Liking everything Japanese? Right or wrong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2014
Liking everything Japanese? Right or wrong?
14
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 11:53am

Hi all, I've been wandering about on this site for years but I have a slight problem  that I want to share with you guys. This is my first post too so I'm sorry to be negative! I hope you can give an insight to a problem of mine.

My boyfriend (Caucasian) and I (Chinese), having been going out for a fairly good amount of time now and we're both in our early twenties. 

But there's always this little thing that just digs into my mind which as the title says, is him liking everything that is Japanese. I don't mind if someone likes a particular culture but obsession can go a bit too far. My boyfriend may as you call it be classed as a 'Japanophile' and loves every aspect of Japan. He raves anything that is related to it, but this actually makes me a little upset. Times when I jokingly ask 'What team would win? Japan or China?' He would blatantly say Japan and add words such as 'They are better than Chinese'...really offends me. Things in which he says that belittles my culture or disregard about my culture makes me think that I'm not the right person to be with him since he thinks Japan is superior to all other countries. He does not say these things all the time and was probably saying it half-heartedly but it I still can't forget it.

Him who had already visited Japan now wants to go every year. I am a little jealous that he isn't into my culture and when I asked if he would like to come visit HK or China with me someday he didn't really react much to it. What's really worse is that I'm beginning to think that I'm not the girl he wants to be with because I'm Chinese and not Japanese. Out of spite i told him to to marry a Japanese woman and live in Japan if you love it it there so much...his face reacted in a way I can obviously tell he was shocked but also probably the truth buried deep within his heart. He did reject the idea and said he loved me.

On a side note: He does want to work and live there and says that it is his dream. My dream is different to his, I was born in the UK and would like to stay and work here because I feel comfortable here. Moving to a different country is a massive decision that I don't take lightly. I would never stop anyone from pursuing their own dreams but since I am prepared to let go in the future does it have any meaning to hold on to this relationship anymore? Should I even be upset about this or am I sensitive? 

When I first met him I did not know he was into the Japanese scene until entering his room, AND when I did, I accepted it. But in the long run I guess I am overwhelmed by the behaviour and actions he had done that made me feel inferior. 

Your suggestions and opinions are welcomed! I would really like to know what you think about this. Is there anyone with similar experiences?

I know he has the right to do or like anything he wants to but when is it too far? Would you be offended if you was me? 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 12:09pm

I think the biggest problem here is that he eventually wants to move to Japan and work there and you aren't interested in that--that would really be the breakup point.  Plus he's not interested in your culture.  he can love Japan all he wants but I think that when you date someone from another culture it's always nice to learn about it.  (For ex, one of my friends, an Italian-American guy, married a woman who was born in Cuba and they live in Miami, which has a big Cuban population.  He said he would not learn any Spanish, doesn't know how to salsa dance, etc.--to me that's kind of insulting to her culture and background.  It's not like he would have to learn to speak Spanish fluently, but since her mom in particular wasn't that fluent in English, what about learning some simple words and phrases.)  I wonder--I assume his is British also--does he always say that Japan is better than Engliand in everything too?  if so, then I wouldn't take it personally if he says that Japan is better than China.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 12:21pm

I don't think there is a right or wrong, rather, what your comfort level is. 

You are born in the UK, and based on what I understand from your post, you lived there most of the time and are apprehensive about leaving the UK.  In essence UK is your home.  I am curious to know culturally how Chinese you are and what makes you think he is belittling "your" culture?  A lot of it could also depend on what you consider (and demonstrate to him) what Chinese culture is - the glorious Chinese culture from the last 4000 years or the current corrupt, cruel, greedy, uncivilized "culture".  For example, you cannot expect any decent human being to fall in love with the "culture" of the dog meat festival, can you?  But if he loves Japanese culture, it would be hard for him not to love classical Chinese calligraphy (from which the Japanese copied).

I am not saying the Japanese are perfect.  Their disregard of the environment (whaling, Fukushima, etc.) is also very disconcerting.  However, given a choice of vacation spot, I would pick Japan over Hong Kong or China anytime, especially these days Hong Kong is overrun by mainland Chinese is sliding into a 3rd world country.  Japan is super clean and most people are polite.

