Skip to comments.What Japanese Women Want: A Western Husband
Posted on 12/06/2004 9:12:18 AM PST by MississippiMasterpiece
TOKYO The Japanese government wants women like Taeko Mizuguchi to get married and start doing something about the nation's plunging birthrate. But she's not interested.
At least, not if her prospective husband is Japanese.
A growing number of Japanese women are giving up on their male counterparts, and taking a gamble that looking abroad for love will bring them the qualities in a partner that seem rare at home. Mr. Right, as the hope goes, is often an American or European, a man appreciative of a wife's career and more of a partner in daily tasks.
"They treat you like equals, and they don't hesitate to express mutual feelings of respect - I think Western men are more adept [at such things] than Japanese men," says the 36-year-old Ms. Mizuguchi, who works at a top trading firm. "They don't act like women are maids - I think they view women as individuals."
Underscoring that Japanese women are losing hope with the local boys, dating agencies to help snag a Western husband have sprung up in Tokyo, some with branches in the US and Europe. Such companies rigorously vet their clients, screening for education, family background, occupation, and life goals.
The kind of women who sign up for such services include doctors, lawyers, and other professionals - women who have delayed marriage to concentrate on careers and who aren't keen to give up hard won gains to become a housewife, as many Japanese men expect.
Japanese women have come to consider traditional marriage roles as "disadvantageous in terms of time resources - they have to carry the burden of domestic chores as well as lose their free time," says Chizuko Ueno, a professor of sociology at Tokyo University.
Normally, married Japanese women have not only to look after their own parents during old age, but also to care for their parents-in-law. When it comes to raising kids, "they can't expect much cooperation from their partner" because of the long work hours required at many Japanese corporations and because of established gender roles that assume that the woman does the child-rearing, Ms. Ueno adds.
A generation of women who are now entering their 30s don't want to give up single life unless prospective partners are willing to break from traditional gender roles.
Government polls conducted to find out why women have put off marriage until well after 25 years of age - known as a woman's " 'best before' date" - show that economic independence is key to the change. As most Japanese women have their own income, marriage is no longer a financial necessity and women want to find companionship in a husband.
That is where Japanese men have come up short. There is "a wide gap in men's and women's attitudes and expectations toward marriage" vis-à-vis traditional gender roles, says Sumiko Iwao, professor of social psychology at Musashi Institute of Technology in Yokohama. For instance, coming home later than your Japanese husband is a no-no.
Having ruled out an old-fashioned Japanese husband, many women here think the solution is a Western man. Indeed, some seem so enthralled with the idea that they are willing to spend thousands of dollars to inspect the wares personally. Of the more than 2,000 women on the books at one large matchmaking agency, about 200 travel to the US or Europe each month to meet prospects.
Sentimental projections have recently been extended to Korean men also, due to romantic Korean soap operas.
In 2003, Japanese women marrying American or British men outnumbered Japanese men marrying American or British women by 8 to 1. The total proportion of Japanese marrying foreigners each year has crept up from around 3.5 percent in 1995 to just over 5 percent. Japanese men are actually more than three times as likely as the women to take a foreign spouse, but this is mostly rural men marrying less well-off Chinese and Filipino women. "Such cases are elderly farmers not popular among young Japanese women," says Yuriko Hashimoto, a local government employee in the remote northern prefecture of Iwate.
To be fair, not all the blame for female angst here can be laid on Japanese men. The government has been slow to enforce equal opportunity laws, and both pay and the glass ceiling in most Japanese corporations remain low for women. Recession has hampered longer maternity leave and other family-friendly policies.
As Japan's fertility rate drops to new lows - at last count it was 1.29, well below levels required for population replacement - the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is anxiously drawing up plans to make it easier for young couples to raise children, through such measures as the provision of cheap public housing.
Mixed marriages in Japan
Japanese men marry: Chinese 10,242 Filipinos 7,794 Koreans 2,235 Americans 156 British 65
Japanese women marry: Koreans 5,318 Americans 1,529 Chinese 890 British 334 Filipinos 117
Source: 2003 Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare
With all due respect to you as a fellow Freeper and citizen, no, they are not. There are some great conservative women out there, I never met them.
