What Japanese Girls Want

Mei’s the girlfriend you’d love to have but can’t, because my buddy Yuki got her first.

She’s got big eyes, enormous boobs, long brown hair curled into ringlets, and an ass that’ll make you reevaluate your life. When Mei wears a sweater more people line up for a viewing than Star Wars. Is she smart? Who cares—-she’s too busy looking sexy and giggling to discuss quantum computing. Of course, Mei works in a Girls Bar. That just makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why she’s with Yuki.

Going to a Japanese Girls Bar

So, the Girls Bar. That’s a bar with, uh, girls. Now, maybe if you’re from some normal country you just assume that all bars have girls, but uh uh, not in Japan. Since bar culture, and young single women out drinking, never really caught on in Japan, the Japanese in their wisdom engineered a brilliant solution: a bar where girls are paid to talk with you. There, you can have the experience of chatting up a sexy girl, and she’s going to laugh at your jokes, make eyes at you, and mix you up another shochu with water. All the girls are smoking hot, and sing pitch-perfect karaoke like angels. It’s like partying with AKB-48.

Now, Yuki’s a friend of mine, and an all around cool person. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but when people say “it’s all gone pear-shaped,” you’d be hard-pressed not to conjure up an image of Yuki’s body. Doesn’t spend a lot of time in the gym, is all I’m saying. Yuki’s middle-aged, wears glasses, dresses like crap, has no money, and oh yeah, no dick. Sort of a minor oversight on God’s part.

So how does a frumpy lesbian woman score a young, normally heterosexual girl who spends her weekends winning wet t-shirt contests? That’s what I asked Yuki, albeit slightly more diplomatically.

“So just how drunk was she?” I demanded.

“Nah, you just gotta know,” she replied, “the one thing all Japanese girls want.”

We were at a table in the Girls Bar, with three of Yuki’s friends: a couple of other girls who were also pretty hot, and this guy named Moshi who wasn’t, trying to have a conversation over the karaoke belting from the bar counter.

“Is it sex?” I asked. “Please tell me it’s sex.

“It’s not sex.

“Let’s just say sex,” I said.

After a bit, Mei came and sat with us, which I think is kind of technically against the law, but whatever. We had a bottle of shochu and a bucket full of ice, and were all sitting around this low, glass table. I was sandwiched between the two girls on one side, with Mei on the other between Yuki and Moshi. God, she looked amazing. Ringlets, jeez.

How not to Sing Karaoke in Japan

What happened next was, okay, partly my fault. Suddenly my turn came to sing and so I launched into this Japanese song about how God’s in the toilet bowl. Seriously, it’s a real song, and a pretty good one at that, but it’s also freaking sad because there’s this grandmother and she kind of, you know, dies. Sorry, did I just spoil the ending? Whatever, look, Ken Seeroi’s only got so many Japanese songs in his repertoire, and once in a while this is what you get. Deal with it. So I sang it.

And then Yuki started crying, Why is a mystery. Maybe her grandmother died a fiery death or something, who knows. And then Mei started crying, because Yuki was crying, or because her grandmother was also engulfed in the same fatal crash. Again, who knows. I mean, we were all nice and drunk. Then I started crying, then Moshi, then the two girls, and we were all boozily sobbing and I kind of messed up the lyrics but it didn’t matter because my voice was filled with emotion and I sound like an angel anyway.

Then that was over, and we all went back to chatting and flirting. Although I was carrying on a random conversation with the two girls flanking me, mostly I was watching the action across the table, with Yuki and Moshi both leaning in, competing for Mei’s attention.

Mei was wedged between them, rhythmically batting her fake eyelashes in time with the music. Being a cute girl in Japan is like being that guy who can bend bars of steel with his bare hands. Like you’d take him to a party and he’d all, Can I see that fireplace poker for a sec? And then he’d bend it into a U shape. Or you’d be out walking and it’d stop raining and he’d say, I’ll carry the umbrella. And then he’d U-shape that too. You’d be like, Stop doing that! Stop bending shit into U-shapes! Then he’d look majorly forlorn and softly mumble But that’s what I do. That’s my thing, being that dude that bends stuff into U-shapes. This essentially sums up what being a cute Japanese girl is like.

