Japanese relationships explained

Why does the phrase “ai shitteru” (愛しってる- I love you) only exist in the movies?

A taboo against both public and private displays of affection; a cowboy-like image of a real man as a strong silent type; a mistrust of romance as something that will disappear in the real light of day when juku bills have to be paid to get the kids into Todai; a clear distinction between genres of fiction, personal fantasy and real life, with no desire to blur them with realistic dramas or following your dreams; and/ or a habit against saying nice stuff to people close to you because you have to make insincere compliments at work all the time.

5 Comments

  1. alexcase said,

    April 12, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve been told it’s actually 愛してる (ai shiteru). What can I say? Not being a movie star, I’ve been limited to 好きです (suki desu- I like you)

  2. gaijinass said,

    October 16, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I have gotten ai shitteru a couple times.

    “I love you” is a absurdly over used expression in the West, particularly the states. “I love you”….no, you don’t.

  3. Kanukipper said,

    January 24, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Well I guess I’m lucky, my Japanese boyfriend said I love you first and now uses ai shiteru and ai shiteryo with me. So I guess not all Japanese men are afraid to say it, that or times are changing.

  4. alexcase said,

    January 25, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Those are two possible explanations. The other is that he feels less inhibited by social norms with foreign people, something I would say is certainly true with me in English

  5. Rebecca said,

    June 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

    gaijinass you really hate the US huh?
    and yes it’s 愛している, no っ. Otherwise it would mean “I know love” woops!
    愛しているis a really deep kind of love, like something you’d say at your wedding toast or right before you propose. It’s certainly not something you say everyday! 大好き and 好き are more appropriate for that.


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