Noticed you're in Fukuoka. I'm also living in Fukuoka, so unlike those who are commenting about sexism and stuff, I will try to answer your question from what I've learned from observation and my Japanese colleagues. On top of coronavirus, Fukuoka is not as easy to live in as compared to the more populated cities, like Tokyo. This is mostly due to the lower English speaking communities here. Living in Fukuoka, or even working here generally requires some level of Japanese. Most "foreigners" who live here are English teachers, language school students or working in places like convenience stores or supermarkets. The job market here is significantly smaller than other larger cities and the more lucrative companies tend to hire Japanese employees. The term foreigner is often used for "evidently Westerners", but Fukuoka's foreigner population actually mostly comprises of Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepalese and other Asians. This might contribute to why you just don't see them around. So, while your question starts with "Japan," I think your experience so far is limited to Fukuoka itself and not so much the rest of Japan. This might also have to do with where in Fukuoka you live, your age, which type of "foreigner" you are and so forth. I live near Chiyo and there is actually a huge "foreigner" population around here, although they are not the type you're looking for. Hope this help!


you can say this applies to most of the other prefectures (thats not tokyo osaka etc) too not just fukuoka


This applies to *every single prefecture* in Japan. Even Tokyo and Osaka. People from "Western" countries are a small, small minority of foreigners here. People from Europe, North America, and Oceania *combined* only make up about 5% of the foreigner population in Japan (about 170k out of 2.9m foreigners.) Of course, you wouldn't know from an English language forum with a massive Western bias like this subreddit where "foreigner" implicitly means "white and black people".


That doesn't explain the gender difference though... I know a lot of Filipino and other SE Asians, and their population skews female because of spousal visas.


This comment is nice but so off the mark. She asked about the oddly low number of specifically **female** foreigners.


>She asked about the oddly low number of specifically female foreigners. How does the OP know for sure there aren't 10 Korean women for every 1 Western man?


She doesn't. I imagine she's noticing noticeably less white and black females compared to men which is I'm assuming is what she means.


Ah geeze you're so right. I was so focused on the foreigner part that I forgot the main question was about females. My bad! If the question is specifically about phenotypically Western foreigners, then that shrinks the percentage even smaller. Many others have already stated the numbers in their replies so I'll just find the door. My reply definitely missed the point. Thanks for pointing that out!


Also, lots of Filipino women working as caregivers, farm help, laundry services, and pubs/snacks (pre-lockdown).


So many foreign (I assume Filipino) ladies work at Costco.


Yeah, I was actually surprised at how many Filipinos were in my quarantine hotel's staff. And I know a few other Filipinos recruited to do jobs like what you described


I also live in Fukuoka, and have done for over 20 years. If you are talking about ‘Western females’ then, as the above poster says, a lot depends on your age, your job and your social life. Way back when I first came to Japan (to Fukuoka) I was young, 22, and so after working in my eikaiwa (where there were also plenty of young female teachers) we would go out and hit the gaijin bar scene. Fukuoka is small and if you do regularly go out to the gaijin bars you do tend to run into the same people. Corona has hit that hard. However, for most people eikaiwa teaching/management isn’t a career. Many of my former coworkers, male and female, either went back home, moved to other countries or moved to different cities in Japan. I moved on to a more serious career in teaching- still in Fukuoka. That is where the difference became really visible. Almost all of my non-Japanese coworkers were/are male. Actually, almost all of my Japanese coworkers are male as well! The women who stayed tended to do so because of being in a relationship with a Japanese guy. If they then went on to have children (which I didn’t) that was pretty much the end of them being on the ‘Western social scene’ for a fair few years. The older I got the less inclined I was to go out ‘on the town’ in the city, and as I became more entrenched in Japanese work culture the more I went out to eat and drink in local places with them. If you are in a relationship with a Japanese person there is the Foreign Wives of Japanese Association (AFWJ). I went to one of their socials once and was amazed at how many ‘Foreign Wives’ (de facto is fine) there were in Fukuoka and they were really nice people. But, I work really hard, enjoy spending time with men, and tend to be reclusive with my partner on time off - or occasionally hang out with work friends and their families. So, unfortunately I didn’t pursue the AFWJ connection, even though they were lovely. You could also join the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) - the Fukuoka branch meets quite regularly-albeit online at the moment.


Is your username a snack that you like? Or is it totally random? I ask because the idea of celery ,with cheese smeared on it with peanuts as a topping actually sounds amazing lol


It’s one of my favorite snacks! Except my version is usually celery smeared with peanut butter and then eaten with cheese on top of that. Great combination- and I can tell myself I’m being healthy because of the celery.


Is there a Foreign Husbands of Japanese Association?


Lived in Fukuoka, can confirm


Also just wanna add there’s a good bunch of foreigners (anyone from outside of Japan) in the mountains of Kyudai but the train to the city costs 530 yen one way Edit: Kyudai = 九大 = Kyushu Univ. for clarification.


What an oddly specific comment. Are they in a box waiting for unwitting travellers to stumble upon?


Take it as you like. I'm just adding to the comment that there are also a sizable amount of foreigners living near the university campus but they may not visit downtown (where I assume OP lives and mingles at) as much bc it's costly, that's all. Sorry if it seems too case-specific I guess.


>living near the university campus See...now that's the actual qualifying information that was missing :-)


I did mention Kyudai which is just how we call the university around these parts. It’s the same as how people call Tokyo Univ Todai or Kyoto Univ Kyodai so I assumed people (and the commenter I replied to) would know i was referring to a university. My bad.


It's easy to tell in Japanese when it's 九大 or 東大 but without kanji it could be any random place name


Yeah, you’re right. I see now why that would’ve been confusing without the kanji. I’ll edit my original comment, thanks for the note.


Ah - slaps forehead. I'm a moron mate. Ignore me. My brain auto assumed it was a place-name as I live in the opposite end of the country and zero familiarity with Fukuoka. That makes sense now...


