lifestyle

More Japanese marrying friends and acquaintances because they don’t want to bother with dating

16 Comments
By Mike, RocketNews24

Crazily enough, about 60% of Japanese women and 76% of Japanese men in their 20s report having no romantic partner, yet about 80% of unmarried Japanese say they’re looking towards marriage as a major life goal.

These seemingly incongruous numbers raise an obvious question: How does one expect to get married without first finding a romantic partner and fostering a relationship that will eventually lead to tying the knot? The Japanese answer? Apparently, “Screw all that dating stuff. I’ll just marry whoever’s convenient.”

A handful of celebrity marriages have apparently helped spark the new trend of “kosai zero nichikon” (roughly translated, “marrying without dating”). Famously, actress Maki Horikita married co-star Koji Yamamoto in 2015 after just a month and change of dating, sparking some Twitter users to share stories of their own shotgun marriages.

According to a Matome Naver compilation of news stories related to the phenomenon, many Japanese are choosing to marry friends and acquaintances to save on time and financial commitments that come with dating. Others appear to believe that marrying someone you aren’t dating isn’t just an acceptable last resort, it’s actually better that way, eliminating the emotional exchanges of dating and allowing people to cut straight to the point. A column in the Joshi Spa! magazine even described hunting for a marriage partner in the traditional way as akin to committing suicide.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no empirical evidence that "kosai zero nichikon" is taking Japan by storm and it’s most likely a niche movement among the fringes of romantically frustrated Japanese. Still, there’s a precedent here with Japan’s now mostly defunct omiai arranged marriage culture – which saw Japanese parents suggesting partners for their adult children. While many Japanese date and marry in the name of love, quite a few view marriage pragmatically, as a means to an end or an unavoidable obligation.

This all isn’t to say that love isn’t a factor for Japanese couples. Joshi Spa! notes that the rate of arranged marriage divorces is actually dwarfed by the divorce rate of traditional modern marriages, implying, possibly, that love can blossom from even the most unorthodox of couplings.

Source: Matome Naver

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16 Comments
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“Screw all that dating stuff. I’ll just marry whoever’s convenient.”

Wow, times have changed. When I was in my 20s, I used to screw whoever was convenient.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miai

... According to research by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in 2005, it is estimated that around 6.2% of marriages in Japan are arranged. ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like the article says, who can afford to date? That is the main thing. On the bright side, at least these people are getting married. I wonder if they have children.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Marriage doesn't automatically mean sex and children, especially if you marry for pragmatic rather than for lust/love reasons.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

When you work so much, earn so little, don't dare to dream too much, have to deal with long commutes, etc, what else can you do?

...maybe Abenomics or change of the constitution will change things?

Doubt it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Still, there’s a precedent here with Japan’s now mostly defunct omiai arranged marriage culture – which saw Japanese parents suggesting partners for their adult children.

Omiai is NOT a culture of arranged marriages. It was (and is) a system for meeting people in order to evaluate them as marriage partners. Parents may or may not be involved. I personally know Japanese women who have gone through scores of omiai on their own initiative before personally deciding on "Mr. Right."

If one wants an "arranged marriage culture," Pakistan is one place you can find it: young girls married to a man selected by their parents they have never met.

Further, the system is not "mostly defunct." The author of this article appears to read Japanese magazines, at least down market men's magazines. If he is fluent in Japanese, he should know that some people still go the omiai route and local communities especially in provincial areas sponsor "omiai parties" to help young people find mates.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Or you could just keep your friends / flatmates and skip marraige alltogether if you cant be bothered with dating. Avoids all the separation hassles down the road.

" While many Japanese date and marry in the name of love, quite a few view marriage pragmatically, as a means to an end."

Yep, there is still an army of gold diggers out there looking for their J-Inc slaving ATM of a husband. Buyer beware.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Crazily enough, about 60% of Japanese women and 76% of Japanese men in their 20s report having no romantic partner

Given a fairly even distribution between the genders, either the statistics are off, the poll question was interpreted way differently between the men and women, or there are a lot more Japanese playboys than I thought!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I see nothing wrong with marrying a friend and/or an acquaintance, but would caution to consider the old balm, "marry in haste, repent in leisure." Marrying someone one has known for a long time has advantages, in that one is less likely to be blindsided by negative information. Whether with a friend or a new acquaintance, my advice would be to get well acquainted before tying the knot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Confusing.

hunting for a marriage partner in the traditional way

Whose tradition? Are love marriages really the traditional way in Japan?

the divorce rate of traditional modern marriages,

What?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Maria

Ha ha, my thoughts exactly. What Exactly does "traditional modern marriage" mean?

As far as omiai, so-called arranged marriages, I agree with bullfighter. Omiai today is not what it was in the 1930s.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It could go one step further. In fact, it reminds me of the old joke. (Sexism alert for the easily offended, but it is an old one) Don't get married, just find a woman you hate and give her a house.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Confusing.

hunting for a marriage partner in the traditional way

Whose tradition?

Not confusing at all in my opinion. Whose tradition? Well, let's try Japanese first and see if we can come to some sort of compromise. Duh

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Walking around the bar area in Kobe the other day I couldn't help but notice the myriad number of women stepping out on to the street to see off their customers into the night. Thousands of attractive women being paid much more than the average wage just to put on makeup and stroke male egos. There are plenty of females ready to meet at a price but most male Japanese can't afford to...,,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kurisupisu, I've watched the same thing, from a bar stool, after being approached by those lovelies and saying thanks, but no thanks. Seems Japanese men (and perhaps I'm generalizing here) seem to think nothing of meaningless attention from a pretty face. Frankly, I think it's pitiful, just like the cosplay girls in the streets of Shinjuku, passing out little coupons of love-luck. I must be missing something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A couple of Indian friends in the USA have told me (decades apart) that -all- the Indian matches are arranged. I guess that's an exaggeration, though, as there are online Indian matchmaking sites where obviously the parents are not initially involved. In re that:

(WaPo) While the U.S. government doesn't track the divorce rate for Indian Americans specifically, expert estimates range from 1 percent to 15 percent, compared to a divorce rate of 44 percent for all Americans. (In India, divorce is even less common – just one in 1,000 marriages ends in divorce.)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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