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Featured Article and Reader's Comments

Aug. 6, 1999

What's The Big Deal by Justin Ledden

When I first moved to Shinsaibashi from the suburbs about a year and a half ago, several things really reached out and grabbed my attention. Among these were the huge crowds along the shotengai, the wild fashion of the Japanese urban youth compared to their ultraconservative parents and country counterparts, and the aggressive and persistent approach by the black suited nampa dudes towards their female targets on the bridge. But easily the biggest shock was the amount of . . . how shall I put this in the most polite way possible . . . seemingly ordinary gaijin men walking around with Japanese girls that could hold their own in most beauty pageants.

More simply stated, Japan is a Charisma Man heaven. Sure its true that not all or not even most Japanese women target foreigners, but if you'e a typical foreign man in this country, finding women who are interested in you isn't a problem. Yes, it's a quite un-PC concept, but often times a new romance is no farther than the nearest bar, club, or English school. My natural response was curiosity, I wanted to know why. So I asked more than a few people and by now I've heard stuff from young and old, gaijin and Japanese, men and women. Many people seem to have their theories, and many of them seem to make good sense. But though nearly everyone has their one or two surefire answers, these answers vary greatly. The following list highlights some of the most common answers I've heard to the question of "Why are some Japanese women so attracted to foreign men?".

Although there are many signs of greater equality between the sexes in modern Japan, the gap is still greater than it is in most other countries. In a traditional Japanese relationship, women are subservient to men in a variety of ways, and some Japanese women feel that Japanese men's treatment of women still leaves much to be desired. This is a broad category including everything from the perception that foreign men are more likely to employ a "ladies first"code of conduct to the belief that a foreign man will give more respect to a woman's career plans.

The Mr.Bean Factor
An important feature of traditional Japanese society is suppression of emotion. In many cases, this has carried into the present, and many feel that the range of foreigners' facial expressions is, on the whole, larger and more animated than that of a typical Japanese. Gaijin tend to be less conservative with body movements as well. Several women, especially among the younger generation, mention this as a source of attraction. One woman I know said that she first noticed her Canadian boyfriend at a bar because of the animated manner in which he was telling a story.

Escape from Japan, Part 1
Some women are simply unhappy in Japan and are looking for a way out. They may look at the foreign man as a potential way out of the country and to what some deem as a "better life" elsewhere. This seems to be well documented and probably greatly exaggerated among the foreign community. Still, I've talked to more than a few women who admit to subscribing to these ideas. "As soon as I figure out someone isn't interested in finding a wife soon, I move on." said one woman.

Escape from Japan, Part 2
Others seem to be less interested in moving out of the country, but nonetheless feel constrained by Japanese society. Some Japanese women feel that since foreign men are outsiders in Japanese society, they don't hold certain expectations of "proper behavior" for a woman. With a foreign guy, they feel they don't have to live up to the often strict (though somewhat loosening) Japanese social code that binds both sexes. Generally, women who mention this as a reason say they feel more relaxed and free to express their feelings and opinions with a foreign man.

With an English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese etc. native speaking foreigner, you can improve your language skills while avoiding those pesky language school tuition fees. Of course this works both ways. If you've ever asked around about how to improve your Japanese, you've probably heard the age-old advice "get a Japanese girlfriend."

Physical Characteristics
Many women at least mention this as a factor if not as the main reason for the attraction. But I've heard lots of different answers within this category; it seems to be much more than a belief that foreigners are handsome or something. Body shape, body proportion, height, hair color, eye color and shape, nose size and shape, and even face size are a few of the more common responses. On the flip side, I'm a bit surprised that I didn't hear more about the beer bellies that some of us are lugging around town.

Sexual Prowess
Some women seem to think that foreigners, for a few different reasons, are better in bed. I've heard this more from foreign men than I have Japanese women though.

Status Symbol
Japan is a land where image is vital, and many feel that this also sometimes applies to relationships or at least who you are seen with in public. Having a foreign boyfriend is seen as cool in some circles, and some Japanese insist that this is the biggest reason why Japanese girls go for foreign guys. I致e heard this answer much more from Japanese than from foreigners.
These are just a few factors that I致e happened to hear mentioned frequently and of course there are plenty more; I'm sure that if you've been in Japan for any length of time, you've heard your fair share of explanations as well. It seems as though while many believe that the attraction can be easily explained with a reason or two, there is no consensus on which has the most influence.

