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Face saver: Surgical masks worn at speed dating sessions

36 Comments
By Kwiyeon Ha

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36 Comments
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I dunno. It just seems like Japan is becoming more and more effete.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

In order to "achieve marriage"... That one made me laugh.

Here is a one-minute video of on of these masked marriage partner hunting konkatsu (婚活) events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4C9RkX5F9A

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'm sure it helped that no one could understand a darned thing the other person was saying, too.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Issues. Serious issues. At least the two masks now have a chance to finally find each other , achieve marriage and make little masks to replace themselves. Sounds like a win...

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Well, there is one good thing about this, people focus more on the inside than the outside. Then again it will probably be "Hey, what is your job and how much do you make a year?"

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Some company should just sale face masks with real faces drawn on the outside.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Then the mask comes off when they get matched, and it's like, "Uh, oh."

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Sad that its come this......I cant see Japans population do anything but decline & pace will likely pick up here on in!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

even though I was attracted to my wifes strong personality, I also like the idea she is physically sexy and facially attractive (with nice teeth) , like having a nice cake with cream on top, but hey call me old fashioned!?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Then again it will probably be "Hey, what is your job and how much do you make a year? oh thats so 1990s! now its just, "Do you have a job!"

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Doesn't the time limit in speed dating act as an obstacle to getting to know the other person? I mean, I understand the mask thingy, but how deeply can you get to know someone when you only have a couple of minutes with them?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One of the many social/political single-frame satirical cartoons I wish I had the talent to draw would be two Japanese making love in bed, each wearing a white mask.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm sure it helped that no one could understand a darned thing the other person was saying, too.

Doubt anyone missed anything of substance.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Very similar to glory holes, in some way.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

But won't all those lovely smiles and white teeth be missed?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why stop there? Slap on the welder's visors and totally blank out the face, or have everyone where ski masks. Or just put a big board in front will little holes for eyes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

where = wear

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stupid, we are supposed to be attracted to each other physically, it's not shame full to prefere one persons looks over another, especially when you get married and then find out your partner has no teeth from smoking

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So much for being yourself, eh?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, this IS Japan so this type of weirdness is not really new or surprising. I would opt for one of the masks from 'Eyes Wide Shut,' though, because that is the definition of Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Might as well put paper bags over their heads and, if so, they could just use a phone instead of meeting.

I have to agree that teeth (and breath!) are important so no thanks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

good cover for snaggle teeth and bad breath.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Actually I think this is a very interesting idea. A bit strange, but it does help people judge personality more accurately and personality in a marriage is all important. Of course looks are important too, but in this type of a situation, it probably provides a better way to judge a person.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very similar to glory holes, in some way. yeah but there's very little glorious protruding from the holes!?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

in japan, me thinks the surgical masks are being used mostly for hiding, and minimally for health issues. me thinks many women wear them in the morning if they didnt have time to put layers and layers of makeups.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The knots that the Japanese tie themselves in about the most basic simple things... it's comical.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This is a very good idea. Thumb up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow ! Adults that are actually children

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As a person who isn't that great looking.......I think it is an awesome idea.

He is not much to look at.....but he has a great personality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow! It seems that mental illness is more widespread here than I thought.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Young people brought up in the digital era find face-to-face encounters daunting in ultra-polite Japan, while long work hours add still another hurdle.

And the masks make this less daunting????

Sad that its come this......I cant see Japans population do anything but decline & pace will likely pick up here on in!

Well, my dear friend, since it HAS come to this, maybe its a good thing that the population will decline.

Then the mask comes off when they get matched, and it's like, "Uh, oh."

I just got matched with.... the Predator!!!

Why stop there? Slap on the welder's visors and totally blank out the face, or have everyone where ski masks. Or just put a big board in front will little holes for eyes.

Or the muslim niqab..

One of the many social/political single-frame satirical cartoons I wish I had the talent to draw would be two Japanese making love in bed, each wearing a white mask.

Or even better..an adult video. Of course, certain things will be missing such as kissing and other oral activities..

I would opt for one of the masks from 'Eyes Wide Shut,' though, because that is the definition of Japan.

Minus the nudity and the orgy...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Aberrative behavior at its best!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dating agencies are scam, too much mainstream propaganda affecting people behaviour..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Teeth and the smile as well as facial expressions mean too much to me to even consider this kind of approach. It's downright creepy and offensive at best.

Japan used to be all about manners and expressing oneself in subtle ways, but this just negates that culture and is trying to dumb your senses down to an even lower standard.

Intuition, first impressions, body language, micro expressions and more are part of the experience which is all required to make the best judgement at that moment to decide what to do next. Dumping that down is just stupid.

It's pathetic to think people choose people on just external looks as it's the internal (subtle) looks that you look for after the initial 5 seconds. If you really want to go for fairness just get everyone to dress in the same prison outfit with the same haircut and of course no makeup. Now you have a non-judgmental situation where the face is less of an asset and everything else is up for grabs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I will never forget once when i went into a club, I think it was harlem in Shibuya, i can't remember. but i first went in there just the way i was and walked around and tried to socialise. but all the ladies were acting cold as ice and were ignoring me. and then i thought about this friend of mine who i had a laugh about a ridiculous experiment he once tried, and worked! - so i put on this NY baseball cap, turned it to the side and wore a surgical mask. it worked like a charm!! All of the women flocked around me and started chatting with me and i was in there. i asked one of the girls why they did this, and that i was the same guy that tried to talk to her earlier,.. and her answer was that i wasn't threatening and that i could pass for a japanese guy......!?? i think fashion wise, they want everyone to look like them and follow their trends. hell, i think a lot of foreigners these days almost look like they are japanese the way their fashion is. i guess they feel more in control and comfortable. but its a big world with many kinds of people, races, and personalities. without it, you've got nothing but sheep (internally and externally) and it would be only 2 dimensional.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Speed dating is all about first impressions based primarily on looks. Obscuring the face and using personality as the primary filter seems like an unusual but smart approach to finding compatible mate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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