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Men and women always have different opinions on a wide range of things because they differ in thinking. I wanted to find out how Japanese men think of the konkatsu activities, or the ways people date in Tokyo Meet Market.

Through a personal interview with a Japanese male friend in a yakitori bar over several drinks, I was able to gain some insights on the Tokyo Meet Market and the konkatsu activity from a male perspective.

Interview candidate: 30-year old Japanese born male
Educational background: Japanese university for undergrad and then grad school in the US

Interview report:

Q1)What do you think of the Tokyo dating scene?

It’s really hard to meet people, that’s for sure. I’m 30 years old so I’m not all that into partying and drinking anymore. I don’t really go to gokon anymore so I try to meet people in more casual nomikai or through friends’ introduction. I don’t think I ever dated anyone who I just met randomly, as strangers. I’m not the kind of a guy to chat a girl up in a bar or cafe. All of my ex’s were introduced to me through some friends or networks.

Q2) How did you meet your current girlfriend?

I was introduced to her through my very close female friend. And the two of them are also very close, so this is where it gets a bit tricky, but anyway, she has many good qualities and she meets my criteria. There’s nothing I can complain about her so… I decided to meet her, hopefully get to know her better

Q3)Do you prefer to date people of specific characters? What are your criteria for your partner?

I’m from Kansai (Western Japan where comedy is very important) so a girl has to have good sense of humour, have a wit, drinks and eats well, can hold a conversation together. yeah, I think that’s about it. I think I’m very open in other areas. The girl I’m seeing meet these criteria, so it’s good. I don’t really see much flaws so far, except that she’s picky about her foods, she can’t eat certain things and she can’t drink beer but she can drink wine so… No special likes or dislikes for now.

Q4) How do you decide to date a woman? When and how do you ask her out?

I don’t really know myself. I don’t get so crazy about any woman, I guess I’m not that serious about my love affairs. I’ve had good relatsionships and some fun times though.

I usually takes what comes along, if I think it’s good enough, I take it, and go with the flow. If I see her couple times and I think it can work, then I see them once or a twice when we are dating, and we’d have some good times, then eventually become “like friends” and eventually become just normal friends and go separate ways.

When and how do I ask a woman out? I don’t know… it’s important for women to have the status of the girlfriend, so I think I just deal with the “formally asking her out” thing when we start to see eachother frequently, and just get it done and over with.

Q6) How committed are you to a relationship?

I am very committed, I don’t like cheating and all that. I expect loyalty and honesty from her as well. When I am seeing someone, I openly say it to avoid any complicating situations.

Q7) How do you break up then?

By the time we break up, we usually both know it’s time to break up so a simple phone call or text message is good enough to serve its purpose. Most relationship just falls down to friendship and we figure being friends is good enough, so no dramatic break up stuff. And I do have lots of lady friends… Oh, and my longest relationship is 1.5 years.

Q8)How willing are you to accommodate your lifestyle to your partner’s?

I wouldn’t really change my lifestyle, but I would want HER to change my lifestyle. For example, I think I need to eat better, healthier food, and I feel my diet and health can be improved when a woman starts to take care of me.

Q9) You said you are not passionate about women or love…

I basically don’t put love interests in center of my life. I think women and love affairs should be a part of life that gives me relaxation, healing power, and entertainment. It shouldn’t be the stressful, tiring part of life to put my energy into. So I basically take it easy, take what comes and goes… haha, may be that’s why I don’t have a wife yet. But I want a child in the future, so I should probably get more serious about konkatsu activity… which is gonna be more difficult because I finally do have to decide whom I like and with whom I want to be with.

Q10) What are you passionate about?

My career, work, who I become in the society, what I do for the society. I think this is what I’m most focused on and I want to keep my focus on my life and how I live so that is why I need a woman to take care of me so I can focus more on my role in the society as a man. But I also like children so when I have children I would probably become crazy about them.

Interview summary

As I thought in the past 2 months of cruising in the Tokyo Meet Market, Japanese men are not passionate about love affairs. As the interviewee stated, they look for relaxation and healing from their love affairs, not sparks, passions, and wild desires. Japanese men don’t prioritize affection when choosing their partners. The process of finding a partner is more of a process of elimination, if the girl meets the criterias. But! when it comes to konkatsu, searching for a partner for marriage, they start to consider who they feel affection for. When it comes to marriage, Japanese men are more romantic than Japanese women.

If love affairs and marriage are different things in Japan, it is so because… women cut off all their emotion and approach marriage partner hunting like business, but men actually start to put little more emotion into finding a partner for marriage. But both men and women share one thing in common, they both look for partners who will take care of them. Japanese women seek men who will take care of them financially, and Japanese men seek women who will take care of their home, diet, children. Neither of them are willing to compromise on this need; to be taken care of is more important than to be loved.

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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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