The whole scene unfolded right in front of me—-Mei laughing at Moshi’s jokes, then Yuki trying to amuse her girlfriend but falling flat a bit, and gradually getting slightly pissed off. She rapped her tumbler down on the glass tabletop.

That caught my attention, but nobody else seemed to notice. Hey, Ken Seeroi’s been in a lot of bars, I’m not gonna lie, and the same events repeat with remarkable consistency. It’s all just a variation on a theme. Still the competition played out, with Moshi lightly touching Mei, Mei giggling, and Yuki looking madder and madder. Finally, she reached across Mei, grabbed Moshi’s arm and barked something I couldn’t catch. Then Moshi snapped back, Mei got up and ran away, and Yuki palm-smacked Moshi.

That’s when the music stopped. I mean literally, since the karaoke was between songs, so everything suddenly got super quiet, except for Yuki and Moshi, who were yelling insults while doing a strangely gay, sitting-down boxing match. Then all hell broke loose.

I am a Japanese Fortune-Teller

I’m pretty sure I’m clairvoyant. Is that when you can see into the future? Whatever, you get what I’m saying. Because I saw that glass tabletop and Yuki’s tumbler, and it was like when you want to pause a movie but can’t find the remote. Yuki snatched up the tumbler and slammed it hard onto that glass table and…well, nothing happened, except the entire place echoed with this giant Bam! and everyone turned to look. Then just like I knew she would, because Ken Seeroi’s been in a lot of bars, she did it again with real anger, smack in the middle of the table.

Ever wonder what happens when a giant glass table explodes? Yeah, me neither, but it’s pretty much just what you’d think. It sounds like a car crash and then there’s a shit-ton of sharp stuff everywhere. I thought my decision to wear boots was due to my incredible fashion sense, but apparently the clairvoyance had foreseen that I’d soon be standing on a massive pile of safety glass. But even before the crash’d stopped ringing through the bar, suddenly out of nowhere these two huge pro wrestler-looking dudes were at our table, yelling they were gonna rip everyone’s heads off and eat them. I was like, Man, first crying, then the table detonates, and now we’re all gonna die, this evening’s not panning out well at all. Meanwhile Yuki’s standing all five-foot-three yelling back I’ll Kill You Too! I’ll kill You All! and Moshi’s bowing and apologizing like mad and the two huge dudes back him against the wall and the other two girls are like Peace, we’re out and I crunched over the glass and wrapped my arms around Yuki said Shut the fuck up.

Which of course she didn’t. I just held onto her as she kept yelling and trying to slug Moshi, who had his own set of problems. Then another hottie came over from behind the bar, talked the two big guys out of eating our heads, and tried to calm Yuki down. Amazingly, someone had already started singing karaoke again. Japan’s great like that.

Eventually, I walked outside, where the two girls and Moshi were staring silently at the sidewalk.

“Okay, I think that went pretty well,” I said.

“I’m going home,” said one of the girls.

“We all need to calm down,” said Moshi.

We looked at each other, and realized how right he was. Two guys and two girls, standing drunkenly in the cold at one in the morning; it was a ridiculous situation. Clearly, actions were called for. And since we were all worried about Yuki, we did what any responsible Japanese friends would do: abandoned the hell out of her. We dashed into a little pub around the corner, had a ton more shochu, some soft tofu topped with kimchee, several skewers of glazed chicken or possibly pork, and sang karaoke till dawn.

Japanese Gay Marriage

When I met Yuki a week later, she was like, “Sorry about the other night, by the way.”

“Yeah, no big deal,” I said. “Although you did leave me hanging about what Japanese girls want.

“Sex,” she said. “You didn’t know?

“So I was actually right?

“Just kidding. Really, security. That’s basically it. Someone who’ll love them and not leave.

“Must you always crush my hopes and dreams?,” I asked. “Anyway, so when’s the wedding?

“Ah, her father hates me.

