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Ho} Withaviic ret taton nw nmn's tinh terial stat copa ere nian eter happens foe mne tania wit apuns forms of expres etna Wie meant ean interesting rend and an infrmatv Is a sand don cralaten or mbunerstndngs Dut pase Ble tha anyone cased ned inadvertent. Courti It doesn’t take mu ‘ourting The courting proces in Japan is peppered with ust ws much socially expected chavior as that in West Japanese culture crm couses bu unless you understand it or expect i, courting ia Japan often bas the look at fel of & _ School dance where womes hope to appear innocent and unsuspecting and men Keep their ol withthe phrase is quite st obligatory look of ambivalence or disinterest, but everyone is sectely nervous. Japanese _partne about ‘The Internet is filled with accounts of foreigner’ trying to attract Japanese boy/iends or girlfriends only tobecome confused, frustrated or bitter, ultimately chalking the whole experience up to some invented or perceived cultural deficiency, Though not casy to understand, most ofthe research suggests that courting {in Japan tends to be less overt (read: drunken) professions of “Anata wa cho kawaii (You are really cute) or “Onamae wa nan desu ka?” (What's your name?) and more subtle or implied acceptances or declinations of ation Everyone has heard atleast one story about the foreigner who becomes encouraged by his prospects with the Japanese woman because she is always very polite and she plays bashful eye-ping-pong and giggles at his broken Japanese, but continually cites prior engagements when he asks her out. There are two lessons to be learned here: 1) generally speaking, in Japan it goes against cultural and verbal rapport to tell someone *No™ cor “I'm not interested in you" or “I don’t want to” in esponse to invitation {ora date. Its perceived that tis direct type of response would undoubtedly se feclings of shame or embarrassment in the recipient and thus, is una ceplable in Japan. The implication being that if she were interested, she would break her plans or eagerly accept atthe second offering. Also, be careful not to confuse common courtesy and curiasty about your culture with romantic interest, as it will usually end badly; 2) unlike some other counties, strolling up to a woman ‘one barely knows or with whom one is only slight acquainted and asking her on a date is an offer that few, if any, Japanese women will accep, It soften said to be too brusque, {oo invasive or too arrogant for Japanese tastes. Instead, one might have a bit mare success by taking things slowly, purchasing a small, inexpensive but thoughtful, White Day gift for her, inviting her fo lunch or simply asking her to join you in a cup of coffe. However, even if you are lucky enouglaashave a new lunch oF coffee companion, don’t expect her fo initiates second date even if enjoys hetglE Again, that is dhe man’s territory ating Sayeed Radag esis enough o make it rough hse fs few awhvard ales and Sb fami hr. A th couring stage is somewhat sim that in By Wescecount6 GDP Sacgatag where mos fries nd he mont eonfsiono usta. tng Wheto our 2 PugD am Doman, te soil por seems to bee same. Alough Tueecoming more seein phe Dg its, tsi the rae Japanese pane that il be tll case with PDA Ga MRIRE Teton. Geto aout of one ofthe ig ies in Jpan and Gor ns vyend gpg MBB seemed so comfeble with he public peck or the Spontaneous ih A See, MBs ii asst ight gohan Pare Japan Si to We Wo be fair, in Western countries most couples generally don't spend their time together engaged in ourlong snogs or bepinuncontolably ditobingooe another upon leaving the house, bt the oe casional affectionate geste ina public sting soften invited or appreciated by bah partners. Not so {in Jpan. It seems that tis quite rare to finda Japanese partner willing to kiss - even the smallest peck in public, In Japan, kissing is often considered an inappropriate invasion of the spectators sensibil ties and an act that is better left for private, hidden moments between lovers. Thy Markus Képponen Among Japanese people, there seem tobe varying degrees of comfort with even covert forms of PDA like holding hands or hugging in public, but this occurs almost invariably between younger tweaty: ‘somethings and is considered inappropriate among older couples. Having sad that, because the preva ence of hand holding and hugging among young Japanese couples i quite vast iis fart say that the times are changing and this will become generally accepted PDA within the next generation, ch understanding of Itis dificult research the subject of affection in Japan or cross-cultural relationships in Japan with to realize that this Shes pune pen uuiing os simply tetas to nace thr thet tayo wale ot Sen ouUmunes:y) asthri separtin between penal ad professional, tere eens o bea si dvson tween uttering familial and personal life and yet a third division between friendships and courtships. Pethaps i is further illustration ofthe Japanese penchant for privacy and intemalizing emotions, but if you find ‘yourself ina ross-cultual relationship, you should traditionally expect to mect your partner's friends in small doses and thir family only before engagement In many Western countries, there is a negative stigma about sneaking off with your lover to an out of the way pay-by-the-hour hotel for holiday love and romance. Hayy ever, in Japan, the action is not only considered a heathy expression of fin bukit js also encouraged by an industry that features hotel staff clad in seasonally apap lingerie uniforms, leading couples to their room of choice. This i « veMBbmaron hole day experience whose necessity is twofold 1) the love hotel concept offers thease privacy for Japanese couples to feel comfortable around each other, 2MBapaces people, whether married or single, live with their parents and thus any suggestion of romance within the home setting is met with timidity. If your Japand¥e significanggther suggest the idea (or expects you to), i will usually fell around ChristnasiValentis®s Day or White Day Marriage Although this could have been mentioned somewhere inthe dating section, the idea SPS ing “love you" is just as well saved forthe marrige section. In Japanese, there is no exact translation of the phrase “I love you,” at least not inthe same context in wiich itis used in the West. The phrase most often pointed to asthe linguistic equivalent of “I love you” and which is in fact being used by many younger people is Aishte ira which is most closely translated as “I ove yu in the most devoted way one person can feel about another.” It doesn’t take much understanding of Japanese culture to realize that this phrase is quite stong and one many Japanese partners would uneasy about uttering ~ especially in light of the fact that many Japanese children seldom, if ew say histo thie par another, A few oth 3s and its not uncommon for a married couple to never have said it 10 one phrases that seem tobe gaining ground among the younger generations asthe Japanese equivalent of" love you" are suki (like you) daisuki (I really lke you) and taisetsu (you're precious), none of which really cary the same meaning as the Western “Love you." ‘Though confusing sometimes frustrating, remember that Japan isa highly contend ‘ualeulr@lfhd as its language. For a Japanese person to tell their pafer “you're precious” within the romantic context ofa private love hotel room or offer 4 quick smooch during « quiet lakeside toll is quite a meaningful gesture despite the Westem focus on the words themselves, , oo Seope Ws ary a cd