|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Foreign wives complain their samurai husbands no knights in shining armor 2005,11,23
AERA 11/28 By Ryann Connell
After a yearlong, whirlwind romance over the Internet, American Michelle Yamamoto married her 11-years-younger Japanese husband.
When he raced to the United States with a proposal and ticket back to Japan, she gleefully accepted the offer.
But, Yamamoto tells AERA (11/28), the moment they arrived back in Japan, her husband changed dramatically.
There was no longer any of the handholding and gentle kisses they had shared Stateside.
Instead, the 38-year-old American says her husband shunned her attempts at affection,saying only "somebody might be looking."
Soon, their once thriving sex life started to dry up, as daily romps became once every 10 days and then only once every two weeks.
When Yamamoto confronted her spouse about his failure to perform, he said only that he was too tired.
She worried that he no longer found her attractive.
Yamamoto finally confronted her hubby, who said his problems stemmed from the 70 hours a month overtime he was putting in that drained him of any energy to put out.
Yamamoto suggested Viagra and their connubials are now back on track.
"I thought it was a given that couples would talk about anything, but I was surprised that my husband was so reluctant to put his thoughts into words," Yamamoto tells AERA.
"It took two whole years before our conversations included everything from our problems to politics and religion."
International marriages are, AERA says, skyrocketing yearly, the 39,007 cross-cultural couples who tied the knot last year almost 10 times more the number of Japanese and non-Japanese marriages in 1975.
And it's men who are making up the Japanese parts in 80 percent of international marriages now, but many foreign women, like Yamamoto, are finding that marriage to a Yamato Danji -- a typical man from the Land of the Rising Sun -- is not quite a bed of roses.
Canvassing members of the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese found that the most common expressions non-Japanese women used to describe their Japanese spouses were sincere, enthusiastic about their work and calm.
But there were also less than positive descriptions.
"When we're overseas, he's really affectionate, but he shows me no affection in Japan. It's like he doesn't love me anymore," an Australian woman tells AERA.
A 40-year-old New Zealander has trouble with her hubby, too.
He comes home late at night and has many business trips, leaving their three kids almost entirely in her care.
"On weeknights, it's like I'm a single mother. I'm used to it now and it's made me much stronger," she says.
"No matter what country you're in, I think all women moan about their husbands. I think our problems are less about cultural differences and more about the differences between men and women."
Julia Maeda, a 34-year-old Briton, has few problems with her Japanese husband, having spent the last seven years training him.
When they first met, he had never cooked a meal for himself, nor could he sew a button onto a shirt.
Now, he cooks and changes the kids' diapers.
"I told him that I wanted to become his partner, not his mother," she tells AERA.
"I let him know that he'd have to help with the housework and bringing up the kids." (By Ryann Connell)
November 23, 2005