“Sure he’ll come around,” I said hopefully. “And how’s that anger management working out?

“Well, it’s your fault for singing the damn Toilet God song, getting me all worked up.

“Don’t be hating on the angel voice.

“Right,” she said. “Anyway, let’s get a beer.

“Girls Bar?

“It’s like you read my mind,” she said.

“Nah,” I said, “just saw into the future.”

And I did. We went back to the bar, and there was Mei, smiling and radiant as ever. I pictured her ten years on, but things didn’t look as rosy. Unless she harbored some as-yet undisclosed talent, she’d need to lock in a stable situation pretty soon. Maybe that also explained the steady stream of women I barely know asking me for marriage and children. Of course, I’m sure it’s just me, owing to my rugged good looks, slim-fit jeans, and promising career as an English teacher. Anyway, The three of us sang some happier songs, including the one where I’m the scales on this fish, and drank more beer and then some shochu and ate several bags of Baby Star Ramen snacks. It was a magical evening. Even the glass table was back, fixed like nothing had happened, looking like it’d stay shiny and beautiful forever.

78 Replies to “What Japanese Girls Want”

  1. Nice post! Gotta say though, I knew the answer soon as I saw the headline for the article. Ain’t no struggle realer to a young Japanese woman than the pursuit of 安心. God forbid they fall victim to such western epidemics as acquiring a decent skill, moving out of one’s parents’ house, or working to earn a living and dating purely for the enjoyment of it. Naw, makes a lot more sense to stay at home, work that crappy part-time job at the department store, and use your meager salary and 10% employee discount to look as cute as possible until some hard-working salaryman takes you under his wing and asks you to clean his tiny apartment. Times are changing, sure, but it’s gonna be a while before young, attractive Japanese women will be ready to take a less gender-role centered approach to dating. Or to convince them that boys don’t have cooties.

    1. I’d agree. It’s gonna be a while. Probably a really long while.

      Pretty amazing that you guessed that from the title too. Clairvoyance seems to be a theme here.

    2. Hahahahahaha. This is both funny and sad. I wonder how those girls react when someone actually puts it to them as bluntly as you’re saying it. So many things Japanese people just accept and live with or ignore, without ever doing anything about it. Why? Why dont they just take matters into their own hands? Live exactly the way they want to live without worrying so much about what everyone else thinks. Even with Seeroi sensei’s articles which have given me bountiful insight about how Japanese society, I still dont have an answer im completely satisfied with.

    3. “makes a lot more sense to stay at home, work that crappy part-time job at the department store, and use your meager salary and 10% employee discount to look as cute as possible until some hard-working salaryman takes you under his wing and asks you to clean his tiny apartment.” Is this what they teach in the girls only class at high school? Shame on you to even suggest Japanese women empower themselves. Oh wait they do, and hate men, and never want to get married. It’s like being normal is as impossible as making a pizza without ham, not because it’s pre-made, but because that’s how it’s done.

    4. Think about it from the women’s side. I have a female Japanese friend who is returning to J-land from Australia. She’s scared that she won’t be able to find work because in Japan it is legal to specify an age restriction on a position. Many of the jobs she’s qualified for are advertised as seeking someone “under 25”. If I was at risk of being unable to support myself in my early middle age, much less my old age, I’d be investing in some false eyelashes and a push-up bra, too. In that kind of a situation, a woman’s youth and beauty is a commodity against which to secure her future survival.

      1. Thank you for pointing this out. I have several lesbian friends in Japan who are basically destined to either forever live in poverty or stay with their parents because it can be so difficult to get a job that pays a decent wage to older adult women. They have no desire to marry men, but it’s really the only path society gives them. And it sucks.

        1. That’s a really deep comment. Thanks for posting it. I think Japan must be a tough place to be a lesbian. Or possibly a gay person. Or actually, well…ah, don’t get me started. Anyway, the food’s really good, and things always look better after dinner, which reminds me…

        2. In my experience, lesbians come in a passive/submissive + aggressive/destructive couple. I have nothing against lesbians in any moral or religious sense, but in my experience, your anecdote is typical.

