Caroline Pover loves to help. Be it launching a magazine for expatriate women only six months after arriving in Tokyo aged 24, starting a publishing company so she could turn that magazine into the bestselling book Being A Broad in Japan, or kicking off a series of books for Japanese women called Ask Caroline. If there are people in need of guidance, Caroline will be there to help.
It’s fitting then that the latest project from British-born Pover sees her again offering a helping hand to the needy, and this time they happen to be men. Japanese men. In Love with a Western woman, Pover teaches them how to have happy, respectful, and successful relationships with Western women. Crammed with practical, direct, and laugh-out-loud tips (Western women don’t favour the Duracell bunny approach to sex), this is the ultimate field guide that no heterosexual J-man should ever leave home without. On the eve of the book’s release in Japanese (it’s already out in English), KS catches up with Caroline to hear what she really thinks about this mysterious thing called love.
KS: Is Love with a Western woman only for Japanese men?
It was always intended to be just for Japanese men and actually was only ever supposed to be in Japanese but lots of other people said they wanted to read it too, so I brought out an edition with my original English writing. I am told that women find it interesting to read about other women’s experiences, and perhaps to have some of their own feelings validated.
KS: Have you had much experience with Japanese men?
Not romantically, but this isn’t a book about me. As research, I interviewed 150 Western women to find out about their experiences. When it came to writing, I actually found not having experience with Japanese men meant that I could write from a completely non-biased point of view.
KS: What do you see as the main problem between Western women and Japanese men?
From the Western woman’s perspective I think the most difficult thing is working out what a Japanese man thinks of her. A lot of the women I interviewed said that they couldn’t tell if he was interested or not because he wasn’t giving signals that she could read.
KS: What would be your first piece of advice to a Japanese man considering a relationship with a Western woman?
Stop worrying – especially not about your English level. And don’t be afraid of approaching somebody you are interested in. Encouraging men to be more forthcoming is one of the main themes in the book.
KS: And what can western women do to help the process?
Be open to making new friends, learning Japanese, being in Japanese environments, and not expecting what you think might be a date to necessarily end with any physical contact. Put less pressure on yourself and on any guys to have everything move along quite so quickly.
KS: What has been the reception for the book?
I know there has been a bit of controversy about it in certain circles. The sex chapter is extremely detailed, which will make some people uncomfortable. But this is an opportunity to tell men exactly what women want in bed, and if that makes just one woman happier, then it’s worth it.
KS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Contact me if you want to be invited to the launch party! It won’t be your usual dull book launch party, I can tell you that. www.carolinepover.info Free Stuff! One lucky KS reader can win a copy of Love with a Western woman. To enter the draw email your name to: email@example.com by Oct 17. Mark the subject ‘Caroline Pover book’.
• Title: Love with a Western woman: a guide for Japanese men
• Author: Caroline Pover
• Publisher: Alexandra Press
• ISBN: 978-0-9573282-1-1
• Price: ¥1,139
• Format: Paperback