, there’s no denying the fact that human beings, flawed as we are, make a lot of decisions based on appearances. And when Johnny Average gets to date Princess Zelda (I’m a nerd, remember?), heads turn.
How do they do it? Read More
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