romance

Six ways science-minded and art-minded Japanese people see the world differently

Six ways science-minded and art-minded Japanese people see the world differently

Just as you can broadly divide academic subjects into arts and sciences, in Japan people are often referred to as being “science-type” or “art-type,” with the first describing someone who holds everything up to the light of logic, and the latter for someone who applies more romantic standards.

Recently, Japanese Twitter users have been sharing their theories on the way this difference in fundamental mentality can affect a person’s attitude and feelings about such a wide range of topics such as not being too busy to see their dating partners, what happens when snow melts, or even their reactions to famous anime movie lines.

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Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

As cultural attitudes continue to evolve in Japan, some groups that have spent decades being socially ostracized are finally seeing the tides turn in their favor. For example, while the covers of most men’s fashion magazines are still plastered with photos of incredibly slender guys, the country has recently been showing some love for heavyset males as well.

One demographic that still tends to have a hard time landing a date, though, are the otaku, Japan’s catch-all term for obsessive fans of anime, video games, computers, and anything traditionally geeky. But could the popular image of otaku as the bottom feeders of the dating pool be a case of women overlooking their hidden merits as boyfriend material?

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Japanese railway sets up literal love seats with special seating for couples

Japanese railway sets up literal love seats with special seating for couples

In plenty of situations, Japan’s reliance on public transportation is a life-saver. Need some extra time to study for that test in first period? Pull out your notebook and review on the train to school. Had a few drinks too many? Park yourself in a seat on the subway, take a 30-minute nap, and arrive at the station with just enough power to walk home and get your key in the door.

Now, a railway in Chiba Prefecture is looking to give a hand not just to procrastinating students and heavy drinkers (who are, of course, often one and the same), but to young lovers, too, with its special priority seats for couples. That’s right, singletons, you just got one more reason to hate clingy couples.

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“Sausage bread boys” – The heavy-set men set to become Japan’s most eligible bachelors

“Sausage bread boys” – The heavy-set men set to become Japan’s most eligible bachelors

For the past several years, the three most fashionably ideal body types in Japan have been ‘slim,’ ‘slender,’ and ‘easily tossed about by a light spring breeze.’ And while like most societies, Japan generally casts a sterner eye on women than men with a higher than average body-fat percentage, this “skinny is best” mentality has largely applied to males as well, as any guy who’s tried on a pair of pants at a fashionable Tokyo retailer can attest to.

Recently, though, a shift seems to be occurring, with a rise in popularity of heavier women who have been dubbed “marshmallow girls,” who’ve even formed an idol singer unit now and won legions of fans.

Next, it seems like Japan might be poised to show some big love for big guys, with one magazine heralding the upcoming age of what it’s calling “sausage bread boys.”

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Japan now has so many 30-year-old virgins its language needs a new slang term for them

Japan now has so many 30-year-old virgins its language needs a new slang term for them

Japan’s birth rate has been dropping for decades now, and while it’s possible the demographic shift is a result of couples just getting that much better at using contraceptives, you have to allow for the possibility that fewer babies is due to fewer couples doing the deed.

Lending further credibility to this explanation is the fact that the proportion of Japanese men in their 30s who still have their virginity has gotten so high that society has coined a new slang term to describe them: yaramiso.

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Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

Real-life soap opera: Chinese couple get married, realize that they’re cousins later

When we were kids, we were often told to “listen to your mother” or “do as dad says”, and many of us probably went through a time when we secretly swore that we’d never listen to our parents again once we grew up. But as age catches up, some of us begin to realize that our moms and dads do make more sense than we do sometimes.

A Chinese couple recently ignored their parents’ objections to their union and secretly tied the knot, only to later discover that they were actually cousins!

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Government form allows Japanese romantics to officially declare their love

Government form allows Japanese romantics to officially declare their love

Generally, Japanese culture tends to handle emotional expression a little less directly than in English-speaking countries, especially where romance is concerned. In particular, couples in Japan aren’t nearly as likely to regularly say “I love you” as their Western counterparts are or be seen smooching in public.

