Japanese Women Scorn Men as Too Poor


A recent survey confirms the already well understood importance of wealthy spouses to Japanese women, suggesting that perhaps falling marriage and birth rates may have some connection to the possibly unrealistic expectations of such women with respect to income:

Over 90% overall (of both genders) desired marriage to various degrees. A similar result was obtained asking about whether children were desired.

60% of men expressed no preference over their partner’s income.

Male income desired by women (per annum salaries in yen):

Below 3,000,000: 0.9%
3-4,000,000: 9.8%
4-5,000,000: 16.1%
Over 5,000,000, below 10,000,000: 43.7%
Over 10,000,000: 9.8%

Average “salaryman” salaries versus age (in millions of yen):

Male: 20~24: 2.7 25~29: 3.79 30~34: 4.61
Female: 20~24: 2.31 25~29: 2.94 30~34: 2.99

The overall average for such workers of all ages is 4.37 million.

Marriage statistics suggest most women want a partner within 5 years of their own age. The actual age difference between partners has declined to 1.7 years in 2005, down from 2.9 in 1987.

These are based on official statistics and private surveys.

This can be interpreted as showing that women want a partner of the same generation, but the overwhelming majority also want a partner with an income significantly above average, and probably significantly more than their own.

A more controversial interpretation we see is that these women have little appreciation of their own social position (or at least are wildly ambitious), as the number of men earning at the levels being sought is much lower than the demand, suggesting the income expectations of most are completely unrealistic.

Although there is obviously a contingent who will settle for something more realistic, looking at the overall marriage and birth rate statistics suggests such optimistic expectations may be a factor.

Of course, these are just some of the interpretations possible – placing blame on Japanese women is not the intent, and nor is the evidence used here conclusive in any way.

Leave a Comment


  • UncommonOtaku says:

    As an Uncommon Otaku, I've noticed one bit of irony about why Japanese women scorn Otaku in general.

    Its just that Japanese Women are also Otaku – but in total denial that they themselves are Otaku.

    What do I mean?
    I'm being serious here. Normal career japanese women are also otaku.

    They are Finance Otaku, Travel Otaku, Career Otaku, and the most obvious of all "Fashion Otaku"!!!
    Among others, you just have to put yourselves in their shoes and look at things from their perspective, then look at them from an objective perspective of an Anthropological Otaku's Social Sciences Otaku Perspective. Essentially a trick mirror.

    Until such time as Japanese Women can come to terms with their own Otakuness, the argument of why Japanese Women disdain Otaku's is that Japanese women are also hypocrites.

    Fashion Otaku's need to have a wealthy man to support their Fashion Otaku-ness. To this I say – DAMN GIRL – WHEN YOU GONNA GROW UP!!!

    Which is why this otaku (myself) is only interested in girls his own age. Who are mature, intelligent and sensible,…… and of course cute too.

    cheers all!!!


  • A lower birth rate is a GOOD thang. We have a population bomb going off, and Japan especially has limited space. Did you there is a line of oil tankers circling from the Persian Gulf to Japan that goes 24 hours a day and you can see the smoke from the one ahead and been you. This ain’t sustainable.

    Japan has a whole lot of people to lose before they disappear. And they lead the world in robots! The the bots works and the people play!

  • Been there done that, its 100% true. they are whoa. invested soo much time,effort and money it turn out to be a complete waste in resource. i’d say, invest in your self (my advice) i’d blame most of it to the society that give them too much freedom that makes them who they are now. would be nice if its 17th century all over again.

  • SilverTide says:

    Quote: 60% of men expressed no preference over their partner’s income.

    Women are more sexually attracted to men who make more money than themselves.

    A woman’s income has no relation to how sexually attracted a man is to a woman.

    If I were to marry, I’d want my wife to make less than me so she’d continue to be attracted to me. It’s just plain biology.

    If a woman is tall, she’ll want a man who’s taller than her. If a woman makes $50,000 a year, she’ll want a man who makes $70,000 a year. If she’s a nurse, she’ll want a man with more status such as a doctor.

    Those 60% of men need to take another glance at the evolution textbook.

