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Girls and Gaijins

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Girls and Gaijins

Postby neo2407 » Thu 01.18.2007 11:21 pm

Hey, I was reading somewhere (can't remember where) that gaijins seem to be attractive to some Japanese girls. The same subject was brought up a little while ago in the Jlist.com newsletter (lots of info about Japan in it).
This phenomenon was christened "Peter's Inverse Law of Japanese Learning" by the creator of Jlist.com, Peter Payne (a guy from America now living in Japan).
The only other thing I know about this is, aparently, the more Japanese you know the less attractive you are.

Please don't think the only reason I want to go to Japan is because of this phenomenon.
The reason I posted this is to see if anyone knows why this happens.

It seems really strange and illogical that the less you can communicate with some Japanese girls, the more attractive you are to her.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 01.18.2007 11:55 pm

While not a universal thing, there are many Japanese Girls who are (as my wife calls them) "Gaijin-hoppers." They generally go from one foreigner to the next waiting for someone to whisk them off to some fabulous foreign country to live out the rest of their blissful lives.

I suppose people who actually study Japanese are less likely to return home in the near future, and so are not as attractive.

Although now that I think about it, all of my single male gaijin friends (count'em: 2) are flocked by girls, even though their Japanese is very good.

So yeah.. Random Stereotype? Dunno.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Sumi » Fri 01.19.2007 12:09 am

I wonder, what about the 外国人少女, foreign girls. You really don't hear too much about us.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Kdar » Fri 01.19.2007 12:32 am

Maybe because gaijins are different to them........ from the rest..
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.19.2007 12:45 am

I must point out first that I have very little respect for j-list. Browsing that website for a mere 30 seconds angers me to no end (so... much... ignorance...).

Anyway, it kind of works both ways. There are some girls that (as Harisenbon explained quite well) are obsessed with America (or other Western countries), and don't want a foreigner that acts like a Japanese person. Some of them are also affected by the "Japanese is exotic and impossible for foreigners to understand" stigma and so they want a boyfriend they can show things to and observe his "OMFG I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND" reactions.

However, for every one of those girls there are 10 or 20 girls that don't want anything to do with a foreign guy unless he can speak Japanese as good as a Japanese guy. Men and women have a hard enough time communicating when they both speak the same language; throwing in a language barrier is suicide for a serious relationship.

So, if you were to make a graph of one's Japanese abilities, and mark in the number of people interested in them at each stage, you will notice a large void in the middle. There is a point when every foriegner is "too Japanese" for the "gaijin wannabe's", yet not nearly proficient enough for the serious Japanese girls.

So, if one is just getting to that stage in their speaking abilities (or has never progressed past that stage... :|) it may appear to them that ALL Japanese girls lose interest once you start learning Japanese.

But it's just not true. ;)
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Tajoumaru » Fri 01.19.2007 2:12 am

I actually wrote an essay on a similar subject for a graduate-level communication course I took last year. It was about cultural fetishism and the exotic 'other'. This phenomenon is often used in reference to Western men and their desire of the foreign female commodity, an idealized version of that which is both attractive and unfamiliar. In operation the phenomenon goes both ways, however; women of non-Western nations fetishize (and idealize) the prototypical Western man.

Sometimes this fetishism results from dissatisfaction with one's own culture, for whatever reason, and may reach the point of sheer fantasy (e.g., the submissive Asian woman who does whatever her man wishes without complaint; or, the wealthy, worldly Western man who showers his woman with endless material goods and makes life a non-stop adventure). It can be a disastrous prospect for any attempt at a real relationship, though if the only intention is to "experience" another culture then both parties may not be disappointed.

As a pragmatic realist--one who eschews most silly romantic notions and fantasies--I have to agree with keatonatron's statement about communicating. Above all, a couple must be able to communicate for a relationship to survive, unless it's to be a loveless relationship (trophy wife, etc.). My girlfriend is Japanese, is fluent in English, and we still have a tough enough time. Ideally, both persons in an intercultural relationship would be able to speak each other's native tongue.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.19.2007 2:47 am

That's a good explanation. I have many many times heard Japanese girls talk about the existence of "Ladies First" in the West, and how all Western men treat their women like princesses while Japanese men treat their women like slaves.

Having seen both American and Japanese couples, I really don't see much difference in the way they treat each other (amongst modern youth, that is).
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby James_dean » Fri 01.19.2007 5:37 am

Western men treat their women like princesses while Japanese men treat their women like slaves

My god your not generalising at all :o

Well i have been in japan a long time and get frustrated by the bizarre attitudes here.....like a guy coming up and saying "You come to my country you must teach me english"....why????.......why not "you must speak my language" like most NORMAL people.