"If I was home right now, I'd crack open a beer, pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the thread. :D"
That's your contribution to this thread?
You take the slaves, I'll take the independent.
I've got a few friends who married foreign ladies and have had kids with them. The marriages are more than two years old and none of them are divorced. It's not all about green cards.
Bottom line, it takes effort to be married to an American woman. Why? Because we are worth it.
LOL! Some are, some aren't, but surely your words will console them as the population of American spinsters increases. You're really doing them a great favor.
Because this thread has big entertainment possibilities.
Marriage is about control?
I don't remember that part of the Christian marriage ceremony. You know, the one I took part in.
Spare me. I've seen enough over in this country.
"They don't act like women are maids
She obviously hasn't been stateside.
The only man I obeyed was my father.
You wouldn't marry an American again?
"There are some great conservative women out there, I never met them."
I think you and I have different meanings for the word "conservative."
Well, you do not know the whole story, so I can excuse your ignorance ma'am.
Wrong and wrong again. I've stipulated that there are American jerks, but that's far from the whole story. The demand of foreign brides for American men should indicate that to you.
Nor do I have a problem with women going to college, I'm merely pointing out that a 57% to 43% disparity in favor of females in college enrollement, combined with the very common unwillingness of women to marry below them either economically or educationally, is going to leave a great many American women without husbands.
I forgot to add: "chicken."
Conservative : votes Republican, LIKES being a woman, like being feminine, not afraid to help with the housework. If she stays home, will pick up the majority of it. Emotionally supports her man. Hates communism
I can cook and and do yardwork myself thanks.
Close enough to conservative ?
The Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony is long and drawn own. One of the non-religious based old wives tales for the ceremony is if the woman steps on the man's foot during the ceremony she will rule in the house, if the man can avoid this he will rule. Just a goofy superstition but it is a funny point during the wedding.
"The marriages are more than two years old and none of them are divorced."
When they reach say around 15 years of marriage... I'd be interested to see if they are still married.
This "lack of gratitude' thing isn't part of my life, or my husband's, but it seems to be a big thing for you, so please explain... Exactly what do you offer that all women are increasingly ungrateful for?
That was my choice.
I got lots of Issues.
Especially around the wrong kind of woman.
Many are, some aren't, and more aren't now than ever before, at a time when there are more such men in America right now than in anyu other country, ever.
while women may have enough to fill a bass boat, most guys could sink the Titanic
Ah, see? You do blame American men.
Yes, and also because too many American women believe it.
Laura Bush is a woman. I am a woman. We do not dress like that. If that is your idea of how women really dress....you don't get out much, do you?
Gotta earn it first.
"Close enough to conservative ?"
Yes. But I think its more than just how a person votes or what kind of chores/money one can contribute. I think its more about how a person thinks about life and their character.
That's because Asian men are rumored to have tiny wees.
You hit the nail on the head of why I refuse to get married again (done it twice, both croaked, won't do it again).
I don't like not being appreciated. I didn't like being the workhorse and never hearing a kind word. I won't go into the world of TMI, but marriage was so bad, it is something I don't want to do again.
Anyhow, I have discovered that dating is a lot more fun. I can dress up, be all girlie, go out, have fun...make a friend, have delightful conversation etc. If he is a jerk, I can pick up the tab, trot home, put on my sweats, eat Godiva Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream in my messy, but all mine home while hogging the remote.
Tell it like it is, workerbee! All men need to do is show a bit of appreciation once in a while and they'd be surprised how friendly their wives can be!
"Especially around the wrong kind of woman."
I guess I'm the "wrong kind" of woman for you. I've always been one to think that the need of being controlled is a rather negative one. But hey, whatever works for you and yours... Being "controlled" just ain't my cup of tea. Do you have lots of growth in your relationships with the women you "control"?
Conservative women also think for themselves. We don't need our husbands to give us our opinions. Some around here think that "conservative woman'= parrot's husbands thoughts.
I exist :-)
I MIGHT get married again if: He lives 5 days a week in another place and ONLY comes to see me on the weekends.
He looks like Kevin Sorbo, has the brains of Steven Hawkins, and the sensuality of erm, ah....well, I know what I want.
He just accepts my life as my life, doesn't want to change it and doesn't want to 'fix' stuff that isn't his to fix.