    • Supposing your premise might be true, that women desire men with higher positions than themselves, I doubt much of this is actually genetic. Behaviors such as these are almost always cultural, in this case, the expectation that men are to have better jobs is most likely instilled with the help of media and the likes early on. If this was the case in my country, rather than adapting to this ingrained demand, I’d focus on finding a partner that likes me for who I am, simultaneously setting a precedent for what truly matters.

      Maybe I just a deviant when it comes to what attracts me, but I’d be a huge turn-off if it were in the back of my mind that the girl I am about to sleep with only appreciates me for my income. I’m pretty sure studying evolution textbooks won’t help anyone improve their chances of getting a healthy relationship going. Being confident and able to be yourself is far more important.

        • On the contrary, I see plenty of couples in the US where the woman is the breadwinner, is taller, and often comes from a wealthier background. Massive culture shock at first.

          However, in the Eastern Asian cultures there’s a severe paucity of such pairing, primarily because we are taught at an early age that the man has to be the pillar of the family, including but not limited to: income, height, social and familial status. This is a traditional perspective passed on from generation to generation. It’s often considered shameful for a man earn less than the woman, and I’ve even had a colleague tell me how difficult it was for her to find an Asian guy who would accept that she would be the breadwinner of the family (she’s going into orthopedic surgery).

          Thus, cultural differences explain this discrepancy in a more satisfactory manner. Not all woman want to marry up and not all men want to marry down.

  • but dunno if it’s just from the women’s side only

    for me it’s “whoa with this money how can I support my family later if I were to get married (eventhough some people who earn less can get by already), If I haven’t earned *** a month, I wouldn’t think of getting married”

    well, life’s tough. whatever the reason no one wants their family to have nothing to eat, place to stay, and clothes to wear. but expectations are just expectations, some still get married even if they just barely can afford themself.

    • People in developed countries have been consumed with avarice to the point of letting charletans take charge of 60%+ of high positions. and then you need more and more money for things, as the economy gets worse….
      Greed and impatience are slow killers, but they are the deadliest things on this planet right now.

  • Riot Gear says:

    i heard why Japanese men wouldn’t marry Japanese women because they’re too demanding for luxuries.Now get it why their population declines.They can’t get along and they’re not into each other’s nerves.

    • AmericanOtaku83 says:

      It’s not just Japanese women. It’s women, period. My brother has been married for 21 years and his wife is the family’s bread-winner. She works nine months of the year for a San Diego school district and he only works on weekends as a deejay. And I’m legally disabled because of heart problems so when I do find Miss Right, I’d end up being the house-husband. How many Japanese women are willing to be the bread winner?

  • Rei Murasame says:

    Okay, before this turns into some kind of mysogyny fest, or some kooky debate about which gender is earning what amount on average, let’s look at a graph.


    In there is the consumer price index for Japan up until May 2008. Let me quote the relevant parts of the article.

    “The potentially ugly side of Japanese inflation is that instead of boosting consumer spending, it could actually drag down growth. Imported inflation, via food and energy price hikes, may very well be suppressing domestic demand. The problem is that wage growth is accelerating only enough to offset inflation, as a report from Mizuho Corporate Bank points out. Official data show nominal wages growing an average 1.3% yoy for the first four months of 2008. This means wages were basically flat in real terms. So while inflation expectations may be shifting higher, as shown in some recent surveys, most consumers don’t have any more money in their pockets to spend. Nominal household spending actually fell in March, April, and May. In fact, spending by Japanese households in May slid 3.2% yoy, the sharpest fall since September 2006.”

    Because we as women are not all love-sick airheads (surprise!), we actually do take these sorts of things into account when we are thinking about marriage. You can whine and moan about money and love and the injustice of being sized up by how much you earn, but that would be silly because it would be like complaining about how life is about survival. That’s neither surprising nor scandalous. That’s just reality.

    If you vote repeatedly for idiots who cannot manage monetary policy, and the cost of living goes up as a result, then EXPECT that your prospective marriage partner will ask you to be making more money so that survival can happen.