In certain situations, though, these roles get flipped. For example, while most Westerners would feel awkward making the explicit statement, “Please be my boyfriend/girlfriend,” in Japan that exact phrase, tsukiatte kudasai, is a pretty common romantic milestone, and something that many actually expect their partner to say in order to explicitly recognize the nature of the relationship.

Now, couples can even have their affection officially recognized, as lovers in Japan can submit government documents certifying their love for each other.

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New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

Dating simulator video games are only now starting to build a fan base internationally, but digital romance is such an established genre in Japan that it’s already evolved into several even more segmented sub-niches. Unsurprisingly, most early titles revolved around a high school boy with a harem of willing lasses circling around him. As time went on, dating simulators for girls caught on, resulting in the otome (“maiden”) game where gallant suitors compete for the leading lady’s affections.

Regardless of the protagonist’s gender, though, there have been so many dating simulators released in Japan that you have to do something pretty unusual to stand out from the pack now. We’ve seen titles where the love interest is an alpaca or pigeon, but now comes a romantic video game starring a girl who’s been transformed into a traditional Japanese kokeshi doll.

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Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese society prides itself on its high level of tact in dealing with delicate matters, and indeed, quite often in communication not offending the other party is given priority well above getting your point across. That said, when the system discretion breaks down, it really breaks down, and sometimes you’re faced with the linguistic paradox of candor that’s so cutting because the choice of words is so blunt.

Recently, a bit of a firestorm was set off in Japan by a male-oriented magazine spitting straight talk on what makes the ideal girl in extremely intricate detail.

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Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

A man and woman pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend in order to please their traditionally-minded, grandchild-expecting parents is one of the oldest clichés in romantic fiction. It’s right up there with the moody jerk with a heart of gold and the rich, dreamy architect who would love to spend more time with the heroine if only he wasn’t juggling so many projects.

In real life, though, often times once you peel back the layers of jerk a guy has wrapped himself in, all you’ll find he was hiding deep down inside was a smaller, more concentrated jerk. Architecture has one of the highest unemployment rates of any professional field. And talking someone you’re not dating into pretending to be your girlfriend? It’s not nearly as cute as movies and TV make it out to be, as proven by the ugly aftermath of a man in China’s unsuspecting parents giving a sizeable cash gift to his fake girlfriend.

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AFP explores Japan’s love hotels, teaches you all you need to know 【Video】

AFP explores Japan’s love hotels, teaches you all you need to know 【Video】

In a recent video shared via YouTube, the AFP News Agency takes a look at the weird and wonderful world of Japan’s love hotels. Around for more than 100 years now, these curious and undeniably Japanese locations are used by everyone from sex-starved couples who live with their families to cheeky travellers looking for a cheap place to crash.

Check out the video for info on everything from how to check in to what you can find inside your room.

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Changing attitudes about remarriage help create a new Japanese word: maru ni

Changing attitudes about remarriage help create a new Japanese word: maru ni

Wedding planning is a big deal in Japan, where it often involves a ceremony, formal reception with coworkers (including your boss, who’s expected to make a speech), an informal after-party after the reception winds down, and in many cases a second after-party that may stretch on until the next morning when the trains start running. Putting the whole thing together can be costly and require a lot of work, but it’s all worth it when everything goes smoothly. And besides, getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime event, right?

Well, actually, that’s not always the case. As in many modern, economically prosperous societies, the divorce rate has been rising in Japan, and along with it the potential number of remarriage candidates. In an attempt to keep up with these changing cultural norms and values, one of Japan’s largest wedding planners has gone so far as to coin a new term for those who remarry: maru ni.

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Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Generally speaking, it’s considered bad form to suck face on public transportation, particularly in socially conservative countries like the Philippines, but perhaps lovers get a little extra leeway on St. Valentine’s Day, because the Manila Light Rail Transit is offering free tickets to couples bringing the romance today.

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Need emergency Valentine’s Day plans? Check out these chocolate shops in Tokyo!

Need emergency Valentine’s Day plans? Check out these chocolate shops in Tokyo!