Nah, that’s on me. I didn’t see how people could’ve easily mistaken that as any random place’s name bc I didn’t put the kanji in there. Thanks for helping me realize it tho haha


I'm not a woman so I'm only speculating, but maybe foreign (mainly Western) women find it uncomfortable living in a society that is more sexist than back home. I'm not sure how much that affects the lives of foreign women, since I assume the gaijin card gets them out of a lot of social obligations just like it does for men. But on average maybe this makes Japan a little less enjoyable for foreign women, and thus they don't stay as long.


True for EU, US. Less so for much of the world.


For many people "the gaijin community" in Japan indeed corresponds to western foreigners; if OP meant it this way, then it's basically true for all of this community that Japan is more sexist than their home country.




I said 'mainly Western' in the comment.


Even for Brazilian standards, Japan is pretty sexist. So maybe don’t just put all the “other countries” in a basket.


I’m an American woman who’s lived here over 10 years. I think how hard the sexism hits really depends on your job and relationships. In the past I’ve dated two Japanese men seriously. Both times I was expected to “be Japanese” more or less. One didn’t speak English so I was always using my second language. I never even considered asking him to act more western or to learn English. On this point, I’ve noticed that most western woman/Japanese man couples I know have a similar dynamic. The man doesn’t speak English, the woman speaks fluent Japanese and takes on a lot of Japanese cultural roles. My own partner also had the same experience when she dated a Japanese guy. That can be really hard, and of course it also depends on your partner. But the roles of wives and mothers here are pretty unappealing compared to what most western women are used to, to be frank. I have a group of female friends who are very very average Japanese (in that they don’t speak any English, aren’t “westernized”) and in that group the conversations are depressing sometimes. When they talk about wanting to get married quickly, sexism at work, men and women’s roles in relationships, etc it just reminds me more and more of how stuck in the past Japan is socially. I love them and we have fun together (well, pre-covid…) but if I didn’t have my own cultural outlets and was stuck in their world I think I would be very depressed. Luckily my current partner is also an English speaking westerner and I don’t work in a Japanese environment right now and so I mostly escape all the expectations and pressure. Honestly I’m so grateful for these things and while I do feel a little guilty as well, I’m able to enjoy my time in Japan and can see a future here.


Agreed, American Female who's been in rural Japan for 9 years. Arrived in the area at 22. Married to a local Japanese man who speaks English and has lived in western countries for working holidays, so although I can speak Japanese fluently, we speak a mix of both languages. I met him during my second year working at a dispatch English teaching company, and if I hadn't met him then, I probably wouldn't still be in Japan. My brother in law is also an American, so out of our family, only the oldest brother and his wife are non-international. I think this is a pretty rare family dynamic. I only have one American friend in the general area and he is male. The majority of my western coworkers in the past were male, although the majority of the Japanese coworkers were female. I made one close female American friend but she left the country after finishing her year contract. I understand why people leave this area in particular, especially when they don't have the Japanese skills. It makes things so hard when you go out to do things that you'd normally do for yourself in your daily life. Although, even with my strong Japanese skills, I still occasionally get the "deer in headlights" experience, and sometimes need my husband or mother in law to come and back me up in certain situations in order to proceed, which I find annoying (but this is gaman) . So much patience is required. However, this area also has a large Brazilian population, so despite being rural, there is a large population of foreigners. There are also sizeable Filipino, Vietnamese, Nepalese, and Chinese-speaking populations (Mainland China and Taiwanese), although not as prominent and many people in these populations often living here on limited contracts, as ALTs or factory workers. I started to drift away from the local "foreign" community when I tried to break out from the English teaching world. I still teach now because it's been difficult to find work that pays the bills outside of teaching English, especially in this area, and I like working with kids. I teach on my own terms, but there is a lot of work that goes behind that. I tried to find local work, but for example, dealt with various kinds of discrimination that would be illegal in my home country, so I decided to forge my own path. (I also interviewed for work in Tokyo, but for various reasons, this didn't work out either) It takes so much effort, and perhaps stubbornness, to push through these kind of experiences, but when I look at my husband, and the life that we have made for ourselves so far, I can't give up. There are still so many things I love about Japan and I feel very lucky for being able to come this far. We built a house this year, which is something I never thought I'd be able to do here, much less in the US. Although I spend the majority of my time alone during the day, I'm really enjoying the sunrises, working in our garden, and taking in the fresh air.


While Japan has a long way to go in regards to sexism, the lack of violent crime, unlike in the West, is very attractive for a woman.


Depends on which country because Japan has such horrid crimes towards women that I’ve never heard of happening where I’m from




And you know Japanese police have been known to fudge reports, especially when it comes to sexual assault. Osaka police got exposed for covering up 80,000+ crimes


Kind of depends on where you’re from though. I felt safer in my hometown back in America. It was rural/small enough that I was rarely harassed, and even when I went to college it was still “small” enough that I felt safe walking around at night. I’ve never experienced violent crime, it’s very very rare where I’m from. I live in a major city here and have experienced much much more harassment and have been followed multiple times. I also don’t feel like strangers step in to help like they would back home.


It comes down to white men love Asian women. Less white women love Asian men. It’s a pretty well established phenomenon whether you wish to believe it or not. This is essentially why you see less white women than men around you in Asia.


I'm confused by this whole thread, lol. There are more white men in Japan as a lot of them love Asian girls. Western women generally don't find Asian guys as attractive as white men do with Asian girls. And yes, I'm Asian.


