Previous Next
It’s not easy for a Japanese woman-of-the-world to pair up with even the most progressive Japanese man.

Jun-Japanese. Or “pure Japanese” girl. Apparently, they are what all the Japanese men are into. The only ones they’re into.

So says Cherie, a blogger born and partially raised in Japan, partially raised in New York. After attending college and working in Boston for several years, she was placed in her firm’s Tokyo branch. Now, she is following the love trends of the young and hip in Japan’s largest city.

About the preference for Jun-Japanese woman, she notes:

Recently, the hot topic among my friends are the unpopularity of fashionable, successful, intelligent, beautiful Kikokushijo (returnees) among Japanese men…whether the guy is a Kikokushijo or a jun-japanese, they seem to prefer the typical demure, proper, cute Japanese girls to outspoken, adventurous, successful Japanese girls.

Ok, interesting. I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised, with the culture of tradition which still prevails in Japan. But in Tokyo? Even with the young and hip?

Young, Hip and Traditional

Cherie essentially blames it on ‘men being men,’ saying, “Yes, yes, I know. At the end of the day, men prefer to be praised and admired by women than have a great partner of his match, challenging him and stimulating his intelligence.” Oh, lordy…really?

I guess even the Japanese guys raised outside of Japan still prefer the Jun-Japanese ladies:

There is the successful banker guy who was BORN in the UK and spent all his life in London…nothing should intimidate him, for someone with great education and status! But yet, immediately arriving in Tokyo, he starts dating a Jun-Japanese girl who praises him and admires him but not share anything of his experience in the UK, never mind about dancing to Chemical brothers or sing “Champaign Supernova.”

I can’t help but think of some of the situations faced by one of my best friends, who is of Taiwanese and Irish descent (yeah, she’s gorgeous).

For some reason, she has always tended to be into Korean guys. You can see them almost salivating over her, and yet more often than not, they won’t date her because they “want” a Korean girl. The whole concept of tradition outweighing love has always astounded me.

But I guess it’s something the Kikokushijo women are forced to face as reality. I wonder if that means more of them will end up dating/being in a relationship/marrying non-Japanese men.

And if so, how long will the Jun-Japanese last?

Anyone who has lived in Japan agree or disagree with Cherie’s take? Share your thoughts below.

Culture + Religion


About The Author

Christine Garvin

Christine Garvin is a certified Nutrition Educator and holds a MA in Holistic Health Education. She is co-editor of Brave New Traveler and founder/editor of Living Holistically...with a sense of humor. When she is not out traveling the world, she is busy writing, doing yoga, and performing hip-hop and bhangra. She's currently "on the road", with a longer layover in Asheville, NC.

  • Turner

    Outweighing love? Maybe. For those dead set on a certain “pure blood” status, I don’t think their minds reach beyond the animal magnetism phase.

    • Christine

      I was curious what your take would be, Turner, as I’m sure you must’ve seen some of this in action (though maybe not as noticeable since it didn’t affect you directly?).

      • Turner

        Well, based on my experiences, I can tell you it’s definitely not limited to Asian nationalities.

  • Kate

    Yeah. Perhaps more biological than pathological.

  • Tim Patterson

    I never really encountered this phenomenon in Japan, but agree with Turner that some ethnic / cultural dating preference is common to most societies.

  • LP

    Just because a man is successful, well-read, and worldly in every sense of the word doesn’t mean that his taste in women suddenly becomes any “classier” (if that’s how you choose to characterize an equally successful, well-read, and worldly woman). Women may see these kikukoshijo guys as narrow-minded traditionalists throwing the middle finger to the women’s rights movement, but what I’ve found is that men just like what they like, and the less they have to do or change to please their woman, the less chance their masculine simple minds will go into psychomania. Because let’s face it – the “modern” woman is typically much more demanding. I’m not saying Kikokushijo men, or any man attracted to the demure traditional Asian type, is “settling” for hassle-free submissiveness, but in the same way that foreign men find the over-politeness intriguing, Japanese men probably just like women who are different from them (opposites attract, it’s like the world’s most overused but least understood cliché).

  • Francisca Sondjaja

    I can tell you that, at least, for Korean guys, it’s because their parents are nagging them all the time to get a Korean girl friend to bring back home. Biological? Can you really tell what East Asian race someone is if you can’t see the fashion they’re wearing or hear what language they’re speaking? It’s pretty tough being a TCK (the Koreans seem to be having an easier time as a group, but I don’t know whether they do as individuals…)

I spent the whole week preparing emotionally, financially, and even gastronomically.
"I’d never lived alone, not even for a single day in my life."
What really makes Tokyo the most fascinating city on the planet?
This video shows several locations in Japan such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya and Hiroshima.
Expat Kevin Cooney goes through his monthly bills and gives an idea of what one can...
"Place, after all, has more to do with experience than reality."
For those willing to travel for exotic spa treatments, here are 10 from around the globe...
A beat driven, multi-layer dedication to Tokyo through the lens of traveler Mirko Lalit...
From Mumbai to Blackpool to Tokyo, urban cycling is becoming more accessible, more...
Matador's destination expert on Japan lays out the country's avoidable attractions...and...
Here’s some weekend wanderlust inspiration for you. Get out and explore.
Turner Wright, our man in Japan, gives you 10 reasons to visit Tokyo.