Uh-oh! It’s Valentine’s Day and you forgot to make plans! What are you going to do? Well, we suppose you could buy a box of chocolates from the convenience store, but we doubt your beau will appreciate it. Especially if you have a bad habit of forgetting important events like some of us.

But fear not! RocketNews24 has you covered! Here are five “eat in” chocolate shops in Tokyo with just the right amount of (somewhat) affordable and tasty treats to make everyone happy.

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57-year-old man acquires diver’s license to search for wife lost in tsunami

57-year-old man acquires diver’s license to search for wife lost in tsunami

A grisly truth is coming to light as Japan’s Tohoku region recovers from the massive earthquake and tsunami that occurred in 2011. When the water receded from damaged areas, it took much of what had been struck, including the bodies of victims.

Nearly three years have passed since the disaster, but there are still residents of the afflicted area classified as missing. As the country moves on and begins to turn its focus to more pressing matters, one 57-year-old man seeking closure has decided to venture into the sea that claimed his wife to personally search for her remains.

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Meet Sakura-chan, the sprinting penguin in love with a human【Video】

Meet Sakura-chan, the sprinting penguin in love with a human【Video】

Penguins are, without a doubt, one of the cutest animals in the world. This is not a statement that many people would even think to argue with–it’s as close to an obvious truth as you can get without breaking out the math! But we may have found a way to up the cuteness quotient for penguins from just “exceptionally cute” to “brain-asplodey cute.”

How? Simple: Set them jogging after their (human) crush!

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Japanese women discuss the pros and cons of being a guy’s first girlfriend ever

Japanese women discuss the pros and cons of being a guy’s first girlfriend ever

Most socializing in Japan is done in groups, and while there’s definitely something to be said for the “the more the merrier” philosophy behind it, that same social norm can sometimes work against a person’s love life. Sure, a guy might have a thing for a girl who he’s in the same school club with, but it can be hard to take the relationship to the next level if they never have any time alone together. On the opposite side of the scale, if there’s no one who strikes a man’s fancy in his immediate social circle, expanding his network of acquaintances, and with it his dating pool, can be a tricky endeavor to pull off.

The end result is a number of men in Japan who don’t enter into a serious romantic relationship until they’re well into adulthood. Luckily, this isn’t a complete deal breaker for them, but that lack of experience does change the playing field, as shown in a survey of 206 Japanese women in their teens, twenties, and thirties who shared their hopes and concerns about being a guy’s very first girlfriend.

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Final Fantasy Chocolates: The gift your gaming Valentine actually wants

Final Fantasy Chocolates: The gift your gaming Valentine actually wants

Last weekend I was at a department store in Tokyo, and since Valentine’s Day is coming up, the confectionary section was packed with candy makers hawking limited-edition chocolates for the romantic holiday. As I looked at all the sweetness on display, though, something struck me.

In Japan, women give chocolate to the special guy in their life, but the aesthetics are still entirely feminine. I saw dozens of candies shaped like hearts, ribbons, and even teddy bears and other cute woodland animals.

While the craftsmanship was impressive, none of the designs were the sort of things men actually want for themselves, especially when they could have these awesome Final Fantasy chocolates instead.

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Still don’t want a smartphone? Japanese women might want you

Still don’t want a smartphone? Japanese women might want you

Despite my work address being “The Internet,” my personal use cell phone actually isn’t a smartphone. Maybe it’s a result of spending several hours a day looking at websites, but to me there’s still just something that feels right about a compact phone that folds shut with an oddly satisfying snap, even if the sound provokes a Pavlovian response of laughter from any technophiles in earshot.

But like skinny ties and 8-bit video game graphics, it seems like flip phones aren’t quite ready to fade away entirely. As a matter of fact, busting out an old school flip phone in Japan just might make a man more attractive to women.

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The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest

The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest

Japan is big on seasonality. As you might deduce about a society that has preferred points of the calendar for eating specific snacks and sushi, this extends to romantic relationships as well. Like the blossoming of the cherry trees, each year sees certain repeating situations for which popular opinion holds the best way to spend is “with your boyfriend.”

However, not every woman in Japan has a special guy in her life, which can be all the more of a downer when you keep hearing about how romantic those particular times of year are.

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