Tokyo funds matchmaking parties to boost birth rate
What do you look for in your life partner? Shared values and interests?
A sense of fun and humor? If these are the qualities you want in your future soulmate, then think twice before signing up for a konkatsu spouse hunting party.
It was a notice about a cruise trip around Japan and South Korea put out by a travel agency, but what made me curious was the unusual catch copy: A chance to go on a cruise trip for free! I scrolled down the page, not because I was interested in looking for a spouse, but I wanted to find out how so many girls could embark on a gorgeous six-day cruise, free of charge.
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There must be some kind of catch, I thought. Lower down the page, it said that all ladies interested in participating must first be screened. Only 26 girls who passed this screening process were to be given a privilege to enjoy the free cruise trip. The deal was that if they were selected, they would have to sign a contract and have their pictures taken — which would be printed on flyers as well as put up online, along with their nicknames.
Konkatsu matchmaking parties are usually held at various upscale hotels, restaurants and venues across Japan. This screening was only required for women.
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The cruise organizer would start accepting registrations from men after all female participants had been determined. Men, on the other hand, must pay to board the ship but can check in advance all the faces of female participants. I left the website with mixed feelings.
Parents of unmarried offspring drive surge in matchmaking parties | The Japan Times
That was the year I graduated from college in the States and moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where my family lived at the time. While I was there, I was rather closely watching the konkatsu trend in Japan, debating whether or not I should join the crowd.
I was in my mids and sort of in a rush to find a significant other as I wanted to marry and have kids before So I started considering konkatsu parties as a potential option. While plenty of these group dates are fun and friendly affairs, where the worst that happens is awkward morning-after LINE conversations reminding each other of terrible karaoke, women do have to look out for themselves.
The weekly magazine SPA! Here they are, along with some quotes from the women interviewed on their experiences of group dates with men from said companies. Of course as the aim is to drink and hit it off with someone, a certain amount of lewd jokes and drinking games are to be expected.
However, as we can see from the quotes above, there are times when things are taken too far to the point of making women feel very uncomfortable, or even putting them in danger.
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