    As prices continue to increase, you will expect that you will be asked to make more and more money if you are planning to enter into a marriage and perhaps have children (which cost money).

    The reason that the demands are unreasonable, are not because women are unreasonable, but rather because the prices themselves are unreasonable and no average person of either gender can make enough to satisfy it.

    It is not that we are ‘scorning men’, it is simply that /marriage itself is unaffordable/, and we have let you know that fact by demanding from you an amount money that you can’t make.

    Capitalism 101.

    End of story.

    • The notion of not relying on a man to provide support whether financial, physical, spiritual or otherwise is … disadvantageous. Gender roles evolved for a reason.

      I can fully understand Rei’s arguments.

      I earn above average income for my age bracket yet find living in the modern world to be unusually challenging. While something is always broke in the system, the way things currently are where NKDI appears to be the only way to maintain a decent living standard strikes me as completely wrong.

      Ultimately, this will be a problem that solves itself.

      NKDI is the path the extinction.

      Those with the NKDI or solo meme will thin themselves out over time. Same goes for women with unrealistic expectations and men who are unable to meet those requirements.

      The question lies in whether we can afford the cost of the solution.

      • Rei Murasame says:

        I wasn’t supporting the concept of the so-called ‘gender roles’ though, I was simply trying to illustrate that it’s unaffordable no matter which way you do it.

        The root of the problem is not asian women, the root of the problem is that the economy is broken by bad policy and has been for a long time. People have realised this, and so this is just one of the symptoms of that broken economy.

        Reall Simple Example:
        Let’s say that the value you need to live comfortably is “30”.

        Now let’s say the average individual be it male of female is making about “10”.

        10 + 10 = 20 = you failed.

        0 + 10 = 10 = you failed even more.

        So either way, you would not be able to actually live, and you will have foreclosures and spiralling debt on easy credit, encouraged by the flawed Keynesian models that have all but taken over the entire planet now.

        The only difference between the two is that the first option will last a little bit longer before it collapses.

        I fully support the concept of women working, because that is expected from woman that hopes to be the master of their own affairs and make their own decisions.

        However, I also know that /still/ doesn’t make marriage any more economically viable to the average citizen.

        So again I think the real truth is that this is completely an economic problem – and that problem has a myriad of different symptoms that often cloud and obscure that fact.

        • Anonymous says:

          ok, back to reality for a bit… 3mil is about 30k dollars. It is possible to live on 30k for two people, a lot of people live on a lot less in japan. So it is not a question of what is viable or necessary for marriage, but what japanese women on average consider “reasonably comfortable”. The root of the problem is that people expect luxuries they cannot afford. Furthermore (to the annoyance of men who are broke) women expect their mate to provide these for them. And because a large portion of the male population cannot provide it, they refuse to “settle for regular guys” waiting for their knight in shining armor who is unsurprisingly disinclined to marry, considering that the majority of the female population is pining over him. I just don’t see how this is news in any way, this has been going on in all countries at all levels of society since time immemorial. I refer you to the greatest gold digger of all time, cinderella. =/

          All of that being said, I don’t see how 50k is in any way unreasonable either. Here in the silicon valley, the prices being what they are (i.e. comparable to Tokyo), 60k is the informal “tech poverty line”, which I barely crawled over at 25. A combined income of less than 120k would not be “comfortable” in my book. And since I don’t believe the TV is an effective caretaker, I think it would be understandable if a girl who wants children NOW does not take people with less than 6 digit incomes seriously. Gold digger/unreasonable expectations start at around 250K-500k maybe? But even than, it is all about what she is used to, it would be quite unreasonable to expect a high society girl to live on a lowly 500k a year.

      • Rei Murasame says:

        I have not missed that, my argument works in either case. The message is that marriage now requires an expenditure greater than the sum of the two salaries regardless.

        If people are struggling just on their own, then creating a marriage situation and doubling the income of the household is still going to have you coming up short, because marriage doesn’t actually save money. All you’d be doing is creating massive debt with someone by your side to share the inglorious ‘experience’.

        At that rate it’s actually safer to go it alone, and so women who are working /or/ not working, will still demand more more than you can make – the only difference between the two would be how /much/ more they are asking for.