I think the problem with a gaijin speaking japanese is that we are too direct in the way we talk and not like japanese and even if you are really good at japanese you can appear arrogant and rude.....i think that is the main problem with gaijin speaking japanese......and of course the other problem is japanese people who speak english sometimes insist on speaking english to you and will pretend they do not understand your japanese even though you know you made a perfectly understandable sentence..........
Some women who are attracted to gaijin have lots of silly ideas.......i asked one girl why she liked gaijin.....she said all guys in movies were white.......in fairness if a white guy looked very like some movie star then i am sure he would be popular with western women too so i guess japanese women are no different except they don't see many white guys so they can make a similarity between you and a movie star u look nothing like.........

In saying this i like japanese and the language especially because i like the jokes and the slang they use and like to copy this alot much to the amusement of the japanese.if you do it well that is!!!.....sometimes thats not the case and u get looks like "look at the silly gaijin".

I like japanese women alot but they are very hard to really get to know and never really say what they think..............some of them that is.......but thats the culture i guess........can be refreshing talking to gaijin women as they are not like that and more laid back.......anyway its all very interesting and a good learning experience but i think its important not to think just because u get attention from japanese women that you are somehow this big movie star and walk around with your head in the air.........thats all from me......but its alot....sorry about that...... ;)
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby James_dean » Fri 01.19.2007 5:44 am

There is a point when every foriegner is "too Japanese" for the "gaijin wannabe's", yet not nearly proficient enough for the serious Japanese girls.


that void can last a long time....... :(
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby neo2407 » Fri 01.19.2007 9:22 am

OK, thanks for all those very long posts lol. But it did clear it all up for me. Thanks

keatonatron wrote:
...while Japanese men treat their women like slaves.


Hmm...my mother and sister have that kind of idea about Japan. They keep saying that women are treated really badly in Japan, but I've never heard of anything like that (not in modern Japanese culture anyway).
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 01.19.2007 10:21 am

James_dean wrote:
Western men treat their women like princesses while Japanese men treat their women like slaves

My god your not generalising at all :o


Reread his post. He's talking about the generalizations that many Japanese girls mistakenly make, and why there are such a large number of girls going after foreign guys.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby odysseus123321 » Fri 01.19.2007 11:06 am

Wow this topic is truly fascinating. Its not just about gaijin liking the Japanese its so many other things. Like for me its understanding Japanese women AND their culture. I really like Japanese girls but for some reason I highly doubt I'll end up with one. I think it has to do with a lot of what everyone said up above where if I don't speak well enough, then I probably won't have a chance. That maybe since I know a little bit, i'm not just a stupid gaijin anymore (maybe I still am who knows).

But this topic has always been in my mind and i've wanted to start a thread on it and i'm glad someone already did. I guess it makes me wonder why I do study the language. I suppose when I do visit someday, I won't expect much of anything but the experience of being in Japan. I think it would just be fascinating to be over there and KNOW the language but actually just keep quiet about it until I have to speak. To me I guess that is a goal of mine. I guess if I meet a japanese girl along the way, so be it, but otherwise I guess I can't expect that.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby Kagemaru » Fri 01.19.2007 12:17 pm

Aren't foreign men guilty of the same stereotypyical attributes?

Just for arguments sake we have:

1. Japanese women wanting foreign men for complimenting them, sharing housework and hoisting them on a pedestal.

2. Foreign men wanting Japanese women because they are polite, sweet, petite and subservient.

Or something to all that effect..

I did hear lightheartedly once from a Japanese man:

"Japanese women are great girlfriends, bad wives" ;)
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 01.19.2007 12:49 pm

i just wonder why people get hung up on stereotypes and just don't see the people for who they are, not who they want them to be.

if you are always measureing a new friend by a stereotype or your last friend, you are doing your new friend and disjustice and should quit the relationship anyways, cause it's a fraud.

kagemaru is quite correct in that stereotypes go both ways and sometimes go bothways and sideways at the same time..

for example foreign guy dates japanese girl cause he thinks she is subserviant, while the same japanese girl wants to become more independant and dates the foreign guy cause he is used to independant girls and the circle just keeps getting tighter and tighter until they both wish they hadn't done it in the first place.
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RE: Girls and Gaijins

Postby the_haunted_boy » Fri 01.19.2007 1:26 pm

Different people have diferent taste, so you should not be making too many generalizations, but that does sound kind of cool.
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