Things I love about Japan: Couple Wear

couple wear Japan amwf couple

Being a couple in Japan is fun – because you’re allowed to be (and often encouraged to be) an obnoxiously adorable, matching couple. So while in America, the common response when couples wear the “He’s Mine!” and “She’s Mine!” shirts is “NO ONE CARES,” the response in Japan is more or less “awww, how cute!”

And I love being an obnoxiously adorable couple.

We started small. We bought matching “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” shirts in San Antonio while visiting a cheesy gift shop near the Alamo. Heaven’s forbid we actually wear the shirt outside; we just used them as sleep shirts so we looked adorable and matching within the safety of our own home.

For a window into married life of a Japanese man with a foreign  wife, I recommend Wendy Tokunaga’s book, Marriage in Translation: Foreign Wife, Japanese Husband

Couple interracial matching shirts

And, once Ryouske went back to Japan and we resumed our (awful) Long Distance Relationship (check out this post for tips for maintaining a long distance relationship), I put his (unwashed) shirt on an extra pillow on my bed and cuddled with the “Ryosuke pillow” every time I missed him. It was a little bit sad and pathetic, you know, in a cute way.

Which is most of the things I do.

Anyways, we made this grand plan to wear our matching “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” shirts a month later when he picked me up at the Tokyo Narita Airport. I was going to study abroad in Japan for 15 months; we were psyched.

couple wear Japan amwf couple

I was too embarrassed to wear the shirt on the plane, so I changed in the bathroom right before I went through immigration. I was feeling ok. It wasn’t too awkward. Then I say Ryosuke – with a pink bandana on his head (with “LOVE” written in giant, red letters), his “Thing 2” shirt, and a bouquet of flowers.

It was cute. For about twenty seconds.

Then it was horrifically embarrassing. Ryosuke shuffled me into his dad’s van (totally not judging me for the amount of luggage I brought to Japan) and we were on our way. I stripped off the shirt in the car, since I had a tank-top underneath. It was too embarrassing.

Six months later, we got matching watches.

couple wear Japan

They were classy, white, and blocky. I couldn’t read the correct time occasionally, but I was either right or completely off by an hour. Old fashion watches are classy like that.

We got a couple “awww, that’s so cute” or “I wish MY boyfriend and I had matching watches” comments – so I was feeling confident enough to make the leap – coordinated outfits.

You see, coordinated outfits are hard.

We waited until the time was right. The winds of change were upon us. Our coordinated outfits debuted during my 21st birthday trip to go climb Mt. Chokai, the second tallest mountain in Japan. We were with a group of friends: some singles, several couples, and us.

One of Ryosuke’s friends laughed at him; several of the girls said we looked cute. Overall – it was a success.

couple wear Japan amwf couple

A bit later, I purchased matching couple-wear swimsuits on eBay a couple weeks earlier. I would never wear something as embarrassingly romantic as matching swimsuits in America – but secretly I’ve always wanted to try. For some reason, it’s more acceptable to wear obnoxious, matching couple outfits in Japan.

I gave Ryosuke his half of the matching couple wear swimsuits. It was white and red stripped, with little blue anchors. The advertisement on ebay didn’t emphasize how awkwardly Navy themed they were – like a little kid’s Navy/military suit.

We wore them to the beach.

And ended up on the spread for “Akita’s Hottest Men.” Well, actually Ryosuke was the one who ended up on the spread. I was on the next page, under the “meet the hottest men’s girlfriends” section – a section that seemed awkwardly placed and unnecessary.

We were interviewed a month ago for Akita's Hottest Man spread. They did a special about us, since we were interracial

We were interviewed a month ago for Akita’s Hottest Man spread. They did a special about us, since we were interracial

[For more, check out: Asian Male, White Female (AMWF) Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly]

Oh well. Publicity is publicity – and my butt looks GREAT in that picture (this might be my first run-in with photoshop makeover on a magazine. How cool).

Bottom line: Couple wear is awesome, whether it is matching watches, coordinated outfits, matching shirts, or couple-wear swimsuits. Also Ryosuke is adorable.

couple wear Japan


[Add me on Google Plus: +Grace Buchele]

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

6 Comments on Things I love about Japan: Couple Wear

  1. Anonymous // 12 July, 2015 at 11:47 pm //

    Are there any couple wear websites? Or popular brands with a lot of couple wear?

  2. I knowm it’s already an old post, but I am jumping from recommended to recommended post right know XD

    I want to wear couple wear so much,. I think it’s totally adorable.
    But my boyfriend (japanese) thinks, that is too embarrassing.
    Last summer we went to Kyûshû, playing at the beach. He don’t own any swimwear and I wanted something new for me. I saw in the in the internet some nice couple swimmwear. I really wanted to have some. But in the end I went to H&M and he borrowed some from his brother xD”
    It is only by coincidence that we wear kinda couple wear (same shirt colour etc.). Maybe someday he will get more confident with it (^ω^)

  3. i wore couple shirts with my boyfriend for a party, (my birthday, and his farewell-going-back-to-japan party) and my friends teased me mercilessly. especially the americans, lol. but we pretty much gave them the ‘its my party and i’ll wear matching tshirts if i want to’ reply. ;)
    couple swimwear looks so cute! cant wait to try that next summer :)

    • Awwww, how cute :) You go~
      Y’all should get some matching couple swimwear. It’s not terribly expensive and is really fun to wear!

  4. I really want couple shirts…but I’d be SO embarrassed to wear it outside. We accidentally wore shirts that were similar colours recently – I realised just before we were about to go out and I had to go back in and change in a t-shirt. My boyfriend gets a lot less embarrassed about these things than I do.

    (p.s Impressive 6 pack abs O_O )

    • Ryosuke always jokes that I only love him for his body – and he only loves me for my face. That’s true love right there.

      Neither of us has ever tried matching outfits in America, but on vacation (Taiwan or other parts of Japan) we try to be obnoxious and matching. It’s really fun. It’s just… awkward to look back at pictures and be like “wow, we really matched. How weird.” I would die of embarrassment if we tried to match in America.

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