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Japanese vs. American notions of intimacy

So I'm reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler and encountered this idea: "the Japanese seem to rely more on friendships to gain intimacy, whereas Americans seek it more in romantic relationships with a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse." I'm thinking of all these manga I read, where many of us non-Japanese tend to read erotic intimacy into what appear to be "mere" friendships. And suddenly it all makes sense why we do this! What do you think? 

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Hanamatsuri, Inuou
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