The Google zeitgeist on Japanese marriage

There are some interesting posts floating around the blogs about what Google’s “auto-suggest” feature auto-suggests regarding love and marriage, summarized in this post which indicates that women overwhelmingly want to be loved, while men overwhelmingly want to get kinky.

I just read these today, but the near-future Mrs. Jones was telling me this weekend about a similar phenomenon she had heard of with the Japanese auto-suggest feature, so I decided to try it myself.

Here are the top suggestions for “wife” (妻):

  1. wife hysteria
  2. wife birthday gift ranking
  3. wife birthday gift
  4. wife shochu
  5. what to call wife
  6. wife gift
  7. wife honorifics
  8. wife depressed
  9. wife gift ranking
  10. wife not registered (i.e., the Japanese equivalent of common law marriage)

And here are the top suggestions for “husband” (夫):

  1. hate husband (most hits by a long shot)
  2. average husband allowance
  3. husband violent language
  4. dead husband procedures
  5. what to call husband
  6. husband depressed
  7. husband unemployed
  8. husband allowance
  9. husband space
  10. dead husband pension

35 thoughts on “The Google zeitgeist on Japanese marriage

  1. Are there any arguments that this isn’t a good inductive measure of how Japanese wives and husbands feel about each other? The sample is biased towards people who use Google? M-Bone, I am looking in your direction about methodology.

  2. Saw this on tv, hilarious.
    And unique to Japan, I checked in other language googles and no one comes near close.

    China has “husband hepatitis pregnant what to do” which is kinda funny.

  3. “M-Bone, I am looking in your direction about methodology.”

    When you want to question the quantitative, go qualitative.

    Type “wife” into the US one and you get “wifeswap” (I’m hoping that is the TV show) and wifebeater (although the result could be funked up because I am using a Japanese OS). I don’t think this is indicative of how people feel about their wives…

    Actually hitting 夫嫌い does reveal LOTS of marital angst, most in lame Yahoo 知恵style, but a lot of other stuff as well.

    It is worth keeping in mind that this Google search thing has already become a Japanese net meme and thus is self-perpetuating – many of the first links that pop up in Google are links to discussions of…. how 夫嫌い dominates Google!

    Just on the first couple of pages are lots of things like – 夫の野菜嫌いをどうしたらいいのか
    自営業で保障が心配。保険嫌いの夫をどう説得したらいい?
    魚嫌い夫への魚好き妻の挑戦
    さようなら、夫の嫌いなものを食べ放題の日々
    夕飯 豆嫌いの夫がいないので
    歯医者嫌いの夫をどうすればいいか?
    夫の雨嫌い、スーパードライ傘ケース
    妻が嫌な言葉・態度 夫が嫌な言葉・態度

    Also, lots of men asking the quite clueless – なぜ出産後の妻は夫を嫌いになるのか
    (trans – why am I getting less nookie after the baby was born?)
    A LOT of the 夫嫌い things on the first 10 pages are about this very theme. Seems to reflect a lack of awareness of postpartum depression as much as anything.

    Looked at a bunch of the “hate husband” blog and forum posts and a lot of them seem to be about things the wife hates ABOUT her husband (he picks his ears at the kitchen table, etc.)

    Actually reading through some of this stuff, I don’t really get the feeling that this is some kind of cultural crisis or anything. If there is a main cultural feature to be teased out of this – it seems to be Japanese women powwowing to find ways to manipulate the behavior of men….

    Overall, while there are a bunch of seemingly legitimate “I hate my husband, wish he was dead” things mixed in, most of it is pretty tame complaining about habits, etc. Also noticed quite a bit of similar stuff that seems to be repeated across those ubiquitous spam blogs.

