Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market

Gokon report #2: hopping with job-hoppers

Posted on: February 8, 2009

Romance meter: 9%
Conclusion: They say NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) are not eligible bachelors for a reason. A Japanese guy without job are like an American with no dream, an Italian with no religion!?

Genre: Saturday night gokon
Show time: February 7th 8pm
Running time: 150 min
MPAA rating: G

Guys team: 4 guys including, Mr.Curl, Mr.SteetDance, Mr.Artsy, and “the 4th guy” who know eachother from junior highschool
Girls team: 4 girls including myself


The 4 girls met up near the appointed restaurant 5 minutes ago, chat about how we spent the day, and walked to the restaurant to find none of the guys sitting there. Since the plan was to have a course dinner course and 120 min-limit-all you can drink course, we decided to wait for the guys for the first drink. But after 15min, the choice was between ditching these rude boys, or start the drinks without them. The 4 girls decided on the latter option since they had the thirst and patience.

20 min after 8pm, the first guy, Mr.Curl showed up. He lit a cigarette and apologized for his lateness and his friends lateness. He did not apologize for smoking among non-smoking ladies. The second guy, Mr.Artsy showed up 10 min after Mr.Curl, and did the same. The 2 guys had the luxury of being surrounded by 2 girls on each side and 4 sets of ears to listen to their story, but they didn’t have so much to tell because both of them were NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) so they could only talk about how they spend their day hanging out. When the guys don’t talk, it’s the girls job to ask the guys questions but this was hard to do, it’s hard to ask questions about how people hang out.

The third guy, Mr.StreetDance was 1 hour late, he had just woken up! He came, smoked, drunk, and ate his breakfast, and yawned. “The fourth guy” (I always call the last person who arrives “the fourth guy” because his lateness makes him out of sight/memory for anyone’s interest) arrived shortly and ate the pasta as he would eat ramen noodles, making the slurping noises. The guys talked about how they will spend the rest of the night, going to a darts bar while girls planned how they can spend the misery of spending the rest of the night with them.


OK guys, being late is only “fashionable” when it comes to holiday and cocktail parties, and even then, several etiquette guides agree that “fashionably late” gives only a half-hour window. For this night, ALL of the 4 guys were all so late, coming to the restaurant at various time of the night, which was so rude! and it’s not even like they were busy with work, they were just busy hanging out!

Personally, I had never judged a person based on one’s job. I have paid equal attention, respect, and interest for men of different occupation from construction worker, bartender, assistant professor to investment banker. However, there is a reason why NEET are not considered as an eligible bachelor.

Unlike most Western European countries, Japan’s unemployment benefit terminates automatically after three to six months. Hence NEET in Japan are entirely financed by their parents. The problem is attributed entirely to the individual’s social withdrawal as well as the middle class parent’s willingness to support this. n Japan, NEETs are those who have rejected the accepted social model of adulthood in seeking full-time employment after graduation or further training. What can I say more? The guys I met in this gokon was nothing more than spoiled mid 20’s Peter Pan with wealthy parents waiting for them to fly!


Frustrated by the 150 min and $40 we had wasted, my friend and I ended up spending even more money trying to make up for the time we spent with the boys. After 4 drinks and 15min in a crowded dance floor, we finally gave up and went home with an empty wallet.200703170434000


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What is Tokyo Meet Market?

From the Western perspective, what goes on in the Japanese dating scene is really different and interesting! In this shy nation of Japan, meeting new people is almost institutionalized, dating and romance is littered with conventions that protect people from social awkwardness. What are dating conventions and rules in Japan? How do the shy Japanese people meet new people, develop affection, and express their passion? As I research and answer these question, I will write a real time report of what's going on in the Tokyo dating scene, or the "Tokyo Meet Market" here in this blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and a trip around Tokyo Meet Market with me!

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