        For instance, if I, someone who is working demands you make a value of say “20”, and a woman who is not working demands you make a value of “30”, you lose either way if are only making “10” on your own to begin with. The only difference would be by how much did you fall short.

        • SilverTide says:

          Quote: Much like how women are seeing the current situation as a loss and are declining to marry.

          You’ve got some great arguments, but I wanted to point out one thing. Despite the current social climate, women still desire marriage more than men. This has been borne out of my own personal experiences. I’ve been to various “合コン” and every time the women have outnumbered the men two to one.

          With the cost of living so high it’s financial suicide to marry and have children, at least if you want them to have a shot at a successful life. Raising a child from birth to 18 years of age minus college runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

          I don’t know about other guys, but one of my dreams is to save a million dollars. That’d be hard to do if I got married and had children.

          Stay single, work hard, get rich, date young women for the rest of my life… or

          Get married, work hard, stay poor, stuck with an aging woman (but have kids) for the rest of my life…


        • Rei Murasame says:

          That’s really up to him – if he counts it as being a loss, then he can decline to marry, no problem.

          Much like how women are seeing the current situation as a loss and are declining to marry.

          However, from the statistics at the beginning of the article, 60% of the men haven’t actually thought of the economic aspect at all (why is that?), and women are then being criticised for actually having thought about it. So that’s why my comments have been tailored to address that primarily.

          Now that you’ve raised this it does bring up something that crossed my mind earlier as well:

          Men have the ability to make the exact same overall economic demands that women are making, and yet mysteriously 60% of them choose to have “no preference”. Why is that? I was under the impression that men particularly like to appear as though they are financially aware and competent, yet 60% of them in this survey failed to think of finance in one of the most important decisions of their lives?

  • First “Japanese women scorn unmanly men”, now this.

    Japanese women are becoming more and more unappealing sounding.

    And this is why I don’t like womanly women in general. Japanese women need to man up like Western girls. Who are more likely to expect to work now that be taken care of.

    I want an ambitious partner who wants to work. Not a leech. And woman who has no interest in work, and instead has interest in a wealthy partner, is of no interest to me, personality wise.

    Man up, and get a fucking job. Almost every guy on the internet hates feminists, but at least they like to work.

  • Riot Gear says:

    A reply to Emc2Trooper and quote: “Girls don’t like boys,Girls like cars and money….”

    They should have marry cars and money like, “Newsflash: Woman who once divorced to a Lamborghini Diablo married to a Ferrari Testarossa twice or …. Woman married to a mint-conditioned 16th century gold coin worth $10,000,000!”

  • Anonymous says:

    Let us say that you are male and I ask you which salary of the following you would prefer: 0 monies, 1 monies, 10 monies, 100 monies, 1000 monies. Now depending on what implicit variables come to mind, no one would be surprised if you maximized the amount. Especially if you pin me down on every issue so that you are confident that the only variable is the amount selected. Now even if your only real options are 1 monies or 0 monies you probably are not going to limit your dreams when asked.

    If the obstinacy of earnings were a significant factor in marriage rates then, barring cultural factors, you might expect the proliferation of several nihonbrides services offering the nether-regions of female Japanese to wealthy foreigners.

    • Salaries are actually frequently mentioned as a factor in the dwindling marriage statistics. The Japanese youth doesn’t really reject the traditional family framework in which a girl marries at a relatively young age, quits her job and becomes a housewife.

      Actually, a number of jobs offered to young women, as well as a number of college education opportunities for young women, are designed with this particular purpose in mind (pairing miss OL with mister Salaryman).

      However, while young women do not mind relinquishing their jobs, they’re not prepared to reconsider their living standard after marriage. So they demand a husband earning at least twice as much as they do.

      • Anonymous says:

        humm, make sense. I am not sure if that’s the JPN Gov.’s intention from the beginning, however, if that’s so, then survey here reflects something is/are failing in this mechanism.

        human society is, after all, something everybody think they knows about something, but nobody really knows everything. government is, none the wiser.

