I’ve been married to a Japanese woman since 2010, and I’ll going to be flat out honest with you other white guys when I say that marrying a Japanese woman hasn’t been what I expected it to be. Maybe it’s because I grew up deep in the heart of the Midwestern US, but for some reason or another I thought that living with a woman from Japan would be amazingly simple and calm experience. Almost zen-like. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Don’t misunderstand me. I love my wife very much, and I would do nearly anything for her. But the idea that Japanese women (or any Asian woman for that matter) are more feminine and respectful of men is a flat out lie.
Each passing year brings a deeper understanding to me that women are women – no matter where they come from. They are all emotional, illogical, ill-tempered, and confusing. There. I said it. Men have their bad traits too, and that’s not the point of this article. But quite frankly, Japanese women are no easier to live with than women from anywhere else.
7 important tips for marrying a Japanese woman:
First and foremost, I’d like to go down on record as saying that it can be even MORE difficult to live with a Japanese woman than an Asian woman from anywhere else. I’ve been married to a woman from Hiroshima since 2010, so I’ve got a lot to say about this:
1. Do what she tells you (or else your life will be a living hell)
Since women are women no matter where they come from, you can expect a Japanese woman to carry (and sling) the same emotional baggage as women from anywhere else do. Women are just emotional creatures.
But the plot thickens with a Japanese woman, because she will be easily frustrated with you and your crude Western ways.
- Don’t kick things with your feet
- Don’t say “no” too aggressively
- She’ll tell you to fold your dirty clothes before putting them in the laundry basket
She’ll tell you all these things, and she might even get emotional and combative about it when you tell her it’s hard to change because it goes against your Western culture. For the sake of your sanity (and hers), just do what she tells you to do.
2. Learn to be neat and organized
If you’re a naturally sloppy kind of guy, this one is gonna be tough. Japanese culture is all about cleanliness and order. Your dirty feet, that pile of dirty clothes in the corner – these are the enemy to Japanese women, and she will nag you relentlessly to change your ways. Trust me – life becomes a lot simpler when you stop resisting and clean up after yourself.
Being neat and organized is something I talked about in my discussion about how to date a Japanese girl. If you have a hard problem being neat and tidy when you’re dating, it’s going to be extremely difficult when you get married.
3. Be prepared to defend western culture (and then realize how silly it is in the process)
As an American, I’m fully aware of how messed up our culture (and the government) can be at times. Unfortunately, as an outsider, my wife is even more baffled by it than I am. Yes, Japanese do like American men despite our overly-aggressive culture. Which is shy she complains often about the ways of the US and our selfish view of the world.
While I fully agree with her points most of the time, she lacks the perspective of being born and raised here and not seeing things from my point of view. This usually results in me inadvertently trying to justify why we are the way we are (which is silly), and this just adds fuel to the fire. More often than not these discussions end abruptly as I give up and walk out of the room in total frustration.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time with the knowledge and understanding I have now, before we got married. I probably had set my expectations too high for marrying a Japanese woman, and I wasn’t mature enough to realize that it wasn’t going to be any better or worse than marrying a woman from another culture.
4. Be prepared to spend some time apart
If she has family and friends in Japan, there’s a pretty good chance that she’s going to want to go back and visit them often. For me, I find it difficult to tag along on all of those trips since I am usually busy with work here at home. Therefore, she does go to Japan alone for several weeks at a time at least once a year.
5. Be prepared to eat things you’ve never dreamed of eating before
Being married to a Japanese woman means eating weird food from time to time. If it wasn’t for my wife, I never would have eaten horse, whale, and even raw chicken. And don’t even get me started on things like Natto (fermented beans) and Umeboshi (pickled plums). There are no words to describe the utter shock that your taste buds will experience when trying either of those things for the very first time.
6. Be prepared to talk about divorce a lot
My wife and I love each other very much, but the truth of the matter is that it’s hard for her living here in the US. The language is difficult, and she just doesn’t jive with US culture sometimes.
Because of this, she often talks about moving back to Japan – with or without me. Of course I don’t want that to happen, but I also don’t want to live in Japan full time either. That means if she ever goes back, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll be splitting up. Not because we don’t love each other, but because neither of us want to live outside of our home country.
7. It won’t be as picture-perfect as you may expect it to be
I’m not exactly sure what other guys are thinking when they seek out a Japanese wife. However, I do know what I was searching for:
- Someone who could love me unconditionally for who I am
- Someone who could broaden my horizons and get me thinking about things from an alternate perspective
- Someone who is polite and kind to everyone she meets
- Someone who is cute AF. Yes, I find Japanese women to be very attractive. Is it wrong to say that out loud?
Most Japanese women are like this. And the good news is that the Japanese woman I married ticks off all of those boxes. She’s great. However, she’s a human being, just like every other human being on this planet, and she is flawed. Just as much as I am.
She’s stubborn. She gets very defensive about things and likes to argue. She has weird (annoying) habits. She’s a little bit racist towards some cultures. And she farts in her sleep. A lot. Yes, Asian women do fart.
The truth of the matter is that marrying a Japanese woman isn’t any different than marrying a woman from any other culture. Yes, she is very proud of her culture and she’s hanging on to it for dear life, but she’s only human. I’m no perfect specimen either, so our marriage isn’t perfect.
Pros and cons of marrying a Japanese woman
Being married to a Japanese woman has been by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in life. Yes, overall, it’s been totally worth it. However, I’m not going to lie when I tell you that there are times that I wish I hadn’t gone through with it.
The best way to summarize my thoughts about this is to list out all the pros and cons (which aren’t all that different from the pros and cons of dating a Japanese girl):
- You will be loved and respected (as long as you give it in return). Japanese culture is all about honor and respect, and is especially true when it comes to marriage. Even if she learns to hate you over time, she will still respect you. Which on a side note, is one of the reasons why learning how to tell if a Japanese women likes you or not is difficult.
- You’ll slowly morph into a better person. You’ll learn to be more polite, respectful, and more tidy.
- You’ll get to travel more often. My wife and I visit her family in Japan at least once a year, and I always enjoy those trips.
- You’ll eat better. Japanese people tend to eat far more healthy than people in Western countries, so take advantage of the opportunity.
- It’s not easy to live with a Japanese woman if you’re totally entrenched in the western lifestyle. She won’t like your big SUV, big screen TV, and any tattoos you may have.
- A major con for all you picky eaters out there is that you’re going to have to eat weird food sometimes. Not only that, you’re going to have to pretend that you like it.
- Having sex with a Japanese woman might not be that great. In my experience (and based on the experience of my friends with Japanese wives and girlfriends), Japanese women tend to be very timid and shy in bed. If you like it spicy in the bedroom, marrying a Japanese woman maybe isn’t the best idea. However, it all comes down to the individual. Some Japanese women are good at sex. Some are not.
- If your Japanese wife comes to live with you in your own country, be prepared to deal with the headache of immigration forms and documentation. I’ve explained the process of getting a green card for my wife after we got married, and long story short, it was a long and stressful experience.
If I had to do it all over again, would I marry another Japanese woman?
This is an interesting question, and something that I think about a lot. I have no regrets marrying a woman from Japan. As a matter of fact, it’s been pretty great.
That being said, if our marriage were to fall apart and we ended up getting divorced, I don’t think I would have any desire to get married again. I just don’t think marriage is well-suited for my personality type, that’s all.
But if I had to get married, chances are pretty good that I’d be over on eHarmony trying to meet Japanese women again. I like the culture – especially how they put such a high emphasis on respect and honor for others. You’re not going to get that kind of respect and honor anywhere else.