Did you know there are less foreign men married to Japanese women than Japanese men married to foreign women? You might be wondering what the deal is, because you see way more WMAF couples around than AMWF. Well, there are actually a lot of reasons why Japanese women prefer not to date foreigners long-term. Here are 7 of them, inspired by Tokyo Night Owl’s old post:
The language barrier
Number one issue, no arguments. If either one is not fluent in the other’s language, how can you possibly hope to communicate effectively? It might not seem like a big deal at first, but it will be.
Japan is a homogeneous society, and interracial couples are extremely rare. The Tokyo Night Owl doesn’t explain much more beyond that. But maybe what he means to say is that if a Japanese woman wants to marry a foreign man, she has to deal with being the odd one out whenever she is out in public with him? And accept that she, and her relationship, will constantly be under public scrutiny and judgement, including for all the other reasons listed.
Not wanting to go against her parents’ wishes
I think people in general prefer not to go against their family’s wishes because it just makes life easier. But it’s especially true that Japanese women prefer to respect their parents’ wishes, since most of them will live with their parents well into their twenties or until they are married. So if you have a traditional family, it’s difficult to go against the grain and oppose your parents, who can be either just super traditional or mistrusting of foreigners.
Foreigners’ income in Japan is LOW
According to Tokyo Night Owl, the average income for an English teacher (aka the most popular job for foreigners in Japan) is only about 250,000 yen or 2,500 per month at best. In Canada that’s like barely above minimum wage. And, I don’t want to turn this into an argument about equality or anything, but the reality is that most men make more money than their wives. Especially in Japan, it’s difficult for women to get high-paying jobs at corporate firms because the assumption is that she will just marry off and quit anyway. So then the question is, why would she marry a poor foreigner when she can marry a well-off Japanese man and not have to worry as much?
Foreigners All men are playboys
A lot of foreigner men who come to Japan are just playing around and trying to sleep with as many women as they can so they can giggle and gossip about it with their buddies. Oh, wait, did I say foreign men in Japan? I meant to say EVERY MAN EVER…joking of course, but because it’s so common and they’ve collectively made a reputation for being cheaters, it’s become very difficult for a Japanese woman to consider a foreign man for a husband.
Foreigners are temporary
This is very true, too. Most foreigners aren’t planning to stay in Japan forever. Tokyo Night Owl pretty much sums it up perfectly: “even if the plan is long term, circumstances (lost job, visa expiring, deportation) make it impossible to afford a girl the same level of “security” that a Japanese citizen can.”
KY is short for kuki yomenai, and it’s “being unable to read the situation or pick up on the mood of a conversation”, according to Shirabe Jisho. It’s not unique to foreigners, but most locals will assume it and as one of the commenters states, foreign men aren’t doing much to help their case. For example, being loud on a quiet train.
I was really only surprised by the one about income, because I didn’t know that English teaching pay was so low in Japan. Pretty interesting, though I should mention that a lot of locals do want a fling with a foreigner, they just don’t want anything long-term. There’s a big difference!