Navigating the world of Japanese online dating can feel like deciphering a new language — because it quite literally is. To help you avoid swiping right on a disaster, here’s a crash course in must-know slang and jargon. Think of it as your cheat sheet to understanding the romantic battlefield, one term at a time. 

Useful Japanese Dating Words to Know

Kareshi, Kanojo(彼氏、彼女)

  • Kareshi: Boyfriend.
  • Kanojo: Girlfriend.
  • Explanation: Basic but crucial. Knowing these words ensures you know what kind of relationship someone’s talking about.

Kareshi boshuu-chuu(彼氏募集中)

  • Meaning: Looking for a boyfriend.
  • Explanation: Literally translates to “boyfriend recruiting.” Perfect for those openly advertising their search for Mr. Right.


  • Meaning: Hookup-focused.
  • Explanation: “Yari” means “to do something” while “moku” means “goal.” This user’s aim is to do some action. You get the idea.


  • Meaning: Pickup artist.
  • Explanation: Smooth talker at the bar, looking to chat up strangers. Beware the charmers.


  • Meaning: Fake profiles affiliated with the app.
  • Explanation: Named after cherry blossoms for their fleeting, deceptive beauty. These profiles are here today, gone tomorrow, and aim to keep you engaged and spending more time (and money) on the platform.


  • Meaning: Scammers. Fake profiles not affiliated with the app.  
  • Explanation: “Gyousha” means “operator” or “business entity” in Japanese. These independent actors have malicious intent, unlike sakura. They aim to deceive you into giving money or personal information.


  • Meaning: Someone pretending to be someone else, using stolen photos and information to create a fake profile.
  • Explanation: The term comes from the Japanese verb narisumasu, which means “to pose as” or “to impersonate.” Essentially, identity theft. 


  • Meaning: Catfishing. Using misleading or heavily edited photos.
  • Explanation: The term merges “shashin,” meaning photo, and “sagi,” meaning fraud. Together, they describe the act of deceiving others with overly edited photos. Let’s all go easy on the purikura and filters. 


  • Meaning: Friends with benefits.
  • Explanation: Combination of “sex” and “friend.” Casual, no-strings-attached fun.


  • Meaning: Last-minute cancellation.
  • Explanation: When someone bails on plans at the eleventh hour, leaving you high and dry. Perfect for those who enjoy the thrill of disappointment.

By mastering these terms, you’ll be well-equipped to understand and navigate the nuances of Japanese online dating culture. Happy swiping! 

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