Seven in ten young Japanese woman would like a foreign husband

The company TOBE recently bought out a matchmaking service in Hawaii that mainly matches Japanese women with American men, so to celebrate (?) conducted a survey into Japanese women’s views on foreign partners via their love and relationship web site

These figures are quite higher than I might have expected, but given the survey being an open survey, I’m not sure how much weight we can put on the answers.

I doubt they’ll be getting many international weddings held here:


Older Japanese more likely to have dated foreigners

Here is a new-to-me survey company, Qzoo, who conducted a survey on behalf of Sirabee into dating foreigners.

It’s just a single question survey, but the figures were interesting to me, and hopefully to my readers too. However, there is a huge question; why have just one or two percent of those in their thirties dated a foreigner? The foreigner population is round about 2%, so by random choice, if was just a single partner that people had, it would be correct, but with multiple partners, plus given the stereotype that many younger single Japanese have never had a date, the ratio of foreigners in the dating pool may be higher than the raw 2%.

By area of residence, the survey pointed out that the third-most popular tourist spot for foreigners is Disneyland and Disney Sea in Chiba, but it would seem that Mickey is more attractive than the opposite sex.

Here’s a foreigner with his Japanese wife pouring him a beer – wish I could train mine like that!

Foreigner with Japanese woman, okimoni by Tomoyuki, also called Ogura Kikutei, 1800s, ivory - Robert Hewson Pruyn collection - Albany Institute of History and Art - DSC08310

Surprisingly popular with foreigners sights

Perhaps some of my readers have made the New Year resolution to head to Japan, so here are a few suggestions for where to go from a survey by goo Ranking into sights that Japanese are surprised to hear are popular with foreigners.

I’ve linked all the sights to either their official sites or to other reviews of the places. I’ve never really understood the attraction of the Shibuya crossing; perhaps I was too used to other busy crossings in Osaka before it appeared on my radar? The Robot Restaurant looks utterly cheesy and I’ve heard it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. The one I’d recommend the most (although probably the most out-of-the-way one) is number 16 Koyasan Okunoin, a graveyard with a lot of spooky atmosphere:

Okuno-in cemetery, Koyasan

Bad manners in the train and by foreigners

Today we have @nifty’s survey into manners, where I’ll select two ranking-like questions, on bad manners in trains (by Japanese) and bad manners by foreigners.

For the list of bad foreigner manners, I suspect that a lot is confirmation bias, that one bad-mannered foreigner tarnishes the reputation of all. Furthermore, many of these ill-manners can be levelled at the Japanese too; middle-aged women (especially from the Osaka area) are rather noisy in trains, Japanese abroad are quite camera-happy in no photos and no flash areas, around my local station is no smoking, but I’ll see at least one person a day puffing away, and so on.

Foreigners taking photos in “No Photo” areas reminds me of this curious case (scroll down a little).

Here’s a couple of trains manners posters:

Please do it at home.

Why foreign men dislike Japanese women’s gait

What do you think about how Japanese women walk in high heels? graph of japanese statisticsOmron, a healthcare electronics manufacturer, published a survey that serves to advertise their new female-oriented device that diagnoses one’s walking style, with this survey asking foreign men what they think of Japanese women’s way of walking.


Between the 23rd and 31st of October 2014 the company Neon Marketing, on behalf of Omron and underwear manufacturer Wacoal, asked a mere 50 foreign men who had lived in Japan more than a year to fill out a private internet-based survey.

I think Japanese women in high heels, on the whole, are extremely clumsy-looking. Often, they walk like Honda’s humanoid robot Asimov, with knees bent forward and bum sticking out, and stiff legs pivoting at the pelvis only. Furthermore, there is a lack of ankle muscles or ankle support, so most of them twist their ankles with every step. I’ve seen more graceful baby giraffes taking their first few hesitant steps!

What foreigners love and hate about Japanese public toilets

How cleaner are Japanese public toilets? graph of japanese statisticsJapanese public toilets are something that almost every visitor to Japan will experience, so this survey from the toilet manufacturer Toto looked at foreigners and toilets to see what issues there were.


During September and October of 2014 600 foreign residents of Japan aged 20 or older completed an internet-based survey; ten countries were represented; South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, USA, France, UK, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. No further demographics were presented.

I’ve used a Japanese-style toilet for number twos exactly once, at a bowling alley when I had the runs, and in the process managed to get a rather large poo stain on my trousers, a fact I never realised until I got home that night. I’m very particular about toilets, so barring emergencies I use department store Western-style toilets almost exclusively, and I tend to select heated seats, but I never touch any of the bum-squirting stuff.

What Japanese think foreigners think is strange food culture

goo Ranking took a look at what aspects of Japan’s food culture they think foreigners would find strange. Note that here the foreigners implies non-Asians, as there are many aspects listed below that are shared with Korea and China, for instance.


Over the 18th and 19th of February 2011 1,097 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 67.6% of the sample were female, 6.8% in their teens, 21.0% in their twenties, 32.1% in their thirties, 24.0% in their forties, 9.0% in their fifties, and 7.1% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Above is kusuya, and a video of number 10, live fish sashimi, may be watched by following this link, if you feel up to it.

Japanese working overseas, and overseas workers in Japan

How important is understanding Japanese customs for foreign workers? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office Japan recently took a look at the international movement of workers, which for this survey was specifically Japanese wanting to work overseas and foreigners coming to Japan.


Between the 15th and 25th of July 2010 3,000 people randomly selected from resident registration information were approached for face-to-face interviews. Of the 3,000, 1,913 people, or 63.8% were available and answered the questions. 54.0% of the sample were female, 8.6% in their twenties, 16.0% in their thirties, 17.8% in their forties, 18.6% in their fifties, 19.8% in their sixties, and 19.2% aged 70 or older. There were a few other demographic questions, but they were sufficiently interesting to be presented in distinct tables below.

I wonder if the last two questions about foreign workers are in any way related to this article from Ampontan, in particular this quote from Naoto Kan, who is Prime Minister at the time of writing, but may not be by the time you read this, in an interview responding to a question on job creation:

The first is to create hiring by such means as long-term care, for which there is long-term, latent demand, and relaxing the issuance of visas to foreigners.


Showing foreign tourists the real Japan

Here’s a bit of an interesting survey from iShare, looking at what Japanese would introduce foreigners to.


Between the 23th and 29th of December 2008 709 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 55.0% of the sample were male, 12.1% in their twenties, 47.5% in their thirties, 30.7% in their forties, 7.6% in their fifties, and 2.0% in their teens or aged sixty or older.

I’d put Osaka higher up the list in Q1, but I’m biased! I’d also put Kanazawa higher, as it’s Kyoto without so many tourists, and I really enjoyed the one time I visited.

I wouldn’t subject anyone to Japanese curry, but I’d put Japanese-style snacks higher. I think that refers to Japanese flavours in Western-style sweets like chestnut Kit-Kats or wasabi (horseradish-like) flavoured crisps, rather than traditional Japanese confectionary based around bean-paste.

Judging by another survey, water-squirting toilets are popular amongst the foreign population, but game arcades and Scissors-Paper-Stone are hardly unique Japanese features. On the other hand, some of the machines in Japanese arcades have to be seen to be believed, so perhaps the first is a good choice!