It's mainly people (over?) reacting to the OP not specifying western women


Yeah I find that just trivialises it. I mean sure most 'gaijins' are from Chinese/Korean/Filipino backgrounds (and odds on they speak fluent Japanese). However, I don't think it takes a genius to realise they're asking why most of the people from the US/UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand...etc are dudes. Theory (since we're talking about smaller cities)... dudes have it a bit easier because they're usually not targets for rape/harassment by men. Thus, males feel more comfortable going to more obscure places. For example I regularly walk through dark, empty streets in Japan by myself and feel extremely safe. I can get drunk with strangers and (for example) go to snacks with random Japanese guys (who pay $$$ for my beers coz they wanna hear me sing Beatles songs) and that's all okay. IMO this makes it a lot easier to live alone & adventure. Not gonna have some feminist rant or whatever, but I think men experience the world differently and are lucky to be able to explore without being a target. As noted... the last thing on some drunk salaryman's mind is gonna be trying to rape me or proposition me for sex. They're more likely to buy me a heap of beers and pay for my taxi home. Thus, it's much easier for me to survive (and feel comfortable alone) in more remote parts of Japan I would imagine.


>the last thing on some drunk salaryman's mind is gonna be trying to rape me or proposition me for sex. I see you haven't been to Ueno park... after dark...


In my experience, the opposite is true, too. As a white woman, I haven't found many Japanese men who want a serious relationship with a foreign (white) woman. YMMV of course.


Same. Manic pixie dream girl trope. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manic_Pixie_Dream_Girl


I think part of it is it’s also harder to interact with Asian men? With the rise in k-pop and men like BTS being so popular I think it’s becoming less about western women not being attracted to Asian men. In my experience, women in Japan are more likely to be friendly/outgoing towards foreigners (male and female) while Japanese men tend to be more reserved, partially due to maybe being a little intimidated and maybe a lack of confidence in their English. As a halfie girl (half Japanese but people tend to treat me as a foreigner here) living in Japan, I find that Japanese girls are far more likely to try and approach me to talk, while Japanese men will almost avoid interacting with me (unless they’re a drunk older guy who’s kind of being a creep) despite my being able to speak Japanese. I think Japanese guys are cute and all but they’re far less likely to talk to me than a male foreigner is.


Japanese women are so much cooler than the men.


Holy crap the sexism escalated really hard in just a few comments


Gotta agree. It is the most dramatic gender split in a nationality I've ever experienced. I gave up on making friends with Japanese men as a man after like my first 6 months here.


Because guys approaching/starting conversations with girls generally feels creepy? As a guy I can tell you my experience is that both girls and guys are very much reserved here, but I think it's guys that are less intimidated to talk to me. Being the same gender makes things easier. I think that's why you get along with girls so easily.


This. This is so true. There are TON of Western men+Japanese women couple but I rarely find the opposite.


I am the opposite - white Canadian woman married to a Japanese man. I have two other friends who are in the same relationship dynamic, but both women are American. We exist, we're just the minority, as you said.


I’m American, married to a Japanese man and I have a friend who is German and married to a Japanese man. But it does seem like we’re in the minority.


I'm a white American woman married to a Japanese man and I have 4 other white foreign women friends (US, UK, NZ, CA) married to Japanese men, and another 2 (US) who are in long-term relationships with Japanese men. I'm sure if I thought about it a little more there are a few people I'm forgetting. There are dozens of us. Dozens!


American woman married to Japanese man here! Currently tending to our two-week-old son (who looks like a clone of my husband but with my colors). Definitely a minority but you tend to find friends in your own shoes quite often 👍


I'm pregnant with our first and I'm dying to know what he'll look like 💗


Awww congrats! I might be biased but I think my little guy is very handsome already 😌


Thank you! Congratulations to you and your family too ❣️


As a white male living in Japan it's so strange that this is the commonly accepted dynamic, but my immediate social circle is consistently the opposite, white women marrying Japanese men. I have two explanations: My age range gives more pressure for women to marry now, while men are given more socially accepted time to not pick. The older generations of white men that came to Japan to marry did so when women had even less personal and socially accepted freedoms than they do now. So of course the women weren't off flirting around with Asians. They had social pressure to get married and start a family even earlier than now.


Isn’t it the opposite, that Asian men aren’t interested in white/black women?


Not at all. Idk about black women, I'm not a black woman. But fair skin is definitely seen as beautiful in this part of the world. I'd say it's our foreignness that would turn them off if they get to know us better. I've met Japanese guys that expected me to act Japanese. And were actually surprised when I wasn't interested.


OK! I’m very European-looking and married to a Japanese man but I feel like kind of a miracle. A lot of the other girls I know haven’t had as much luck


I don't think that it's about the color of skin but about body shape. Most Japanese men don't feel attracted to the standard American body type.


I guess if we’re talking about “race” then body shape and skin color are both part of it. I was kind of talking about the whole package, and I think that includes culture i.e. personality as well. What I mean is, as a whole Japanese men seem to find Asian women more attractive, while Western women seem to like men regardless of race? Just from my experience! I have 2 Japanese friends who are married to foreign women and they are both Asian (Chinese and Thai). My husband is the only one I’ve met to marry or even date a Western woman. Although my Western friend married a Taiwanese man, so maybe it differs from country to country.


It’s both


That’s kind of a generalization, just in my social circle I know two black women married to Japanese men.


Thanks, my experience is limited to my friend/work circle mainly so I’m happy get more insight!


I'm not saying you're wrong, but how can you be so sure that this established sexual trend is the main reason for western immigration ? For non-asian countries, I've never heard that sex is the motor of immigration.


Because the main reason anyone anywhere leaves their home for another country is economic. This obviously isn't gonna be the case for people who migrate from countries that are just as developed/prosperous as Japan. So, other than money, what's that other famous thing that drives people to do what they do in life?


Okay you have a point but even for Japan, I'd have thought more people emigrate there for business reasons than just because they like asian girls


You're definitely right. Asian fetish as being a major driver of immigration is a very strange theory and I don't think it'll hold up in any kind of research or scrutiny.


Healthcare and economy. In the US the former is fucked. At the time I came to Japan the latter was also fucked. Developed countries have problems too, leading to emigration to other developed countries.