Ultimately it is your decision.  You are both very young, and this infatuation with everything Japanese could also be just a phase.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2014
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 12:46pm
Thanks for your reply Music. I also think that is the future case. He is a good learner I'd admit but it seems a bit hurtful that he does not want to learn a bit about the culture I'm from too. I am trying to be supportive as he is learning Japanese and not knowing Kanji I have offered to help him but he said he did not want my help. What a kick in the face. I've not heard about him saying that Japan is better than England, in fact, I think he is quite proud...
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2014
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 1:08pm
Hi Demonte thanks for replying. I can totally see where you are coming from especially when it comes to showing what my culture is. There was one time when there was a documentary once about China and he remarked 'Urgh Chinese people eat dogs and cats' Of course, I am in no favour of the festival but the way he said it made it sound like all Chinese people eat it. For some reason, there seems to be a negative connotation with him and HK/CN especially towards food. Interestingly, he would try anything Japanese even raw fish, chicken E.T.C but when it comes down to Chinese food he would always ask me 'What's that?'. When I speak the truth he runs like the wind. I also have to agree that Hong Kong is being overrun my mainlanders and there's a known conflict between them especially recently in tourism. I just wished I could understand his negativity and how I could even possibly change that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 1:12pm

I agree with the others.......this is a real problem!  You're young, and as they say "there are plenty of fish in the ocean".  Chances are that the reason he was attracted to you is because you're "oriental"......and most caucasians can't tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.  Most of us know that there's a huge difference, culturally, religions, and languages.  If you weren't Chinese, then it probably wouldn't bother you so much, but you ARE Chinese, and whenever he goes on about the wonderful Japanese, it's a slap in the face to you, and I'm sure he knows it.  I say, move on and find someone who loves you for you, not your race or your ethnicity!  He is much more interested in his "dreams" than he is about you or your feelings.  There are better guys out there who will respect YOU for who you are, not where your ancestors came from. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 1:14pm

You know what...I bet the reason he started dating you was because he thought you were Japanese.There are people out there that just don't get it...that you need to fall in love with the PERSON and NOT what the person is...he thought you were  Japanese.He has never shown any interest in learning about you and your culture...

UGH..why can't people just fall in love with the person and not what the person is??!! You love someone you love them..it's that's simple BUT he's in love with Japan and anything Japanese...I feel it's a fetish to him...You need to break up with him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 1:51pm

The fact that you two want to live in different countries should be a dealbreaker in itself. When I dated my future husband, if he'd said, "I'll definitely be moving to where it snows whenever I get the opportunity, I would've stopped dating him. I don't want to drive on icy roads and I wanted to live right where I am, where I can see my grandson grow up. If you move to Japan to be with him, you'll be making a huge sacrifice. If he stays in the UK to be with you, he may feel resentment toward you. Long term relationships only work if eventually the plan is to live in the same place. It sounds like your relationship is fairly new. It's best to face the fact that you two are not compatible. That's the point of dating--to find out if you have the same major goals and if he treats you as the special person you are. Seems like you feel lacking in his eyes. That's a sign it's time to go your separate ways. In other words, the bad outweighs the good here. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 3:27pm

"since I am prepared to let go in the future does it have any meaning to hold on to this relationship anymore?"

Probably not. The goal of dating is to find out if two people are compatible. If YOU feel like he is insensitive to your culture or to your feelings, or that he is obsessed with something to the point that the obsession affects the relationship, then those can be the kind of incompatiblilites that damage a relationship. Also having different long term goals in incompatible---his goal being to move to Japan which doesn't interest you. So it sounds like the incompatibilities will become exaggerated over time as you each get older and think more about the future.

When you are feeling unhappy because of what's happening in a relationship then you need to try to fix it, or end it. You will have to decide when your unhappiness becomes great enough that it outweighs the good parts of the relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 3:43pm

I used to work with this guy (white) who met a Japanes woman and dated her so he learned to speak Japanese, which is fine.  But then after they broke up, he specifically tried to date other Japanese women only which I thought was odd.  I work with mostly Chinese people and I know of quite a few white people (usually men) who get one Chinese GF after another.  I do think in that case, it does become almost a fetish or looking for someone to represent the culture instead of looking for a person as an individual.  I happen to love salsa dancing and Latin music and I would date a Latin guy, but I'm not going to go out and say "I must find a Latin guy because I like their music and dancing."  It would just be odd.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 8:13pm

I think whatever you decide to do, please don't let his comments you too much.  What I mean is if you look at current events and the behavior of many Chinese overseas, it is quite depressing.  Just know that you are better than the common perception of the run-of-the-mill Chinese and don't let his preference of everything Japanese undermine your self-worth.

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