    5. My god, that is funny, yet depressing at the same time. I’m considering moving there in a few years when I finish my Nursing degree. Right now, I’m beginning the long trek to learn the language. What scares me about this is, even though I’m a older dude, I don’t want someone trying to tie me down the moment I hop off a plane. But, it’s stories like this that make me realize the struggle is real over there.

      1. Sorry, sir Clint, but are you insane? Why the hell would you want to move here?

        I somehow landed a job at a big corporation, but still, all this time wasted on learning Japanese [wasted, because as it turns out, ‘once a gaijin, always a gaijin’ -> this makes Japan unfeasible in the long term for me] made me regret that I haven’t spent it on learning any universally applicable skill (i.e. one that could land me a job wherever, not just Japan

        tl;dr from my perspective: it’s not worth it, work elsewhere and come here just as a tourist (unless you REALLY like your work..)

  2. Ok so 30 minutes ago I looked through my old youtube playlist and found the toilet song and I was like wow, this brings back memories. And then I read this post and I’m like wow, maybe I’m a fortune teller too. What are the odds, seriously? But you might want to consider choosing another song for karaoke next time.

    1. See, now that’s a question of perspective. Because I’d like to believe that I’m controlling your actions through clairvoyant powers. Still, it is truly amazing. And yeah, next time think I’ll go with Bohemian Rhapsody.

  3. Jesus. That escalated quickly! It does seems that for you to be happy with a Japanese girl the trick is no .marrying her because she will turn into this money manager that will give you just enough to survive and no sex. Japanese lesbian relationship seems quite rare (trust me I google it). Is it really rare or just ignored by society like many other things?

    1. Personally, I know a surprising number of Japanese lesbians, and gay dudes too. I don’t know why that is, but my impression is that it’s pretty common.

      I don’t know if it’s ignored by society, so much as that sex isn’t quite as big of a deal here. People don’t seem to care much either way. That’s my impression anyway.

      1. Interesting, perhaps things are quite different in Tokyo. Here in Osaka, in 3 years, I’ve never even heard of an openly homosexual Japanese person, nor has anyone ever discussed the issue without me intentionally bringing it up (whenever I have brought it up though, people tend to have pretty relaxed and progressive opinions about it). Still, I sense that it is a taboo topic, and I suspect that I have at least a few homosexual friends, but they’ll never admit it to me. Since so much of comradery amongst young Japanese men relies on chasing girls & talking about girls over drinks, I think admitting that you’re homosexual would instantaneously destroy 98% of male friendships… not necessarily because people won’t tolerate gays, but because friendship isn’t based on anything deep here, and not being able to talk about girls leaves little to no common ground for much of the young Japanese male population.

        1. These folks were, by and large, openly gay. I don’t get the sense that other Japanese people gave a darn either way. It certainly didn’t seem taboo in the least, and far less of a deal that it would be in the U.S.

          I mean, well, every topic in Japan borders on taboo. I was once chided for asking a friend why she didn’t like sushi. So there’s that too.

          Maybe it’s a Kanto-Kansai thing. Osaka always reminds me of like Houston, Texas. Don’t guess I’d be to openly gay there either. Or maybe it’s just the people I’ve happened to meet. No matter what society I’m in, I seem to find the fringes somehow. Just a skill I have, I suppose.

          1. Well, you know that we had a lesbian mayor for two terms, right?

            Great blog, by the way! Thanks for your writing!

            – Houston transplant to Osaka

            1. Did not know that. I will say that I’ve known a great number of gay and lesbian people here, far more than in the States. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s certainly not helping our population numbers much.

              Osaka’s a long way from Texas. How’s Kansai treating you?

    1. Thank you for summing up a decade’s experience with Japan in one word. Next time I get a tattoo, that’s going on my forearm.

      Okay, first time, but still.

  4. Great post! Though I think it’s not only Japanese women who want security. My wife is from Saitama but we live in NYC, I think when she got pregnant is when the whole “must have security” thing swung into full gear, and for good reason. But those sweet doe eyes, cooing voice, and humble disposition disappear real quick when they don’t get exactly what they want. It’s like night and day. Anyway, keep up the good work and look forward to your next post, thanks!