He doesn't have to love me, but he really, REALLY has to like me as much as I like him.
And ideally, he can fix things (s'ok if not, I usually figure it out).
Relating figures of American "spinsterhood" is smoke and mirrors. There are nearly 2 to 1 more women than men. Further, and this won't sit well, some American women, when given the choice between marrying American Godlike Men and remaining single, have CHOSEN to remain single. Easier on the nerves. Easier on the wallet. And you don't have to wash those nasty stains out of someone else's underwear. AND you can, conceivably, get laid whenever you want. WHAT is the downside?
Obviously, it is a generalization. Your generalization encompasses a much greater slice of the female population than college girls and Oprah listeners. Hence, your use of the "on the whole". That means the majority, doesn't it?
As to your "name me a time when women were more ungrateful than today", that's just silly. I don't think they ask that question during census taking so there aren't any stats to prove or disprove the point.
You feel that woman are more ungrateful now than ever before. Fine. You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitle to mine, which is, you hang around with the wrong women.
Let's test me:
I percieve that American men are generally more sensitive to women's concerns than any other group of men anywhere, anytime before. We aren't perfect, but we help more around the house, change more diapers, are more involved with our kids, are more accomodating of our wives' careers, and a slew of other measures, than our fathers were.
Is there something wrong with that perception?
Where or when has it been better?
I wish I had you for a daughter. Wife, daughter, they all ignore me. LOL
Had a neighbor who was blond. She used to baby sit for us. She had never had a date...for good reason. She was not pretty. She met an Iranian who went bonkers over her. All his friends started to call and tried to date her. Iranians love blond hair. I always thought she was nuts to like the guy. But when a person gets tossed aside and then finds out she has something going for her, it's hard to tell her, she's not very pretty.
It works both ways.
First of all, American women are a pain in the ass. Sure, there's an occasional gem to be found, but many aren't worth the time you waste on them. Various psychoses, 'me-culture' vanity, general screwed-uppedness, etc. I'm sure that men are the same way, but I'm not in the market for a man.
For example,my first wife left me because, in her words, "being married wasn't fun anymore." I'm sure that my Navy career had something to do with it; besides bitter complaints that I didn't make enough money, there were the deployments--known in the Navy as the "you're not here, but (insert name) is" syndrome. Hey, at least we didn't have any kids.
American women I dated weren't much better. Even fat, ugly, bitchy women expect to marry doctors and lawyers because they are so special. Sailors and schoolteachers don't make the cut, unless there's an emergency.
Fortunately, I got stationed in Japan. After my divorce, I was a complete misogynist; I didn't go to Japan to find a woman, I went to get away from the ones I already knew. Turns out that I met lots of wonderful women who weren't neurotic/narcissitic, didn't weigh 300 lbs., and didn't give me the 'tude.
My wife is hardly a pushover or a doormat, like most American women would claim. She's nice, fun to talk to and go out with, doesn't mind when I got to do 'man stuff' (grr! Me fix!), puts up with my bizarre habits ("Why do you read so much? Are you taking apart the computer again?"), and doesn't mind handling household tasks--does that make her a 'good little maid'? I put up with shopping, visiting mom, and all the other stuff that goes with having a girl in the house. =)
She's not looking for a Green Card, as others would snidely suggest; hers is expired, and we aren't looking to move back to the states anytime soon. For those of you who have never been out of the country--yes, America is a great place to live, but there are other places that are just as good or better, Japan being one of them. And (gasp!) some people like where they live, and don't want to go to America. Imagine that!
The only things she misses about the states is the big oven for baking. The only thing I miss is being able to go to a bookstore. Other than that, my foreign bride and I are happy where we are. I'll leave the American women to the rest of you.
I can't really blame the Asian women for wanting the same thing American women want. A mate with a lot of assets. lol
No darlin', I am an old geezerette who has had a lot of dates, husbands and friends... I am just stating a behavioral trend (like you have been) that I have observed first hand, repeatedly, even up until today (really, TODAY!).
I hereby nominate you as Freeperette of the Year!!! Happy, secure, carefree, armed with a life & a remote!!
Kudos to you! :)
See my post 129.
Married almost 22 years, 2 kids.