16 February 2007

Spill Your Guts

Aaaand ... welcome back! to the second round of... [cue balloons, streamers and audience applause]

Thanks for joining us! Right, as the carryover champ, I'll kick off the whinge-fest. Feel free to vent in the comments box below - anonymously if you so choose - and let's see if anyone can knock me off my high horse.

My topic this week is something I don't complain about very often because I knew the score before I came to Japan. Girlfriends who had lived here for years tried to talk me out of leaving Australia. 'You'll never meet a bloke in Japan, GG', one kind soul warned. "I lived there for seven years and didn't date once."

'Hehe, fuck it!' I laughed. 'That's not my reason for living - I'll take the adventure, thanks.' [Yeah, the adventure, she thinks wistfully, while writing another pile of crud for a blog.]

Where was I? Oh, yes. So ... I didn't expect romance to come a-knockin' on my door, so I was disconcerted to find myself entangled in some intriguing, if not dangerous, liaisons within my first eighteen-months. Looking back, I realise that those events were but bonus episodes in the 90210-esque series of disastrous attempts at relationships with, basically, some pretty suspect choices on my part. And I own that.
Therefore, based on those experiences, general observations, and conversations with other gaijin girls and boys, I have systematically and scientifically clumped straight, foreign men in Japan into the following stereotypical categories:

Attached ex-pats: Men who are usually sent over by their company on an amazing deal. They come over to live for approximately 3 - 5 years and bring their wife/girlfriend/significant other and/or child/children if they have one/them. Generally work- and family-oriented, these creatures tend to stay away from the single social scene.

Single ex-pats: Men who are usually sent over by their company on an amazing deal. They come over to live for approximately 3 - 5 years. These creatures are high-achievers - they're young, they have a lot of responsibility and they make a hell of a lot of money. They spend most of their time at the office (12 - 15+ hours a day) and don't have much time left for a relationship (even if they want one). They are amazed to find the local female of the species to be quite different from those at home. They find this phenomenon to be rather exciting and good for their ego. They work hard and play hard.

Japanophiles - [I]: Men who come to Japan for various reasons and generally teach English. They are not in tune with the culture, although they try, and are quite befuddled by appropriate behavioural norms. Like the single ex-pats, they are amazed to find the local female of the species to be quite different from those at home. They find this phenomenon to be rather exciting and good for their ego. Although they are not particularly fond of life in Japan, they figure they're getting more here than at home, so they stick around. This group is more likely than any of the others to regress into that well-loved character in Japan -- Charisma Man.

Click to enlarge.

Japanophiles - [II]: Men who come to Japan because they are attracted to the culture. They like the food, the particular way of interacting with the other humans, the history, the landscape, the language. They immerse themselves in Japanese life and don' t have much to do with other foreigners. They tend to have Japanese wives/girlfriends/partners.

Reigning champion? I think so.


  1. I think I would fall into the Japanophiles - [II]: catagory.

    Fun post... thanks!!!

  2. Damn, you're hot at this game, GG!
    My only gripe this week is that I appear to live on the wrong side of the planet, so a pretty feeble entry in the Friday Seppuku … although I did eat chocolate smeared with wasabi … twice!

  3. GG - The expat scene here in Berlin is a tricky one, too. While we do have our wurst-eating, pilsner-swilling Deutschophiles as well, and the good old-married up ones...there is this complication of the mass influx of Oat-Sowers. Apparently the rumor exists that you can get a lot of bang for your buck here...and you expend quite a lot of effort trying to dispel the "American Girls are Easy" myth...even if it is partly true. - GG (Germany Girl!)

  4. Wow. that's a gripe. I guess there are toys to help one cope.

    I'm in a decent mood this week, I'm afraid. I'm not going to win.

  5. Me Nightingale, much be a pretty good astral alignment, all I have t'gripe about is fugly ice an'snow...mayhaps ye could send some delicate Japanese maiden o'er t'warm me bath (that is, iffin ye can't make it yerself).