Hey thanks for your comment. It’s the other way around. Immigration is the motor for sex. Sex is a human’s biological imperative. I don’t think it’s necessary to argue that point as I believe it’s well established. Of course you are more than welcome to disagree.


That's not it and that line of thinking won't hold up under even a bit of scrutiny. An Asian fetish so incredibly strong that someone would literally move to another country because of it (an extremely big decision) belongs to a very small minority of people... and those people tend to find that the cute girls prefer the local guys they're comfortable with over the gaijin coming to prey on them, get disappointed, and go back home. The sexism answer makes way more sense. Business is a major driver for immigration, and women have a harder time finding good work. That's all it is.


Japan is a sexist country so not many companies want to hire women for a full time position or sponsor them visa cause many Japanese companies think women will get married and quit their job anyway or simply don’t trust them professionally. It’s the same for local women but foreigners need a job to stay here unless they’re married to a citizen. Also average salary for women is quite low so I don’t think Japan is an attractive destination for foreign women in the first place.


You're getting downvoted, but I can vouch for this.


Definitely. If I weren’t married, I don’t think I would try to stay here long-term and venture in the very sexist Japanese workforce. There are better places to be a single woman building a career.


This is a strong point. Most western men I know who succeed here are also engineers or into tech, and those are fields in which not many women yet participate. Those that do usually have better incentives in their own countries. I haven’t met a non-Asian foreign woman yet who wasn’t a language teacher, student or housewife, honestly.


There are plenty of foreign, non-white women in Tokyo.


What on earth are you talking about? There are plenty of foreign women in Japan. In fact, the largest demographic of international marriages in Japan is between Japanese men and foreign women. Perhaps you don't see them because they're busy working or raising children or something?


The majority of “foreign” women in Japan are zainichi Korean and Chinese, etc., who grew up here, so the statistic you allude to (if true) will be mostly referring to marriages between those women and Japanese. However this doesn’t have much relevance to OP’s question.


>The majority of “foreign” women in Japan are zainichi Korean and Chinese who grew up here, so the statistic you allude to (if true) will be mostly referring to marriages between those women and Japanese. However this doesn’t have much relevance to OP’s question. Another trend is vietnamese women and japanese men


"If true" is a simple search away: https://www.e-stat.go.jp/dbview?sid=0003411850 Japanese male-foreigner female marriages are twice the number of foreigner male-Japanese female marriages. Women with Korean or Chinese nationality only make up 45% of foreign women here, and many of them certainly didn't "grow up" in Japan. In any case Japanese male-SK/NK/Chinese female marriages don't even make up half of Japanese male-foreign female marriages. Maybe you should try looking for data instead of spewing bullshit from your preconceived biases.


It’s clear that OP is talking about “foreign” women who have grown up outside the country, not in Japan. Among foreign women in Japan (85% of whom are from other countries in Asia) a majority were born and grew up in Japan, or have lived here since childhood, whether from the Chinese and Korean zainichi groups or from other long-term expatriate groups, particularly Filipino, Vietnamese, etc. They speak fluent Japanese, often look like regular Japanese, but are classed as “foreigners” by the government. Europeans and Americans are a relatively tiny proportion.


>Among foreign women in Japan (85% of whom are from other countries in Asia) a majority were born and grew up in Japan, or have lived here since childhood, whether from the Chinese and Korean zainichi groups or from other long-term expatriate groups, particularly Filipino, Vietnamese, etc. They speak fluent Japanese, often look like regular Japanese, but are classed as “foreigners” by the government. 85% of *foreigners*, male or female, in Japan are from other Asian countries. The only group of people you can reasonably say were born and raised in Japan that about are the Zainichi Koreans. Most Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese etc. would have initially come to Japan on work/student/family visas. The Vietnamese community, in particular, are relative newcomers in Japan compared to the Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos, and they're mostly here on technical intern, work, or student visas.


Source? As far as I know most zainichi Koreans have Japanese nationality nowadays.


I’m pretty sure “Zainichi Koreans” by definition are special permanent residents who have not taken Japanese nationality.


Not necessarily. Japanese people in general don't consider ethnic Koreans (or Chinese) as "Japanese" even if they have a Japanese passport.


You mean they don’t consider unassimilated Koreans or Chinese as Japanese. Not always true either, but in any case, in my experience the “zainichi” label is really associated with the special permanent residence status. It’s not usual for it to be directed at naturalized citizens.


For the record I didn't downvote you, but no, that's not what I meant. For many Japanese people 日本人 means ethnically pure Japanese. So they call ethnic Koreans "zainichi" even if they're 3rd generation, speak only Japanese, have Japanese nationality etc. For those Japanese, an ethnic Korean with Japanese passport is no more 日本人 than Arudou Debito.


So to be a foreigner, you need to be white?


Are you trying to be dense? My point is obviously that a foreigner who’s moved here as an adult is different from someone who is technically classified as a foreigner because of their parents’ nationality but who has grown up in Japan, speaks fluent Japanese, etc. I said nothing about skin color.


Good grief. Foreigners are foreigners, my man.


Not really. Just check where zainichi Koreans can queue at the airport to enter Japan...


I mean I entered through the Japanese citizens queue which also includes residents of Japan. Not sure what you're on about. Tourists only have to queue separately.


There's a line for tourists, a line for foreign residents and a line for Japanese AND Zainichi. No other foreigner gets that special treatment. Foreign residents do NOT share a line with Japanese.


When I re-entered in the past the Japanese and foreign residents with re-entry permits were always sent to queue in the same line. Maybe they merge them on slow days or something?


Go tell that to the uyoku dantai.


Not really. Who is classed as a “foreigner” in Japan is different to who would be a “foreigner” in America, for example. In America, if you live there and speak English, you are “American”. But in Japan, most people think you can only be Japanese if you have Japanese blood. Even second or third generation, you will still be a “foreigner”.


https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQjsqZQYnllmGCVZOdv6-5NauFfD7xx8dfyvw&usqp=CAU Vast, vast majority of those marriages are chinese, Korean or Filipino. I’m Guessing op is talking about other foreign women from western countries, or more visibly foreign ones.


