Japanese men do not open the car door for their wives.
They open the car door for their mothers. The wives are left to open their own door. The Japanese man will help if his wife is carrying a baby.
Japanese men do not babysit their children.
Japanese women rarely go out when their husbands are at home. They spend time with their friends during the day when the children are at school and their husbands are at work. A Japanese woman will leave her children with her mother if she needs to go to work or socialize with her friends. A Japanese woman does not go out at night with her friends to socialize.
Japanese men do not share in the housework or care of the children.
They don’t do laundry, cook, or clean the house. Their day to be with their children is Sunday. The parks in Japan are filled with fathers and their children. This is the day the mother can do something on her own.
Japanese men don’t sleep with their wives after children come into the picture.
Japanese women sleep in a separate room with their children. Her husband has his own room so that he is not disturbed by the noise of the children. He has to get up early and go to work. He also comes home late.
A Japanese father does not change diapers or feed the baby.
Japanese men do not cook for their wives.
This is a women’s job. A Japanese woman takes bed rest when a baby is born. She stays in the hospital for one week. She stays in bed at home for four to six weeks. Her mother moves in to clean, cook, and help take care of the baby. The husband goes to work.
Japanese men do not hang out with their wives.
They don’t go to dinner or socialize in the same groups. A Japanese man hangs out with his coworkers. They meet after work for drinks and food. A Japanese woman will socialize with other women. They go to coffee shops or local restaurants for lunch. Japanese couples don’t entertain at home. The home is for the family and a very private place.
Japanese men don’t wait for their wives to sit down before they start eating.
The Japanese wife sets the various dishes on the table and the men dig in. She is the last one to sit down to eat.
Japanese culture and American culture have almost nothing in common. I was the wife of a Japanese man and fortunate to find a husband that did not have all of these characteristics, but he did have a few.
He never opened my side of the car door. I never expected him to because I wasn’t raised that way and I was very independent. I didn’t need any help in opening my side of the car.
He was a very good cook but had no time because he left for work at 6:00 am and came home at 10:00 p.m. He cooked on the weekends.
He always waited for me to sit down before he started to eat. His father and brothers never waited for his mother to sit down.
The first time I went to my in-laws’ house I waited for my mother-in-law to sit down before I started to eat. Everyone else had already begun to eat. I asked my husband why they didn’t wait for his mother to sit down and he said it wasn’t necessary. He knew I was not going to eat until she did. He asked her to sit down so that I would eat. She sat down for two minutes and was back in the kitchen preparing another dish to bring out to the table.
My husband never really cleaned the house, but he did help to keep it in order and uncluttered. He washed the dishes on the weekends but never did the laundry.
He never took care of our daughter alone. The times I did leave to go shopping he would take her to his parents’ house for his mother to look after her. He never changed her diapers. When she cried he passed her to me.
We did hang out together by frequenting restaurants in the evenings when he came home early and I was too tired to cook. We never went to bars together except for one time. That is when I found out that going to bars is not what married women did. Bars were for men to drink and for the hostesses to flirt with them.
We did not sleep separately. We always slept together with the baby next to us in the other room.
Adapting to a different culture is not easy, but is possible.