  • I just want to point out that making 5,000,000 yen ‘worth of salary’ in other countries is different from making 5,000,000 yen in Japan…

    true enough, with that money you can buy

    79000 SGD
    installment for condo or HDB in singapore (300K)
    or live 31 months for quite a nice life (employment pass holder got 2500 SGD/month)

    350.000 RMB
    slack in beijing for 12 years, rent the whole cheap apartment (1500 rmb) and just play around, do nothing, probably around (800 rmb).

    600 mil IDR
    2 brand new houses in Indonesia anually (300 mil (or 1 house + 1 new car (180 mil) + live a lovely life for at least 1 year(120 mil) with your wife and even hire a maid)
    or if you want to live a simple life, you can just rent a room and slack for 300 months(wow 25 years).

    where else can we go and use our 2-3 years of savings and live a simple life for the rest of our life, that’s what people usually do, use the difference in currency, work somewhere, and spend it somewhere far cheaper

    • he… no edit mode o.O

      forgot to point some things. so depends on the place you may be a poor men somewhere, but a very rich men somewhere else, you may not be able to afford a wife there, but maybe somewhere else you can even afford 2. (though if you live in a poor country already, it can’t be helped but to do your best there.)

  • Anonymous says:

    And it took them THIS LONG to realize that women are really unrealistic about pay rates for men? Frankly, I’ve been telling people that for YEARS, and even my female friends have to agree with me on that point.

    Women today are becoming gold-diggers, and I don’t understand it at all.

  • I get 50,000 yen a month and it’s barely enough for food for me, and won’t suffice for another person. So I understand the women perfectly, especially if they intend to become housewives after marriage. Of course if they really love their husband they will be willing to do a NKDI (no kids, double income).

  • After looking at the statistic, I laughed out a little. That kind of expectation? Do they expect to go marry aged 50-60+ CEOs or something?

    “Keep dreaming,” is what comes in my mind. This statistic helps me further understand why Japan has such a low birth rate.

  • Happy Gaijin says:

    “You make your choices and you live with ’em.”

    – Bill Murray (Groundhog Day)

    I’m late 30’s, American, making 20,000,000 yen a year. Working for a strong company – in this tough economy. Nice home. Healthy but not Brad Pitt. Those “credentials” get a LOT of attention. So it’s good to plan to achieve them. The girls are counting on you.

    It’s just the way the world is.

    Young beautiful girls get lots of attention. Men falling all over them. But, as the years pass, not so much.

    Guys can flip that situation around. Young, you have less money and older you have more.

    Choose the right career. Being Otaku is OK. Being a rich Otaku is better.

    I was a military jet pilot until I was in my late 20’s. Then a business executive.

    Pilot wings make you sexy, even if the military doesn’t pay much.

    Executive pay makes you sexy, even if you’re older.

    Know the system and roll with it. Both men and women want someone they respect. And they just happen to use different criteria.

    Treat women with respect and enjoy the time you share. Everyone wins.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand the age part…so how come the age range shrunk so drastically??

    Personally…I dont care what age a girl is, as long as she’s young…and wont get me arrested if I’m caught…

  • 5,000,000 yen ain’t too much (quite easy to achieve), but I suppose that means that they are aiming for men with a Job that requires a higher level of education like office jobs etc.
    However with Japans current economic depression (by definition) this might be harder than ever, certainly even harder on the falling marriage rates.

    • lazycat123 says:

      Don’t know what happen in Japan but the average salary for recent grad mechanical engineer in the US is $ 50-55 K a year. It true that 5,000,000 yen ain’t hard but it not something everyone can do. The odd for young men to earn that much money not that high.
      If Japanese women aim that high why don’t they earn it them self then?

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s just what they desire. There’s nothing wrong making such a wish. But of course they know they’ll have to get realistic at some point.
        Why work your ass off when your husband can earn the money instead? Maybe your time is better spent doing something else… Some women prefer it easy these days.