Copyright (c) 1999 by Justin Ledden, All Rights Reserved

Reader's Comments

Gary Wright from San Francisco, CA/USA wrote on November 30. 2004:
E-mail: gbwrightone956@yahoo.com
URL: http://www.yahoo.com
Sometimes I feel like I am from another planet or something. I am a black American male who has travelled extensively from Asia to Europe. I am educated, was not raised in a ghetto or anything like such. I am actually more versed in social grace than most white men. This brings welcome from white men with high self esteem of themselves, but is met with anger and resentment by those white males with little or no self esteem. I've lived in eighteen states throughout my lifetime and have learned that no human being is better than any other, genetically or otherwise. I've lived and co-habitated with all ethnic groups and found that there are only three types of people on this earth: good, bad and undecided. The third type (undecided) is the most scary, since that type can go either way at anytime and usually cannot be trusted for solidarity or advocacy. America's superstition about dark skin is just that- superstition. The sad thing about this superstition which white America invented, has oppressed a lot of blacks into believing it themselves ans so they act out with anger,resentment and fear. I've never met a white who was better than me and have challenged the best of them in debate and oration. I was madly in love with an Okinawan female, but her parents threatened to disown her if she married me. Even her Japanese friends threatened to disassociate themselves from her if she married me. The sad thing about their attitudes were that they didn't know me as a man, in order to make a decision, they just saw my color as a bad thing. I was in college at the time and so was she. She loved me because I was honest, hard working and intelligent. After we went our seperate ways, I looked her up on computer and found that she moved to Los Angeles. I moved to San Francisco. She was dating a white guy who had told her that I was playing a "victim." I've never played a victim in my life. I just wanted to give a new perspective about a black men who does not live his life as a color. Thank you!

another f@#!in' hakujin from america wrote on October 27. 2004:
E-mail: ihaveno@ddress.com
I think some theories here presented hit on some good points and others are total misunderstandings or overgeneralizations.
What you should all remember about the idea of women being more free to express their feelings in front of western men is not really true.
Rather, it is a communication difference. Japanese people DO communicate emotions, just in a more subtle way, often unspoken but read in atmosphere.
Western people usually speak, and are often poor at reading unspoken communication. If you cannot experience that mutual emotional connection where sometimes you just understand without having to explain everything, have you really developed a more emotionally expressive relationship?

Another thing is about how Japanese people feel about themselves, post-WWII. Yes, that is very far in the past, but it has carried on psychologically.
Many Japanese people who are adults or even teens nowadays were raised with ideas pounded into them, sometimes from media, sometimes even from schoolteachers who are also Japanese, that they should be ashamed of themselves for being Japanese because of the past.
Many people are able to get past this when they are adults, still, there are many who do not, and feel that in relation to some foreigners, themselves being Japanese makes them "lesser." Combine this with an ever-present Western standard of beauty in the media, and sometimes you end up with a severe inferiority complex, especially in women.
I've seen this a lot with college students who come to America to study, some American guys that I met who have dated young japanese women said that when they first started going out, the girl would aks "Is it okay that I am Japanese?" or even apologize for "being Japanese."
People with very low self esteem like that may feel lifted that they have some kind of appeal to a non-Japanese of the opposite sex, whether or not that type of "appeal" is really good for relationship material or not.
Dating foreign men in Japan is also a way that some women may boost their image with a hot new "commodity"....they have something different that not all of the other girls can get. Or, they like the way it fits their image. Lately it seems that Japanese girls of this type go more for kokujin than hakujin, because their image is considered more "cool" now because of the hip-hop scene (and unfortunately, many Africans are exploitingly the American hip-hop image, perpetuating stereotypes about Black Americans...but that's a whole different story right there).
A little disclaimer: I'm not claiming that ALL Japanese women who are dating kokujin are like this...right now, the standard of beauty in Japan is that women should have very light skin, and men should have very dark skin (anyone whose been in Japan lately has probably noticed how fair skinned many women are and how darkly tanned the men are). So kokujin, like other dark-skinned men, also have this type of sex appeal.

