Kokuhaku and Tsukiatte Kudasai - Dating and Dating in Japan

The art of declaring or confessing love in Japan is known as Kokuhaku [告白] already in the case of inviting a person to go out or date after declaring yourself, if you use Tsukiatte kudasai [付き合ってください].

Earlier we talked about the different ways of saying i love you in japanese. In this article, we are going to talk about these two essential words that it takes from the declaration of feelings until the courtship in the Japanese language.

The Japanese have a little difficulty when it comes to declaring themselves. Most of the time the biggest enemy is “shyness”. In Japan it is not uncommon for girls to confess their love to boys, so this article is for everyone.

Kokuhaku [告白] - Confessing your love in Japanese

Kokuhaku [告白] literally means “confession”, and it is done when a man or a woman declare your love to another, and hopes to start dating that person soon after. The word can also mean recognition and even confessional.

The word Kokuhaku is composed of the ideogram [] which means revealing, counting, informing and announcing along with the white color chart [] that also gives the idea of speaking and innocence. The content of the word is not always romantic.

In the West it is common for people to start dating without any declaration of love. The Japanese, on the other hand, find it necessary to express their true feelings before starting a relationship. This does not mean that it is necessary to declare yourself to get a date.

You can make friends with the person, hang out with them for a while, and finally build up the courage to declare yourself. When that happens, and if you are reciprocated, you are officially dating.

Most of Japanese dating are from friends who had a lot of contact. It really is difficult to declare yourself to someone you don’t know well, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible.

Kokuhaku and tsukiatte kudasai - declaration and dating in japan

Phrases to confess your love in Japanese

The most basic way to confess is to say:

  • 好きです。付き合ってください。
  • すきです。つきあってください。
  • Sukidesu. Tsukiattekudasai;
  • I love you, can we start going out?

This expression is very informal, of course you are not going to say just that. Can you say something more complete like anata no koto ga dai suki desu [あなたのことが大好きです]. This expression has the addition of pronouns and the expression koto [事].

The koto in the sentence increases the power of the statement saying something like: "I love everything in you". This expression makes it clear that you deeply love the person in a romantic way, showing a genuine love, which focuses on the quality and the interior of the person.

Some adults already declare themselves saying:

  • 結婚を前提にお付き合いさせてください
  • kekkon the zentei ni otsukiai sasetekudasai

This means: "I would like to have a relationship with you, with the aim of an eventual marriage.”Many find it a waste of time to date someone without planning a wedding. Don’t even think about telling that to strangers!

If the person rejects your feelings or refuses to go out or date you, it clearly means that you’ve been dumped. Getting dumped in Japanese is furareru [振られる] where literally she pierced your… Sometimes a person may take a while to respond to his feelings, he may think about the case. get ready for the furareru.

Kokuhaku and tsukiatte kudasai - declaration and dating in japan

Tsukiatte kudasai [付き合ってください] - Japanese Dating Request

 The expression tsukiatte kudasai [付き合ってください] This is a dating request. Realize that along with the expression kudasai refers to an order, a please, wants to date me? Or do you want to go out with me?

The verb tsukiau [付き合う] in addition to meaning dating, there is an idea of socializing, associating, keeping company, staying firm with, continuing with, accompanying with, committing to and things like that. It is a very broad word.

It is important to be careful with the verb “tsukiau“. While the broad definition is “socialize”, the meaning changes a lot according to the context. The main meaning is "to accompany someone somewhere", without any romantic involvement.

Speak tsukiatte kudasai without saying your feelings, it may end up sounding like having a date or going out to some corner together without romantic involvement or as a test.

The verb tsukiau it is also used to indicate that 2 people are dating or going out. See some example sentences:

  • あの二人,付き合ってるでしょう.
  • futari ano, tsukiatteru deshou
  • Those two? I think they are a couple.
  • つきあっている人がいますか?
  • tsuki atte iru hito ga imasu ka
  • Are you dating someone?

The verb tsukiau can also be used for things other than relationships. Like, you can use the verb to express that you are saving, supporting and things like that.


Deeto [デート] - Go out for a date in Japanese

Another way to talk about dating in Japanese would be through the word deeto [デート] which derives from the English word “data”. That word can refer to both an encounter and a relationship, just like the word tsukiatte.

You may wonder if there is a difference between “deeto" and "tsukiau“. Good, deeto would be used for some casual encounters with someone, while “tsukiau”Implies a deeper relationship with that person.

The word was first introduced into the Japanese language at the end of the 19th century and became popular with young middle class women during the 20th century. It was used to express the day and time when a man and a woman decide to meet.

The introduction of the American dating culture was a culture shock, as previously Japanese people did not go out casually, but always with the marriage mentality. See some interesting phrases below:

  • デートする
  • deeto suru
  • go out on a date
  • デートに行ってくれますか?
  • deeto no itte kuremasen ka
  • Do you want to go on a date?
  • 付き合うまで何回デートする?
  • tsukiau made nan kai deeto suru?
  • How many dates before a relationship?
Kokuhaku and tsukiatte kudasai - declaration and dating in japan

Japanese declaring their love

It takes a lot of courage to declare your love, the Japanese are also not good at it. According to research on “Kokuhaku”Conducted by Unilever in 2011. Of the 300 people interviewed, 79% of them are unable to confess their love, because they do not know what the person thinks of them, or because they do not have confidence in themselves. I think most are afraid to take a furareru.

Most agreed that they would confess their love if they were completely sure it would be accepted. Of those who declared their love, only 21% repented. While 52% regretted not having confessed their love.

Another problem among the Japanese, is that most of them declare themselves in an unexpected way, even scaring women. There are many reports of girls who have received a confession from people they have never spoken to or even never seen in their lives.


Be careful not to make some stupid things when declaring yourself. There are a few rules you can keep in mind before you confess your love:

  • Never confess through text.
  • Never reveal too many things that you know about the other person. This can scare you.
  • Avoid making a public confession.
  • If you are a stranger and do not know the person. Not flowers.

Below we have some videos of some Japanese who made their Kokuhaku in public:


I don't know if it was very clear, but it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, if you like someone, do the Kokuhaku. Thank you for reading our article, I hope you enjoyed it, I appreciate all comments and shares.

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