What does Turning Japanese mean?

Search Login

The Vapors: Turning Japanese Meaning

Turning Japanese Lyrics

I've got your picture of me and you
You wrote "I love you" I wrote "me too"
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do
Oh it's in color Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    #1 top rated interpretation:
    RoamedKnights
    click a star to vote
    Apr 1st 2010 report

    The band was asked about the meaning of the song and they said it was about a man who just lost his girlfriend and is slowly going crazy.

  2. 2TOP RATED

    #2 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 23rd 2007 report

    This song is about the face you pull when you masturbate. The reference to having her picture only furthers the point of the character in the song indulging in self love. I bet you just pulled a Japanese face. Unless of course your Japanese, then you can't help it.

  3. 3TOP RATED

    #3 top rated interpretation:
    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 17th 2011 report

    The Vapors say it is a love song about someone who lost their girlfriend and was going slowly crazy. Lead singer Dave Fenton said: "Turning Japanese is all the clichés about angst and youth and turning into something you didn't expect to." It was inspired by Fenton's relationship problems.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 18th 2020 report

    This song is about losing your passport in Hiroshima and not being allowed out the country and growing tired of drinking Saki and attributing your tiredness to radiation from 1945s atomic bombing (hench I wanna doctor to take a picture so I can look at you from inside as well) and by the time a new travel document arrives from your embassy you're turning Japanese ya see?

  5. Nah
    click a star to vote
    Sep 25th 2019 report

    The songs lyrics represent a man who is in anguish over his breakup with his lover. She is obviously beautiful to him and he longs for her love but he was rejected by her. The phrase “ I think I am turning Japanese” is a reference to the Japanese and their love for the camera. Especially in the late 70s and early 80s the Japanese at times had several cameras around their necks and Japanese media, tourists etc. often snapped away behind the camera’s lens. Therefore the stereotypical Japanese were image takers. The man who has suffered heartbreak of a divorce or broken relationship is feeling his loss and may have hired a detective to snap photos of his lover’s infidelity. In viewing the many provided photos, he realizes he has gone too far with spying on her and he never really knew her as she really is.( The reference of ‘knowing her on the inside’) which confirms to him his effort to hang on to her is not realistic. He is like the Japanese photographer attempting to hold on to an image.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 25th 2019 report

    My interpretation is a man who falls in love with a photo of a beautiful Asian woman. He stares at her beauty, longing to have her by his side. That is why he covers himself with her photographs. He realizes he is in love with an image of a woman that he does not know. He does not know her interests, her preferences, her person, her soul, nor her mind, so he wishes that he could know her from “the inside”. In other words, who she is inside her heart. The doctor reference is preferably a psychiatrist. One who would have an inkling as to the woman’s psyche. ~

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 9th 2019 report

    Does anyone esle recognize the racist aspects of this?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 18th 2017 report

    I wouldn't say that this is a porno song, but it's VERY weird & sexual, but still it's an AWESOME song! I think it's about a porn-addict who ends up getting a girlfriend. He ends up getting arrested for pornagraphy and realizes how hellish and boring prison is without porn or his girlfriend! He also realizes that the only thing he can do in jail is masturbate to a picture of him & his girlfriend and wishes that she could be there with him to occupy him!

  9. roberta
    click a star to vote
    Sep 22nd 2014 report

    They just smoked a fatty. When you do, it makes your eyes look Japanese.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 21st 2011 report

    I heard the song was about porno in japan in the eighties. Before then, it was a lot of soft-core stuff but it got really hardcore and freaky in the '80s. So much so that many Japanese men would masturbate to porn rather than have sex because the porn was more kinky than the sex. So "turning Japanese" meant you'd rather masturbate than have sex. But the song's all about porno and jerking off. I don't think Japanese has anything to do with facial expressions or anything.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 23rd 2009 report

    This person is really turning japanese. I'm a foreigner living in Japan, I understand everything about kissing with no one around, because kissing in public is ver unpolite and not seen often, although I do it often.
    No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no you... no wonder...
    It is really dark, people is not offering a sincere smile and sex is something for men to enjoy only, not for women, oftenly, over 40s men go to have sex outside of home, because the wife is tired and of course, it is an excuse if sex is no enjoyable. And of course, no drugs, Japan, has 0 tolerance to drugs, no for consumption, not for selling, not for even carrying.
    It's a sad and dark country. Don't become a japanese. I live in Japan, with a japanese, but he is not into japanese culture, he is a latin by heart.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 12th 2009 report

    The dude is stuck in jail, or some other penitentiary (i want a million of you all around my cell, everyone around me is a total stranger, no sex no drugs no wine no women, no fun no sin no you no wonder it's dark). The only thing that he has with him is the picture of this girl, so he masturbates to her. turning japanese, meaning you squeeze your eyes and tighten your face. anyways, fun song to play and sing when there is nobody that has a clue what the song is about.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 10th 2007 report

    I don't think it's about masturbation, though that would be funny.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 17th 2007 report

    This is indeed a song about masturbation, and yeah the face you make while doing it...it makes you look Japanese. When I first heard this song, I didn't get it.
    The next time I heard it, I realized what it was about, and I nearly ran my car into a tree.


More The Vapors song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]





Just Posted

Swalla anonymous
Stripped anonymous
Mutter anonymous
Tearin' Up My Heart anonymous
Near You Always anonymous
Break Me anonymous
Absence of Fear anonymous
I Have a Dream anonymous
Where Do Babies Come From anonymous
Paul anonymous
Rock the House anonymous
Good Life anonymous
Prom Queen anonymous
Ships That Don't Come In anonymous
Run anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

We Wouldn't Be Us
Alexandra Kay
Better Than You’re Used To
Tyler Rich
I Can't
Caitlyn Smith
Best Parts Of Me
Will Dempsey
Redemption
Nathaniel Rateliff
To Be Loved By You
Parker McCollum
Cover Me In Sunshine
Pink
Meaningless
Charlotte Cardin