Well, I recently wrote a book called “There’s Something I Want to Tell You: True Stories of Mixed Dating in Japan“. Jasmine’s blog “Zooming Japan” has been a great inspiration to me, so I’d like to share some of the best stories with you guys! Kala’s Story (Black American). Kala remembers when she saw him for the first time Lily speaks Japanese fluently and has dated many Japanese guys. When I asked her about the secret of attracting Japanese men, she said, ‘You just go for it. The best way is just to plough them over, and then they’ll have no choice but to submit.’
Love is the same everywhere, but getting there can be different. AP • Group dating is common until two people in the group establish that they want to get serious. • Declaring your love isn't jumping the gun — it's establishing that you're serious about starting a relationship. • Professional matchmaking is making a comeback among busy Japanese people who don't have time for dating. • If you're a non-Japanese person who is dating a Japanese person, don't assume that everything is a cultural difference.
Some things are personality quirks, not cultural ones. Let's face it: Dating is hard everywhere. Everyone who has ever dated anyone has their own tales of woe just the cultural differences that vary from place to place. If you have a mixed-culture group of friends where you live, you may already have witnessed the tip of this particular iceberg.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but here are some of the things you might experience on the dating scene in Japan. It's not uncommon in America to do things as a group of friends. Maybe you'll go see a movie, grab a bite to eat, go to a party — the potential list is endless. But most Americans go on a date in pairs rather than groups.
In Japan, group dating — or goukon — commonly happens first. It's a way to gauge mutual interest and suitability, as well as mix with a potential partner's friends.
You might think that this sounds low-pressure compared with American dating customs. But there's still plenty to stress about. "Lots of young people don't really date because it can be expensive (for guys) and stressful — the women I know always worried so much about what kind of outfit to wear because it would affect the 'type' their date assumed them to be.
Everything has a label here- there are so many different 'types' of men and women, girls and boys," Beth Daniels — an American who has lived and worked in Japan for several years — told INSIDER.
The practice of kokuhaku (confession of love and/or interest) often starts the Japanese dating process. This makes things simpler in a lot of ways according to Yumi Nakata of GaijinPot.
Nakata was born and raised in Japan, and then moved to the US for school. According to Nakata, with kokuhaku, you're not left wondering if someone is interested in you as a love prospect. Both men and women can be the first one to make a move, and you'll get an answer about whether your would-be object of affection is interested in you very quickly.
"On my first date with my 'ex' we obviously clicked so I expected at least a little kiss at the station before we went our separate ways, but all I got was a stiff hug," Jen McIntosh, an American studying in Japan, told The Japan Times. "I analyzed it to death and a friend who had been in a relationship with a Japanese man for three years told me that I was lucky to get a hug in a public place.
I wasn't expecting to make out in front of everyone, but I did get irritated when he would never hold my hand or touch my knee on the train." "Ways in which feelings, and love in particular, are expressed can lead to frustration.
[Westerners] expect more direct verbal expression and physical contact, whereas the Japanese partner may not feel comfortable with this kind of expression. Nonverbal communication, subtle signs are highly valued in Japan and if they are not noticed by the Western partner, frustration and resentment follow," Tokyo-based psychotherapist Dr. Ana Maloyan-Kishida told The Japan Times.
"Traditional matchmaking (omiai) is still around, and according to some people is making a comeback because nobody has enough free time to waste it on happenstance meetings, as it were. It takes a long time to get to know someone. The appeal of the traditional matchmaker is that everyone is vetted by a pro, their priorities and stats have been compared to yours and deemed acceptable as a possible good fit," Daniels told INSIDER.
Routines are comforting and useful to all of us, especially when we're very busy. But they also make your chances of meeting someone new more difficult. Even if you live in a big city and don't drive, you might still catch the same bus every day, or walk to the same train stop and see the same people with little to no variation. "The main problem everyone agrees on is that it's really, really hard to meet new people organically. Japanese society itself kind of prevents it, because everyone sticks to their little groups- work, hobbies, family, classmates.
If you wanna to meet new people you have to change your workplace, or take up a new pursuit, like yoga classes or a team sport," Daniels told INSIDER. "What may be an individual struggle with closeness or a deeply seated fear of intimacy may be interpreted as a cultural phenomenon. I have seen people who have tolerated bizarre behavior in their partner, justifying it as cultural difference.
Only later on, have they become aware that this was pathological behavior, even within the cultural context," Dr. Maloyan-Kishida told The Japan Times. Mami Suzuki — a Japanese woman who dated and eventually married a Canadian man — agrees. "Long before meeting him I had learned from movies and television that Western people aren't shy about kissing in public, but I didn't know that they also wouldn't mind farting in public. I don't know.
It may only be my husband. Yeah, it probably is," Suzuki wrote for Tofugu. Sign up to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.
best mixi dating japanese - The differences between Japanese and American dating
Far East Asia (especially South Korea and Japan) have had a long tradition in social networking. Since the beginning of the new Millenium, Cyworld (in South Korea) and Mixi (in Japan) have been fiercely representing two of the most important and peculiar local social networks in the world, with a huge user-base and a series of characteristics deeply tied to their respective countires’ culture. Yet in recent years (more precisely in 2011/12) the biggest social networking machine of our age has been able to overcome SNS giants Cyworld and Mixi in their homelands; it surely didn’t kill them, but still, what happened represents a big switch in the two local digital scenarios.
