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Nanpa ナンパ

Today's post will be an attempt at promulgating a working theory on "nanpology"…e.g. the study of how to attract young Japanese women through sweet talking. The subjects used were all under 25 years old, single, and Japanese. All of them are relatively attractive and come from different backgrounds and all have jobs. This is not a definitive guide to getting young Japanese girl, however, you can use this information to sort of gage how things work here in Japan.

According to Wiki, Nanpa tends to occur on busy streets and other places. Young men stand at the edge of the street and watch passing women. When a woman strikes a man's fancy, he typically invites her to a café or karaoke bar. The evening may finish with a visit to a love hotel, or at least the promise for a second rendezvous. Although it is rare in practice, nanpa is socially acceptable in Japan, and tolerated as a natural youthful indiscretion.

To begin with, I think that the art of sweet talking is a myth. I also believe that young nubile Japanese women do date old men. In all of my time here in Japan I have had both successes and failures with Japanese women. 90% of them I got through direct engagement e.g. stopping them on the streets, talking them down for their phone numbers. Tactics like these have produced positive results, and of course some negative results also, but is there really such a thing as sweet talking? I mean…Is asking for a girls number really sweet talking?

Let's define a couple of terms here: The first is called " ' KY' or Kuuki Yomenai" which is a term widely used by Japanese girls under twenty five who are into the Harajuku, Akihabara sub-culture. This figurative connotation means " can't read the air." In other words, a person who can't take a hint or get the big picture or a person who can't pick up on subtle cues. There is no specific kanji listing in any dictionary for this phrase, it's like a type of urban slang where if you are not young and "in" so to speak, you wouldn't know what it means, I guess.

Often times when a Western male approaches a young Japanese female, he tries to go for the number as quickly as possible. While there have been successes with this method, J-girls on average don't like this aggressive male tactic, which could explain why some or many may not return your phone calls or e-mails. It's generally because they lack the initial defense mechanism tactics to ward off unwanted male advances, so they just smile and follow. As soon as they part company with you chances are they'll forget you. It happens.

The next term is called "oseji or お世辞” which a lot of foreigners make the mistake of doing all too often. Incessant praise and adulation. " You are so cute! You are so young! " kind of compliments, which the Japanese interpret as insincere flattery. A lot of Japanese women smile on the surface, but inside they dislike it, because all foreigners say the same things to them. Again, there are some exception here depending on each woman's mood. I would use the compliments sparingly. I think no matter where a Japapnese woman travels, regardless of her age, people from other countries will generally comment on how young Japanese women look, so I guess it gets old after while.

What is the best way to meet Japanese women....? One is either through " コンパ" conpa - a company get-together. Office romances are very common here in Japan. Lots of people have met their spouses at work. Another is called a ごうコン(hiragana and Katakana) where Japanese can meet other single Japanese. As strange as this may sound, it is by far the easiest way to meet, greet, and bed(uwaki = うわき) a young Japanese lady. Friend of a friend, word of mouth has also been the best way to meet Japanese women, and still is.

Old men can also meet and date young ladies, even if the man is "batsu-ichi" or, was once married. This all dependent on whether these older men have a personal magnetism or charm, which is called "miriyoukuteki" or a charming person. From personal experience I have both experienced and have witness old men with much younger girls on both sides, so while the most common stereotypes about age may be popular, they're unfounded. Same goes with the " Japanese girls don't like blacks" argument. This is not true, either. However, it could be said that "most blacks don't like blacks or most foreigners don’t like other foreigners in Japan" could be more of a fact than "most Japanese don't like blacks." We have to apply the standard to ourselves first before we apply it to others.

Once you've done all the wrong things you can start to do the opposite and see how that works...e.g. send an e-mail once or twice a week instead of everyday, don't use money to buy her attention like for meals and dinners, let her pay her own way. Chances are that if you have approached an attractive Japanese woman in the past and failed to get to first and second base, then it's because you probably used the same come-on lines and tactics as the next guy.

