Stereotypes of Japanese women

This is a very popular subject that has been written by so many people. But I wanted to write about this as I have a unique experience of living in Japan as well as in the U.S. I do have to say that I suffered from these stereotypes imposed toward us, Japanese women! I don’t fit the stereotypical image of Japanese woman! I think some American men were flat-out uncomfortable (it is their problem!) and I avoided these guys who were into AKB, Japanese girls in cosplay costumes.

Stereotype #1: Japanese women cook well. This isn’t fair because I know some Japanese girls including myself who literally don’t cook at all. I can make Ramen, Udon and fried rice, but that’s not the kind of cooking that I am talking about here. Japanese women cook from scratch and are there to please their men. It is true that many Japanese women cook but this isn’t just limited to them. A lot of wives learn how to cook or brush up on their cooking skills so they can better feed their children and families.

Stereotype #2: Japanese women are cute: This isn’t just about how we look but Japanese women’s gentle demeanor. The majority of Japanese women (excluding ones from Osaka!) appears passive, gentle and cute. (I guess). But this stereotype of Japanese women being skinny, short and looking like AKB isn’t realistic.

Stereotype #3: Japanese women are crazy sexually: This is not the widespread stereotype but some of my foreign friends have mentioned that before. It is because of the Adult videos and all these nonsense. But again, there are crazy people who do crazy things in adult industry everywhere.

Stereotype #4: Japanese women are subservient: “Japanese men treat women like slaves!” Where did you get that idea, I said when my American friend told me this. Traditionally, Japanese women used to be much more domesticated but that is really not the case anymore. Many women in Japan choose to advance their careers, have their own voices and not to marry. I am not saying that this is a good thing, but we aren’t that subservient or obedient.

Stereotype #5: Japanese women are easy: I guess this is tied to #3. This just really means that Japanese women are naive and that they would easily fall for western males. It is not that women in Japan are easy but lots of western men take advantage of lady first gestures. I once went on a date with this guy who made sure to open each door, pull my chair at the restaurant etc. It is part of American culture to treat women with respect but the way he was doing just didn’t look normal either. He claimed he dated Japanese women only and I never saw him again. 🙂

I am sure that there are more..but I think these are the common stereotypes of Japanese women. What do you guys think? Do you agree?

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  • Damian

    An interesting post, thank you for writing it!

    I have to say I find stereotypes quite ridiculous whether they are based on gender, race, or any other over-generalisation, people are individuals! Unfortunately I’ve also heard a few of these myself (though I’ve been quick to correct the people who uttered them…)

    It saddens me that you seem to link JPOP (or at least idols) to this subject though. I happen to like AKB, Nogizaka46 and even Babymetal, and yet I have none of these false beliefs about Japanese women. Is it a crime just to like cute music now? D:

    • Yumitolesson

      Everybody..including Japanese men love AKB..who doesn’t? They reinforce the stereotypes of Japanese women, being shy, cute, submissive etc etc and these are not necessarily the bad things. I just don’t want my partner looking at me the same way..

  • Andre Lange

    Yumito, what is AKB?

    • it’s a Japanese idol group.