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Posts Tagged ‘love

We never really say I love you.

It’s true. We don’t say I love you to lovers, friends, and even family. I don’t even say it. I say it sometimes to may parents in English, but I never say I love you in Japanese to my parents. Love is not a everyday word in Japanese.

Instead,the closest thing to Love is Daisuki – lots of  likes or I like it a lot. This is the closest to love. This is the most common way to express your love for… cocktails, movies, fashion brand, friends, boyfriends too. While “Aishiteru” the formal way to say I love you is rarely used. I guess it sounds too formal, very serious. It does not appear in every day scenes, only in dramatic occasions… like… moment before an old man is dying, he tells his wife “Aishiteru”, a crying man to his angry girlfriend about to leave him for better life, says “Aishiteru”, a woman who sees her ex-lover from 20 years ago tells him “Aishiteta” (I used to love you)… You see, it’s so formal and so powerful it’s almost saved to be used as a last-resort.

Apparently, this last-resort phrase, “Aishiteru” was voted as the least romantic way to say I love you in the world in a pre-Valentine’s Day survey of language experts…. while “AMOUR”, the French word for love, has been voted the most romantic word followed by “amore”, the Italian word for love, although Italian was named the world’s most romantic language. Italian words also dominated the top places in the list of most romantic words. The survey was conducted by London-based Today Translations which polled over 320 of its linguists.

In the same poll, the firm asked its linguists to pick the least romantic-sounding way to say, “I love you” in any language. The winner was Japan’s “watakushi-wa anata-wo ai shimasu”, ahead of the Welsh “rydw i’n dy garu di” and “qaparha”, which, the firm noted, is Klingon, as spoken in the Star Trek universe. (Reuters)

I don’t know you guys… I’m starting to find Japan to be bit desperate when it comes to romance… I think Japan used to be very romantic when I read Tale of Genji (12th century) or Makurano Soushi (11th century)) or when I see erotic Ukiyoe.  But the contemporary Japanese culture needs a new way to express romantic feeling… well, unless they tell me they’ve got all they need with the smileys and the sms using their cell phones.


I was recently contacted by a TV documentary production company who is filming around Asian cities for a documentary about love in Asia. I spoke for Tokyo Meet Market in an interview and if you are lucky, may be you can spot me on a TV sometime soon!

It was very exciting, I have never been interviewed for a TV before. And I was able to participate in the shoot, not as just an active member of Tokyo Meet Market, but as a sociologist, as a blogger who is observing the Tokyo Meet Market with a foreign perspective. So cool, it’s one of the reasons I decided to get active with this blog again!

So I spoke for Tokyo Meet Market. How the word “Konkatsu” became popular, and how it is at this point, an every day word that is all over the media. I brought the January issue of AnAn (a magazine for 20-somethings) which was entirely focused on building strategy for 2010 konkatsu. I spoke about how and why konkatsu entered our everyday life, what people actually do (gokon, networking, parties)

But it was when the interviewer asked me “so what are Japanese women all looking for, REALLY?” that I felt very confused. I felt confused, because speaking for the Japanese women (putting my thoughts aside,) I could not confidently answer the question “it’s love, of course, it’s love”

No… what came out of my mouth was the reality of today’s Tokyo Meet Market. What are women of Today’s Tokyo Meet Market really looking for? …. “financial stability. Men with certain status and career with good family and educational background who can provide women with stability for the future…most easily summarized as financial stability”

“Love and marriage are completely different things. Love doesn’t last, but marriage lasts until death.” This is stated over and over by the Japanese people in Tokyo meet Market. Yes… it’s sad, isn’t it. People have become so damn realists that they do not even talk of romance as romance, love as love. When our friends starts dating a new guy, the first thing we ask is “what does he do?” We rarely even mention, or ask for the guys name. And if the guy is a banker, lawyer, IT engineer, or Consultant, we give her a BIG smile. If the guy happens to be a doctor, we ask her to set up a gokon with the boyfriend’s colleague to share her happiness. And we go on, conspiring for her future with the guy, without even knowing what his name is, or what he looks like, or how he kisses her. So one day, she can successfully win the stable life of a house wife.

Really… What are we looking for? I had to add to the camera after answering the question, “but that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for love, a partner to share my every day life with. Someone to smile, laugh, eat, sleep, cry, and live with.” What are you looking for?


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What is Tokyo Meet Market?

From the Western perspective, what goes on in the Japanese dating scene is really different and interesting! In this shy nation of Japan, meeting new people is almost institutionalized, dating and romance is littered with conventions that protect people from social awkwardness. What are dating conventions and rules in Japan? How do the shy Japanese people meet new people, develop affection, and express their passion? As I research and answer these question, I will write a real time report of what's going on in the Tokyo dating scene, or the "Tokyo Meet Market" here in this blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and a trip around Tokyo Meet Market with me!

Cherie’s tweets

  • is so sad to go to farewell party of her bestfriend leaving to the US. Another beautiful funny successful girl leaving Tokyo!! 10 years ago
  • Ate a bowl of toshomen for lunch, super delicious! Check it out: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g314410/ 10 years ago
  • getting warmer in Tokyo! The spring is just around the corner which means... love in the air! 10 years ago