Humor And Japanese Women

Discussion in 'Dating & Relationships' started by GoldenDalton, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    This is a general question that I'm hoping Solong, Wwanderer, Johnnyboy, Tag management, Zaphod, really anyone who is experienced, might be able to answer.

    1. Do Japanese women even have a sense of humor? Of course I know the answer is yes, but I have yet to discover what makes Japanese girls laugh.

    2. I've heard the term "American Joke," often by women- even those I've slept with. Is there any aspect of Western humor that translates over?

    3. Should I just give up trying to charm Japanese women by being funny? My use of humor doesn't seem to be helping or hurting. I just feel out of place not bring able to make a girl laugh though.

    I know the problem is me and the humor I use. But in the U.S. and South America I've made plenty of girls laugh. I've even had good success in rural China!

    There's something I'm missing here. Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting and fruitful discussion.
     
  2. KansaiBboy

    KansaiBboy Main Man

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    I would just point out that humor is very difficult to translate for many reasons.

    Of course language plays a big part of that, but also different culture, what is "normal" and excepted I'm everyday life, is very different.

    For example, I am American and my mother is British, and she would watch British comedies on the television. While she was there cracking up, I would not understand what was funny. One thing may have been my age, but I also believe that me not understanding the nuances of living in the UK played a bigger part in me not finding the shows funny.

    Another example here in Japan is between people in Osaka and Tokyo. In Osaka, many people try to make most conversations funny by doing some kind of gaff straight man joke (boke and tsukkomi) but in Tokyo people don't do that.

    So to put it bluntly, it's hard to be funny outside of your home culture.

    In my experience American joke means, I think you tried to make a joke just now but I don't understand.

    I don't think you should give up on being charming and telling joke, once you do make people laugh you will have a better understanding of Japanese culture, and a step up over other non-Japanese in communication.
     
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  3. Kisekisan

    Kisekisan TAG Member

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    Usually if I act completely clueless and am super animated, they find it hilarious. I think that's what they expect out of Americans. That'll get old pretty fast though. But I hear you. I'm from Boston and I would say we're a very blunt culture. They tend to find that really intimidating when mixed with their softspokenness. It's why I find it hard to date most Japanese women; I have to try really hard to pull opinions out of them.

    I'm always perplexed when I observe other Japanese couples. I'll see them eating dinner or walking around and not say a word to each other. I would think that'd be super awkward, but it seems to be perfectly acceptable to just pull out your cell phone and completely ignore the person next to you.
     
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  4. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    My father is British (Wales) and there is a definite character to his sense of humor. I enjoyed Are You Being Served? And shows like that as a kid, as I grew into them. But I don't think ill ever be able to grow into the Japanese sense of humor. It's very mysterious to me.

    I am with you on the couples thing. I get the sense that people are very stoic. Being too open and sincere seems detrimental, which is a problem I have. I am guilty of the classic American openness people seem to hate worldwide.

    But hey, even if jokes can't be translated Japan is worth it for the customer service. That's one thing I always hate about being in continental Europe. The rudeness is out of hand, especially in Spain.
     
  5. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    I don't think I have anything to contribute on this topic, but thanks for asking, GD.

    I can make most women laugh in light conversations and have never noticed any difference in this regard between Japanese and non-Japanese women.

    -Ww
     
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  6. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    My sense of humor is on the zany side, so that might be more an issue than anything.
     
  7. Solong

    Solong TAG Member

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    @GoldenDalton

    I've dated British women and been around some British guys (beer acquaintances), so have been exposed a bit to that style of humor. Just enough to understand some differences.

    What I think doesn't translate well into Japanese is stinging sarcasm and jokes that too strongly rely on cultural references and knowledge. Part of it is also how well you speak the language. A person that is very fluent in both Japanese and English, and has skill at it, can break down foreign jokes so that Japanese can understand them. I've a few friends who can do it (but they are German and Bangladeshian). It's actually a high level skill.

    It's probably best to watch Japanese comedians, or listen to Japanese pals, and tell jokes that are proven to be funny in their culture. At some point, you are likely to see commonalities between British and Japanese humor, so that you can pull in more British material. Though likely with some changes or explanations.
     
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  8. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Japanese humor seems to be based on puns much of the time. That probably requires a certain command of the language, which I don't have atm. Soon though.
     
  9. Wwanderer

    WwandererWwanderer is a Verified Member Kids, don't try this at home!

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    I have heard native Japanese speakers compliment the ability of gaijin who speak the language by saying something like, "His/her Japanese is so good that he/she can make jokes and be funny in Japanese!"

    -Ww
     
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  10. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    Yeah, Japanese jokes is based on word play/puns. It is good, but fun.

    I recently watched Guardians of the Galaxy and I was the only one laughing at the movie. I say it is cultural differences as well. With Guardians, you have to know about American culture and music and 1980s culture to get the humor.

    Ted became popular in Japan because Ted looks cute and Japanese people like that. Japanese people would not at all get the humor at all or Seth MacFarland altogether since it is America 80s and 90s pop culture centric.

    As for British humor, I grew up on Monty Python and reading Dredd comics.
     
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  11. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    You're not worried about causing offense? You know better than me, but I was going to try something like that and an expat friend of mine raised all kind of hell about it.
     

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