Another thing you have to examine is the number of foreign (esp. American) men vs. the number of rquivalent women in Japan.
There are a lot more American men in Japan than women due to the presence of US military bases. So naturally, you'll see more pairings of American men with japanese women than the other way around.
Also, many Western women in Japan are there as tourists, or sadly, simply working as hostesses or strippers. The same mindset that applies in America probably applies here: those type of women are fun to look at and maybe fool around with, but probably not stable enough (or "clean" enough) for an actual relationship.
In Japan, there are actually MORE Japanese men married to foreigners than there are Japanese women married to foreigners, but they are just from different countries. Japanese men with international marriages are generally married to Filipinas (another community that probably has an unequal gender population), Koreans and Chinese, while Japanese women tend to marry Koreans, Chinese, and Americans.

So after this rather long-winded rant, it basically boils down to this:
To Western guys looking for an easy way to get a Japanese girlfriend: Go for someone who sees you for who you are rather than for the image, if you want anything meaningful and lasting from it. Cuz if you try to make something last that just can't, it'll be just as annoying as the "baggage" that the Western women you're trying to escape carry.
To people who are upset that many Japanese girls easily date white guys: If the girl is that shallow as to pick a boyfriend for some kind of image, or so easy to date someone for "status," would you really want someone with those kind of psychological issues?
Be more upset with the media images or attitude that contributed to those issues.

Mr. Driller from Nagoya wrote on October 10. 2002:
Well I guess I agree with most of what is written in this article. Total losers walking around like some hot shit and all that... Frankly, I don't give a damn if every couple I see looks straight out of revenge of the nerds, that's just how the game is played in Japan. In Japan, the game is quite a bit different for Japanese and Foreigners.. there are diffent rules. I think the reason that Japanese men are sometimes afraid to approach foreign women is because they don't know the rules of the game when it comes to foreigners. My female friends (foreign ones anyway) complain that Japanese men are too shy and "ineffective"... Foreign women expect more aggressive, passionate men, but they are rare in Japan (and usually they are Brazilian!). With the women though, foreign men need not be aggressive or "try hard" because japanese women are used to presenting an innocent visage and attitude. It is like a rabbit who leaps into the jaws of a fox.. too easy.

Michael from Hong Kong wrote on June 9. 2002:
E-mail: themaleperspective@lycos.com
I can't really comment on Japan apart from having had several Japanese girlfriends. However I do see a lot of similarities in the article with Chinese girls in Hong Kong. Despite all the suggested conservatism of asian women, I found Chinese girls to be far more sexually assertive than Western women and I believe this may have some bearing on the article. Hong Kong thrives on the policy of NPDOA or No Public Display of Affection. In England and many Western countries, a girl may flirt in public, hug, kiss, sit on your lap, even touch you somewhat seductively. But at the end of the night, an invitation for coffee is often only that and attempts to get more can be very badly received. In Hong Kong girls won't generally do much more than hold hands in public, you can't kiss, fondle or touch in public (except in darkened cinemas where everyone tactfully ignores groping couples). So when a Hong Kong girl makes her way to your home (often at her own suggestion)
way to your home (often at her own suggestion) once inside in the privacy of your home, behind closed doors and the prying eyes of parents, grandmothers and elder brothers she changes noticeably. This is where sex takes place, can only take place and the opportunity should not be wasted. Chinese girls who come up for coffee usually stay for breakfast. And you are talking to a guy who didn't lose his virginity until he was 23 after coming to Hong Kong. The fact is (and this is where similarities with Japan come in) cultural differences and restraints leave many asian women frankly frustrated. If they don't find a nice local boy their parents like and approve of, their chances of sex are minimal. Many local guys brought up in the same way lack experience sexually which means most young pretty girls in Hong Kong are seen with older guys, foreigners or Triads (Hong Kong's Yakusa). Why? Because all these
groups are sexually more experienced (well except me) have their own place they don't share with family and are far more open with sex and able to give these very curious young women what they need. As for facial characteristics, the young lady from Japan is quite correct. Local ideas of beauty and the foreign perspective work in everyone's favour. If you like asian women you can find far more 'stunners' than the local guys. Girls they pronounce as 'ma ma dei' or OK we probably find amazing. Similarly the ordinary looking foreigner is often exotic and handsome to a local girl. And this leads on to the bedroom. Her curiousity of foreign men gets her excited which in turn makes him feel very masculine. The more excited he gets the sexier she feels. When two people are excited the sex is great. She probably doesn't experience the same with local guys and he can't get Western girls to react the same. It is
psychological. Oh yes and would I give up my job my friends and go to teach English in Japan just to meet lots of young Japanese girls who adored me ... too f***ing right I would !!!

