How Do They Flirt in Japan?

Apr 22, 2017

Japanese people are polite, peaceful, punctual, and a little shy. When they fall in love with somebody, what do they become like? Aren’t you curious about romantic circumstances in Japan? Japanese are often said to be shy and passive in love and romance, but is that true? Now let’s take a look at how Japanese flirt these days.



Japanese often think people from abroad, especially western countries are very straightforward and passionate in romance which is actually quite rational and practical. Meanwhile I would say Japanese are not that active but rather passive. Especially young generations are getting 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 often up in our conversation 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 “Sohshoku kei” and “Nikushoku kei” have been created. Sohshoku kei meaning herbivory, is used to show passive guys who aren’t interested in romance or don’t make actions from his side even if he is in love with somebody. Nikushoku kei meaning predatory, is often used to show girls who act straight and move to win her favorite guy’s heart. Sohshoku kei Danshi (guys) and Nikushoku kei Joshi (girls) are opposite characters.



Such Sohshokukei danshi are increasing, and Nikushokukei Joshi are increasing like they cover these guys. Girls often complain about Sohshokukei Danshi. They are not satisfied with such passive guys these days. Of course not all of young generations are not like this. Usually guys move more actively than girls to build a relationship, then a new couple is born. Sometimes girls can get active too in case guys are not at all active, and such girls are called as Nikushokukei Joshi.


Japanese are 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. We don’t have a habit to kiss in greetings so a kiss has only a special meaning. Most Japanese feel embarrassed just for a kiss on the cheek in public. Even in their wedding ceremony many of them just do a short kiss on bride’s cheek and not on the lips! Yes, we are very shy in that. Lying in your partner’s lap might be “ok” in the grass or beach, but not common at all on trains or buses. Otherwise people would not know where to look because we try to avoid starring at such couples, but maybe peek?! Especially elderly people don’t have immunity to such culture, so they get completely amazed at such views. Don’t get too excited in public when you are in Japan.



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 know it without such words. So when Japanese girls encounter a non-Japanese boyfriend who are not afraid of giving tons of romantic words to her, she gets very happy and realize how little Japanese guys express their love to their partner. So if you have a Japanese boyfriend or husband who don’t show their love to you, it doesn’t automatically mean he doesn’t love you.



Did you enjoy 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 Japanese culture a bit. It would be interesting you observe couples here and find out more funny and interesting aspects of us.





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