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What do you call your lover in Japan?


Japan is a country with a unique culture that has been preserved throughout its history. One aspect of Japanese culture that may seem confusing to foreigners is how couples refer to each other. In Japan, it’s not just about calling your partner by their name or saying “honey” or “sweetie.” There are specific terms used for different stages of a relationship, and knowing them can help you better understand Japanese culture.

What do you call your lover in Japan?

When you first start dating someone in Japan, it’s common to refer to them as “koibito,” which means lover. This term is used until the relationship becomes more serious and you decide to become exclusive. At this point, you can start calling them “kareshi” (boyfriend) or “kanojo” (girlfriend). These terms are commonly used in Japan, and they show that the relationship has progressed past the initial stages.

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What do you call your spouse in Japan?

If you decide to get married in Japan, there are specific terms used for spouses. The term “otto” is used for husband, while “tsuma” is used for wife. These terms show a deeper level of commitment and dedication to each other. When referring to your spouse in public or with others, it’s common to use these terms instead of their name.

What do you call your ex in Japan?

If a relationship ends in Japan, it’s common to refer to your ex as “zenin.” This term means “all of you,” and it’s often used when speaking about someone who was once important to you but is no longer part of your life. Another term that may be used is “mukashi no koibito,” which means “former lover.” Using these terms shows that the relationship had significance but is now over.

What do you call your crush in Japan?

If you have a crush on someone in Japan, you can refer to them as “suki na hito.” This term means “the person I like,” and it’s often used when talking about someone you have feelings for but haven’t yet started dating. It’s important to note that expressing feelings of affection or love can be considered taboo in Japanese culture, so using this term may be more appropriate than saying “I love you.”

What do you call your friends with benefits in Japan?

In Japan, there isn’t really a specific term for friends with benefits. However, the term “tomodachi” is commonly used for friends, and it can also be used for friends with benefits. It’s important to note that casual relationships like this aren’t very common in Japanese culture, and they may be viewed as inappropriate or disrespectful.

Why are there specific terms for relationships in Japan?

There are many cultural reasons why there are specific terms for relationships in Japan. One reason is that expressing emotions directly can be considered rude or inappropriate. Using specific terms for different stages of a relationship allows people to communicate their feelings without being too direct or confrontational. Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on social hierarchy and respect for authority in Japanese culture, so using specific terms shows respect for the other person.

What are some other romantic phrases used in Japan?

Aside from the specific terms for relationships, there are many romantic phrases used in Japan. For example, “aishiteru” means “I love you,” but it’s not commonly used because expressing love directly can be considered taboo. Instead, phrases like “daisuki desu” (I really like you) or “kimi ga suki desu” (I like you) are more commonly used.

What should I avoid when using romantic phrases in Japan?

When using romantic phrases or referring to someone as a lover or significant other in Japan, it’s important to consider cultural norms and etiquette. Public displays of affection aren’t common or acceptable in Japanese culture, so avoid physical affection like hugging or kissing in public. Additionally, using overly direct or confrontational language can be considered rude or inappropriate.

How has modernization affected dating culture in Japan?

In recent years, modernization and globalization have had an impact on dating culture in Japan. Younger generations are more likely to use Western terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” instead of traditional Japanese terms like “kareshi” and “kanojo.” Additionally, casual relationships like friends with benefits have become more common among younger people.


In conclusion, understanding the terminology used for relationships in Japan can help foreigners better understand Japanese culture and etiquette. From referring to someone as a lover to using romantic phrases, there are many nuances involved when it comes to expressing affection and commitment. By respecting these cultural norms and being mindful of how language is used, foreigners can navigate relationships more successfully while living in Japan.

How do you address your lover in Japanese?

In Japanese relationships, honorifics like -ちゃん or -くん are commonly used for boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as their names. When referring to them to others, terms like 彼 (kare, “he” or “boyfriend”) and 彼女 (kanojo, “she” or “girlfriend”) can also be used.

What does Japanese call their boyfriend?

Kareshi, which is written as 彼氏 or かれし in Japanese, is the most frequently used term for a boyfriend in the language.

Can I call my lover senpai?

The word “Senpai” is typically used to refer to someone older than you in a school or work setting. It is a sign of respect or unfamiliarity with that person. It may not be appropriate to use with a romantic partner, but “(boyfriend)-chan” could be an alternative.

What do Japanese call their BF or GF?

In Japanese, the term Koibito means ‘sweetheart’ or ‘lover’ and is comprised of the characters for ‘love’ and ‘person’. This word is generally used to refer to a romantic partner, regardless of their gender, whether they be a girlfriend or boyfriend, or even a spouse.

How do guys say I love you in Japanese?

The phrase “ai shiteru” is the most commonly used way of expressing “I love you” in Japanese, and is closest in meaning to the English phrase. The word “ai” means “love” and is often associated with romantic love.

Does Suki mean love?

Suki (好き / すき) can be translated as ‘like’ or ‘love’, depending on the context. While it is commonly understood as ‘like’, the meaning can vary and is nuanced. The word suki can convey different emotions according to the situation it is used in.

It’s also important to note that traditional gender roles still play a significant role in Japanese culture. Men are traditionally expected to be the ones to initiate and pursue romantic relationships, while women are expected to be more passive and demure. This can affect the language and terms used in relationships, as men may be more likely to refer to their partners using possessive terms like “my girlfriend” or “my wife.”

Another factor that can affect relationships in Japan is the emphasis on group harmony and avoiding conflict. If a relationship isn’t going well, it’s common for one or both partners to avoid confrontation and try to maintain harmony within the group or social circle. This can lead to relationships continuing even when they may not be healthy or fulfilling for both parties.

Despite these cultural norms and challenges, many people in Japan still find love and build meaningful relationships. Whether using traditional terms or more modern language, expressing affection and commitment is an important part of human connection. By understanding the terminology used in Japanese relationships and being mindful of cultural norms, foreigners can better navigate the world of dating and love in Japan.

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