Yep. Most of us got that from the OP (she mentions the "gaijin community") but some here are looking for a way to be offended.


The OP is probably talking about visible minorities (non-mongoloids). She's not counting other Asians as foreigners.


In my city I almost ONLY see foreign women, they are mostly SE Asian. In fact the numbers aren't that different between men and women. https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00498/foreign-resident-population-in-japan-rises-above-2.html I also think location plays a large part, I live in Kanagawa and see plenty of foreign women, in fact in my city I see women more often then men.


Tokyo has many.


I’m in rural Fukushima - objectively I’d say there are far more foreign women around than men, both western and SE Asian. It may be the places you frequent, the place you live, or just the fact that your eyes are trained on familiar western faces (assuming you’re western). Maybe join your local international association (often run through city hall or an adjacent organisation/building) in order to join events that foreign residents might frequent.


I’m a western woman working as a tax consultant in a relatively liberal Gaishikei, but even where I work, there is a dearth of non Asian women, despite there being a fair few western men, some of which are in very senior and executive decisions. To consider as to why, in broad brush strokes, I feel as if the stereotypical “western” traits of being more outspoken, expressive and decisive are generally considered more acceptable and desirable in men than in women in Japan, on the whole. It can therefore be easier for a man to exhibit “gaijinness” but still progress in his career or find a date. However, I feel that women, western women included, are subtly encouraged to be more deferential and gentle in everyday interactions - the number one desirable trait of the ideal woman that I constantly hear in Japan is 「優しい」(kind/gentle), and a lot of western women cannot compromise themselves to this extent, unless they are naturally that way inclined. Another thing is that the physical features of western men can be seen as exotic and desirable, it’s not uncommon for western women (myself included) to have what somebody called the “gaijin bridge troll syndrome”, where as a western woman, you can feel too big, bulky, masculine and messy compared to the enviously thin, petite, and perfectly styled Japanese woman, (at least that’s how it feels in comparison a lot of the time). Even though I’m around 5”7 and 60kg, which isn’t huge, and I’m often on the thinner side back in the UK, I often feel like the bridge troll compared to Japanese women and it can be easy to feel less and less attractive, with society less designed for people like you unless you make the effort to cultivate enough self esteem. As a result, I tend to find that the western women who have lived in Japan for a long time tend to be somewhat “Japanified”, being slim, on the feminine side, and nurturing, whereas for western men, there are a mixture of those who have adapted to the culture and adopt some typical Japanese mannerisms, whereas there are others are happy to flaunt their “gaijinness” (which can sometimes be a smart strategy to escape some of the more bullshitty and ややこしい and elements of Japanese communication) Of course, these are simplified generalizations, and there’s more nuance than that, and there will be exceptions. I myself am probably not particularly “Japanese” in how I present myself - I tend to dress in bold colours and being 5’7 with strong features, I’m never going to pull off a “kawaii” look, but I’m not particularly loud or outspoken, (although probably more likely to be more opinionated than the average Japanese woman) and I tend to take care how I phrase things and have probably taken on certain Japanese mannerisms after starting to speak Japanese since 2003. I’m pretty happy in Japan, and have lived here for five years, but had I not met my Japanese fiancé, I may have considered leaving after a few more years. I was reasonably popular among Japanese guys as a friend, but not “more”, as I just don’t have that deferential cuteness that tends to be more “popular” and desirable, but I was lucky to find an eccentric partner who was compatible. However, as many have mentioned, it tends not to be much harder for western men to find a partner here than in their own country, which would make it more likely for them to live in Japan long term.


I would go as far as say that some Western men enjoy popularity levels with the opposite sex that they couldn't even dream of back home. Being "exotic" has its advantages. According to some Japanese men, the opposite is also true-- women who don't fit the beauty criteria in Japan suddenly attract much more (male) attention when living in predominantly white overseas.


I’m not sure about just living, definitely fewer “obviously foreign women” in my area, but most other foreign parents I interact with are moms. Following the data, most of these are Chinese or Filipina women, all have been friendly. In terms of marriage statistics, [here is a chart showing the amount of foreign marriages registered by year up to 2020](https://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/database/db-hh/xlsx/1-37.xlsx). Sorry they only have excel files, better than fax! Most marriages between one foreigner and one Japanese involve a Japanese man and a Chinese or Filipina woman, Korean women are marrying Japanese men less than before. For men, Korean men and Japanese women are the most common combination. Western women and Japanese men are less common but growing. Culture is changing. Personally I just came over here because there was a US University and my parents were kindly paying for my college. I didn’t plan on japan, but it worked out. Agree the work culture sucks, probably more for women than men. I had to get clients blocked when I was teaching English because of sexual harassment and safety concerns. Luckily my bosses took it seriously but I imagine that could wear someone down. I work remotely for a US company now so I don’t go outside much lol. When I meet other foreign women I smile politely but I don’t go jumping them as that would be kinda weird? Do you have many female Japanese friends? I have some good Japanese friends, some speak English and some don’t. The main reason we are friends is our common interests. My best friend is a foreigner but she’s South American. I understand wanting a friend who understands your situation but don’t limit yourself by nationality! Some of my Japanese mom friends have really similar marriage “complaints” as me and we will laugh about how similar things can be. I have a few friends from Fukuoka, definitely have a good impression of people from the city.


I'm a western woman who lives in Fukuoka too! Are you in the city or prefecture? Most of my western female friends have only stayed here for a few years and then left because of work prospects or because of the issues surrounding dating local men.


Well, a considerable portion of foreigners, both male and female, are East Asian in descent and you probably wouldn't ''see\`\` them as often anyway.


You mean white people? There are tons of foreign women in Japan. Most of them don't speak English though.