  4. Try google “My wife is”(「妻は」)
    妻はボリビア軍所属
    妻はフィリピーナ
    妻はトンベン
    妻は僕の太陽です
    妻はベンツで空を飛ぶ
    妻はエイリアン
    妻は夫を慕いつつ
    妻は多重人格者
    妻はマロングラッセが好きなんだ。

  5. A lot better than “My wife is an alien” isn’t is?(although it probably is coming from the title of a film).

  6. This is up there with Translation Party in terms of mindless internet-based diversions.

    I did 「暴力」 to try and reverse reference some of these other search results. I got:

    心理 夫 彼氏 慰謝料 歌詞 法律 定義 相談 英語 離婚

    英語??

    By the way, the number one result in terms of hits for 「離婚」 is 「離婚 ブログ」

    hmmm….

  7. Shouldn’t 夫 言葉の暴力 be translated as “husband – verbal abuse”? As in, “He calls me a stupid fat cow. What should I do?”

  8. BTW, wifebeater is a common American term for a sleeveless shirt. Actually, if you search for ‘wifebeater’ on google, the first result is a wikipedia entry on sleeveless shirts. =)

  9. Kevin – I know (I’m wearing one right now). I don’t think, however, that it means men are more interested in their shirts than their wives….

  10. The big argument against the methodology is that we have no idea whatsoever how Google obtains, analyzes, and presents the data. (Unless we are the Chinese government, of course.)

    Even if we did know, the self-selection thing renders this basically useless except as grist for NY Times color pieces.

    That said, humorously related.

  11. To the above poster – while this is true – it is hard to argue with the numbers.
    the fact that there are over 5 million hits for “detest husband”
    says something big. It is a number that would have been impossible
    to view before search engines appeard on the scene.

    Of course, one person could have searched this 5 million times
    to get a certain result but this is unlikely.

    More likely is that a lot of women are searching “detest husband”
    in google, in Japanese.

    Could it be, possibly, that a lot of women detest their husbands ?

  12. so what are you suggesting ? That the large number of google searches
    for “husband hatred” is due to people searching for cases of other people
    hating their husbands and then gloating over the results ?

  13. Well,some of you may need some serious soul searching here,since it could be your Japanese wives doing all the google searches.
    Considering there’s just so many Japanese wives running away with kids,the cost of getting married with unique and deluded people are quite high.

  14. btw “gay” and “bend over” are about as obscene as “ginger” .
    are you sure there comments are “obscene” ?

  15. “Aceface I hope you heed your own advice too”

    That’s why I didn’t get married with the Japanese woman.Gerald.
    They can become kinda spooky in it’s own way from time to time,you know.

  16. I know !! It’s definitely a big step into the unknown for a lot of guys.
    try before you buy is my advice.

  17. “They can become kinda spooky in it’s own way from time to time,you know.”

    haha, Agreed. Japanese wives are sooooo overrated.
    The fascination with japanese women is quite irrational, given that their own men can’t be bothered to sleep with them.

  18. The proposition – Honey, let’s go to the top of a hill in a secluded village, at night, so I can “hug you” under the stars. Doesn’t that sound like you’re plotting to kill her?

  19. 夫嫌いの方へ朗報!!〜夫を早死させる術〜
    1 名前: 可愛い奥様 投稿日: 2001/04/17(火) 02:41
    夫を早死にさせる11ヶ条

    1、 とりあえず夫を太らせる。

    2、 お酒をのませまくる。砂糖もたくさんとる。

    3、 いつも座らせておく。(運動させない)

    4、 脂肪をたくさん食べさせる。

    5、 塩分の多い食べ物をたくさん食べさせる。

    6、 飲み物をだすならコーヒーにする。

    7、 タバコをたくさんすわせる。

    8、 夜更かしさせる。

    9、 休暇旅行に絶対行かせない!!

    10、 常に文句を言い いじめる。

    11、 最後の仕上げに高い保険金をかける

    http://natto.2ch.net/ms/kako/987/987442899.html

  20. Thanks Annadori
    those 2ch pearls of wisdom are ever so delightful…
    But except from points 9 and 10, that sounds pretty much like an ideal wife’s behavior to me ! フフ 

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