Japan professional from Tokyo wrote on May 13. 2002:
To whatever how different!!!
Thai whore have sex for money to support thier poor family.
Most of Thai whore came from country side have no food even the
house got no roof or wall.
Japanese hostess have sex for money to buy most expensive luxury goods.
Sometime go out to enjoy sex around Bali beach.
Good luck to all western man....

Live in Japan 3 yrs from Tokyo wrote on May 13. 2002:
Large economy, so what! Japanese earn very high saraly but poor of living style.
Most of Japanese living in the house like a rat hole.
Most of house wives trying very very hard how to save up the money for thier family.
No one could imagine how crazy of those house wives trying hard of the saving method.
Some T.V program show how is the house wives in Japan save up
all the expenses. It`s too much!!! Crazy!!!
No one want that kind of life!
It`s unbelivable how life is so hard in Japan! No wonder Japanese girl want to get out from Japan!

m0t0 from au wrote on April 16. 2002:
"Escape from Japan"

yeah right. japan has a large economy-- why would anyone want to escape?

Jarius Eleazar from Somewhere in Tokyo wrote on March 29. 2002:
E-mail: jariel@hotmail.com
Crap. There are only 2 mutually reinforcing reasons:
1) mass media saturation of beautiful caucasian faces
2) law of supply and demand

Asian girls become the picky ones once they are in a caucasian dominated place.

whatever from earth wrote on October 17. 2001:
How about Japanese formal hostess travel around Australia, U.S and Europe. How can u know if they r not different than other poor Thais whore? Is that`s true Japanese hostess have sex with a men for only a luxury goods or save up for oversea travel?

jtm from UK wrote on July 12. 2001:
I just don't understand one thing.........why does people (both white and black) hate their own skin color?
Whites want to look TAN (strictly asian color) and blacks want to look white.....i mean what the heck is going on?

mike from vancouver wrote on June 13. 2001:
dingdong has hit it on the mark. it also has to do with different cultures having different standards in terms of taste. a girl that some white guy may think is a sheer knock-out may be only average in Japan, whereas a super-model in Japan may not be that appealing in North America. Just flip through a Japanese woman's mag and see how ridiculously skinny some of the models are. I'm not saying that some of the Japanese girls in Vancouver are "desperate," but they may blown away by the fact that a foreign guy would even talk to them.

*dingdong* from London wrote on April 18. 2001:
Frankly I'm so surprised that after all these years people still don't get it. Stop being afraid of "controversies" and get to the heart of the issue. Here's the simple breakdown:

(Sad) Reasons why Japanese girls go for foreign men:
1) General assumption that being a foreigner have that special "something" which made the girls curious.
2) European facial features are symbol of status. We've seen this process of brainwashing happening all over Asian countries, such as Asian women having eye surgeries to make their eyes bigger. Caste systems in India. Need to say more?
3) Foreigners are always, always portrayed as fantasy figures (depends on the individual).
4) It's cool to date foreigners, especially if they got the attention of their friends.
5) Romanticised status, and more status. In asian countries, Caucasian employees are worshipped like no other. Regarding getting overseas jobs; while Asian male employees in western countries might not earn more than their Caucasian counterparts, it's often the opposite case in Asian countries. Trust me on this! It's a sad, sad truth.
6) He's a "foreigner!"

(Sad) Reasons why Japanese men DON'T go for foreign women:
1) "She won't like me"
2) "I can't speak english"
3) "Damn that European girl is hot! But what am I gonna do with her?"
4) "I still think she won't like me"
5) "My mummy and daddy have always told me that gaijin women don't cook and don't look after their husbands properly"
6) "I don't like girls who are very beautiful ... I just like them to be cute (aka innocent)"
7) "Oh well, I'll just date Japanese girls then. At least they will accept me for who I am"
8) "But deep down ... if a foreign girl approaches me ... man, who am I kidding"

That's the reasons, ladies and gentlemen. The brutal truth. I may be generalising things too much, but I have been to many places around the world, and I don't beat around the bush. Have any of you heard of the term "free yellow cab" which describes Japanese girls? It's harsh, I know. So if you're a foreign man who's been unlucky in love, go to Japan. You'll find plenty of fish to catch.

