People love stereotyping others, and yet find it insulting to be stereotyped. Nation, race, ethnicity, accent, gender etc. are all just hotspots for stereotypes to breed in. Japan has unfortunately been on the receiving end of this stick. Rectifying these stereotypes will not be an easy task! Here are some common notions people believe about Japanese women, and we will go through whether they are based in reality or just myths propagated from parent to child!
10. Japanese women prefer to learn English, opting to use Japanese for their entire lives
FICTION . First off, this might be a stereotype not everyone thinks is true. But from our experience, quite a few people think that native Japanese people who don’t move out of their homeland don’t know English and prefer not to learn it. This is very untrue, as you shall see. According to sources, most Japanese students take English language courses to supplement their language skills from a very young age. In fact, a sizable number of Japanese women grow up in bilingual households, making them proficient in both Japanese and English!
9. Japanese women cannot handle their alcohol
FACT . While this doesn’t unilaterally apply to all Japanese women, the Asian alcoholic flush is a real thing! A sizable population of the Japanese population (and East Asia) lack the necessary genes to breakdown alcohol present in the bloodstream. This leads to Japanese women getting dizzy and headstrong after just a few sips of wine, whiskey or even beer! Sadly, along with being lightweight, drinking alcohol which cannot be properly broken down in the body has minor health risks too! This is one facet of the stereotypical Japanese where facts back up the story.
8. Japanese women are only into Manga and Anime (Japanese media)
FICTION . Popular culture gives way to the notion that Japanese people are only into Japanese media such as mangas and anime. This is not the case, as we can see with the booming popularity of western pop icons in the Japanese scene. For one, Spiderman is by far the most popular superhero in Japan, eclipsing even the most dear Japanese heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Riders. So, the answer is, no! Japanese women are into Japanese media just as much as the rest of the world, and are also big fans of Western culture!
7. Japanese women eat sushi everyday
FICTION . As fun as eating sushi everyday sounds, this is sadly also a housewife’s tale. Even if sushi originates in Japan, eating it everyday is something not many Japanese people are into, especially considering the array of other wondrous food available in the Japanese subcontinent! Why does one have to limit themselves to sushi when tempura, okonomiyaki and many other mouth-watering dishes are cheaply produced?
6. Japanese women are proficient in cooking
FACT . While again, this doesn’t really apply to everyone, there are some Japanese women out there who know how to cook well. A lot of women however, aren’t too familiar with cooking, because Japanese culture entails living with parents until you marry. In such cases, why cook when Mom can make a great plate of Omurice? On the other hand, what better place to learn cooking than with your parents in a safe space! Outsiders will find making a blanket statement here difficult about Japanese stereotypes.
5. Japanese women are interested in marriage and becoming housewives
FICTION . With nuclear families being the norm in Western culture, creating a small nest of family is something many are interested in. This however, doesn’t include Japanese women, who find the thought of settling down unsatisfying. Being the sole breadwinner in a family is becoming more of a pipe dream in the era of hyper-capitalism, and Japanese wives tend to want to be an earner in the family too. Shunning marriage is less common than being housewives, albeit not rare.
4. Japanese women are very mindful of their personal space
FACT . Not just Japanese women, but Japan in general. Private space and personal bubbles are very important concepts imbibed into kids at a very young age. It may not look like that when one sees the jam-packed Japan metro, but concepts of personal space are foregone in such cases. This can also be seen in how Japanese people treat their environment, keeping it very tidy as if it were their household!
3. Japanese women are into makeup and personal beautification
FACT . Just like their Korean neighbours, Japanese women are into self care and beauty quite a bit. WIth the booming popularity of makeup artists on social media sites such as Instagram and Youtube, it is not hard to see why using makeup is popular among the demographic! With pale white skins, the potential for blemishes is there and thus, using powder base or mascara is rampant among teenage Japanese girls! However, some of the older Japanese women tend to not use makeup and bask in their own radiant beauty without the supplemental help of external factors!
2. Japanese women look forward to getting married before the age of 30
FICTION . Again, this stereotype is misguided, but understandable. Just like women all over the world, Japanese women tend to look forward to progressing in the never ending game of life. Whether this means finding the perfect rich husband so you can sit back and relax or working hard to make a name for yourself, varies from woman to woman. However, we can say that a majority of the younger Japanese women nowadays do not look forward to marrying at an early age. In fact, many are even opposed to the notion of marrying, instead opting for a less monogamous life! Finding a fulfilling life is the only trait shared between all Japanese women.
1. Japanese women prefer to wear skimpy outfits, even in harsh weather
FICTION . And finally, here we are. The notion that Japanese women wear miniskirts, even in the middle of winter and while going out. One that was clearly propagated through depictions in anime, and which influenced the minds of many young men around the world. Sadly, this is another misconception about Japanese women. They are just like women around the world, and do not hold any supernatural power to resist the cold. In fact, miniskirts are not common, even in milder temperatures. Western clothing is the most common kind of clothing worn by Japanese women, so things like tshirts, jeans, hoodies, etc. Kimonos are also an uncommon attire that only rear their head during cultural events.
Phew, what a rollercoaster! Attempting to disprove every single rollercoaster is almost impossible, but the most common ones attributed to the beautiful Japanese culture are tackled here. Hopefully, you have developed a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the Japanese culture and will help propagate facts, and not fiction!