Japanese people are known to be polite, peaceful, punctual, and a little shy. So when it comes to dating, how do Japanese guys flirt? When they fall in love with somebody, how do they act? Japanese are often said to be shy and passive in love and romance, but is that really true? Let’s take a look at how Japanese people flirt these days.
Are Japanese Guys Passive?
Japanese often think people from abroad, especially those from western countries, are very straightforward and passionate in romance. Meanwhile, I would say Japanese are not that active, but rather passive. Especially young generations are becoming less and less interested in love. They say they don’t want to make a romantic partner, and many of them don’t even fall in love these days. This strange phenomenon is a widely discussed topic and has become a subject on several TV programs. What happened to young Japanese guys and girls?
Elder generations cannot understand this phenomenon. Recently new words like soushoku kei and nikushoku kei have been created. Soushoku kei, meaning herbivory, is used to describe passive guys who aren’t interested in romance and don’t actively pursue those who they’re interested in. Nikushoku kei, meaning predatory, is often used to describe girls who are direct and try to win her favorite guy’s heart. Soushoku kei danshi (guys) and nikushoku kei joshi (girls) are opposite characters.
As such, soushokukei danshi are increasing, and nikushokukei joshi are also on the rise to make up for the slow-moving guys. Girls often complain about soushokukei danshi. They are not satisfied with such passive guys these days. Of course, not all men of the young generation are like this. There are still many guys who make active attempts to flirt and build romantic relationships.
PDA in Japan
Japanese are known to be shy, so once they become a couple, they flirt discreetly when in public. For example, you can see many couples walking hand-in-hand but not kissing much. Most Japanese feel embarrassed even just exchanging a small kiss on the cheek in public. Even in wedding ceremonies, many of them just do a short kiss on the bride’s cheek and not on the lips! Yes, we are very shy about that. Lying in your partner’s lap might be considered okay in the park or beach, but not common at all on trains or buses. With such PDA (public displays of affection), people in Japan would find it hard to resist staring, especially elderly people don’t have immunity to such culture. Be careful, then, to not get too carried away in public when you are in Japan, and don’t expect a Japanese guy to be very forward in public places.
We are shy in showing love to another as well. Japanese don’t say aishiteru, meaning I love you, or suki (I like you) so often to their partner. Japanese guys are quite shy and believe that their partner knows it without the need of such words. So when Japanese girls make a non-Japanese boyfriend who is not afraid of giving tons of romantic words to her, she gets very happy and realizes how little Japanese guys express their love to their partner. So if you have a Japanese boyfriend or husband who doesn’t show their love to you, it doesn’t automatically mean he doesn’t love you. Look for other kind gestures and actions instead.
How Are Japanese Guys Different From Guys in Your Country?
Did you enjoy learning about the difference of manners in love and romance between Japan and your background? How did you find it different? I hope this has made you deepen your understanding of Japanese culture a bit. It would be interesting for you to observe couples in Japan and find other funny and interesting aspects of typical habits and behaviors among Japanese people.
This article was originally published on April 22, 2017 and updated and republished on June 16, 2021.