Nitu from Toronto wrote on October 31. 2000:
E-mail: pinkfuzz80@hotmail.com
Coming from an asian background I know that having pale skin is very important and is considered
very beautiful. The ideal of beauty is to have a straight and tall nose, pale skin (a face like the moon)
big eyes, and to be thin. This has always been considered
to be beautiful and still is at least in India and I know in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and many other asian countries too.
By the way I can never find skin whitening cream in Toronto. Nivia and Biore and many companies make them, but only in Asia,
I can't find them in Canada. Maybe it's because in the west people tan and want to be darker and in Asia people want to be whiter.
Also people always like what they don't have. For example I have curly hair,
but I really hate it and I love Japanese hair, but a lot of Japanese
really like my hair. Since almost everyone in Japan is Japanese
and looks japanese, girls may be attracted to what's different.
So there are many reasons why Japanese girls would like white guys, though there are
Japanese girls who are only interested in Japanese guys.
For Japanese guys it's different because some feel that
white women are not traditional enough. I have a serious Japanese
boyfriend though and I know some Japanese guys who are crazy about foreign
women, except the foreign women don't give them a chance due to
thier lack of english or something.
But I'd still like to learn more about what Japanese men think about foreign
women, and not only white women. Lets talk about Indian women.
Or what japanese think of other asian people in general.

Val from Singapore wrote on October 6. 2000:
A little behind time...(so much have taken place in discussion have taken place in 1999).
Anyway, still like to contribute to this.

Totally agree with Sam... the Japanese girls are not as naive, as sweet as what you think.
As they are not as vocal, and in fact they are polite... foreigners tend that misinterprete their thoughts and think of them in a nicer way than it should be.
I think they are just very fake!

Ransom Edison from Osaka wrote on May 30. 2000:
E-mail: ransom@osb.att.ne.jp
Mr. Schaffer, you have obviously not spent very much time in Japan.

Michelle from Vancouver, B.C. Canada wrote on February 29. 2000:
Why don't we talk about a MORE important issue...How do those
gorgeous Japanese men REALLY feel about the Gaijin women? Some
people make the men sound unpleasant, but I doubt that. We've
heard from Mr.Edison on this. Anyone else have a comment?
I'd love to know...

Heidi from Boston wrote on December 29. 1999:
E-mail: heidimiyamoto@yahoo.com
Justin addresses several valid points, whether or not you find yourself in agreement
with any of them. Short of a statistical consensus, he sums up nicely what you hear
when you're out talking with lots of different people about lots of different issues.
For some people, all those factors probably apply to some extent. For others any
reasons beyond the sheer novelty of dating a foreigner are too complicated.
Fortunately, for romantics like me, there are the couples whose love transcends
race, status, and hidden agendas.

Robert D. Schaffer from Clinton, NY wrote on December 9. 1999:
E-mail: schaffer@borg.com
I think this Ledden guy is putting us on. You can't take what he writes seriously. The whole piece of writing is really just a put-on. Face it, the guy's a humorist at heart. Look at the silly grin on his beer-battered face. That tells it all.

TLV from Germany wrote on October 16. 1999:
E-mail: virkler@yahoo.de
Well, about below average western guys dating above average Japanese women. I agree that it is common to see this type of thing, but on the other hand I also think it is very common to see an above average Western guy dating below average Japanese girl. Then again, in Germany I see the same thing too where one person is good looking but the other person is not. One thing I do notice in Japan is that a lot of Western guys suddenly get huge egos when it comes to dating. I think maybe Japanese women in Japan can't judge the status of a Western guy. I mean, if your German and you see a German guy, you can tell what his education is, where he works, how much money he has and so on since you are from the same culture and there is no language dificulty. When a Japanese girl meets Western guy in Japan, he is a mystery. I think if the girl knew like "hey, this guy went to trade school and never had more than part-time job" she might not be dating him. No offense for English teachers, but I often wonder why a young person would leave their home country and society to be an English teacher just because it is a good way to met Japanese women.I don't know this is just my thoughts.

dan martin from US wrote on September 30. 1999:
E-mail: daniel-martin@excite.com
As regards the article, I think Justin has a lot of good points which are on the mark.
But I think he may not have given enough stress to emotion
and emotional expression, which is in my opinion the biggest factor
attracting japanese women to foreign men (and perhaps, for opposite reasons,
vice versa).