    1. Yeah, I stopped short of saying “all women,” because I haven’t dated all women. All Japanese women, well okay yeah, but anyway. Of course, men also want security, although arguably a different sort of security. But that’s another issue.

  5. Awesome. One of these things that just happen in Japan. Also, hilarious post as always. Out of curiosity, they didn’t charge the glass tabletop? BTW, Ken, good U-shaping next time.

    1. I always assumed it was assumed that Yuki would pay for it. In a lot of ways, Japan operates like a small town. Folks often live with each other for a long time, possibly the rest of their lives, so they have a vested interest in paying debts and avoiding criminal activities, at least in their neighborhoods. Foreigners, well, who knows about those people…but that’s another story.

      So yeah, my impression is it’s not much different than doing the same thing at a friend’s house. Pretty sure you’d both work it out somehow.

    1. Any time I can solicit a comment on par with an Egg McMuffin, I’m happy. So thanks. Now I’m gonna go drink a coke the size of a human head.

  6. I traveled Japan in 1988, at age 47.
    i hitch-hiked all over the place. I met a few girls who spent some time w/ me. They seemed to be sexually turned-on but were frozen in their tracks by the culture. They, the girls in Kyushu, could not get their minds around the idea of a “Hit-and-run.” Obviously, a foreign hobo wandering through town was not going to marry anyone.
    I knew that if I did not bust a move PDQ nothing would happen, so I was fast forward:
    I checked into a ryokon. The inn-keepers daughter, 30yr old +/-, kind of latched onto me, hanging around, came to my room. The weenie “accidentally” peeked out of my yukata. She gasped and ran from the room. But the next day she took off from work (once-in-a-lifetime) to parade around town w/ me.
    How about a kiss?
    (Flustered) “Oh, no, WE only kiss when we have known each other for long time.”
    Have you ever been kissed?
    (she clammed up, said nothing)
    “If we stay together in one room, what would the hotel man think?
    That was rich!

    1. You know, I don’t draw the line too many places. I’m hard-pressed to even find a piece of chalk. But exposing yourself to strangers…I mean, has that ever actually worked? Like, in the history of mankind, has there ever been a woman who was like, Gee thanks, now I respect you more. Because I’m thinking that releasing the old Pee-wee Herman is more likely to land you in jail than bed, in Japan as well as anywhere else.

      So I understand the part about being frozen in their tracks. Just not sure I’d attribute it to their “culture.”

      1. I had a Aussie friend who tried this as a come-on move to a girl on the Shinkansen. She didn’t take the offer. But calmed the whole thing down, by asking him to put it back in his pans, and would he like some water? Too manu chu-hi’s can hurt a man, and not just that itai feeling in the jaw.

  7. Ken, Ken, Ken… this post is just not adequate; that’s all there is to it! I refuse to comment any further until pics of said “Mei” are provided!!! **(pretty please)** You still have my email… right, hmmmmm!

    No really, this was funny and wild and crazy and sad too, but I bet it was one Hell of a life experience. These kind of things (assuming you suffer no permanent damage) are such great character building adventures and are great backdrops for writing that book, no doubt – Bang Bang.

    1. Yeah, I’m trying to picture how that’s gonna work. Hey Mei, mind if I take your picture? Good, chin down, chest out, got it. Thanks a bunch, now let’s upload it so half a million people and Bud Martin can perv all over you, okay? Great, thanks, I’ll take your silence as a yes.

      But on the real, it was just one more in a long line of crazy things that’ve happened, both in Japan and elsewhere. Pretty sure the same thing happens to everyone, although somehow it doesn’t get much publicity. Probably just as well, really.

    1. Thanks, Mary. Happy Valentines to you as well. Where’s my giri-choco? I assume it’s in the mail.

      Quite sad? That’s only because I omitted the true ending, where Mei’s really an undercover policewoman and just working at the Girls Bar while completing her Masters in Criminology. She and Yuki capture bad guys and go on lots of exciting adventures. The End.

