September 10, 2009

Which would you prefer, Japanese women living in the US or Japan?

I received the following message from one of our male members.

“One who lives in States for long time - I like, but too much time here may take away beautiful Japanese woman inside. I don’t want American women! ”

He is right.

Japanese women who have been in the US for a long time may become Americanized.

To be honest, I realized that I am getting stronger than I used to be in Japan. Why? I have been here in the US for more than 5 years! Living in the US is challenging for me. Everyone has to be strong, independent, and confident in order to survive in this country. So I feel compelled to be like an American since I live in the US. However, even though Japanese women who have been living in the US for years may act American, they still have their traditional Japanese soul inside.

Traditional Japanese women are taught by their parents respect, contribution, and loyalty toward their husband. It is said that good wife walks 3 steps behind her husband. Growing up I saw my mother follow that custom. She wakes up earlier than my father, and prepares breakfast everyday. She does not start eating before my father has his chopsticks in his hand. She always takes a bath after he does. She doesn’t go to bed before he does. When he leaves for his office in the morning, she opens the gate for him and waves good bye until his car disappears around the corner. She opens the door for him when he returns home. She tells her children to listen to their father. She always says “Yes” to him because she knows following my father’s opinion creates a harmonious relationship. In Japan, wife and husband are not exactly equal, but there is good harmony in the family.

I learned Japanese ways of showing respect, contribution, and loyalty from my parents, and I know that is why my parents continue their marriage for a long time. And I appreciate it and I try not to forget what my parents taught me even though I live in the US.

For better or for worse, living in the US makes Japanese women stronger and more American. Fortunately, I like to think, most Japanese women still retain their traditional Japanese values inside their heart.

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