When I've discussed this with my female friends, almost always the issue is the power imbalance that favours men. Also, the rampant sexism and sexualisation of their bodies.


The sexualisation and constant attention paid to our bodies is a big one. When I dated Japanese guys I felt this constant pressure to lose weight, be skinner, because of the stereotype that western women are curvier (which = sluttier by Japan logic), even though I’m considered thin and flat-chested by western standards. Of course this doesn’t just happen to women or foreigners, but I just hate how it’s brought up so much. Even in groups with Japanese girlfriends they’ll comment on my figure or how tall I am. It makes me feel like a walking blow up doll or something. Hate it.


I've been in Japan for about 3 decades. Almost all the western women I have met in that time have left after a few years. A few have stayed longer but I don't know very many who have been here for 10+ years and only one who has been here for 20+ years. On the other hand I have a good sized friend group of men who have been here for 10+ years, many for much longer. Obviously I'm a sample size of 1 person so this isn't even remotely scientific but based on what I have seen western women are less likely to stay in Japan long term.


Kinda funny. A few days ago I was watching videos on YouTube and was surprised that the majority of vloggers who live there are western women. I guess that’s where they all went.


I live in Fukuoka and see just as many Non Asian Females as I do Non Asian Males. There are tons of foreigner females here but as mentioned before they are from Vietnam, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand etc. What you are saying then is Yo where are all the white woman at?


So probably need to preface with: (1) I think you're talking about western foreigners... yes? (2) I think you're talking even more specifically white/black/latino/indian (non-Asian) foreigners... yes? If so then yeah pretty obvious in my mind. The number of white/black/etc. guys that like Asian women (and therefore would miraculously have the urge to teach in Japan rather than someone where like Saudi Arabia) is obviously way higher than the number of white/black/etc. women who like Asian guys. Plus, if you think about people who may have transferred from their home country company's division to Japan, it's more likely that people in middle/upper management positions or higher will get moved, and people in those positions tend to be men not women. No I have no data for any of this but isn't it kinda obvious?


The foreign women are all in Tokyo, duh! :p My bet is sources of employment are much less in Fukuoka. But maybe Fukuoka has more Korean/Chinese women, no?


I’ve had the opposite experience, honestly. Of all the fellow gaijin I know, most are women. I’d say it’s about 3:1 for me personally.


Well, the glib and awkward but probably mostly true answer is, a lot of people are drawn to Japan because of stereotypically male pursuits like anime, manga, and video games, or because of a notion that they'll be more popular with women than at home. When I studied Japanese in an American university the rolls were overwhelmingly male for that reason. That's operating on the assumption that you meant Western foreigners, because if not the dynamics are quite different.


I find there are a lot of white men here, and it seems to be mostly because they are creeps with 'yellow fever', but most of the non-white foreigners are women. There are heaps of Vietnamese, Phillipino, Chinese etc. women here. It seems a lot of women come here from other Asian countries for work.


That’s not science proved but I would explain it for the following reasons: People coming for work. A lot of foreigners tend to work in IT, make dominant sector. People coming or staying for love. Many Japanese girls are attracted to foreigners men, while foreigner women can be too wild for Japanese men. Many foreigners men are attracted to Japanese women, in proportion less foreigners women are attracted to Japanese men. People coming for passion. Lot of people came to Japan related to their manga/geek passion. Even if there are also many women with such passion, it is still wildly male dominant.


>while foreigner women can be too wild for Japanese men This is completely false. In fact, most international marriages in Japan are between Japanese men and foreign women.


They probably mean the wild wild western women from the wild wild west.


Jim West, desperado


Nuh-uh, no you don't want nada


I don’t know the rest of the lyrics :-(


Yeah, but those are Chinese, Korean, or South East Asian women. People generally don't mean Asian when they say 'foreigner', they mean 'westerner'.


Even westerners I know plenty who are dating or have dated multiple japanese people. I don't believe for a moment that japanese men aren't attracted to western girls. However, I do believe there are probably more lonely western men coming here hoping for romance than lonely western women coming to japan hoping for romance


There's a lid for every pot, as they say, but I don't know why you'd categorically reject the notion that there are uncomfortable racial dynamics in Japanese dating, because those show up in dating all over the place.


What about Latin Americans and Africans and Middle Eastern people? Are they "western" or is it yet another category? This thread is funny.


I’m latino. & Yeah unfortunately “western” usually means anglophone or white. I do agree this thread is pretty funny. Shows how blind “westerners” are to distinguish races & ethnicities.


Most of those marriages are between Japanese men and women from other parts of Asia. Those foreigners aren't likely to be here in /r/japanlife in any substantial numbers.


And if you think in terms of percentage of “success in marring a local” I believe it’s even more pronounced . I guess 100% of the “visual key lovers” get settled :D


>while foreigner women can be too wild for Japanese men. I'm a white Canadian woman married to a Japanese man and I asked my husband if I'm too wild for him. He said, "yes, right out of the Savana. Roar!"


Would add career wise that while its hard for foreigners to find work outside of Tokyo and Osaka unless in a certain field its even more so for women. There is still a bit of a narrow mindset when it comes to career women and the Kyushu Danshi stereotype isnt taken out of the air. I love Kyushu but the mindset probably wouldnt suit me, especially if I was female.


I was wondering the same thing when I was in the Philippines. Lots of old western guys who retired there, but very few western females. In fact, I didn't see any!


Gee, I wonder what could possibly attract older Western men to places like the Philippines and Thailand haha


Yeah, but why doesn't this hold true for older Western women? Hard to be a gold digger, I guess.


Older Western women do the exact same thing - in the Caribbean, Kenya, Bali, etc.


Hmm... I just checked traveler stats, and you appear to be correct. Hell, Eddie Murphy did a skit about that with a woman running off to the Bahamas to meet Dexter St. Jock. I guess we've managed to answer the OP's question. If you want to meet western women, head to Kenya!


