'Marriage-hunting' is latest buzzword

TOKYO —

Selected as one of the trendiest words of 2008 by the Jiyukoku Minsha publishing company, “konkatsu” is an abbreviation of “kekkon-katsudo” — literally, “marriage hunting.” The term has spread like mad thanks to the recent trend of Japanese people marrying later in life. According to one estimate, 47% of women in their 30s are still single.

The 2008 book “Konkatsu Jidai” (The Era of Marriage Hunting), co-written by Chuo University Professor Masahiro Yamada and journalist Momoko Shiraga, is credited with coining the phrase and igniting a flurry of interest in the topic. The past year has seen the emergence of “marriage bars” and agencies that treat the search for matrimony like a job hunt.

A recent issue of mega-popular women’s magazine Anan offers tips on self-marketing for singles, like “Using Worksheets,” “Branding Yourself” and “Creating Your Own Catchphrase.” Next up is an NHK TV series, “Konkatsu, Rikatsu” (Marriage Hunting, Divorce Hunting), debuting April 10.

Metropolis magazine

  • 0

    bcbrownboy

    I have so many women whining to me about being single. But they won't choose any of the men around them - complaining that "all the good ones are gone." Can't they see that the men are saying the same thing about the women? Ha.

  • 0

    bobcatfish

    Yawn

  • 0

    cadmium

    Next it'll be restaurants serving special KonKatsuDon and RiKatsuDon to give customers good luck. But seriously, nobody wants to feel they've been "hunted" into a marriage, that would sound like you've been trapped and caught. In my time in Japan I've met some women who are seriously into finding a guy to marry, and they will act all cutesy or whatever. Nobody wants to marry an actor like that, or the other kind who are all businesslike with no love involved ("I marry you, then we have kids, then you work the rest of your life in a dead end job to support us" etc)

  • 0

    m0l0

    what can you say.. love is elusive

  • 0

    cnc

    women, especially working women around 30 are basically very unwilling to make small compromises necessary to form even a relationship let alone marriage. I know because I work with a bunch of them.

  • 0

    likeitis

    But they won't choose any of the men around them - complaining that "all the good ones are gone."

    Good men are not found. They are made. And its best to start on men when they are young. Women here do not appreciate the effects they have on men to become the "good" men, and so, those talents are completely wasted. And by the time a guy gets into his late 20s, its too late. It would be lucky if he learned to kiss properly then. He is not going to turn into Don Juan de Marco. The days were a guy just be a bread winner, period, are over. Yet neither sex knows how to deal with it.

    I look around, and so many of the guys here seem so inept. Its the fault of the women as much as the men. Both genders should do their marriage hunting in Korea because it seems Korean guys have a clue how to treat a woman, and Korean women have enough spine to do some leading.

  • 0

    timeon

    I couldn't be more happier: 47% of women in their 30s are still single! Paradise! Seriously now, as a 30s single male (make that divorced male), I've noticed many Japanese women set very high standards for the "right guy", while offering just a nice fashionable package and the promise "I'll be a good shufu". WHen I come up with my definition of the "right girl" for me, that is a person that can also be my best friend, they look at me like some kind of lunatic monster

  • 0

    presto345

    I look around, and so many of the guys here seem so inept. Its the fault of the women as much as the men. Both genders should do their marriage hunting in Korea because it seems Korean guys have a clue how to treat a woman, and Korean women have enough spine to do some leading.

    What a lot of bull.

  • 0

    M51T

    My konkatsu programme:

    Personal branding: Billy Idol sneer

    Catchphrase: "Drinks Ahoy!!"

    I'm going to have change these and write some worksheets.

  • 0

    70x4060d

    timeon is right: 47% of women in 30s here still single. And they believe ANYTHING you tell them. It's fish in a barrel.

  • 0

    bobbafett

    47% of women in their 30s here still single for a reason and that's why you best head for the hills if they are Marriage Hunting you.

  • 0

    Wottock_Hunt

    “Branding Yourself”

    That's got to sting a bit, surely?

  • 0

    70x4060d

    “Branding Yourself”

    That's got to sting a bit, surely?

    Is that an attempt at a joke?

  • 0

    Potsu

    Sounds like activities for 15 year olds....wait,it IS Japan.

  • 0

    rurika

    Marriage isn't the be all and end all of someone's life. A good marriage in a wonderful thing but you don't see that many these days. You can be single and have a happy life.

    These books just teach women how to be something they're not in the hope of finding a husband. Who wants a relationship based on at least one partner being fake? If these ladies really want to get married, they should lower their standards a little. The same goes for men, too many people have completely unrealistic expectations of their future wife/husband.

  • 0

    rushedblue

    I've seen it both ways.. women being too picky, but also women being so desperate they'll settle for anyone. A 30-something terminally single Japanese woman I know told me how she got a boyfriend over the New Years holiday. (It was a somewhat-arranged meeting, her boss set her up with someone he knew) Just yesterday she told me that he's going with her to her parent's house to ask for their permission to marry her. It's been what, exactly 3 months? Isn't that a wee bit too early to marry someone you JUST met? I understand not wanting to be an old maid, but at the same time you should probably get to know someone before committing the rest of your life to them. There needs to be a happy middle ground here.

  • 0

    OneForAll

    RushedBlue-The old arranged marriage was not all that bad and quite successful for the families involved. As one Jewish couple said that they grew together. Commitment is probably the most important element in any marriage. It is found in true love. Thinking, willing, and doing the good for another in good times and bad, in sickness and in health til ...

  • 0

    Snolygoster

    timeon - You and I are on the same page, my friend, down to the last detail.

  • 0

    Wottock_Hunt

    Timeon -

    WHen I come up with my definition of the "right girl" for me, that is a person that can also be my best friend

    I used to know a girl with a very spirited carnal attitude and whose father was a millionaire distillery-owner. I wake up in tears every morning about letting that one get away.

  • 0

    timeon

    distillery-owner?? my friend, I hate to tell you the truth, but you are a total loser for letting that girl go away :)

  • 0

    yabits

    It's been what, exactly 3 months? Isn't that a wee bit too early to marry someone you JUST met?

    That wise old American, Benjamin Franklin (aka Poor Richard), put it best: "Marry in haste; repent at leisure."

  • 0

    Richard_III

    and “Creating Your Own Catchphrase.”

    This must be particularly irritating.

  • 0

    Sarge

    "47% of women in their 30s are still single"

    I wonder if that has anything to do with Japan's shrinking population.

    I wonder when the girl on the cover, Kumi Koda, is going to get hitched...

  • 0

    Wottock_Hunt

    timeon - I am absolutely the last person on earth who needs to be reminded of that fact. The first word I say every morning is "D'oh"

    Thank you anyway for rubbing a little salt into the still-open wound.

  • 0

    Eizenhauer

    Where did you get 47% mark about japanese women in their 30ies being single? My research shows over 58% of women in their 30ies and early 40ies to be single... This is pretty much "singles"country...

Login to leave a comment

OR
Undergraduate: Information session (April 9)

Undergraduate: Information session (April 9)

Temple University, Japan CampusContinuing Education / MBA

Special Offers

Work
in Japan

Search the Largest English Job Board in Japan.

Find a Job Now!

More in National

View all

View all

Japan Investment
Properties

Listings Updated Daily

Search