When looking to develop friendships with Japanese people, there are certain qualities they tend to seek out in foreigners. Understanding what appeals to Japanese can help forge meaningful intercultural bonds. Here are things Japanese people look for in foreign friends:
1. An interest in learning about Japanese culture
Many Japanese enjoy introducing foreigners to elements of their culture like cuisine, history, pop culture, seasonal customs, and more. They look for genuine curiosity – perhaps a foreigner who asks lots of questions about Japan or Japanese language. Someone eager to try Japanese food, watch anime, or learn a traditional craft would pique interest.
Showing proper respect in Japan includes behaviors like bowing appropriately, using humble language, being punctual, and avoiding confrontation. Japanese highly value modesty and politeness. They also appreciate it when foreigners make efforts to adhere to etiquette norms. They look for those who act humbly and avoid flashy displays of pride or arrogance.
3. Shared interests or hobbies
Hobbies help connect people across language and cultural barriers. Many Japanese enjoy bonding with foreigners over mutual interests like sports, travel, gaming, art, music, food, and more. They look for common passions that allow friendship to develop organically.
4. Language skills
While fluent Japanese isn’t expected, effort and enthusiasm to learn goes a long way. Using key phrases, attempting longer conversations, or carrying a Japanese textbook demonstrates interest in engaging meaningfully. This care wins appreciation and admiration.
Japanese friends value different perspectives from foreigners on both global and Japan-specific issues. They appreciate openness to new concepts and tolerance for cultural differences. An open-minded foreigner who embraces diversity appeals greatly.
Being punctual and honoring commitments carries weight in Japan. Flaking on plans or frequently canceling meet-ups frustrates new friends. To gain trust, foreigners should demonstrate follow-through by keeping appointments and responding timely to contacts.
7. A positive attitude
A cheerful, genki spirit sets Japanese at ease with friendly foreigners. While public displays of strong emotions may not align with local norms, having a generally upbeat attitude and optimistic perspective goes over well. It signals approachability.
Japanese friendships take time – one cannot expect quick, deep bonds. Foreigners should know frustrations may arise but perseverance pays off. With consistent patience, strong relationships can form over months or years.
Seeking out new food, offbeat places, extreme sports builds bonds. The Japanese admire daring and curiosity. Trying the unfamiliar – from tropical fruits to scary rollercoasters – earns appreciation and respect.
10. An appreciation for uniqueness
Japanese take pride in their country’s distinctiveness. They value when foreigners notice and embracesignature elements of Japanese identity and culture – from elegant textiles to high-tech toilets. Appreciating uniqueness helps connect.