I don’t know the answer but I think it’s safe to assume that op is asking: why is the number of western (white or African American, probably not including any types of asians or Africans) women drastically fewer than the number of western men in Japan. Basically she’s using the word “foreign “ in the same way the Japanese use the word “gaijin”


I think people are being deliberately obtuse because they don't want to pass up the opportunity for a bit of sanctimony and not because they couldn't actually understand what was meant


American-Latina here, most of my acquaintances who have stayed long term are latinos (mostly South American). Western white women friends of mine tend to not stay long term and leave after a couple years. The other long term resident female friends are Asian/SEA. The western friends who left are people who cited issues of sexism in Japan. For sure my long term residing western white female friends are far and few in between.


Reading the comments and I'm like... What. Literally at a house party with 7 dudes. I live in Hyogo and I'm dying for female friends. Wish you lived closer!


Are you referring to white non-Japanese women? I have quite a few friends in Fukuoka who are women, non-Japanese, but they aren't white. They work at Fukuoka Airport, Hakata, Nakasu, Tenjin, Ogori, Kurume, etc. You're not looking hard enough.


When I lived in Toyama, I saw lots of foreigners. There is a big "Russian" community there. I saw lots of them. A lot of it will be your situation if you see more "western" people or not.


There's tons of yankee wahmen on the military bases as well. I live near Yokosuka so it makes Tinder a chore.


I'm an Australian guy living in Fukuoka because it's my SO's home prefecture. There's plenty of foreign women in Fukuoka, I have a lot of foreign female friends. But I've met quite a few them because I work at a hotel. They are mostly from other asian countries though. If you're specifically wondering about white girls, other than the russian girls who live in my area, I noticed that most of the white girls from english speaking countries are older women. Honestly they have the general look of school teachers (which makes sense). As to why you see a lot of white males from english speaking countries, it's because the US army is made up of mostly men and a lot come here from the army base in Okinawa! Also, every time I go to the immigration bureau in Akasaka, the majority of people are men. So you're not imagining things.


There was one white lady last time i renewed as well and she looked like mid late 50s and like a typical old school teacher from a movie. This is spot on bro


I think it depends on the space you find yourself to be. I see a lot of foreign women in the uni and it is nice to see a high ratio of foreigner girls in STEM (more than half in some departments). Also, for the westerners, while they do come, they usually don't stay longterm, so maybe that affects this observation. According to the official stats for immigration for 2020 ([here](https://www.e-stat.go.jp/stat-search/files?page=1&layout=datalist&toukei=00250012&tstat=000001018034&cycle=1&year=20200&month=12040606&tclass1=000001060399&tclass2val=0), [here](https://www.e-stat.go.jp/stat-search/files?page=1&layout=datalist&toukei=00250012&tstat=000001018034&cycle=1&year=20200&month=12040606&tclass1=000001060399&stat_infid=000032030592&tclass2val=0)), there doesn't seem to be a 1:10 ratio at all, but the ratio does differ per visa-status category. 第2表 国籍・地域別 年齢・男女別 在留外国人 Table 2 "Nationality/Region" Year and Gender" Foreign Residents 総   数 (total) 男(men) 女(women) 総数 2,885,904 1,425,043 1,460,861 第3表 在留資格別 年齢・男女別 在留外国人 Table 3 "Different status of residence" Years and genders" Resident foreigners 総   数 (total) 男(men) 女(women) 総数 2,885,904 1,425,043 1,460,861


I find that on average more foreign men come to Japan than foreign women, and that the foreign men who go tend to stay longer than the foreign women. Which isn't to say, obviously, that there are no foreign women in Japan or that there aren't long-term/lifers there who are women. It just seemed that the majority were men. I don't think it's anything more mysterious or deep than that--just more men go.


I’m an Asian foreign female in Tokyo. I’ve been in Japan for a few years, but I haven’t made friends with Japanese people. I feel most Japanese people don’t like to communicate with foreigners. I don’t know what other foreigners’ thoughts. But I don’t think I would move to other Japanese towns where is not many foreigners. Because I feel some Japanese people dislike or discriminate against foreigners. In fact, I have met a few times in Tokyo.


The reasons others have stated, I'd imagine, plus your location. I've lived in Nagasaki, Kyoto, Sapporo, and Tokyo, with the only place having an anything close to equal gender balance being Tokyo.


There are *more foreign women* than foreign men in *every prefecture in Japan* except Ibaraki and Kagawa. Foreign women outnumber foreign males by almost 20%.


Well shit, TIL


Maybe it depends when you came and the size of the organization you are working for. I’ve never worked for owls or interact, but I wonder what the percentage is. I’ve met a decent number over the years in Fukuoka, but I definitely have more male friends. These comments are fun to read.


Hoo, hoo, owls?


I don't recommend working for owls. The hours are terrible, keeps you from having a social life with humans.


For the Japanese community the answer is easy. A lot of people still have their high school friends. I've seen a few around (the prefecture) but not heaps. Fukuoka isn't representative of Japan though.


possibly lots of them are working at night or are married and are at home. consider, types of work women do in japan and why they came here in the first place. these women chose the road that would attain their goals.


When I was in Fukuoka, I was surprised how few westerners I saw there, pretty much the only other ones I met were an American family at a Softbank Hawks baseball game, in the foreigner section (which they have for some reason...) and some South Africans at the Yatai stalls in Tenjin, I remember eating a bowl of tonkotsu ramen and chatting with them about the upcoming Rugby World Cup. That was pretty much it, all the other tourists there seemed to be from Korea, Taiwan or China I still loved the city, but not enough westerners visit Fukuoka, which is a shame, it's got Japan's best baseball team and where the most delicious ramen originates.


