Posted February 19, 2009on:
Konkatsu is an abbreviation of kekkon(marriage) and katsudo(activity), which literally means “marriage hunting.”
The word Konkatsu was coined by a sociologist, Masahiro Yamada, and a journalist, Toko Shirakawa, in 2007. The book Konkatsu no jidai (The era of marriage-hunting), written by Yamada and Shirakawa was published in the early 2008. According to their research and analysis, Japanese singles can’t just sit around and wait for their “one” to appear anymore. They have to “hunt” for their partners instead.
Times has changed. It’s become harder for young people to get married in the last 20 years. Marriage is something to be pursued with strategy and planning. Marriage hunting should be executed in a similar manner as job hunting. You have to prepare your resume, wear the right suits that makes you look professional and sophisticate, present your best self through the interview, follow up the interview with polite emails and phone calls, and when you get the offer, review the contract and negotiate for your true worth!
Yamada and Shirakawa say that there are 2 main reasons for the situation.
- Dating has become much easier than before. That means one can have a relationship with someone without really thinking about marriage. So, if the relationship doesn’t work out, they are free to break up with no responsibility.
- Working situations have changed. More and more young men are having a hard time getting a regular job these days. While some women are pursuing career paths and making their own living, a lot of other women still tend to rely on their husband’s salary. So, for example, a man may want his wife to work full-time to contribute to the family income while his future-wife may want to be a full-time homemaker, and vice versa.
Yamada and Shirakawa say that young people need to be more conscious about such changes and make an effort at hunt for marriage if they want to get married.
And how do you hunt for marriage? You make an effort to meet an appropriate, eligible bachelor and bachelorett. In another words, “Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market!” They can ask their friends to set up singles’ parties, or they can also try using matchmaking services or dating websites. They may wonder why it’s so hard to get married, but socializing with more people and trying to become more attractive are surely useful first steps in the process.
This word konkatsu became a trendy word through 2008, encouraging single men and women in the 20’s to engage in rigorous search for their life partners. Gokon, previously seens as just a drinking party of youngsters, had received a new clean image as a meeting of men and women seeking a better future. In the end, the invention and the spread of the showed the acceptance of the idea to hunt for marriage, and magnified the phenomenon to a national scale.