As a supplementary of the video Women’s Thoughts on Asian Men (Interview in London), I give you my personal thoughts on the women in the UK. Hope you enjoy it!
In Japan, we have a long winter vacation during December 27th – January 4th around. (It’s called 冬休み)
Almost all the companies and schools are off for that period.
And this time, I decided to go to the UK for the very first time (specially, Durham, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester and London), simply because the flight ticket was cheapest and probably that was the only period I could go to Europe.
But why the UK?
These are the 3 reasons:
1. Gain Weight
I’m too skinny as a guy, and I heard British food is ‘fatty food’, so I thought I could easily get fat.
2. Master British accent
It’s just so sexy and elegant.
3. Get A Girlfriend
I heard British women are not so picky and they have low expectation about men’s looks.
Joking aside, it was very memorable and meaningful experience more than expected. Even though it was just one week, I’ve talked with so many people and learned a lot of things I didn’t know.
To be honest, I’m not really interested in eating the local food or looking around sightseeing spots like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, etc.
I’m much more interested in talking with the locals and getting to know how different they are.
One of the reasons why my channel has been fucked up last year was that I didn’t have enough understanding about western people and the culture (By the way, more than 80% of my audience come from western countries according to YouTube analysis) and simply I wasn’t providing them what they want. For them, probably I was just an ignorant immature Asian kid.
I thought it didn’t matter whether my audience are westerners or not, but later more and more I realized the difference was so big. Every time I upload a video, I can clearly see the different reactions between western and non-western people.
I know western people are very diverse, but I feel like what they focus on and how they think are ‘fundamentally’ different from me, a native Japanese. I found there are so many western concepts we don’t even have or never thought about.
To get the better understanding of western people, I decided to go to the 4 western countries (including the UK) and talk with the locals as much as I can. Hopefully, it’ll help me understand western culture and people more.
So the reason I’m writing about the women in the UK specifically is that an old lady I met in Manchester (she was super nice and friendly) requested me to talk about my impression on the women in the UK. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to make a video on it but I’ll give her my thoughts by this blog post. Hope she will read this.
To be honest with you, I was a bit scared of them. Not just the women in the UK, but western women in general.
After seeing the feminism movement happening in many western countries, my image about western women was scary, mad, manly and violent women.
I have to admit that Feminism changed my views on western women a lot.
I know not every western woman is feminist and there’re a variety types of feminists. (I know there are very friendly and reasonable feminists among them.) Definitely not all feminists hate men.
But I heard that feminism is much more common in the UK than in Japan, and I have a horrible trauma in my past when it comes to western feminists.
To overcome the fear, I very actively talked to women in the UK as well as many men, on the train, street, cafe, restaurant, hostel or everywhere. Probably more than 300 in total, trying to have just a little chat.
Every time I talked to them, I was mentally preparing for being punched or severely scolded. That helped me a lot.
Understandably, some of them seemed annoyed or just ignored me. But some were very nice and friendly to talk with me for a few minutes, sometimes even for a few hours.
Given the fact my Japanese accent is way much heavier than British one, the outcome was incredibly shocking for me. Probably I spoke English 10 times more than in Japan, which makes me feel so lucky.
Anyway, after having a lot of conversations with the women in the UK, there’re the 3 things I’ve noticed about them:
No, I’m not flattering at all. This is my honest impression of them. Maybe because I was just lucky, but they were so gentlewomen.
What I really liked about them is that they were not upset or mad even when I strongly disagree or point out their problems.
Surprisingly, people in Japan are not really like that. If you just disagree about something, they might think you don’t like them or you’re trying to make waves as a rebellious person. They easily take it personally. (Sorry, I might have the same tendency though..)
I’m sure it’s viewed as a good thing for some people, but many westerners find the group mentality hard to understand and some say you can never be different in Japan.
“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”
They use this saying to describe Japan, which I have to agree with that sometime.
As a Japanese person, I often find the sense of community that comes with the group mentality actually good. It just makes our life easier and safer.
But I understand it’s so stressful or even painful for the people who value individualism. Maybe they think Japanese are so closed-minded.
The UK is a very diverse country that has many ethnicities and nationalities, which is completely opposite from Japan in that sense. And I found the people tolerant and open-minded about something different. This is so good when it comes to discussion or debating.
I’m sure some people are not like that. But as far as the people I met, they never take it too personally as long as what I say is reasonable.
I found it interesting to see that Japanese and British people have many similarities (such as, the politeness, shyness, humbleness, etc) but the importance of individuality and openness to others are so different.
