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Dating Customs In Japan - Views wanted


7 Apr 2003

One of my Japanese friends told me of a interesting Japanese dating custom when I met her in my last visit to Japan . She told me that a bunch of friends would go and meet up in a restaurant and each female would bring a male friend that her female friends had not met before. They then would pair off at dinner rotating between couples and if any of the couples hit it off a date would then be arranged. I just want to get some thoughts on this custom and the factors that make this such a popular method to find a partner in Japan. Another thing I would like to get some views on is how common arranged marriages are?

what the? my penpals have told me differnt things.. its just like in america.. if a boy/girl likes someone else.. and they feel the same way.. they just go out.. none of this o_O ill have to ask a few of my japanese friends about this
Perhaps this is not as widespread as i thought it would be, has anybody else heard of this occuring?
Not really, though it does make an interesting social game, if everyone's is up to it.

I'll ask around, too.
I haven't heard of that either although it sounds like a form of "gokon" which are very common. A gokon is basically a singles get together or party. Usually girls bring girls and guys bring guys so that there is an equal number of guys to girls. Then they have dinner or something and hope that somebody finds romance. It sounds like you're talking about a more organized, serious variation of this theme.
As for arranged marriages they are practically unheard of these days.
Originally posted by mdchachi

As for arranged marriages they are practically unheard of these days.
The last govt survey figures I saw, from 1998, put it at slightly under 10%, although there are doubtless more that continue on informally. My boyfriend and I are the only people I know nowadays that seem to have a preferance for it to love marriages, in fact, and it's not even our situation. Just shows compatiblity of attitudes I like to think :D
I think more happen informally too. As a matter of fact, my friend's marriage was what you would call an informal arranged marriage. Her father was the vice president of a company and her husband was just a purchasing manager for that company, but his family was very wealthy. For the marriage, her husband got a promotion and my friend's parents got a lot of money. She is now in a nightmare of a situation in more ways than I could possibly count.
Yeah, that original post by AustinB really sounds like a variation on "gokon"... Although I'm married now, I would have liked to try a gokon just once, for the kick of it...
I was very interested when my friend told me about this and i think on my next trip to Japan I will ask her if i can be the male friend she brings along, should be fun!!
Well, I never heard about this "gokon" thing but it sounds kinda interesting. Anyway about Arrange marriages they're reallly common in indian families._.
I am arranging gokon with a girlfriend right now. I am taking some guys and she is bringing her friends, so we're really just the "cupids".

Depending on the type of people who come (and the amount of alcohol) gokon can be very crazy. The last time I went to gokon, 3 couples went to a love hotel the same night.

Arranged marriages are not common, but what is more common is pressure from older generations for younger women in the family to get married. Grandparents in particular can often start making suggestive comments that their grand daughter really should be getting married soon, when they get to their mid 20s. Several of my girlfriends don't like visiting their grandparents because they are always being told they should be married.

Another thing that is not common, but not totally uncommon is for a girl to have a set of attractive pictures taken (often done by a special portrait photographer). The parents may then circulate these around other families for the young man to take a look at. If he likes what he sees, they may go on a date. However, whether or not the couple continue the relationship is entirely their choice. The parents can't force them to marry. In some ways it's not much more serious than joining a dating agency - it's just another way of being a little more active in searching for a partner.

they have something similar to "gokon" here in san antonio, called "8 minute dating" you register with them and just rotate around with the other people there for 8 minutes then a bell/whistle sounds or whatever and you switch off. i think it goes on for a couple hours at a time once a week. the radio is always promoting it. never have attended though i dunno if i would either.
yeah i dunno how these go over or what exactly happens. but i heard the ad again today and its actually called "the 8 minute meat market" sounds kinda sleazy to me...
hi all, new to the board. umm... could be wrong here but what austin's describing sounds to me like more of a korean dating custom (i'm not korean but have been in LTR's with 2 in the past -- i think they actually have clubs for this where you don't have to bring the right number of people.) could be very very wrong but i remember having a convo about this at some point...
Has nobody heard of the Super Free Club? The whole gokon culture is in crisis at the moment due to this and other student clubs - the idea is to go to a nomikai (drinking party) and gang rape the pretty girls...in Japan rape is seen as something committed by strangers and it is only recently that the members of Super Free have been sentenced.
One thing that is quite, (well it was for me), unnerving is japanese women can be quite predatory when chasing someone. I think it's a younger generation thing. It's actually One hell of a weird experience when a woman is buying you gifts n' stuff just to get a date!! :D Just one of the many things you should get used to in Japan. Foreign men seem to have some sort of attraction, i think it's just cos we're different. My partner still finds it funny when another J-gal tries to hit on me.
I don't mind if I see a lot of gals rubbing their noses on lil' ol' Hachi here (gomen Ran-sama), but they would have to get to know who I am, before something strong really develops. I look forward to something like that, most definitely.
I don't think omiai (arranged meetings) are going anywhere soon. I don't know if numbers are as low as ten percent, but I have a feeling they are higher. I know four ladies who have or are going through omiai (all early 30s). I know of many more people who have met through the formal process. Even passing around photos can be a form of omiai. There are still agencies raking in tons of cash to match people up.

Omiai that become marriages are technically arranged marriages in the way I have heard Japanese people speak of them. An arranged marriage doesn't mean the people didn't take the time to get to know each other or didn't have a choice in the end. It might in some cultures, and in older Japan, but not now. An omiai doesn't preclude a marriage for love (however, you might be surprised at the practical, very unromantic, considerations that go into love matches. I think there are some other threads about this in other threads. Do a search or two :) ).

Also, as people are starting to marry later in life because of work, lots of people think omiai will increase as the pressure of holding down a job takes away from time to get out and meet people. If you have rejected everyone you work with as a potential mate, it can be tought finding a new batch - hence omiai time.
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