The only thing I know about Japanese dating is what Ritsuko told a group of us the other day. She’s a young woman teaching Japanese in and near New York, and she would like to get married but hasn’t found the right man yet. She regaled a group of us with stories about dating in Japan.
According to her, boys ask girls out, and vice-versa, and parents sometimes arrange dates. It sounds like a more wide open dating scene than in the U.S. Her bombshell announcement was that bosses often arrange dates for their employees! The date is a command performance which is often, according to Ritsuko, awkward and unpleasant. She says that Japanese women formulate stories to deal with this forced situation: they say that they are going to be engaged soon or are in a relationship with someone, or cook up some other excuse for refusing further dates.
This excuse sounds problematical to me. It says to the man that the ONLY reason you are out with him is that you were required to do it by your boss. If you follow the logic, why else would you betray your significant other by going out with another man? A woman who would go out with one man while committed to another man might not be a very good bet, in our way of looking at things. Different cultures have different expectations of each other, different required behaviors, and different power structures. All I know is that I wouldn’t want any of my former bosses to set me up with anyone. If one of them had done so, and cajoled me into accepting the date, I might have contracted the Plague on the way out the door.