11 Unique Dating Culture In Japan (Kokuhaku Custom)

by Michelle Devani

Japan is the major place of tourism and culture, Every year people all over the world come to Japan for a good time filled with sakuras and awesome events. Some people that comes there also got a romantic partner. Do you want that person to be you? Then you have to know the dating culture in Japan

Japan is known to be fun and cultural so it is no wonder that the dating culture in Japan is like that too. Although dating is usually easy and casual, in Japan it comes with some tips and tricks on what to do and not to do to get yourself a perfect romantic partner. So here goes the dating culture in Japan:

  1. Confess your love if you want a date

Most of the times we go to a date not knowing whether that person really likes you or not, so sometimes you go home with a dizzy head filled with possibilities of whether he or she likes you or not. However in Japan you will not have to worry about how your partner feels. When you already went to a date with someone, that means you already like each other. This is because before going on a date there should be a  kokuhaku. Kokuhaku meaning is an act of confessing how you feel towards a person, this is usually done by woman.

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  1. Gender roles are different

All over the world, guys are expected to be more vocal and active to show that they like a person and woman is supposed to wait for some action to happen. In Japan it is very different. Woman are expected to be vulnerable, open and active about their feeling. On the other side guys are expected to be calm and poised. They should not express their feeling too much. They need to wait for what a woman wants to do. That is why the love confession is done by woman and sometimes woman pay for dates rather than man.

  1. Before dating you need your friends approval

Friends are a very important part of our life. They shape us to be who we are and their approval means so much to us, including in the dating area. In japan it is also considered important so before a date, usually partners mingle together with their friends. This is so that their circle of friends can know their partner more. Events like these usually happen for five to six times. After the circle of friends give their approval, they go on to a more private date, just the two of them. This is one of the unique dating culture in Japan.

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  1. Physical intimacy is not common before being girlfriend/boyfriends

In some dates, especially in the western culture, physical intimacy is not really serious. In fact it is done often to show our affection. But in Japan it takes a long time before you can get to a stage of being okay with physical touch. Usually in japan you start having physical intimacy when you have a girlfriend and boyfriend status. This physical intimacy includes hugging, kissing and even touching.

  1. Foreign man is lovable in Japan

For the woman in Japan, foreign man is really exotic and lovable. Some woman in Japan really want to have a half Asian and half western kid. They think that foreign man is an exotic accessory. So from what i’ve mentioned it is safe to say that foreign man will not have a problem in having a date.

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  1. Foreign woman is problematic in japan dating life

Although foreign man can have a date very quickly, even change date from time to time, for foreign woman it is a different case scenario. Foreign woman are expected to be fluent in Japanese. And because foreign woman is usually independent and modern, japan man finds it improbable for them to be a partner for them. This is because japan man seek woman that wants to stay home, take care of the kids, pour drinks for them, and do all the chores at home for them.

  1. Flirting is needed

Flirting is the number one way to get to a person’s interest. Flirting can be a tricky game, but once you master it, you can get to everyone’s heart. It is known that Japanese people is cold and they usually do not show interest openly. So to get in the dating game you need to flirt to break the ice of those Japanese people’s heart. But too much flirting will actually make them not too interested. Especially for men, you do not want to overly flirt because desirable man in Japan is actually man that is cool, poised and busy. This is one of the dating culture in Japan.

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  1. Judgemental in choosing dates

Sometimes people will date literally anyone when they are desperate. People is usually open to give second chances so that they can know their dates more. But some Japanese people are usually kind of judgmental about their date. They expect someone close to perfect to be their romantic partner. This means that once they have sent he defect in their romantic partner, they will not think of continuing their romantic relationship with this girl or guy.

  1. Girls need to do all they can do for a date

In Japan, the gender roles are reversed. That means that man are supposed to sit and wait for some action and woman are supposed to do all the confessing and chasing part. And woman in Japan usually go hard and persistent when they want to be close to a guy. Some women are usually hurt after one rejection from a guy they have a crush on which is normal. But one of the dating culture in Japan is that one small rejection means nothing to a woman. In fact, it makes them try harder in chasing her. Woman in Japan will do it by being kind to him, giving gifts that remind them of him and doing literally anything for him.

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The dating culture in Japan is quite unusual and fun. Those are some of the dating culture in Japan but it is not set in stone. Sometimes, some people in Japan do not use these culture but some still do.

How to Get Kokuhaku

Since the dating culture in Japan is quite different it might be hard to readjust from your usual dating culture. To approach Japanese people, it is quite tricky. So we will list their characters and how to win their heart. But you must keep in mid that these characters do not exist in every Japanese person, but it is a commonly seen characters. So these are the ways on how to win a Japanese person’s heart:

  1. They are confined to gender roles

The people in Japan is very strict to gender roles. This is because the society pressure in Japan is still immense. This strict gender roles applies to everything even in the dating area so it is kind of hard for people out of Japan to adjust to this gender role. The guideline is that man needs to be calm, poised, hard working and quiet. On the other hand, woman needs to be active and vocal. It  is also expected in the future for man to be the one who provides for the family and for woman to stay at home to do all the house job. All this expectation leads them to be a very strict and organized person.

How to win their heart:

You need to follow their gender roles expectations even if it is hard for you to adjust to the guide lines. You also need to still show who you really are so that your true self will not fade away because of always following the gender roles. You also need to show that you have the same thought about the future as they are.

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  1. They are perfectionists

In Japan, an organized life is very desirable because it is believed that it can lead a person to a wealthy and prosperous life which is what everybody wants. So, Japanese people usually are very creative and they have big ideas for the future. They also have a hard will to make the ideas happen. That is why they organize things so that it can feel manageable. When this plan crumbles, they often become distraught.

How to win their heart:

Become the person who makes them calm in a stressed situation. Do not be panicked when they are in a stressful place. This will make them like you because you will look wise and lovable.

  1. They are loyal

Japan people are closely tied to their family and friends. Family and friends are the two backbone of their life. That is why they ask for their advice a lot, they rely on them so much and they also ask for their approval when it comes to dating.  Because of this immense intimacy with their family and friends, they are very loyal to them. Which makes them very loyal to their partner too.

How to win their heart and get kokuhaku:

Be their ultimate place to come back to, be their home. Do not try to have a relationship with someone else. Once you have shown her that you are very loyal, they will feel like you are a person that is meant to be loved by them

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The dating culture in Japan is different but once you have known your way around it, you can thrive. So follow the rules and get a partner!

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.