      1. I’ve been lurking on your site for several weeks, and I figured I should eventually let you know that I love reading your blog. It never fails to make me laugh. And comments like this make me laugh even harder. As much as I hate watching Japanese television, I would definitely watch that TV drama.

  8. So Ken as usual your blog is escusite. I was wondering though, how hard is it to come up with ideas for this. I can barely come up with an original/amusing thought. Also I know you probably get requests all the time, but have you ever considered writing about the difference between anime Japan and real Japan?

    1. I love the idea, but

      But to answer your first question: actually it’s pretty easy. I just walk down the street and wait for the first thing that hits me. Like an old lady with an umbrella or something. And then I write about that. Or the time after the Great Tohoku Earthquake that I had my phone in my pocket and walked into a post and crushed it. Stupid post; I really gotta stop leaving the house sober. Anyway, from what I can tell nobody’s ever put together two sentences about Japan that were half correct. Even the stuff I’ve written isn’t right. So there’s a lot of room for observations.

      But back to the anime and Japan thing. Because although I love the idea, I’m completely unqualified to write about it (not that that ever stopped me before). Like, I’ve seen virtually no anime. Though from what I can tell, anime Japan reflects the reality here about as well as Batman’s Gotham City reflects life in New York. Well, the Catwoman thing’s pretty accurate, but otherwise yeah, no.

  9. If mei wants some dude who just wants to admire her eyelashes while banging and leaving her surely she can just go to work and get paid to put up with it?
    Sounds like the secret is to maybe try to want to do more than that? Your friend Moshi sounds like an arsehole for hitting on her girlfriend in front of her 🙁

    1. True story:
      One if the bars I used to hang out at in Romania had an incredibly hot bartender. Literally all the blokes (and some of the girls) who came in would instanty hit on her, frustrated that they would all be inevitably rejected (she liked the attention but wasn’t interested). Over the 6 months I was hanging out there I saw maybe 20 regulars come and go, usually yelling insults at her after they realise that they can’t even get to first base with her. She was also 100% straight, for the record.
      You can imagine my surprise when she started making out with me, a rather overweight, pretty dull and awkward genderqueer who had never hit on her because I know better than to fall for straight girls. All the guys at the bars started accusing me of working my ‘lesbian magic’, but apparently she just found it hot that I was actually talking to get as a person. *shrug* (and no, i don’t have money and am obviously not marrying her, but what we had definitley counts as secure compared to what the other people at the bar did).

      1. Good point Ioana. Perceptive. And Ken, I think you’re hilarious!

        Question though: the way you write about Japan is typically the way people write about their own cultures, but not someone else’s. You know? The unspoken rule that only Asian people can make Asian jokes, only Black people can make Black jokes, etc? Usually if a foreigner were to joke like that, it would be offensive, but your stuff doesn’t come across that way. You seem to do it with a lot of affection. Do Japanese people ever read your blog and get offended? Or do they think it’s funny?

        1. Nobody’s ever said they find it offensive, so let’s just go with no.

          Plus based upon the principle of ya-can’t-please-all-the-people, I figure it’s not worth worrying about too much. I mean, look at how many people don’t like Barack Obama, and that dude’s the leader of the free world.

          Honestly though, knowing how hard it is to fully comprehend a foreign language, I’d be surprised if many Japanese folks really understood half of what I wrote. Sometimes I worry the native English-speakers don’t get it either.

    2. You know, yeah, it was kind of a dick move. I don’t know why, but I see that more here than I ever did in the States. Or maybe I just notice it more. But I’ve certainly witnessed a lot of guys openly hitting on ladies who are with someone, including me. Not cool, but hey, that seems to be how Japan rocks.

      1. It’s common everywhere with lesbians, though. If it’s not a lesbian bar then you’ll always have that one bloke who tries to get your girlfriend to try ‘a real man’.

    1. Yeah, I get that vision on a regular basis, usually around 2 a.m. Clearly, the universe has grander plans for us than mere work.

