Japanese dating practices


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One of the first Japanese words you will hear in reference to you is “Gaijin,” literally translated as “outside person.” For those who came from a heterogeneous society composed of immigrants from around the world, it may be troubling to be referred to as a “foreigner,” “alien,” or “gaijin.” The term “gaijin” is not generally used to downgrade foreigners, although some visitors, who live in rural areas where people are unaccustomed to foreigners, sometimes find it very annoying to have children point fingers at them and call them “gaijin.” Others wonder why Japanese do not identify foreigners as “Americans,” “British,” or “Australians,” rather than lumping all non-Japanese together as “gaijin.” Long-time foreign residents of Japan may also find it annoying to still be referred to as “gaijin,” but the continuing use of the term must be understood in terms of Japan’s historical development and relative homogeneity.

Upon meeting each other for the first, second or umpteenth time, men and women usually bow, although the more cosmopolitan may shake hands.

For a typical couple, the female spouse is still generally expected to do all of the cleaning, cooking and other chores, whether she is working or not.

Mass media often report that women in Japan are more “genki” (vigorous, active) than their male counterparts.

However, if you request out of the ordinary services, it may be polite to leave a tip.