Japanese monkeys hug

“Honourable Madame monkey! I am big loving your thing!”

“You Monkey! You Idiot! I Love You!”

A guide to using romantic language in Japan  

Call someone a monkey or an idiot in Japan and they might be rather pleased – provided you use the term in an affectionate way.

The Japanese are creative with the language of love – although some phrases look puzzling if they’re translated too literally into English.

Other words of love suggest high drama – such as an invitation to enter the family tomb!

This week, the Japan Story blog gets into a romantic mood and considers how to woo a partner in a foreign tongue.

Japan Story’s blog is written by former BBC Tokyo Correspondent Duncan Bartlett. Each week he analyses how Japan’s story is being told to the world through the international media.