There's Something I Want to Tell You: True Stories of Mixed Dating in Japan Kindle Edition
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|Length: 230 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Being a bit obsessed with Japanese culture, I knew the Japanese had a rule for just about everything, and it seems that dating and relationships are no different. The trouble with these couples seems to start when the non-Japanese are vague in what the relationship actually is, or acts based on their own culture and not the Japanese culture. One rule is to define the boyfriend/girlfriend thing. I found this a bit ironic. The Japanese can seem so terribly vague to an outsider, but vagueness in a relationship? Forget it! Then comes the "kokuhaku", or the confession of love. While once in a relationship, the Japanese don't seem big on saying "I love you" to their partners, but the "confession of love" is the beginning rule of a relationship for most Japanese. Or so I grasped from these pages.
The part of the book I loved the most is Mr. Aoki's discussions, on a cultural level, of why each relationship had trouble or was eventually successful. I wish this part had been more in-depth so that I could understand my Japanese friends a bit better. There are so many vague verbal and non-verbal cues (at least to this American) in Japanese culture, that I sometimes find myself flustered or confused when interacting with Japanese friends. One American woman in the book called her ability to understand these cues in her Japanese husband her "automatic translator." So it's not just me then? Good to know! Perhaps Mr. Aoki's next book should be an "automatic translator guide to the Japanese." ;)
If the "Discussions" sections of the book had been more in-depth, I would have easily given it 5 stars. I would have also liked to have seen the experience of an older couple (most in the book, I gathered, are in their 20s and 30s). But please understand, that's based on what I wanted to know, and not necessarily within purview of the book. And if you are foreigner in a new relationship with a Japanese person, you really need to read this before it's too late.
The only criticism I have is that out of all the interviews the author wrote, there's only one chapter told from a Japanese person's perspective. I would have loved to see another 2 or 3 chapters from a Japanese person who has dated, or is currently dating a foreigner and what they thought. However, I realize that this might be as hard as looking for a needle in a haystack with an overwhelming majority of Japanese people who have never dated a foreigner, or had the opportunity.
I would love to see a sequel of this book, but I would love to read more about how foreigners make a living/ survive the cultural differences in Japan aside from the Military or as an ALT. I am definitely recommending this book to friends interested in living in Japan.