  10. Ken, what was your inspiration for learning japanese? Was it a love of anime or of the country in general? I often see people saying the key to learning a language is to have the motivation to do so. I think that’s why so many get burned out and quit, because they weren’t learning it for the right reasons and lost the motivation to continue.

    1. Here’s how it happened. I’ll try to keep it short…

      So I was a pretty big athlete for much of my life, and as a result, paid a lot of attention to the foods I ate. (And still do.) Eventually, I stumbled upon Japanese food as a healthy and delicious option (via a book called The Okinawa Program) and switched my diet to about 90% Japanese.

      Fast forward a few years to Tokyo. The only reason I went there was because, well, I’d been eating the food for so long that it just seemed natural to visit. Other than that, I really knew nothing about the nation, and wasn’t even particularly interested.

      Prior to going, I memorized exactly ten phrases, which in my naivete, I thought would help me survive.

      In short, Japan blew me away. I bought into every myth and lie there was. Everybody was polite. Everybody was friendly. Women loved me. I set about learning more phrases.

      And I continued learning the language. Ironically, the better my Japanese has gotten, the more I’ve seen the reality of the nation. Not that it’s a bad place; it’s just, you know, like a lot of places, good and bad. But the food, hey, that’s still great.

      1. Hahaha, as a far-east cultural major I’d say this is the most accurate description of Japan I’ve seen to date 🙂

        Btw. Your blog rocks!

      2. Agree, can say lots of bad things, but food is indeed +1!
        *Plus all those tabehoudai places.. <3333 In the West, it's usually pizza, Chinese[sushi included, lol] or churrasco..unless I'm wrong?

  11. Ken-sensei,

    First and foremost, I apologize for my reply’s almost complete lack of pertinence to your very intriguing blog.

    Still, I feel that I have to ask this question:

    Is your surname by any chance somehow related to the name Siiroinen? An anglicized form thereof perhaps? You know, “see-roy”, with the “nen” omitted?

    Anyway, keep up the good work with your sublime writing.

    Cheers, AK

    1. If this is my rich uncle Siiroinen who’s about to kick the bucket, then hell yeah, you’ve finally found me, unc! It’s long-lost nephew Ken. Remember? Little Kenny? Times been a bit tough here in Japan, unc, just saying. Oh, not dying? Yeah, then no, I don’t think there’s any name relation. Sorry for the confusion.

      1. Sorry for the half-a-year delay. I was slightly intoxicated at the time, very much like now. Thanks for answering my silly question, though. I honestly can’t sufficiently emphasize, however, how much I appreciate the awesomeness of your blog. Thanks for a lot of smiles!

  12. Glad I stumbled on this blog, nice insights. Im Chinese American and been in Japan (mostly tokyo) last few months. Fortunately have decent income so been exploring Japanese culture, read: cute girls, since the food and politeness etc are not new to me. I’m really all about those petite doll like girls that seem to be everywhere (literally >50% of girls are gf material vs 5% in states).

    Here’s the thing, I get called out for being a play boy (very confident, charming, ripped) and benefit from international company sponsorship. So ironically, it’s worked against me in getting the girls I want (cute bubbly girls like Mei vs overtly westernized Japanese American types)

    Any thoughts you could share on approaching/establishing relationships as a foreigner (in this case Chinese American vs white). What works in the states in terms of aggressive ess, teasing, having other girls want you etc..it sort of applies but to much lesser degree here, and Japanese girls seem to prefer that “nice guy” behavior over the jerkboy.
    Dunno our case is different because I look Japanese but can’t speak it while you look American and can rock out japanese. Lol, real incentive to learn the language even though you mentioned bad ROi on this last blog post
    Hope to see more posts!

  13. New series on Netflix, Love + Sex, first ep about Japan with lots of interviews. The picture it paints is very sad, but changing.

    1. Nnn yeah, that was pretty terrible. They certainly got right the fact that Japan has some major sexual hangups, with a lot of folks simply choosing to avoid it entirely. The episode focused too heavily on the female perspective though, pushing the notion that women have been disadvantaged, “but now things are changing.” The truth is that both women and men have been stuffed into untenable roles, and both sexes are responsible for intimacy, or the lack thereof. But it goes beyond individuals to the entire culture—Japan collectively places boundaries around closeness and affection.