Basically, certain emotions can only be felt (or expressed, in any
case) in certain contexts, be they social, linguistic, genetic...
And since Japanese are taught to suppress emotions, in a very real
sense, they are often not exposed (when amongst themselves) to certain emotions that they
see in foreigners; they are intrigued by the free expression of
these emotions, as well as by feeling them (themselves) in greater
magnitude than would be common if their boyfriend were Japanese.

And this carries over into the bedroom as well... foreign men, by their
nature more expressive emotionally with women than Japanese men,
tend to be more emotional as well (I would imagine) in the sack. More
sensitive, perhaps? Attentive? Passionate?

Foreign men might be attracted to Japanese women to escape from (these
are generalizations, all) nagging, emotional-baggage-toting
foreign women who have come to expect men to behave in a certain
"responsible" way, attentive to their needs in an equal partnership...
but the very fact that so many (certainly not all, but a large number)
Japanese women not only refrain
from requiring this kind of emotional committment in a relationship,
but they donエt even consider it feasible or fair to do so, certainly
plays a factor in why foreign men find them so irresistable.

Lots more to say on this subject, but these days I shun
controversy whenever possible...

Ransom Edison from Osaka wrote on September 19. 1999:
E-mail: redison@kunijima-h.ed.jp
I have a lot to say about this article, but for now I'll confine myself to the last reason that was mentioned, Status Symbols. This is a factor for alot of Japanese, I know, but I've heard this the mostly as a reason given for Japanese men to go out with gaijin women. Some Japanese men have been quite explicit that Gaijin women are actually less desirable as mates, and make poor wifes in their opinions, but if they can be seen with a gaijin hostess type on their arm they gain lots of respect from their friends. Go figure. One older successful businessman I know who has gone out with quite a few foreign models said he prefers spending time with Japanese women, having sex with Japanese women, and would only marry a Japanese woman, but likes to have a gaijin date when he goes out in public. Kind of like a Gucci bag or something.

Fernando Rodriguez from Argentina wrote on September 11. 1999:
E-mail: soulagen@infovia.com.ar

I wouldn't put japanese women down for something I can't
quite understand. I've heard stories, yeah, 14 and 15 years
old girls giving their bodies away for enpensive clothes,
etc. but, to tell the truth, it mesmerizes me how clearly
this issue brings another one: women who "love". If you want
a 2000 $ Isaac Mizrahi dress, you go and fuck somebody. Fair enough.
For them.A present day woman wouldn't marry a penniless man. There is no ROOM
for love. My sister, your girl, your mom, your daughter, and mine
they all will follow this same pattern. In bukowski's words,
that's why the professional whore is hated so much: it devaluates the
pussy. whatever. I'm moving to Japan, maaaaaaaannnnnn...
At least no one seems to be a hipocrite there...


Martin Babak from Vancouver (native) wrote on September 6. 1999:
E-mail: martin_babak@kmug.org
Let's look again Sam, I'm not sure you're on target here with regard to Japanese girls in Vancouver. With Vancouver's diversity it is very difficult judge a person's nationality, heritage or occupation by appearance -if one were ever to chose to. It is easy now and soon will become easier to enter Canada for extended periods so, there is little need for Japanese females to endeavor in marriage for the purpose of getting a visa. This happens more where immigration policy is very strict, eg. Japan. Are there really so many disenchanted Japanese females scrambling to get out of that country? There may be some but I think you're seeing tourists in Vancouver living their lives. They are young but let's not call them racist. Instead, let's consider why there are so few Japanese guys with non-Japanese girlfriends?

Nick from Canada now in Kyoto wrote on September 3. 1999:
E-mail: Moonnick33@hotmail.com
URL: http://@osk3.3web.ne.jp
I think the fellow Canadain from Van is making
a real over stated claim, as if every girl wanted
to get married or be in fashion. This is simply not
the case, your statement would thus mean that the
men were in most cases using them too. If so are we
talking a shallow hallow relationship be your account
everyone in Van is. Don't lump everyone into the same
pile it is rather biaist. Justins makes some good open
coments for both sides and in games of the heart if
trully more than appearences well then

Shoko from Osaka wrote on September 2. 1999:
E-mail: kinjiki53@hotmail.com
I would like to comment on Linda from Boston.
I understand why you think that way. Many of us, Japanese, forget the fact that
we are also coloured. As you said, we Japanese may subconsciously have a desire
to align with Caucasians. As we have had some kind of "inferiority complex" towards
Caucasians for quite a long time, I don't think this can be got rid of so easily.
However, please don't think that all Japanese are racists.
Please don't judge all about us just from this kind of personal ad stuff.