        • my grandfather got a wife based on his money. she decided that since I was socially awkward, I was going to be a troublemaker. the bathroom is next to their safe, so when I was 4, I was dragged out of the bathroom ass naked in front of the whole family. she frequently abused me. and on my 8th birthday I was beaten for getting sick because she thought that I was pretending to be sick. After that my parents found out and were horrified (I don’t know why, they place conditions of worth all over the place, are addicted to money, and generally aren’t much better.)
          Ahem. my point is that greed is the worst of the seven deadlys in consumerist countries

        • shit someone asked me to watch this movie and i thought he was just joking! i guess the lame poster in the cinema does not justify its awesomeness after all…

          p.s. it’s not just malaysia, japan or south carolina or whatever…all over the world woman are like this. money=love; love=happiness. same equation is pre-installed in the brain ever since the Triassics.

        • alex1_phang3 says:

          Watch the movie by Jack Neo “Love Matters”

          Its describes ALMOST everything.

          And I do agree that the gold digging idea is very common, even here in Malaysia, especially amongst them popular girls (duh), they’ve started their career since middle school (I am serious here).

          Well about woman that are Wife material, yea, so rare that they’re about to be extinct. . .
          and remember the rule that “if she’s THAT good, she’d probably be taken already”.

          “Why work your ass off when your husband can earn the money instead? Maybe your time is better spent doing something else… Some women prefer it easy these days.” – Yes, this is the very idea of gold diggery. Time might be spent doing something else? Worst case scenario is the man is paying for this “fake” legal wife and the wife is having affairs with someone else.

        • Anonymous says:

          there are some very gold diggerish comments in here like “Why work your ass off when your husband can earn the money instead?”, and if your making 5 million yen or more do you really believe they are gonna get onegina, when they can get waaaay more simple and not so complicated out there with no one that will jump on the menstrual cycle every month and will run your ass over?? and when the engine of the menstrual cycle start goes like…. nag nag nag nag naga nag naga nag and then biiiiiiiiiiitch bitch biiiiiiiiitch bitch bitch…… please.

          no wonder man en japan aint getting married, it makes perfect sense, why would they marry some gold digging woman, that will spend their hard earned money on stupid crap that aint even for him, when they can use that money to pimp out as much as they want, spend it on themselves, if they want pussy they can get too no problem, it just makes sense and a lot,

          what happen with good girls now a days the sharing between the couple, not just the ” he can pay my bills”?

          to fellas out there, you find a woman that is Wife material (rare now a days) but findable, you keep it.

          if you want just momentary fun, go find one of these gold diggers, don’t make the huge mistake of impregnating one of them, when the fun is over say goodbye and move to the next until you find the Wife material, the one you actually introduce to your family.

  • Anonymous says:

    Is the average salary that low in Japan? Combined with a higher cost of living than in the US, it seems surprising to me. A college graduate in the stats can hope to expect at least 50,000 dollars as a starting salary, or about 5,000,000 yen.

    Oh and by the way, I love this site! I haven’t posted before, but you guys are doing a great job providing a steady stream of good content. Thank you

  • Anonymous says:

    What may need to be taken under consideration is what they actually expect. It’s not necessarily surprising that women would like men to have strong incomes, but that’s saying they want men with the motivation to have larger incomes (become stronger providers) than ones content with their lower bracket.

    It’s not saying they wouldn’t date men with lower incomes, but, rather, wouldn’t date men that seem to be going nowhere.

    Cutie McTits isn’t unwilling to date the Jim Stacks the stock boy in job training, but will run off with Keen Eyes the business student if Jim isn’t taking his future seriously.

  • Marine-RX179 says:

    They want a husband who is around their own age, AND make lots of money? That ain’t gonna happen. Average male below age 30 ain’t gonna make over 5,000,000yen, and if there’s males at the age of 30+ that make that much money, would they actually marry women that are already pass their ‘best before’ time (30)? The chances are they would go for young wives instead of someone as old as themselves…

    Really, the equation is not working out…

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s a good thing that such data is in no way completely representative of Japanese women as a whole, nor are you drawing any sort of conclusion based on said facts!

    Why, it’d sure be terrible if people were to misunderstand this as an unfair generalization against Japanese women!

    Good thing we’re not hurting anybody’s feelings!