Pulitzer Prize (1990, international journalism) winning journalist, Sheryl WuDunn once described an old saying: A man is in heaven when he has an American house, a British salary, a Chinese cook and a Japanese wife. A respected journalist and expert on Asian matters, WuDunn was reporting what was and still is the stereotypical image that most masochist western men fantasize about. The Japanese woman.
The image of a Japanese wife as a quiet, loyal and selfless servant was epitomized at the turn of the century by the "Madame Butterfly" story and myth that lies at the heart of Western perceptions of Japanese women as passive, selfless, and dedicated completely to their husbands and willing to die for their families. The original story, which was written by an American, John Luther Long in 1898, made into a play in 1900 by dramatist David Belasco, was transformed in 1904 into operatic form by the widely respected Italian dramatist Giacomo Puccini widely considered to be the best opera he ever wrote. Since then, the continued world-wide success of the opera has elevated the story of the teenage, tragic heroine into a cultural archetype and stereotype, a mythical icon of the Japanese woman as the ideal of loving self-sacrificing, devoted wife to a Western husband. .
This unlikely reason has had western men for ages come to Japan, and despite all the ramifications that come with it, settle in Japan, in their quest for the perfect partner, the ideal Japanese woman. Most of these sojourners are sadly, Asiaphiles suffering from Orientalism.
Asiaphilia (Orientalism) refers to the exotification and objectification of Asian culture, including and especially Asian women. Most Asiaphiles are blinded by the supposition that their preference for Asian (Japanese) women is a form of appreciation for Asian (Japanese) culture. This essentially results in the creation of something he can admire from a distance, without having to fully grasp it in full.