The top 10 reputed failings of non-Japanese men when attempting to woo the flower of Japan’s womanhood – according to experts on the subject and Japanese girls, at least – have finally been collated and ranked.
The list, adapted from a popular guide to the subject, for once handily involves feedback from actual girls rather than random 2ch denizens or online polls:
1. Believing the myth that all Japanese girls are “loose” and “easy”
Contrary to the submissive, eager-to-please, sexually-charged nymph archetypes taking center stage in Japan’s “export culture”, the girls of Japan run the gamut from the sexually conservative, to the lusty, adventurous types, with a full spectrum in between.
“Westerners look down on people in Asia.” – Yuki, 26
“You hear so much about foreigners just wanting to play – and they will sleep with anyone. It’s a little scary.” – Natsuno, 19
2. Expecting things to just happen
While having a few drinks and letting the mood take you might be the recipe for romance in the West, Japanese girls respond to pro-activity and leadership. If you’re not sure where things are going, and you aren’t prepared to lead, then you’ll soon find yourself alone (SO RONERY).
“When they can’t speak any Japanese at all, that’s also a problem” – Tomoko, 25
“They can’t seem to do anything by themselves.” – Eri, 27
3. Not transmitting clear signals
It’s natural to forget that while we strive to decode the cultural complexities of the Japanese girl, she is similarly trying to understand our own cultural quirks. Be clear and confident about your romantic overtures; don’t bury them in hesitancy and apologetics.
“Japanese people are more definite about the status of the relationship. Foreigners are vague, so you’re not sure if you’re actually boyfriend and girlfriend.” – Miho, 23
“There are many jokes foreign guys make which are hard to understand” – Yuko, 18
4. Trying to act more Japanese
Your cultural differences are an asset more than they are an obstacle. Ask yourself this: Does a Japanese girl become more attractive to you the more she assimilates into your culture?
“Japanese men don’t usually think about anything … only food, games, TV, or work. It’s nice to experience something different, and foreign guys can be much more mature.” – Mitsuki, 24
5. Trying to get intimate in public places
Japanese girls are hyper-aware of the watchful eyes of society. Tone down the PDAs in favor of showing your affection in a more private moment. She’ll thank you for it.
“They are mostly interested in skinship, and that can be nerve-wracking.” – Ayumi, 20
“Some foreigners have terrible manners.” – Kaori, 28
6. Assuming it’s “in the bag”
Just when you relax and let your guard down, convinced that the battle has been won, your date with a Japanese girl can turn on a dime. A kiss isn’t an implicit agreement for anything more. Don’t stop leading, and keep your eyes on the road.
“Often, foreign guys just can’t read the atmosphere.” – Hitomi, 25
7. Moving too fast
Shared intentions or none, bulldozing ahead with physical intimacy can be the equivalent of shifting from first to fourth. Kissing, making out, and sex should not be big jarring steps you spring on someone, but rather points on a smoothly ascending curve.
“Because Japanese girls are quiet and not so assertive, foreigners can be domineering and persistent.” – Kaede, 22
8. Moving too slow
In lieu of clear signals from a Japanese girl, many guys find themselves caught in “limbo”. Waiting for a signal that means something to you is moving too slow. Make a decision as to what you want, and take the lead in that direction. She’s not going to lead for you.
“It can be frustrating when foreigners are vague and indecisive.” – Manami, 21
9. Relying solely on the gaijin novelty factor
“Foreign guys don’t have to try” is the myth carved on the gravestone of so many Japanese girl-foreign guy interactions. To a Japanese girl, your foreign-ness may represent some tasty icing, but be sure there’s a decent cake underneath.
“Foreigners come to Japan and make the mistake of assuming they’re really fashionable and popular” – Sachiko, 24
“They try and force their own culture on everyone else” – Megumi, 25
10. Trying to drive a wedge through the wa (和)
Wa (和) means harmony, and when it comes to groups of Japanese the importance of the concept is often underestimated. You may have found that spark with a Japanese girl – but the wa still has to be upheld. Trying to pry her away from her friends for some one-on-one time may kill your spark dead, unless you can carry this off in a natural way that maintains the flow of the wa.
“They have a tendency to focus on themselves and what they want, rather than the needs of the group.” – Naomi, 22
Fortunately, recent trends seems to indicate even the uncouth barbarian male could hardly be in any worse position than his Japanese counterparts – those looking to try can find out more in the guide proper.