Japan's Latest Fad: Spouse-Hunting

Bars, bras, and baseball games get in on 'konkatsu'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 29, 2009 10:59 AM CDT
'Konkatsu' toys with the words for 'marriage' and 'activity.'   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Some call it a passing fad, but in Japan, konkatsu—"marriage hunting"—has inspired events in venues ranging from bars to baseball stadiums, the Wall Street Journal reports. A book that uses the word, punning on the words for “marriage” and “activity,” has sold 170,000 copies in Japan, where marriage rates have dropped precipitously in recent decades.

The proportion of unmarried men aged 30 to 34 soared from 14% to 47% over three decades; the figure for women shot from 8% to 32%. Traditional matchmaking by neighbors, relatives, and company bosses has abated, and konkatsu is taking its place. A Hokkaido baseball team is even organizing a speed-dating event during a game. But a serious imbalance is hindering the movement: women appear far more interested than men.