  14. Ken,
    So damn true. Last time I was in Japan together with my wife (pre Covid in those days) we were staying in Akabane in Tokyo and after taking care of a few things we needed to do the two of us we went to a couple of Izakayas in the back streets of Akabane. At the 3rd Izakaya we went to we got talking to one of the other customers who proceeded to tell us that his wife has had a baby, that he hasn’t had sex with her for 6 months, and that he finishes work (It was a Friday night) and goes out drinking looking for girls to have sex with. The last week he got with someone and they went and had sex in a park and then he proceeded to ask my wife if she was into him. I was pretty surprised at how up front he was with it considering I was sitting in between him and her.
    I’d had a fair bit to drink and was trying to decide if I should get offended and make a scene when my wife told him that he was a looser, that he should be at home with his wife and baby instead of out drinking and trying to pick up chicks after midnight so I didn’t need to make a decision but I get you, I have never had that happen in my life and I doubt that it would ever happen like that in a western country. For a country of people that don’t really communicate a lot Japanese seem to think that drinking gives them an excuse to say what they want whilst drunk and that they have no responsibility for it.

    Interesting in that you say it happens with some regularity in Japan.

    How did you / others react in that situation?

    1. oops, that was supposed to be a response to the below comment

      Ken Seeroi
      FEBRUARY 25, 2016 AT 7:30 PM
      You know, yeah, it was kind of a dick move. I don’t know why, but I see that more here than I ever did in the States. Or maybe I just notice it more. But I’ve certainly witnessed a lot of guys openly hitting on ladies who are with someone, including me. Not cool, but hey, that seems to be how Japan rocks.

    2. I doubt there’s any really good way of handling such situations. However, I will share a general technique I’ve been taught and seen demonstrated on several occasions.

      Frequently hanging out in bars and izakayas, and looking like I do (i.e., white), I’m routinely the target of salarymen approaching with drunken questions. On one occasion, while attempting to enjoy dinner with a young lady, an old guy at the next table kept pestering me in broken English. I kept responding to be polite, but mentioned we were trying to enjoy a private meal. No matter, he just kept going.

      Finally, I asked my companion for help, and she suggested something I’d never, ever thought of: “just don’t answer.” From a Western perspective, that’s borderline unthinkable, like refusing a handshake. Turning your back and ignoring someone asking a direct question is the height of rudeness. But apparently not in Japan. The cure’s in the poison. Japanese people can be some of the nicest people or the rudest bastards you’ll ever meet, and one way to handle the latter is to freeze them out. That at least they understand.

  15. What an interesting idea Ken, just ignore them.
    Totally right in that from a Western perspective and from my own personality, that would be hard to do. However I’ll have to give it a go next time I am in Japan.

    No idea when that is going to be but we have no Corona cases and the government is trying to get the entire population of Australia vaccinated before the end of 2021 and they still say that they won’t allow Australians to travel until after June 2022.

    How’s it going with the Vaccine Japan? I get the impression that there are a lot of Anti-Vaccers there. What’s the reason for that and is the government doing a good job of getting whatever message they want to push out to the public?

    1. I really don’t hear much anti-vaccer talk here. I believe the issue is simply Japan’s famous bureaucracy, which involves minting stacks of forms to be filled out in triplicate, stamped, faxed, and filed. With almost three and a half million people dead worldwide, most people are eager to get the vaccine.

  16. I just got an email from the state government health department telling me that I am now valid for a vaccine. Logged into their portal, filled in some personal details and I got to choose the location I get vaccinated, date and time (15 minute window) of the 1st & 2nd doses in a country where we have no active COVID.
    You would think that they would be a bit more proactive in Japan but that would be too logical.
    I get you with the forms in triplicate, that need to be stamped, approved and counter signed by range of people for anything to be done.
    When my Mother in Law passed away my wife and her siblings had to got the local ward office to sign away their rights to claim any of their mother’s assets even though the Father was still alive. That seemed really strange to me.

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