  6. OMG I have a rippa this week. I'll get back to you shortly.

  7. ok, here we go, the ex lust of life Voldemort has been begging to see me for the last two months. I've refused outright. How do you forgive someone after they show you a baby seat and tell you the wife has just had a baby the day before your birthday? Anyway in a moment of weakness this week i relented and he duly came to see me, gave me all of the lines possible, he's sorry, he'd never hurt me blah blah blah. It was a nice enough hour and then he left. And left me with a massive chest infection. Seems his baby has some sort of virus and now i have it in spades.
    Men can't live with them, can't shoot them.
    But if he ever comes back I will!

  8. massive chest infection

    I laughed my old bitter balls right off.

    I can't remember last week to be honest, maybe I should write a Blog or something, nah, oh my old weemen didn't bug me with their virtual panties yay! except those I wanted to bug me of course.

  9. GG, you're so right! It's next to impossible for a ex-pat woman to meet an ex-pat man over here! They're all walking arm-in-arm with their cute little Japanese girlfriends. As for the "Charisma Man" I laughed so hard! It's true, we call them "Zero-to-Hero" guys. At home they couldn't even get a second look from a female, but over here they're treated like gods! Why would any foreign man want to go back home?

    However, once they marry a Japanese woman, I've heard it can be quite a turnaround: the only power women have here is handling the household money. Men have to ask their wives for money, and they hold a tight rein in that department. At the same time, the women sock away their private stash and their husbands never know about it. Shrewd gals, huh?

  10. No worries, Rich.

    Boss: it's my invention so I'd want to be hot at it, although your two-time wasabi-chocolate endeavour has been well noted. You would have been burning up with that.

    GG (Germany Girl aka Jelly Doughnut): Welcome to my inane blog world and cheers for playing FS. I hear you with the random Deutschophiles. I think 'western girls are easy' seems to be a belief prevalent around the world. There's a certain group of J-guys who think being with a western girl is some kind of status thing, but who wants to be a novelty shag? (Oh, Dive, shhh.)

    Sassy: I bet you're walking on sunshine and I'm so happy for you. Good for you, mate.

    Cap'n-san: I can see ye poring over yer navigation charts and sailin' by the stars. Yours be a blessed existence indeed. If I can't be findin' ye a J-wench to warm yer bath, another year or two of this exile an' I reckon I'll be ready to hop over to yer side o' the pond.

    Kate darlin': Just when you thought your week couldn't get any worse ... I'd say you'll be stepping up to receive the award, m'dear. I'm sorry.

    Old man: I thought every man dreamt of having panties thrown at them, even from old twats. You are a fickle bunch.

    AT: Charisma Man became popular, not only from the streets of Tokyo, but from Japanzine. They've published all the comic strips.
    I know a fair few gaijin guys with J-wives and they said they were quite surprised at how things changed once they were married. But I'm sure that could go for most couples?

  11. Try living in Norfolk. The extra finger is usually a giveaway. I feel sorry for you mortals, but being a Deity, obviously I have to beat the weemen off with a shitty stick.

  12. Shitty stick, I think thats a typo.

    Gaijin Gurl, I am quite picky. I like to be courted,I'm still having an ok week, lets hope it gets worse for friday.

  13. Happy memories of my single days in Japan. Not an decent, single man for love or money. Although having said that Europe is no better. I refer to them as DUD's and SUD's over here.

  14. Full: As a superhero, I am merely a ladder rung below your deity-like self. I am a tiny gibbon, but can only aspire to be a monkey god.

    Old man: Yes, I was wondering if it was a typo or if your sanchez obsession had spread further afield than anticipated.
    If you like to be courted, then I hope the old bints stop throwing their knickers and start wooing you with words.
    Here's hoping your week deteriorates. Um, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

    Flirty: Welcome to you, lassie! Yes, the situation is dire in little ol' Tokyo. Er, I think I get duds, but what are suds?

  15. Flirty - update: I'm trolling through your archives now and I've never laughed so much in my life. I now get the DUDs and SUDs refs.

  16. if this isn't too late. I was feeling rather pissed off by some of my work mates. You see I have to train incoming doctors every year. so they kiss my arse for a while but once they are up and running on their own they don't want to give me the time of day or in other words - the steam off their shite>

  17. Thanks GG - inspired by a year in Japan!