The Japanese Wife: An Australian Woman’s Memoir by Trish Takahashi, Paperback

I wanted someone who was prepared – eager – to spend the rest of his life with me. If I seriously thought there was a good chance of the relationship going irreparably bad or thought that he thought so, we wouldn’t make it as far as marriage in the first place. I don’t need to be told I’m loved every day, but neither do I need to be told – even once – that I’m only here on sufferance so long as I behave meself.

Of course, sometimes this phenomena is reversed, as in the case of a man living overseas with his Japanese wife. As its society becomes more and more internationalized, a growing number of Japan’s citizens are choosing a spouse from another country. It’s not hard to see why, as an interracial relationship can be the deepest and most rewarding form of cultural exchange. Merchants, on the other hand, depended on commercial success for their prosperity and valued business acumen over lineage. As a result they continued the practice of marrying daughters to capable merchants if their eldest son proved ungifted in business. I was warned many times by western guys married to Japanese while living in Japan, but didn’t believe it, Don’t be a sucker like me who doesn’t want to go home after work and is a shell of his former self.

Not that I’m saying everyone should get married. For sure, many people who do get married never should have.

  • This isn’t a nuanced way to approach the question, as it indicates that all relationships fall under the same category.
  • Hi, with a Japanese girl for 12 years we have 2 boys, 9 and 5 and live in Australia.
  • Especially in early times, they were perceived as convenient for cementing bonds between families, but fidelity wasn’t always seen as necessary – this depended on the families and individuals concerned.

But the idea that Japanese women are more feminine and respectful of men is a flat out lie. I only speak English with my children, and send them to English school as well. It always pains me a little when I meet other kids with a foreign parent who hasn’t taught them their mother tongue. The problem is that because the guys have nothing to do with the money, they don’t realize just how little they have, as all the money issues are entirely handled by the wife. To be fair to the wives, most of the guys doing this complaining don’t make enough money to be able to get any more than they get for spending money. These wives are doing what they can with the limited paychecks they have. The guys I know on ‘allowance’ who have well paying jobs get enough spending money that they don’t need to ‘beg’.

If I had to do it all over again, would I marry another Japanese woman?

Most people realise when they get older that they wish they knew years ago what they now know about women/life/parenthood and their spouse. That would be a bigger problem for some than others. A person who needs lots of affection and sex would feel like they are trapped in hell in this situation.

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I’ve thought about this a lot over the years, and come to the conclusion that, actually, no, Japanese people and Western people value very different things. The cultures are built around principles that are entirely different, and at times opposite. This post both solves a few mysteries but creates another more dramatic one. Now I know why the Japanese marriage rates have gone down along with the declining birth rate. I would assume young Japanese men have become ‘hip’ to the less then ideal conditions that await them once they have signed on the dotted line and run to the exit instead. On a side note it’s nice to know that Japanese women are just as psychotic and neurotic as women here in the USA.

“I wanted a dog” (she knew where I live doesn’t allow dogs), “You don’t know how to clean the dishes properly” . Sure, I know this is not limited to Japanese women, or women; but these were quite surreal things, often contradictory and very barrel-scrape-y. Other than that it was mostly an awkward silence in the home and I felt uncomfortable every evening coming home from work. I think I got off relatively lightly with my Japanese wife. Rather than any violence, I got the cold-shoulder utterly. It was pretty bizarre – Even trying to discuss what was up was met with blank stares and an obvious simmering of hatred within her. Oh, and have your friends give me all their money and I guarantee I’ll find them a Japanese woman to marry.

In one case, the older brother finally placated his father into accepting the prodigal son back into the family. Trish chose Germany, which was where she was to meet her future husband-a Japanese ski instructor. Thus Japanese became the culture and the language Trish was to immerse herself in. Sorry but it may look like the other half has already gotten what she/he wanted out of the marriage and doesn’t care very much or anymore about keeping it up. To another a different point from above, cross-cultural relationships are not about entering one of the cultures. It should be about compromise, and forging your own path together. Ever wonder if the women you married are not in love with you and you think you are still in love with them?

Ah, the good old days, I remember them well, when I used to want to talk with Japanese people. Anyway, your questions are good, and I’m not trying to pretend I have the answers. If there were simple solutions, there’d be a whole lot less divorce in Japan, and in the world. Bottom line is, people do a lot of stupid stuff. People play that, when the odds of being struck by a meteor are higher. That image of Japanese men probably factors into the whole “sexless Japan” equation.

As a single person, hold a door once for a single Japanese of the gender you find more attractive, and you may cause him or her to blush. When it comes to dating and marriage, it seems as though there is still a very strong ritual to go through before it becomes serious.

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