Japan Talk 2: Is there Gaijin Pecking Order when Dating in Japan?

By Donald Ash | Japan Talk

Video Transcript

Hey this is Donald with thejapanguy.com and this is Japan talk Session 2.

In our last discussion we were talking about whether or not there was a pecking order among foreigners when it comes to workplace. This was gonna be a two-part series So with the second part I wanted to see:

“Is there was a pecking order among foreigners when it comes to dating?”

Yesterday a friend of mine showed me a video about a pickup artist who went to Tokyo and just went nuts dating and said and he had so much success with Japanese women and he was talking to his “students” about it. So this guy was a Caucasian male, I’d say maybe…mid to late 20’s…I’m not sure. But just seeing this guy man, I was like “Wow! Really?…Crazy.” 

In some of the little video clips, he was saying that he would walk up to Japanese women, grab them by the head and do this (gesture). And then if they got upset about it, he’d just say “Pikachu” or “Pokemon.” You can just grab a girl’s head and be like … “Oo…Pikachu!” How do you not go to jail for that? I don’t understand.

But He said something in that video…you may think that somebody that’s grabbing girl’s heads and pushing them down…that would be the part that would disturb me/struck me most in this video. But actually he said something in that video that struck me a little bit more. And I wanted to show you a clip of this, please take a look.


Crazy ain’t it?!?

So in that video he said that because he was a white male that he could do anything he wanted to do and that’s part that struck me. In his mind he felt because he was a white male that he could do anything: “Just grab her!”

Sometimes I wonder, is that true? Can white men do whatever they want? I don’t think so. I don’t know if that’s the case.

But Is there a pecking order among foreigners when it comes to dating.

In this case I’m gonna say “No.” Granted I do a lot of white males who have had a lot of success here, I do.

At first it was hard for me to find dates and I couldn’t understand why. But at the same time that could be because I don’t go out to clubs or bars. That could’ve been one of the issues for me. So I spent a lot of time at home, I’m not gonna say what I was doing, umm… (GROSS) 

I spent a lot of time not dating, let’s put it that way. In the first 8 or 9 months I was here. But that’s because if you stay in your apartment, YOU’RE NOT GONNA FIND ANYBODY! DUH!

It was hard for me to find a place to actually go to date people. If you don’t go to clubs or bars in Japan, where do you go to meet people in Japan?

But once I got to know my students, it was easier to find people, or going to the gym, when I found out there are other places I could go to meet people…that’s when things started to change a bit.

If you don’t drink, smoke, or go to bars, it’s gonna be harder, naturally.

The reason I can’t say there’s a pecking order for dating is because every woman is going to be a little bit different. There are Japanese women who do not wanna date black men. Maybe they had a bad experience or something, I don’t know.

Or maybe they go to Roppongi and they see the…somebody who lives here and knows what I’m talking about… You’ve gone to Roppongi and you see that dude, the brown or black-skinned trying to get people to come to their club or their bar. You know what I’m taking about. Looks kinda shady, looks kinda seedy, that kinda dude, standing out in Roppongi.

And I think sometimes people associate all black people with that. I’m not doing that. You know?

But, maybe in people’s minds…some Japanese women don’t wanna date black men. There are also Japanese women who don’t want to do white men. It’s personal preference. I don’t necessarily think there’s a pecking order. But I could be wrong.

That’s why I wanted to open it up to you guys, and see what you think. So in today’s short session. I would like you to tell me:


Do you think there is a pecking order among foreigners when it comes to dating?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Is it more beneficial to be white? black? Hispanic? Korean? Is there a benefit to being a different color when you’re dating here in Japan. Please let me know what you think and we’ll talk in the next session. Bye 🙂


About the Author

Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of thejapanguy.com blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.

  • Jake says:

    Good video. I agree with you that it is mostly up to the girl as opposed to a pecking order. I think a big thing is just if they are into 外人 or not. Also, that guy in the video you showed is horrible. I think he “got away” with it mostly because they are shocked at the time and after he leaves they probably bad mouth him. Unfortunately, his actions reflect negatively on us 外人 living in Japan.

