Every few months I see an ad on the train for some article, generally in An-An, that sounds crazy enough to make me want to read it and work on my Japanese. The latest was called “男ゴコロのツボを検証” or something like “Inspecting Men’s Hearts” It’s an article aimed women about what men like, want, etc.
First I gotta make some disclaimers, this is An-An which is probably very much like Cosmopolitian, I’m not sure how much you can really trust them. On the otherhand most of the stuff I read fits with my experience watching my Japanese co-workers. Also, it doesn’t say “Japanese men” it just says “men” but I personally think it really only applies to Japanese men. And of course every individual is different. If this info is accurate it is still only the average J-guy, not every J-guy. Also note that An-An is aimed at women. These articles are aimed at helping girls understand what J-guys want so they can get one. Also also note I might get the translation wrong.
I don’t personally think I think similar to the *stereotypical* American man if there is such a thing but there is what the supposed stereotypical western guy thinks. This article though is of course written for Japanese woman about Japanese men and so it supposedly represents the stereotype of J-Men and it’s interesting to notice the differences between that stereotype, myself and the supposed normal western guy.
Also remember, this is An-An not ME!!!, my comments are in italic
The article is split into several parts. The first part is an interview with some famous male celebrities where it says some things like:
- Women shouldn’t talk about j-men’s jobs
To a j-man jobs are sacred and they don’t want even positive comments about it. Even if you know their work they’d perfer you pretend you don’t.
WTF!: Personally I’d prefer a woman I could actually work with. That can understand what I do so she can understand why something is difficult and why I feel so good for solving it. And of course visa versa, I’d like to know about her’s
- For men, there are times they want to be alone.
No matter what kind of women they like, j-men need their time alone. Time watching TV or reading a manga….time when no one is concerned with them. Besides, this will make him want you more no matter how much you want to see him hang in there.
I suppose that last part make some sense. As for me though, while I don’t mind being apart I don’t feel like need time alone. Maybe that’s because I have way more alone time then most people I know.
- Since long ago, j-men find their male friends extremely important.
J-Men are more comfortable with their old high school friends than their girlfriend. It seems like they have more fun with them than on a date with you.
Whatever…I know that for me, my best girlfriend, I was much closer to her than I was ever to my closest friends and I had more fun as well. Of course we all had fun together as well, something that doesn’t happen nearly as much here in Japan. The average couples keep their friends separate it seems.
- J-Men don’t want someone else to see when they are not doing well.
J-Man are prideful creatures. They don’t want some else to see when they are going through a tough time. Except in special cases they would prefer you pretend not to notice.
Huh, I always though part of the point of having a life partner was someone to share the burden with.
- J-Men are basically children
If something catches their eye they can forget their girlfriend is even exists. Like getting lost in their expensive hobbies.
“J-Men are basically children”, no argument from me. There are exceptions but they do seem like just that, exceptions.
The next article is in a kind statement true/false format including comments by their panel of experts. For example:
- J-Men have a fetish for uniforms: (TRUE)
High school uniforms, Office Lady (OL) uniforms, Tour guide/Stewardess uniforms etc.
Yea, I guess like American guys supposedly have their cheerleader uniform fetish.
- J-Men like women that act like housewifes: (TRUE)
Yea, because 1/2 of them would starve if someone didn’t make dinner for them
- J-Men have a difficult time dealing with women that make more money then them or did better in school. (hard to tell)
I suppose that’s true for some guys in the west as well.
- J-Men only want younger women: (FALSE)
According to the J-Men that answered their survey that was not the case. 42 percent said younger, 41 said older, the rest said anything is fine
- J-Men never forget their x lovers: (TRUE)
Seems like a strange statement to me, who would? But, according to their panels, most j-men both brag about previous lovers and remember them fondly where as most j-women remember previous lovers as dirt bags. Also, once the j-women has a baby, it’s possible the j-guy will do nothing with them for years. If she figures her guy is probably that kind of guy then her whole view changes to seeing only the bad parts.
- J-Men value their male friends: (TRUE)
It says lots of women mentioned they and sense their boyfriend prefers to hang out with his buddies and that unlike J-women who can just meet for lunch or tea, J-guys can’t do that, they have to go golfing for drinking.
I would say that it’s almost as though their buddy group is their real family and their girlfriend is this person that take a break from that group with but no matter what they want to stay in good with their buddy group at the expensive of their girlfriend
- For J-Men, their elder/junior teacher/student relationships are forever: (TRUE)
This is probably one of the hardest things to get used to for a westerner in Japan (or Korea) but in Japan there is this sempai/kohai thing. A Sempai is the older or more experienced person. The Kohai is the underling, junior person. A good western example might be fraternity sponsor. In Japan probably the two most common places for sempai/kohai relationship is college and work. These relationships are more hardcore then something like that would be in the west where basically, through social obligation, if your sempai asks you to do something you do it. He’s gotta stay at work all night and wants company, you say. He wants to go out drinking and wants you to come you go. His obligation is to teach you the ropes, look out for you and help you up the ladder.
According to the panel, for j-women, they might start in a sempai/kohai relationship but after a while they will turn into friends/equals. But for j-men they will stay in the sempai/kohai situation for life.
It’s a problem from a western point of view because basically you can never be an equal with a sempai. They will always be above you. You always have to speak up to them, never as an equal. It’s so strong that it’s often considered impossible to be friends across generations since in general you are supposed to treat people older than you sempai.
- J-Men have a mother complex: (TRUE)
Well, going along with the J-Men are children that kind of fits. Kids need a mom to take care of them.
