Asian Fever

I have fallen victim to a very serious condition. Much like my Instagram addiction, I’ve been denying it for quite a while now…but I can’t hide it any longer. After two years of living in Japan, I believe I have finally been struck down with Asian Fever.

The Urban Dictionary describes Asian Fever (or the more politically incorrect, Yellow Fever) as an affliction where a westerner finds themselves inextricably attracted to those of Asian descent. It is shocking to learn then, that I have become a casualty of this fate…given my vehement claims that I had absolutely no attraction to Asian men…well, until this revelation.

So why am I only now, after 30 years without Asian Fever, suddenly a sufferer?! Is it all the flattery and attention I receive from the men I meet here (no, not just from Yuji)…the claims that I am ‘charming’, ‘endearing’ and ‘beautiful’ finally going to my head? Has it just been that long since I’ve had any action, things are getting desperate?! Or maybe it’s a case of Stockholm Syndrome…I’ve been a captive of Japan for so long it’s started to skew my view of the world…and men? Whatever the reason, I am definitely showing all the symptoms of a raging Asian Fever


It’s no coincidence that my symptoms started to present during Ms. French Black Belt’s visit during spring break.  I have no hesitation in blaming her for triggering what was clearly a latent strain of the fever in my bloodstream. In her two short weeks here she had me changed…feeding me subtle comments like ‘Oh, look at him, he’s cute!’, until I was brainwashed and was checking out J boys at every turn.

I realised the fever had taken a firm hold when I almost fainted at the sight of around a hundred sumo wrestlers on the platform of Shin-Osaka Station towards the end of my spring travels. Not only was I attracted to Asian men, apparently I also found the notion of dating a sumo wrestler appealing too. What the…?!

The symptoms only worsened from there and I was at the point of needing hospitalisation when I gave my number to a J boy for the very first time a week or so after the sumo sighting (at the encouragement of Ms. French Black Belt, of course). It didn’t help that later text messaging with said J boy revealed that he is in fact a semi-famous soccer player…Asian Fever plus a strand of Starstruck could not result in a good prognosis…


Logically, one might think that catching Asian Fever would be a good thing for me (if you disregard all those rumors about Asian men…you know the ones). For starters, it should widen my pool of datable men in Japan considerably. Secondly, as a side effect of dating J boys, surely it might be an opportunity to improve my Japanese language skills? Lastly, what better way to get the full experience of Japanese culture then to date one of Japan’s native inhabitants?!

Well, logic does not apply here (it is Japan after all) and the prognosis is not good. You see, I may now be attracted to Japanese men, but that hasn’t changed the type of man I am attracted to. Since contracting Asian Fever I have been drawn to precisely four Japanese men. All tall, all heavily into sport and of muscular/athletic build. What I have just described rules out about 98% of the Japanese male population as my type of guy.

It’s not only the fact that I am twice the size of most Japanese men that is a problem with having Asian Fever (there’s good reason why Asian Fever usually applies to western men being attracted to Asian women). There are other factors that cause complications with this disease too…


Japanese people are workaholics. They work crazy hours, often working weekends and very rarely take vacations. This is complication number one of having Asian Fever…Japanese men do not have time for me in their lives. And that’s just those with normal jobs, like teachers. Imagine the grueling schedule of the aforementioned soccer player? Professional sportsmen (I have learned) come with their own set of unique complications…unscheduled training sessions, away games, injuries, public appearances…the list goes on.

One of the most disturbing complications of having Asian Fever is that…let me be very clear…in my experience, Japanese men can be very dishonest. A good portion of the male teachers at my school have declared their undying love for me…telling me they would happily cheat on their wives with me. Yeah…that’s what I thought too…even through the haze of alcohol. The majority of Japanese men I meet are married, betrothed or have long term girlfriends. Not that this is considered a complication for them…did I mention that the soccer player has a girlfriend of seven years who he intends to marry someday?!

So with these complications, the chances of me surviving Asian Fever has dropped to about 0.03%. With this dire statistic, what are my treatment options?


I’m fairly sure a doctor would say at this point ‘there’s nothing more we can do, it’s time for you to go home‘. Which I will be doing…in a little over nine months. But what are my treatment options until then?

Option 1: Believe in the impossible. This option calls for me to forget the odds, get out there and attempt to date J boys regardless of my chances of making it through Asian Fever alive.

Option 2: Look, but don’t touch (or even talk to). This is of course the recommended form of treatment to see out my last nine months in Japan. Even if I could somehow meet a nice, age appropriate, tall, athletic single J boy with time on his hands, I’m leaving the country next year. Hardly an ideal platform in which to start a relationship with someone.

Neither option seems entirely appealing right now, so I haven’t decided on which treatment I am going to explore as yet. For now I am still getting a handle on the fact that I have Asian Fever at all…

6 thoughts on “Asian Fever

  1. Hi there!

    I’m a J boy myself and married to a French woman (black belt? no, neither of us). I met her in France and I came to live here in France with her. One could say I’m a rare case, but… what I think often is the similarity of any human beings across different cultures or political zones is to be noted, when it comes to a relationship between two individuals.

    Even a couple from a same village will unavoidably have difficulty understanding each other, which can be too troublesome to overcome sometimes. The difference between two genders seems in fact far bigger and deeper than any other difference you can think of (age, origins, music preferences, litterary preferences and so on). If you have siblings, you know that it’s not always easy to understand them, even if you are the products from the exact same factory.

    One good thing about international couples may be that we know that we are different. Cool. Then we can teach calmly each other, and learn things during the course of life together. When you think you are the same and you fall into a very big difference, you sometimes may not see that the difference was there from the beginning and you may feel deceived.

    Name it “asian” fever or anything, that’s fun, but when you get into it, it becomes just a fever without any other constantly pertinent attribute which can go with it. Three years later, when the hormones go down to normal, the relation gets less feverish anyway.

    If it doesn’t seem to you very correct (or not correct at all) when a guy comes to tell you that he loves you because he loves the Brittish (or, the White, the Black, the Indian, the native Australian), you don’t have a valid reason to apprehend more than necessary the cultural (or “racial”) difference.

    Just my thought…

    • Masaru, thank you for your thoughts…much appreciated. Especially as someone on the other side of this thing I am going through!

      I agree with you, every relationship has it’s differences and difficulties and I have had my fair share over the years…with men from many different countries and backgrounds. I also agree, the biggest issues can be put down to gender differences, not any others.

      It seems we are all just bumping around on this earth…some get lucky and bump into the right person…others aren’t so lucky. I will keep wandering around and see what turns up…whether that be a J boy or not 😉

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