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The Top 10 Mistakes Foreign Guys Make with Japanese Girls

As we listened to hundreds of stories of failed interactions - from foreign guys and Japanese girls alike - we sought to identify the patterns indicating where failure would most commonly occur. We tallied our findings with our own experiences, and pinpointed the top ten areas where foreign guys go wrong when it comes to romancing Japanese girls.

We tackle each of these problems in depth - and provide the antidote for each - throughout Japanese Girls - The Guide. Here's the list:

1. Believing the myth that all Japanese girls are "loose" and "easy"

Japan's "export culture" (manga, anime, J-cinema, and, well, pornography) has a lot to answer for in its portrayal of Japanese girls. The deck is stacked with the submissive, eager-to-please, sexually-charged nymph archetypes. But as in any country in the world, the girls of Japan run the gamut from the sexually conservative, to the lusty, sexually adventurous types, with a full spectrum in between.

We call out all the myths that circulate about Japanese girls, and find out the truth (and/or lies!) behind each one, in the chapter Demystifying Japanese Girls.

2. Expecting things to just happen

Between two people raised in Western cultures, a mix of alcohol, shared intentions, and the passage of time is often all that's needed to make sparks fly. With Japanese girls however, that same concoction will more often than not leave you dead in the water. Japanese girls respond to leadership. If you're not sure where you want things to go with a girl, or you aren't prepared to lead the two of you in that direction, then you'll likely find yourself waiting a long time - or you'll have to deal with seeing another guy step in to take the lead, and take her away.

In the chapter Lead we go through exactly what it means to be a leader, right down to the finer details of personal conduct.

3. Not transmitting clear signals

It's natural to forget that while we strive to decode the cultural complexities of the Japanese girl, she is similarly trying to understand our own cultural quirks. Smoothly scoop her hand up in yours during a date, and you may hear "Is holding hands normal in your culture?" She's not playing dumb - she's trying to gauge the degree of meaning in your actions. Playing it down will only cause confusion, so man up and tell her confidently: "When you're on a date with someone you like, it's nice to hold hands. Isn't that the same in Japan?" You're sending a clear signal that your actions are with romantic intent.

In Breaking the Pattern, we look into how to break out of the repetitive protocol-driven interactions that have become a staple of socializing in Japan, and communicate your real feelings and intent.

4. Trying to act more Japanese to "score points"

Japanese girls are prone to shower non-Japanese guys with praise when they do something quintessentially Japanese . from wearing a yukata (summer kimono) at a masturi (festival), to singing a Japanese song in karaoke, or even just spitting out a few Japanese phrases. It's essential not to mistake this polite praise for admiration and attraction. Ask yourself this: Does a Japanese girl become more attractive to you the more she assimilates into your culture?

In Japanese Girls - The Guide's Japan and You chapter, we bust open the misguided thinking that causes many a foreigner in Japan to stray towards becoming something he's not.

5. Trying to get intimate in public places

Spend any time in Japan and you should notice that you never, ever see couples kissing in public. While a hot make-out in a side alley, or a goodbye kiss in front of the ticket gates at a train station may be an appealing thought to you, a Japanese girl is more likely to be turning red from embarrassment rather than romance. Hold off for a more private moment.

How to Kiss a Japanese Girl deals with the trials and tribulations involved in locking lips with a Japanese girl. The whens, the wheres, and the hows.

6. Assuming it's "in the bag"

There's a saying in Texas - "you dance with the one that brung you" but Texas is a long way from Japan. Just when you start to relax and let your guard down, believing that everything is locked in and heading smoothly toward a sexy conclusion, your date with a Japanese girl can turn on a dime. The first part of your evening was amazing, but don't think you can't just as easily lose her in the second half. Kissing that girl in the club doesn't mean she's coming home with you - or even that she isn't going dance/kiss/go home with another guy. She'll abide no rules of decorum to spare your feelings, and often you won't see the warning signs until it's too late. Keep your eyes on the road.

The chapter How to Take a Japanese Girl Home will provide you with the map, and give you what you need to smoothly move things along to where you want them - before social inertia catches up with you and chips away at your opportunities.

7. Moving too fast

With girls from many cultures - particularly in the west - kissing, making out, and sex are milestones the two of you gravitate towards. If both of you have already made the decision that you want that to happen, the action itself is the only thing needed to cement it. Not so with the Japanese girl. Shared intentions or none, bulldozing ahead with physical intimacy can be the equivalent of shifting from first to fourth. A kiss is not a big step you take, it's a point on a smoothly ascending curve.

Japanese Girls - The Guide deals with this issue and others in a chapter as straightforward as its title: Sex.

8. Moving too slow

Guys unaccustomed to the ways of the Japanese girl often find themselves stuck in "limbo". They're not getting the flirtatious response they want from the girl, and so they choose to bide their time. In this often fatal stalemate, the girl is doing exactly the same thing, and with no leadership from the guy to follow, she too begins to withdraw. Waiting for a signal that means something to you is moving too slow. Make a decision as to what you want, and take the lead in that direction. She's not going to lead for you!

In Date Templates we draw out the anatomy of a good date, matching mood changes with location changes, and laying the pathway to move your courtship smoothly along.

9. Relying solely on the gaijin novelty factor

We will look at the gaijin novelty factor - its pros and cons - later on in the book, but for now, understand that the most important rule. Foreign guys don't have to try is the myth carved on the gravestone of so many Japanese girl-foreign guy interactions. Guys who believe that being from a foreign country means that they don't have to worry about being an interesting person, or make the effort with their appearance, soon discover the lie at the core of the myth. Japanese girls may flock to you and want to talk to you because you are a foreigner, but that is not why they will want to date you. To a Japanese girl, your foreign-ness may represent some tasty icing, but make sure there's a decent cake underneath.

The subject of The Gaijin Novelty Factor comprises a whole chapter in Japanese Girls - The Guide: its advantages, its disadvantages, and the traps it causes so many non- Japanese guys to fall into.

10. Trying to drive a wedge through the wa (和).

Wa (和) means harmony, and it is also the old symbol for Japan. Foreigners often completely fail to understand the importance that the wa plays in a Japanese social context where groups are involved. You may have totally found that spark with that cute Japanese girl - both of you have difficulty taking your eyes off one another - but for her that doesn't mean the rest of the universe fades away. The wa has to be upheld, and the two of you won't be able to proceed smoothly to being together in the way you want until the group dynamic has shifted as to naturally allow this to happen. Dragging her off to a corner of a bar may seem a confident and romantic gesture to you, but separated from her group, a girl may feel anxious and insecure. Executed more smoothly, a completely natural premise to break off from the group (such as going to the bar to get a drink) maintains the natural flow of the wa, and she'll be able to relax with you.

Throughout the section Places to Meet Japanese Girls, we look at the different types of group situations you'll encounter in the course of your social adventures, and how to smoothly deal with all kinds of collective dynamics.

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Japanese Girls - The Guide

"This book is AWESOME. It has so much insight that only makes sense to me now. I often was confused as to why certain things were happening, but this book spells it out. It's also preparing me for future interactions, and I am sure my game has stepped up heaps because of it.

"Thanks guys - a quality product!"

- Rems, via Japan Lair