Of course we’re talking about Facebook, and we’re about to see how – and why – it has been able to change the rules of the game. Today we are talking about the rise and fall of one of the oldest social network ever launched: Tokyo-based Mixi. The king of Japan’s social networking As we all know, Japan has a very mature digital market, where local players have been playing a key role in several field: from millions-users-strong social gaming giants such as and – which by the way recently launched a brand-new logo & identity – to the more recent and globally-expanding mobile IM app .
But among them, is the most important one. After its birth almost a decade ago, it quickly became the leading social networking platform in Japan, with features similar to classic social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook (Mixi’s coetaneous, since both were launched in 2004). The mission of the website – created by Japanese Internet tycoon Kenji Kasahara – w as to give users the possibility of fully expressing themselves, through the integration of blogs inside personal profiles – with the option to add extra space for a small fee – and by enabling users to review CDs, movies and video games, with a section called Mixi Music where to share their favorite songs.
Mixi has a number of very characteristic feature, quite useful in order to really understand the “digital culture” in the country: • The site have been mainly used anonymously, especially in its first years.
Many users signed up via username, therefore not disclosing their real identities publicly, using celebrities or fictional characters as profile pictures. • Mixi is accessible only to Japanese citizens, or to those who have lived for a long time in the country, since a Japanese phone number is required to verify the account – until 2010 new users could sign-up by invitation only. • Users have a limit of one thousand maimiku (friends), unless the account is recognized as tarento (a celebrity or a relevant public personality).
• Mixi has been among the first social networks to integrate a feature called ashiato (which literally means footprint), allowing users to see who has visited their profile – similar to the feature LinkedIn introduced a few years ago. • Another interesting thing: in the Japanese culture there’s a specific expression – Mixi tsukare – to mean the feeling of being tired of using Mixi.
Numbers and brands’ presence The platform exploded in 2005, reaching 5 million users in 2006, then living a phase of strong growth, exceeding 10M users in 2007 and recording more than 20M accesses between 2010 and 2011.
But in the last period Mixi started showing a slight decrease rate, together with an increase of the number of users accessing via mobile. Today Mixi is mostly used by young people (44.6% between 15-24 years old), and 40% of the user base resides in Kantō (the over 30M-people-strong urban area of Tokyo-Yokohama). Cool insight: you can constantly keep an eye on Mixi stats . Still pretty strong figures, actually; that’s why a number of local and international brands are very active on the platform.
Especially those Japanese brands with strong tie-ins with the local culture, like fashion producer : And minimalist household/consumer goods seller : But also global giants like : The Facebook & Twitter era The most popular social network in the world has always seen in Japan a very difficult area to penetrate. The well-established presence of “indigenous” platforms, and the traditional shyness of Japanese netizens – very careful in protecting their privacy – have been giving Facebook some really hard time, for years.
On a side note, ironically that’s also why Twitter encountered a relatively early success in the country, due to its less invasive nature, and the possibility to be active on it with a fantasy profile.
In fact, back in early 2012 Japan was the third country on Twitter after the US and Brazil, with 30M accounts (source: ). But Twitter never really represented a strong threat against Mixi. On the other hand, over the course of 2012 Facebook has been capable of exceeding Mixi in terms of active users, due both to the growth of Zuckerberg’s creature in the country and – most importantly – to the decline of Mixi’s popularity, and the subsequent loss of daily active users.
In Japan, Facebook has now about 15 million active users, somewhere around 15% of total internet users in the country. Despite the relatively modest overall Internet users penetration – especially if compared with other Asia-Pacific countries like the , Malaysia or – the Facebook adoption by a substantial user base can be considered a dramatic cultural change, especially for what concerns the younger segments of population.
Mixi, between tradition and globalization But why did this happen? How has Facebook been able to become the strongest SNS in Japan – and therefore the most important social media channel for brands? And what happened to the Mixi craze? The phenomenon has several explanations: many observers think that the switch has been strongly influenced by the remarkable success in the country of David Fincher’s movie (2010), and by the huge international attention – with an unprecedented amount of interactions on SNS – during and after the Tōhoku earthquake and the (March 2011).
But if we go a little bit deeper, there’s an interesting study from early 2011 – back when Facebook was still figuring out a way to establish a concrete presence in Japan – showing that most of Facebook early adopters were attracted by the possibility of getting in contact with foreign people (one third of the respondents had lived abroad). You can find the research on this website: . No need to stress that the second and the third answers are directly related to the slow-but-constant decline of Mixi.
To sum it up, a post published by the dated back to March 2012 gives us a perfect definition of what actually happened in the Japanese digital scenario: “In February, Facebook had 13.5 million unique users, up from 6 million a year earlier, according to data from Nielsen.
The Japanese are finally overcoming their shyness.“ We’ll be back in Far East Asia tomorrow, to talk about how Facebook overcame the biggest social network in South Korea – Cyworld.
DATING DOs and DON'Ts IN JAPAN