Honne and tatemae are Japanese words that describe the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires (本音 hon’ne, “true sound”) and the behavior and opinions one displays in public (建前 tatemae, “built in front”, “façade”). – Source: Wikipedia
I found women in the UK use Tatemae all the time in a very similar way as Japanese women. They compliment or praise you a lot, but you can easily tell it’s not genuine but just their courtesy. That’s something I’m very used to in Japan, so it didn’t bother me at all.
One thing different though was that when I make jokes and they don’t find it funny, they never laugh.
Many Japanese women do though even if I was not funny, probably as their politeness. Maybe they appreciate my effort trying to make them relaxed and the fact I’m trying to be funny is already funny for them.
But the women in the UK are not like that. They will not laugh as Tatemae, which Japanese women do. They only laugh when they actually find it funny no matter how hard I try.
I don’t think that’s because of my English skills. It seemed like they genuinely didn’t understand my humour and none of my jokes worked. And I felt so embarrassed and disappointed on myself.
Ironically, only when I say something serious or normal, they laughed (which I really didn’t understand).
I do understand people in a different country has a very different sense of humour, but I still really don’t know what is funny for the women in the UK.
I could never be a comedian in the UK even if my English was native level.
When I asked them “Have you ever asked a guy out?”, nobody said yes (except for a girl I talked with in Durham). I’m sure some women in the UK are totally OK with that, but I personally didn’t meet anyone like that.
That was a bit strange for me. Because in Japan, quite many women willingly ask guys out. According to some Japanese women I talked with the other day, there are the 3 reasons:
1. In Japan, the guys approaching you at bar or club are often not serious and disloyal players or womanizers. Ironically, shy and introvert types of Japanese guys are more likely to be trusted and caring in a long term relationship.
2. The guys you got interested in are often not interested in you back at least in the beginning and rarely ask you out.
3. More ‘good’ Japanese guys are afraid of rejection nowadays, while more ‘bad’ Japanese guys are not.
I’m very skeptical if these are true, but I partly have to agree with them. Because I know there’re many great Japanese guys who are really shy and can’t ask any girls out.
Maybe this is just in Japan, but if you just wait, your options would be very limited to just a few guys approaching you and those guys all may not be your type at all. If you’re proactive about it, however, the options you have would be way more. Unless you’re like Emma Watson or Alice Eve, maybe not many Japanese men ask you out.
When it comes to that, I remember a conversation I’ve had with a black woman in Leeds. I got the seat next to her on a night bus.
“But what if you really like the guy and he doesn’t make any move? He can be very shy, right?”
A black lady:
“It doesn’t matter. He has to ask me out.”
“You don’t ask him out?”
A black lady:
“No, I just send him a hint. That’s it.”
“What would be the hint?”
A black lady:
“When he texted me, I’d probably reply it quickly or something like that.”
“That might be hard to catch. What if he doesn’t get your hint?”
A black lady:
“Nothing I can do about it.”
Maybe that’s totally OK in the UK. Some sort of female privilege. Maybe British men are very proactive enough to approach women a lot, so they don’t need to do anything first. In fact, many women in the UK were very attractive and beautiful.
But I felt a little bit weird at the same time, because when we talked about like abortion, immigration, feminism, LGBTQ, etc, they were always liberal side. When it comes to dating, however, they like to stick to the tradition for some reason. I don’t understand why.
“I don’t think men always have to ask women out though.”
A black lady:
“But it’s more normal, right?”
“If I said women should do housework because it’s more normal, would you be convinced by that?”
A black lady:
“That’s a different story.”
The black lady, by the way, used to be an English teacher in Japan. Such a coincidence.
Anyway, my first time (and probably the last time) the UK was so much fun. I’m really thankful for all the people I’ve met and the great country, UK. Every city was so beautiful and nice. I wish I could stay longer.
And visiting the UK, I realized something:
Being able to speak English is f***ing so great.
Even though it was a completely different country, I could talk with so many local people for free! (I really like eating too, but it costs a lot.) And it was not like robot-conversation using translation apps, but real conversation between human and human. Of course, not every interaction was great, but I feel like I enjoyed the trip twice as much as I do.
The reason I’m saying is that there was a period I was giving up learning English.
“I’m living in Japan. Why would I even take the time?”
Soon after, I actually ended up starting a YouTube channel in English and I kinda had to speak English and talk with many English speakers. But I’m so glad I didn’t give up English at that time.
More and more foreigners come to Japan nowadays, but I feel they’re missing the great part: Interacting with the locals.
Communicating with the Japanese people, even just a little chat, I’m sure your stay in Japan would be much more fun and meaningful. You will learn so many new things and broaden your mind.
If you feel like giving up Japanese now, I hope this will motivate you to keep on the track again.
Keep on learning, and keep on improving your Japanese skills.
Thank you so much for taking your precious time to read this.
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