Aya from Kobe wrote on August 28. 1999:
Your article was great. I found it very
well-analyzed and bias-free. I especially liked your sharp comment on the myth that foreign men are better in bed. Anyway, I'd like to suggest a correction on a matter in your article. You called the black-suited guys on the bridge "Nampa guys", Please ignore what I'm going to say if you simply chose the word to mean "to talk to girls on the street". I'm assuming here that you think they are trying to pick up girls for sex or maybe romance. But that's not what they want. Those guys with pastel-colored/black suits are usually "hosto", male counterpart of hostesses. They stand up on the bridge to pull(drag) into their bars some posh-looking girls or those in "sexual massage" business(cos they are loaded and wish to be treated well after hard work, you know).

Another thing is, I think you can add "different standard of beauty" amongst the other facters you have suggested in your article. Yes, I've lived in a foreign country for some years. And I realized I was more popular there than I was in Japan. I wasn't sleeping around or wearing skimpy clothes. I usually walked around with no make-up. And there are plenty other Asian girls(including Japanese) who I thought were far more attractive than I was. But it seemed a lot of guys found me stunning. Well, I think I am reasonably pretty and I've been reasonably popular among Japanese guys. But I'm definitely not the one Japanese guys would spot first at parties. I have a foreign boyfriend who I met in the foreign country and we've been together for a long time now. But I still can't get over the fact that his friends who are also from foreign countries think of him as a very lucky man to have such a beautiful girlfriend. I'm not pulling so-called Japanese modesty here, really. I've had some Japanese boyfriends before and their Japanese friends would say I was cute, but that would be it.
Personally, I'm glad I didn't get carried away to crave for foreign guys simply because it would have boosted my ego. My point being that I think some Japanese girls of the certain type prefer foreign guys because the girls feel better of themselves with them, than with Japanese guys, because they feel like beauty queens when actually they aren't. I am not surprised you didn't get so many girls to mention this as the reason for this "the beauty and the beast" phenomenon. Because, you know, not many girls want to admit they are only O.K. So I guess it's more like "the ordinary and the beast", which makes the phenomenon less shocking.

But I do, sometimes see some foreign guys who look as if they were straight out of 80's horror
movies, you know, those guys who survive because they are so nerdy the killers don't wanna deal with. Like, any girls could look beautiful next to them!

kim song suu from Korea wrote on August 24. 1999:

I think your opinions to wards the urban Japanese youth and their behaviors are pretty correct
I ,like my self am a korean national living in Osaka city, I almost always feel very segregated from
the Japanese youth. I mean, I am also as young as they are though, I strongly feel that the
 Japanese youth really hate the Korean youth! or they really want to get rid of us from Japan, I
think! Because Japanese yougsters are being very polite to "hakujin"(especially japanese women
are!) However ,they are very cold to us .

Linda from Boston, USA wrote on August 18. 1999:
I'm not sure what "gaijan" or whatever that word was means, but I'm guessing it refers to caucasians...???? In any event, I am assuming it does, and that all your references to "foreign" men generally meant white men. I think lots of Asian women see white men as "status symbols". I don't think they seek out non-Japanese men because they want to leave the country, or they are looking for more equality. If that were the case, you'd see Asian women looking for a wider range of non-Japanese men .... i.e., Latino, Black, and all the variations in between. But they generally seem to prefer white men, and it can only be due to the more favorable stereotypes which they are associated with... This is also due to the fact that many Japanese are racist when it comes to darker skin colors, and they prefer to align themselves with whites.

Sam from Vancouver wrote on August 15. 1999:
There are lots of Japanese girls in Vancouver
showing off their hakujin boyfriends.It looks
pretentiuos.Don't the hakujin males feel used?
The Japanese girls are not as naive as they look
& are just using them.(ie:marriage,status,etc.)
Also I wonder if others perceive Japanese girls
as racist because they will favor hakujins over
their own kind?Hard to figure out,it's a country
full of contradictions.

Yalie from New Haven wrote on August 7. 1999:
I think you've got everything pretty much covered in your article.
The reason you don't hear about Japanese women talking about
the beer bellies is because that would only mean that they have
actually seen one. And the only time they are actually going to
see one is when they are having sex with one. Nobody wants to
go around telling her friends that she had sex with a beer bellied
Just my two cents.

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