Skip to content

True Stories of Life in Japan, pt 7: The Elusive Asian Girlfriend

When I first arrived in-country, I had a weekend of training and a week of dual-teaching with the prior teacher before officially taking over the position. It’s a useful system; my predecessor didn’t have a lot to say about teaching, but he did get me familiar enough with the local area enough that I could at least find food, get on the correct bus to get to the city, and dry-clean my clothing. One of the first things he said to me, after being introduced and covering the essential basics, was that the one thing he regretted about his term in that position was that he hadn’t put enough effort into finding sex. It seemed, at the time, a strange topic for him to bring up out of the blue.

Apparently, I was naieve in thinking so. For whatever reason, sex does seem to be one of the first things many people think of when I say that I’ve lived in Japan. One of my good friends had a lot of fun ribbing me before I went, saying that regardless of my intentions prior to arrival, I’d end up staying at least 10 years and coming back married. The comments from my coworkers in the military tend to be somewhat more lewd: “So, how many of them did you bang? I hear those Asian chicks are freaks!”

I don’t generally answer that question, even in the sense in which it was intended: as an invitation to tell some entertaining lies and bond. The truth is irrelevant, and I tend to get too nervous to properly tell a spontaneous story unless the listeners are all good enough friends that I don’t mind if it flops.

There are people who will tell you that the Tokyo nightlife is a continuous episode of wild debauchery. Perhaps they are correct; I don’t know. Given that work generally ran until around 8pm, the trains stopped at 2am, and it took almost two hours to get to or from any of the party districts in one direction, it never seemed worth my while to actually try it out. The few times I did end up in a Tokyo night, I was hanging out with Sarah.

The people who brag of their nocturnal conquests in the city somehow never speak of extending their reach into the surrounding towns and suburbs. There is a reason for this: even if there are wild nights in Tokyo, the nights in the outlying areas are quite tame. Businessmen make it home from their commutes no later than 10pm, and in Japan, that almost always means they actually were working in the office until 9. Those businessmen represent almost 100% of the evening traffic; even if office workers regularly stay late, retail businesses in the countryside (with the exception of combini) all close at 5.

There are, of course, exceptions. However, the countryside nightlife tended towards small izakaya or karaoke; places that you go to with a group of friends, not places you go to meet people. More to the point, I wasn’t really seeking a girlfriend; it was only a minor disappointment that fate didn’t see fit to provide one from the blue. Japan’s a wonderful place, but it’s not really a good one in which to seek true love–at least, not until you’re significantly more comfortable with the language and customs than I ever was.

RSS feed

4 Comments

Comment by appleday
2008-01-03 10:59:56

I agree on what you wrote.

Most of my friends (male) always tend to put the image of Japan for: “Finding an amazing Japanese girlfriend”. I mean, isn’t that just a some kind of a brainwash for Caucasian male?

I mean, I am a female and I am Asian, but I do not think that way.

And I agree on your last paragraph: “Japan’s a wonderful place, but it’s not really a good one in which to seek true love”.

Love can be anywhere! That is what I believe.

 
Comment by snen
2008-04-30 19:05:43

man, i hate how people have these sexual stereotypes about Asians, and feel completely normal talking about them right away. I used to date a Japanese guy (in the US) and the first thing most people (especially guys) asked was about his penis size.. -_-

 
Comment by Anonymous Windows Vista Internet Explorer 7.0
2008-09-01 07:35:40

“man, i hate how people have these sexual stereotypes about Asians, and feel completely normal talking about them right away. I used to date a Japanese guy (in the US) and the first thing most people (especially guys) asked was about his penis size..”

Stereotypes are based on fact, but they don’t apply to everyone, which is the problem with stereotypes! The size thing is enough of a fact that condoms are significantly smaller in Japan, so average size is smaller or Japanese men refuse to complain about the inadequate condom size, which is unlikely.

 
Comment by Mr. T Windows XP Internet Explorer 7.0
2008-09-01 07:50:48

My wife is Japanese and I met her through the personals. Now it took me years of putting an adv. in the personals before I got a response that was compatible. I find Japanese women approachable if you are a kind and decent person. Perhaps I am lucky. She’s a great wife. We live in the USA. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.