    • thejapanguy says:

      I totally agree! That guy is in no way representative of the majority of foreign men in Japan. In a place like Japan, it sucks to have guys like him come through because there are a limited number of foreigners here already. For the ladies he did that stuff too, that may leave a bad impression in their minds for a long time to come.

      I’ve talked to some students who say I’m the first African-American they’ve come into contact with (not African-American teacher…African American…period!) So I try to keep that in mind when I deal with people here. What we do often effects more than just us.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Jake! Thank you!

  • Nini says:

    I can’t check out the video as I’m on mobile but I guess we’re talking about Julien Blanc, right? This guy is a f*cktard of a man, a misogynist of such a magnitude I’ve never seen before. I’m sorry for the harsh words, but in cases like this we shouldn’t sugarcoat it. I think he’s a disgrace to any man around the world. I also agree with Jake that the affected women we’re in some kind of disbelief rather than being okay with it. I don’t know if I can post links, just google “pick up japan” and the third result from above should be a Japan Times article talking about him and a petion on denying him re-entry to Japan. As far as I know he is a persona non grata also in Canada and various European countries.

  • mission_dog says:

    ugh. i’m in sf and theres hella white dudes on asian girls here, i guess these white dudes into asian girls thing ain’t that rare. but for reals, that white dude’s video makes me cringe on so many levels. its incredibly sexist and racist at the same time. here in SF he’d be a fat loser nerd who always bitches about how he’s the “nice guy.” I think b-style girls would be into black guys and open minded women would be into black guys or anyone. But i would say if you poll all the japanese women who do like to date foreigners, they seems to mostly be into white dudes. A lot of people in japan are into halfs, and women wanna make their own. japan really romaticized white culture and features. I think a lot of women are dating foreigners because of the whole “vegetarian men” thing happening and also the societal expectations that fall upon japanese women.

    anyways, cool blog, but yeah that video makes me hate these gross white dudes with asian girl fetishes even more. it almsot seems predatory.

  • Dex says:

    I think you western male forget there’s a group of gaijin but neither is white or black, that is asian gaijin–not those from technically advanced countries like Korean, Singapore or Hong Kong, but from the developing world. If you count those in, there will be an order.
    Hey I actually wanna meetup with you guys who are in Tokyo. I’ve lived in 4 countries and now in graduate school. I think I got something to share from daigakusei’s perspective.

  • Charlotte says:

    The guy from the video has been banned from visiting a whole bunch of countries, including here in the UK and also Japan.

    With dating, I think it all depends on what you want. If you want to find a girl to sleep with, then it’s not the colour of your skin but your swagger. This guy in the video is a tool but he has confidence and goes and gets what he wants, and drunken girls on the dancefloor like that kind of thing.
    However, if you want to find someone to date and to be respectful to, then I think the thought of her taking home a foreigner to meet her parents could be scary for some girls. I always found that the key was to find J-folk who have lived or studied abroad. Those are the ones more likely to want to date someone like us for real.

  • I’m sorry, but when it comes to foreigners, there is a pecking order in all social aspects of life (which includes dating and getting jobs). This pecking order exists not just in Japan, but all over Asia, and dare I say, all over the world. Keep in mind that I am talking about “visible” foreigners; not those that are Asian or Asian-American and could “blend in”.

    White is on top, the closer you are to White the better, and Black is on the bottom. I wish it were different, but this is the case. The only thing that made Japan different from other Asian countries is that there was a sizable B-style minority that Black guys had easy pickings with if they went to the right places and had the right swag. If you weren’t into these girls and went for the general Japanese population (like I prefer), you wouldn’t have anywhere near the success as a Black man that a White, Latin, or even Indian man could have.

    Does this mean that a Black man will be celibate if he wants to date local women? No, not at all, but there will likely be dry spells that other dudes would not have to face and the quantity and quality of women that we get will probably be lower.

