Konkatsu, Latest Trend In Japan
Basically, konkatsu means “marriage hunting” in Japanese. Konkatsu is the latest trend in Japan right now. Remember the “Marriage Hunting Bra” not long ago? That is a result of this trend as well.
TOKYO — Desperate to turn around his money-losing singles bar last summer, Yuta Honda decided that marriage would be his only salvation.
Abandoning a marketing plan based on the ephemeral attractions of one-night commitments, Mr. Honda rechristened his place a “konkatsu bar,” a place for “marriage hunting.”
These days, his Green Bar is packed with marriage-seeking singles in their twenties and thirties — a rare success story in the Roppongi entertainment district, where businesses are closing right and left in the economic downturn.
“I was lucky to come across the book,” says the 37-year old, unmarried Mr. Honda.
The book is the best-seller “Konkatsu Jidai,” or “The Era of Marriage Hunting.” In it, sociologist Masahiro Yamada and journalist Tohko Shirakawa use the term — a play on the Japanese words for “marriage” and “activity” — that has become a national rage.
The tome has sold 170,000 copies since it was released by Tokyo publisher Discover21 in early 2008. The authors urge young singles to actively seek a spouse: Just sitting back and waiting for the right person to come along isn’t enough.
Appealing to spouse-hunters has become quite a business in Japan, where marriage rates have plummeted in recent years.
Government data show the percentage of unmarried people surged from 14% to 47% for men aged 30 to 34 and from 8% to 32% for women over the three decades ending in 2005.
The authors of “The Era of Marriage Hunting” cite changes in Japanese society, where traditional matchmaking — often by so-called neighborhood aunties — is fading away. Bosses in Japanese companies also used to match up women and men working under them — then force the women to quit once they were married.
That changed after an equal-employment opportunity law was enacted in the late 1980s. Since the law was passed, sociologists have observed an increase in women seeking careers rather than marriage. Men, they say, have become less aggressive about finding partners because of money troubles and uncertain jobs.
Businesses ranging from matchmaking services to lingerie makers and professional baseball teams are trying to fill the romance void.
Konkatsu is a new buzzword for Japanese media. The concept has been featured in magazines and is the title of a popular television show. Even shrines are getting in on the konkatsu boom.
You might want to read the following as well:
Japan’s Latest Fad: Spouse-Hunting