>When I was in Fukuoka, I was surprised how few westerners I saw there, pretty much the only other ones I met were an American family at a Softbank Hawks baseball game, in the foreigner section (which they have for some reason...) and some South Africans at the Yatai stalls in Tenjin, I remember eating a bowl of tonkotsu ramen and chatting with them about the upcoming Rugby World Cup. > >That was pretty much it, all the other tourists there seemed to be from Korea, Taiwan or China > >I still loved the city, but not enough westerners visit Fukuoka, which is a shame, it's got Japan's best baseball team and where the most delicious ramen originates. It's a well-kept secret and a bit off the beaten tourist track which usually ends in Hiroshima. It also requires a bit more in terms of japanese communication skills but on the flip side is probably one of the friendlier places in japan.


> in the foreigner section The baseball teams with English ticket purchasing websites tend to only offer tickets in a particular section, hence the high number of foreigners in the nosebleeds at some games. If you can't read Japanese, or you're a tourist who can't really do the domestic ticket purchasing thing, that tends to be your only option.




Hey i am a female too! But i live in Osaka! If u want let’s be friends


Besides the rampant sexism and difficulty in being treated equally? Hmm dating/relationship-wise, Japanese men don’t make time for ladies and are usually not romantic, amorous,or have much of a libido compared to other foreign men. None of my white gfs are attracted to Jmen in gen. Most leave after 1-3 year stint or get an opportunity to transfer to another company branch.


My wife is from Fukuoka. I am a foreigner myself. I think the only foreign woman you will see is English teachers. Maybe even U.S. military girls near Tenjin, but at the moment, there is too many restrictions and state of emergencies that are never ending.


Indeed, I live in Kawagoe Saitama prefecture and 99% of non-Japanese neighbors are guy.They are probably trying to find a girl friend? Idk lol.


I think you’re wondering why there are a lot more white guys in Japan than white women. There are plenty of non-white female foreigners. Also, lots of white foreign men have the hots for Japanese women. Asian women are heavily sexualized in the media, whereas Asian men are not.


Because this is an extremely inhospitable country for any woman with common sense. I don't seem to have any, hence the reason I am still here. Most of my Western female friends got pretty irritated living here so went back to their respective countries. Don't even get me started on the LGBT element.


With all my ignorance I don't have much of anything intelligent to say other that I want to send all the energy possible to help open start to socialize and go out more and travel more. Hopefully the responsabilities you have or feel of becoming a mom doesn't get in the way. Good luck to you all I feel the main difference being myself and being a man at the same time is my stubbornness to do what the fuck I want. My wife can't get that. She doesn't feel she can, she doesn't feel entitled and there isn't anything I can do about it. While for me it's just unegociable. Cheers you folks


I see them all the time on trains in Tokyo. Mostly Chinese or Southeast Asians. If you walk around Roppongi or Shin-Okubo you can spot many Koreans as well.


What kind of places do you hang out in outside work/school? Do you go places with lots of people or are you a "I go on a walk around my house which is the furthest station from the city before the next prefecture" type people. Fukuoka isn't Tokyo, but even visiting I noticed a lot of foreigners. As for where they are? beats me. Corona, homebodies, inside places you don't go. Could be anything.


I’m not a massive fan of drinking so I tend not to go to bars that much. But i used to go to the regular foreigner bars on certain language exchange nights like Japanese/Korean/English nights. I also take a cooking class with some foreign wives from HK/Thai/Singapore. But the one thing we always seemingly complain about it for every foreign woman there’s a million foreign men haha!


Hi, I live in Fukuoka too and that's true! I've never seen any other white women around here, only guys. But it's probably mostly because they come from Sasebo...


A) More foreign men like Japanese women than foreign women who like Japanese men, and vise versa. Dating, marriage, etc. are big thing for many people. B) Japanese "expectations" for women usually are not acceptable to western female sensibilities. For those who don't desire A) much and are maybe more career orientated, B) becomes a hassle that is greater than the benefits of staying in Japan long term. Of course there are exceptions to everything, but this is what I've observed watching the comings and goings of my Western-socialized non-Japanese friends over the past decade.


>More foreign men like Japanese women than foreign women who like Japanese men Again, totally false. The majority of international marriages in Japan are between foreign women and Japanese men, so I'd say foreign women like Japanese men just fine.


Even if what you say is true, marriage =/= interest. That's especially true for men. Edit: I'm also assuming foreigners to mean ("Western" foreigners). I am in no doubt that Japanese men may be popular with women from other countries and cultural expectations, and vise versa




It has to do with beta males.


At least in Tokyo, I havn't really noticed this at all, although I havn't been specifically looking at the ratio balance.


I haven't seen anyone else use this protective so here we go. Evolutionary psychology could give some insight into this phenomenon. Males from many mammalian species drift through various territories after coming of age, but not females. Generally, males have more competition than females when it comes to finding mates due males having the ability to produce offspring with many different women in a short amount of time. This results in a much lower percentage of males in a certain area that find mates in their lifetime. Men have an innate drive to seek more favorable populations.


You might be missing all the foreigners of either gender who are not native English speakers. They won't be ALTs, and they won't be hanging out at The Hub. Around Nagoya, many of the foreigners are Brazilians, many of them (but not all) are of Japanese descent (or partially Japanese descent). Culturally, they are Brazilian, but they look Japanese. You would not "see" them if you are looking for foreigners. They also have the problem of Japanese people expecting them to follow Japanese norms and understand Japanese culture more than they do. I attended a language school near Nagoya, and our student body was fairly 50-50. Many were from East Asia, or were of East Asian descent. Some were foreign women married to Japanese men. You probably wouldn't find them if you were just looking for foreign women, since outside of class, they were living the life of a typical married Japanese woman.


There are quite a few PH/VN/TH snacks/bars/pubs in FUK (staffed by women from those countries) if that helps.


AFWJ is a club for foreign wives living in Japan. Though you need to be married to a Japanese partner to join.


I’m a white woman and see other foreign women just about as often as foreign men…but usually they are asian or latino/a so don’t stand out as strongly as us white/black people. Maybe it’s where you hang out?