There is never a shortage of attention for attractive Japanese women, so ordinary lines don't always work. Another negative point would be using Japanese too casually and carelessly. Speaking Japanese mean that you've been around, and know too much, so while they may smile and compliment you on your fluency, it doesn't always work in your favor. Sex on the first,second or third dates are common in Japan; happens almost everyday. I think the fastest ever recorded for me was five minutes flat from meet & greet to bedmate.

In the West, women have a long list of prerequisites that have to be satisfied first before even thinking about any kind of intimacy...i.e. ( job, looks, status, car) and in this exact order too. Japanese girls put a premium on situation, timing, and mood than material possessions. If the mood is right, yet you lack the material assets then no problem, intimacy can be achieved - you were just in the right place at the right time. This is partly why I say "nanpa" is a myth in as much as just having good timing and being in the right place at the right time, or being introduced by a friend of a friend. It's widely known that if a Japanese girl tells her girlfriend that it's OK to be with you, then chances are you get the " prize" if you know what I mean, no further questions asked. However, this trend has been changing recently, though, as most Japanese women are becoming more independent thinking whereby they no longer take the word or advice of a friend on who to be with.

I remember sending a young spry Japanese girl over to New York awhile ago to meet one of my best friends! I hyped him up and told her he was my GOoood friend, and that it would be nice if she could…you know….break him off something proper, just a little. After she arrived at JKF, my buddy was there to pick her up with his Beamer, and I think in a matter of days they were in the sack. Vinny, if you are reading this, we are even!

As Japanese women get up in age they grow out of this phase of having to be told who to sleep with. I remember when I had first came to Japan, all I had to do was hang out with a guy who had a girlfriend, and as long as his girlfriend liked me, she was bound to introduce me to one of her friends, and from then there was a least a 90% chance of scoring.

This “ fuck him by word of mouth “ society has lead me to search for women who are more interested in anonymous and more discreet relationships, non-social types, which for me is better than the types who need approval from close friends. Even if my girlfriends friend approves me, intimate details of our relationship become her information too. I'm just not interested in women who need approval or validation for every single decision they make about their body's. This is one of the appeals of the Jukujo I believe; no drama, no gossip, and most often times anonymous. If a young Japanese girl likes you, and her friend disapproves of you then chances are she will lose interest in you unless your relationship is firmly rooted.

So is Nanpa what it's really hyped up to be? No, not really. It basically depends on you. Here's a little nugget of truth. Time and opportunity waits on no one. If you sit around and play by the rules thinking that some how you'll be rewarded for good behavior you'll finish last in Japan when it comes to women. In America the age old axiom of “ nice guys finish last” rings true in Japan also. Chance opportunities only come once in a life time.



  1. I got lucky with my J girl (wife). I got her number and she actually took my call. :)

  2. Interesting article. Have seen nanpa a fair few times myself but never actually tried it. Prefer meeting people through friends and other more standard events. I find the type of person who is easily picked up through nanpa isn't usually someone looking for something meaningful in a relationship, but of course it really depends on the type of nanpa and where/how it was done. You could call chatting up the girl next to you in a coffee shop nanpa too, I guess. Also, not everyone is looking for deep, meaningful relationships, so nanpa isn't necessarily bad :)

  3. @Tornadoes,

    Good for you. And you married her too.


    Thanks for stopping by. I completely agree with you. I haven't given up my old ways just yet. I want to test the waters a bit more.

  4. Don't know what I'm doing wrong but whatever it is whether talking in Japanese or English, approaching in street, train stations or bookstore lengthening or shortening the amount of texts or messages, complimenting or making small talk. Being kind or being aloof, I get cancelled on, ignored or flat rejected by these cold-hearted women. I just wanted to meet a girl here settle down and have a family here, yet a great many don't seem to like this blonde haired blue eyed American.

  5. Don't know what I'm doing wrong but whatever it is whether talking in Japanese or English, approaching in street, train stations or bookstore lengthening or shortening the amount of texts or messages, complimenting or making small talk. Being kind or being aloof, I get cancelled on, ignored or flat rejected by these cold-hearted women. I just wanted to meet a girl here settle down and have a family here, yet they don't seem to like this blonde haired blue eyed American. If anyone has some input let me know


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