    You can read more about that here: http://grandadmiralgame.blogspot.com/2014/09/racism-in-asia-as-it-pertains-to-dating.html

  • sleepyhead says:

    That guy sure made Japanese females look like half-witted, thirsty, desperate, easy beings.
    I would say there is a pecking order in dating. Whites put themselves out there as achievers, money makers and Mr. Romantic, all appealing elements to many females. Blacks in Japan are not depicted this way. As you mentioned before, the image of Blacks is the Roppongi image. Preying, harassing, annoying, penniless losers. like it or not, Japan is a materialistic country. It’s all about the money money money. I doubt a Japanese woman would choose a broke-arsed white man over a wealthy black man. If both are broke, she would likely choose the white, because psychologically she thinks it’s easier for him to get wealthy.
    There are other factors, but I’m getting sleepy.

  • LoreleiRei says:

    oh my god!! when i go to Tokyo, if i EVER see a dude doing that, can i punch the hell outta him????

  • TonyD says:

    Mannn. There’s so much that I could say on this subject, but I’ll keep it PG for blog sake. First, I’m African-american and I’ve visited Japan a few times while in the military. The pecking order does exists but, like here in the states, it depends on the person you are and how much game (swag) you possess that really makes you stand out or fade into the wall. I’ve dated many Japanese women from allll settings and not just the B style chicks. The Africans there do make it a little difficult for us because of their hustle mentality and them trying to ‘act’ american but usually Japanese can easily tell the difference. Hopefully I’ll make it back soon because I love the culture..but I know you miss the foreign food.

  • David OFTWL says:

    I noticed this post is about 2 years old. But I can’t help but to comment on this topic. I have traveled extensively throughout Korea, Japan, and more recently China. I’ve also been to Philippine, Brunei,Singapore, and Bhutan. I have heard of this pecking order White man preference thing constantly all be it mostly from White men. I have never ever experienced any difficulty ever meeting and dating women in these countries. However I must add this. I have never ever experience meeting and dating women in New York, L.A. Chicago, D C, Atlanta, nor Bismark North Dakota. If you are the type of man that women are attracted to. It doesn’t matter where you are. What race you are. What race she is. The ability to speak the language. Sure there are limiting factors but those factors are based on you and the women you come in contact with.

    I’ve gone on these trips with White co workers travel mates and it has never mattered what country we where in or so called societal level we were engaging. I was always more successful with the women. I have found it to my benefit of not being in the military was a major plus. To the commentor that said all the negative things that he obviously associated with the lower socioeconomic class of Blacks here in the US. He obviously has never traveled out of the country before. The number one attraction for travelers is the fact they know you have to be on a certain level socially otherwise you cannot afford to travel internationally PERIOD!

    Now grant it I’m cut from the clothe of Black Hollywood leading man… Women often associate me with the Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Blair Underwood type. Being 5’11” 210lbs with 12% body-fat helps tremendously. I admit that. But I have traveled with White guys that are built much the same way and it didn’t matter I still had greater success where ever I traveled.

    So bottom line. If you are successful with women at home you will be successful with women abroad. If you are not successful with women at home you may experience a success level abroad that will more than likely overwhelm you. Because going from zero to anything is a major improvement.

    But don’t expect to get Asian women, Russian women, Indian women or Latin women that are way out of your league. It’s not gonna happen because those women no matter where they are have plenty of suitors. They’re not going to fall at your feet because you’re WHITE nor because you are BLACK.

    I’ve found the prime key factor of being an international traveler is the fact that you can afford to travel. That social economic status offers you a slight leg up on the local competition. But trust me on this. If you’re in Japan and you’re standing there average run of the mill pasty Joe American or European and you’re there working for a living (that’s key) and there just so happen to be a group of attractive professional well to do Japanese men. Dude you’re way down on the so called pecking order list for the women in that room.

  • Phero Joe says:

    That guy pisses me off so much. Not just the fact that he would even consider doing to a woman, but the fact that its your typical PUA idiotic crap. The sad thing is that those guys probably paid hundreds or even thousands to attend a workshop by a guy who’s completely full of shit. I know for a fact he didn’t do that, because he would have got arrested for being a cunt! No self respecting person (Japanese or not) would let a stranger do something like that to them. I know, he’s white and has higher status automatically in Japan. But I am also a dancer, and seeing as I’ve visited Japan before and made friends in the dance community there its not a big deal. Perhaps to other Japanese people who aren’t into hip hop culture, they might see colored people as being lower status, but how you’re perceived is typically person to person. Not just a broad generalization.

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