Finding love in Japan is an adventure!
This post is imported from my Quora account and the original question and post (along with other answers to the same) can be found at https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-get-to-know-a-Japanese-girl-in-a-Japanese-university
Thanks for your question and I really like the way you worded it. Meeting girls at a university should be a pretty easy job, no matter where the university is located at and the girl’s nationality (unless such university is located at a country where social divisions between the genders are the norm. Really “getting to know” Japanese girls can be a challenge and like Waldo Murphy mentioned above, speaking the language can really help smooth things out in the process of doing so. Most Japanese people can only express their emotions to a certain level in English (even the most fluent ones will have a hard time discussing issues that deal with deep psychological/sentimental topics—heck they cannot even do that in their native language at times so you can imagine how hard that would be to voice in a different language). So, to get to understand who they really are, I think your priority should be mastering the language fluently.
On a side note, I agree with Waldo Murphy that you can get a Japanese girl to start “dating” you without much language mastery—however, it will lead to many other problems in the relationship as it progresses from being “casual dating” into something more serious. Many times, the expats we meet here in Japan that has had major issues in marital relationship with Japanese girls were the ones who could not really express their ideas and emotions in Japanese properly—which leads to a lack of truly meaningful communication, causing, therefore, the relationship to dissolve into something shallower than real marriage is supposed to be like (and since great sex can only keep “the fire” in the relationship a life to certain extent), divorce follows…
If you are simply interested in “having fun” with Japanese girls, what Waldo suggested will get you there in no time. But if you want something more meaningful, here are some of my suggestions for developing a solid relationship with a Japanese partner.
First things first—why should you desire to marry a Japanese woman?
Being originally made in Brazil, and having some of the hottest roster of women on the planet at my disposal at my native country—one would usually presume that I would go for a Rio de Janeiro hottie, brazen by the sun and full of life and vigor to enjoy passionately, you know what, every day by her side, right? Well, recently Brazilian women suffer from the same issues facing many Western women have to deal with at the moment: by being raised in a culture that trained them to be only satisfied by the “Instagram princess” lifestyle, it has become impossible to really please them. Thus, relationship with these women tends to be something that is strongly based on one’s potential to “provide the extras” to these semi-insatiable demi-goddesses…which I, personally, didn’t feel like the returns to all such service were worth it. Don’t get me wrong, not all Brazilian women are like that—I know some who are simply phenomenal women who will do everything in their power to support and strengthen the men they have been given by destiny. Simply, in general terms, it is much harder to find these kinds of women in Brazil in comparison with the former types (due to the current cultural tide we are living in).
Compare that with Japan, and the contrast is quite startling: in my 11 + years of Japan, most of the women I met here are interested in joining a partnership with a man that can be a provider—but that they can assist in the “build-up” process as well. They will be very supportive when it comes to things pertaining to the home and will, willingly, take charge of modeling your home together into the most heartwarming place in the world. It really feels like “home sweet home” when you are happily married to a happy Japanese woman. Once again, we are looking at this in general terms…but the chances of finding a Japanese woman like that are far greater than finding a selfish, extremely entitled, “do everything I tell you” J-lady—interestingly enough, the women that are like that here in Japan tend to be the ones that know English very well and who have been “too exposed” to western cultures (thus why I emphasize knowing Japanese fluently and making that the language of the house).
I have met many expats who have been happily married for years with fantastic Japanese women that possess some of the positive qualities I described above. Finding them requires that first linguistic prerequisite—but once you cleared that out, all you need to do is the following:
University life and the hunt!
If you are coming to study in Japan for 4 years—chances are you are not looking for a “life-partner” after the first few weeks classes! You do want to make plenty of friends and find out about the potential you have in finding an ideal partner for you. Use the first couple of years in college to figure out your sexual market value—how attractive you are to Japanese girls—get that language mastery done right away—and learn about your own tastes when it comes to Japanese women: from their looks, to character—find out what you really want from a Japanese woman. Once you have these goals set, you will be able to filter out girls that would not really fit your criteria and save yourself from having a lot of hurt in the “hunting” process. My personal advice: casual dating can be a bit dangerous in Japan because girls tend to get VERY ATTACHED if they really like you and if you are really good at “taking care” of them. Breaking up can be a heartbreak filled with tears and possible hatred—the let’s be friends from now own does not necessarily happen all the time and, since most girls here do not take the pill, or make proper use of contraceptives, there is always the danger of having an unwanted child in the process. Dating is important but you should learn ways to keep your boundaries high as well to protect your own heart, and theirs, from most damage in the long run.
As for the “hunt” itself, you need to get into “connection circles” to start meeting them girls and learn more about them. If you know some Japanese, chances are you will be taking classes with Japanese students as well—then it is easy to meet and befriend them! Just be approachable, have great hygiene, smile and avoid creepy staring and so on—voile! You will be on your way to meet many great Japanese girls.
Joining a club-activity will help as well. “Yosakoi dance clubs, drama, and music related clubs, amongst other clubs relating to the performing arts are great places to meet tons of girls. Of course, the language based clubs (i.e.: international club, or English club, etc.) are also great places to meet them, but these places are usually filled with girls interested in using you as a “free English conversation living app” which is usually not a great way to start meeting someone.
Once you’ve met a few “persons of interest” within the larger group setting (as per Waldo’s advice) go ahead and invite them out for food, bowling, karaoke, Starbucks or whatever else fits your boat (though I would not recommend the movies because there is no chance to really talk to them to get to know them). Find a setting that allows you guys to talk a lot about each other and then ask the right questions: topics like interests, career plans, travel aspirations, short-term goals to accomplish at university and dreams about the future could be some potential topics to discuss during that first date. Talking about her family and finding out about her background could also help you find out if she would be a potential future investment once you are ready to settle down into that long-term relationship. Don’t forget to talk about the types of guys she likes and if she has had a foreign boyfriend before and, if she did, what she thought was difficult in that relationship. This will get most girls in Japan to know you are interested in them—however, you will need to do a big kokuhaku, which is a formal “declaration of love/interest” by telling her straight that you like her and want her to be your girlfriend. Then you might escort her back to her home and kiss on the way. If so, you are now officially “dating” congrats! If there is no kiss to seal the deal, do it asap or you will be bound to join the “friend” category.
With university about to finish—how about finding someone to be committed to?
Once you are well into your Junior year in college, you could now draw from the pool of connections you have made in the previous years to find a potential long-term partner. In college, you have a much larger pool to choose from—most people are out on the lookout for someone and have the time to invest in dating and hanging out. Once you graduate, if you are planning to stay/work in Japan after that, it can be really difficult to allocate all the time needed in getting to know someone, and most of the girls you meet give you a “meet once a month availability.” This makes it harder to find a solid partner that you might want to spend the rest of your life with. Thus, I recommend using your years in college to find that person.
Finally, having things in common help a lot!
As Waldo wisely mentioned above, there are many challenges in dating someone from a different culture. Many things that are common sense to you are not to them and this can easily generate turmoil in the relationship—even if both of you speak the same language! For that reason, it is important to find a core “common ground” between both of you. For instance, my wife and I are big anime fans. We will default to it when we feel like growing apart. We also enjoy travel—so doing that together keeps our bond stronger, even when we are fighting about menial things like the way I organize my clothes and stuff. Some people are of the same religion, or political orientation and so forth. So, having a strong common ground will definitely help you in your successful relationship with the Japanese girl of your dreams.