- For J-Men Work is more important than Love: (TRUE)
One of their *experts* said they would be shocked to met a J-Man who claimed his girlfriend was more important than his job. It also says you can change the word “love” to “family” and they’ll still prefer work. This is supposedly something unique to Japan and comes from Japan’s past and that even though companies won’t keep you forever anymore men still value their job more then their family or love.
- It’s a man’s shame not to accept a woman’s seduction (Hard to Tell)
That’s a strange one. It’s an old saying in Japanese “据え膳食わぬは男の恥” which literally means “to not eat was is set in front of you is shameful for a man” but I guess according to the dictionary and from this magazine it’s more about adultery? I’m not really sure.
The panel said things like: The odds of a man sitting quietly and being approached by a woman are only 1 in 30. For the other 29 women he would have to do all the work to get her so it’s okay for him to be particular about them but for the 1 in 30 that approaches him for most j-men they will say accept the offer, at least at first.
They also said that it’s not just true for j-men but for j-women as well. That men are more likely to have an affair is a lie but men can have an affair that is only about sex were as woman will get emotionally involved in their affairs therefore it seems like men can have more of them.
I’m not a big believer in the men are from mars, women are from venus thing as in believeing we are so different. There are plenty of women that can separate love from sex. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a porn industry nor would female masturbastion exist.
But, here in Japan far more than at least America or American media, it is believed men and women each have their places, roles, differences
- J-men only like beautiful woman: (FALSE)
Acording to their survey they’d perfer nice to beautiful.
That’s good to hear.
- J-Men like assembling machines: (TRUE)
On panelist said: “As kids men make toy models and play with mini cars so as adults they like similar activities.” Another said: “Psychologically women like interacting with people where as men generally don’t. Women feel safer by talking to people. Men feel safer though assembling things because they can control that part of their world.
Well, I’m not going to deny I like assembling things sometimes but I’ll always put it off if I can go out with friends.
- A J-Man won’t feed bait to a fish he’s caught: (TRUE)
This is another saying “釣った魚に餌をやらない” which I’m not 100% how to interpret. At first I thought it was the idea that a man needs to chase the woman in order to value her but from what I can figure, that’s not it. It’s more like after the man has gotten a girlfriend he’ll take her for granted. Not just in the not taking her out but more in the just really not seem to care anymore.
Anyway, according to one panelist, j-women build their interest over time where as j-men get interested quickly and just as quickly lose interest. Another claimed that men and women both lose interest about the same time it’s just then women are better at deception. Men, being simpler, have their true feelings exposed earlier.
hmmm, how does that jive with the sentiment I’ve heard that men don’t get over X lovers nearly as fast as women get over X lovers. The 2 ideas don’t really seem compatible
- J-Men are weak for women that cry: (TRUE)
Probably true for non J-Men as well.
The next section was various stats based on their poll. For example:
- Average number of girlfriends so far: 4.3
- Average age of men polled as 28.
- Percent of respondants currently in a relationship 55%.
Of the 45% not in a relationship percent that want to be in one:
- 23% yes, soon.
- 17% not really
- 54% if I meet a good person.
- What takes a relationship from friendship to lovers:
- 45% discussing it
- 27% first kiss
- 12% having gone on lots of dates
- 9% having sex
- 7% holding hands
- What do you think about being approached by a woman
- 72% happy
- 23% no big deal
- 5% yuck!
- What’s the most important quality for a girlfriend
- 44% personality
- 24% easy to talk to
- 11% pretty face
- 10% good sex
- 5% style
- What’s the first thing you notice about a girls looks
- 54% eyes
- 13% style
- 13% bust
- 8% hips
- 6% lips
- 4% legs
- Desired bust size
- 50% C
- 21% B
- 17% D
- 9% E
- 3% A
There was a small side bar of “Things your girlfriend did that made you happy” as in
- I went on vacation to Italy by myself and my girlfriend secretly showed up (26yr old freelancer)
note that it is VERY common for Japanese couples not to go on vacation together. Sometimes it’s because they can’t get off time together but more often than not it seems like they’d just rather go with their best friend than their boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course why their bestfriend is not their boyfriend/girlfriend is another question
- On our anniversary my girlfriend was waiting for me on my doorstep. (25 yr old freelancer)
- I gave her a key and the next day she had cleaned my apartment and made me dinner. (25 yr old manager)
In both Japan and Korea it’s a common expression of affection for the woman to clean up the guys place. I’m sure that would go over well in the west :-p
- I was sick and she came over to take care of me (20 yr old student)
- She went down on me for the first time (23 yr old office worker)
- She hand made me a hat and scarf (28 yr old salesman)
- After staying at my place she made me breakfast in the morning (21 yr old student)
- From behind she hugged me and kissed me and caressed me (27 yr old salesman)
And “Things your girlfriend did that you hated” as in
- We get into an arguement and she won’t answer my calls. (22 yr old student)
- Every day she sends me too much e-mail all day long (25 yr old service man)
- When I’m not in the mood she tries to convince me to get married (25 yr old public worker)
- When at a club she flirts with guys trying to pick her up (24 yr old freelancer)
- When she tries to tell me how to live my life (27 yr old sales clerk)
- When she goes on a vacation aboard and the first I hear of it is when she gives me a gift she got on her trip (23yr old part time job)
- When she makes me food that is clearly bad and she made it wrong as well (26 yr old programmer)
- When I work really hard to get tickets to a concert and she backs out at the last minute (23 yr old student)
- When she grabs my phone and starts checking who I’ve e-mailed and who I’ve called, who called me and who e-mailed me.(27 yr old salesman)
There were a few more pages. 2 pages with 5 steps and lots of details for getting a boyfriend. 29 techniques for getting the guy to want you. Many of them sounded like stuff out of the 50s and 60s like the song Wives and Lovers