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Do you remember that I once went to match making party?

Actually my relationship with “my perfect match” didn’t end that night so let me write about this. We never met again, but he tried and tried and tried to pursue me and pretty much did everything in his power (using cellphone) to convince me to marry him, or at least have a drink with him.

I must admit it was flattering at first, to be told how surprised he was to have met his perfect match in a match making party(what a coincidence, he kept saying) and that he had never expected such fortune. I would have even gone for a full dinner + drink date with him at that point, if it wasn’t for the wrap up of my busy analysis project. I really would have, he was nice, decent guy at least from what I remember that night, and his sms wooing were harmless, if not flattering.

After 3 weeks of meetings, report makings and excel databases, his emails turned into something more than what it originally was. It seemed as if his passion for the idea of getting married (note: not the passion for me) has gotten out of control in my absense, and his sms started get more and more in tense, in terms of volume and content. He was so getting anxious to get married, he couldn’t wait till he seems me again.

“What kind of a family do you like to have?” “What kind of a man do you like to marry? I will try to be that man, I will get stronger for you” … isn’t it getting bit intense to hear these from a guy you just met once? But I realized this has to end when he googled me and found me on the company website and my university website and commented on sms “You work so hard, I saw your success in the company and in the university,  you must be so smart with great genes”

After a month or 2, it was all about the sms chase. I became the Queen of avoidance, and ignored his passionate sms (about the idea of marriage, not me) and slowly he became quieter with sms. And it was his very last sms that really impressed me, after all the sms that had tired me, freaked me, and pushed me away from him.

In his very last sms, he asked that we meet again, so I could give him a feed back on what he did well, what he did wrong, and how he could do better next time he goes to the match making party. Well, he doesn’t learn the lesson that may be this whole match making thing isn’t for someone like him, but he is surely ready to learn te lesson from his failure and grow to be the konkatsu-professional.

What did I learn from this experience? … To be desired for sex, is one thing. It happens, right? Lust at first sight. He doesn’t know you, but he knows he wants you. He wants to kiss you and take you in his arms, even though he doesn’t know you. I welcome that, eventhough I find it annoying if the guy is not my type. But to be desired for marriage, without the guy knowing me… this is freaky. This is completely different story. And although this match making party, my konkatsu activity was a success for having him desire me for marriage so much (hell yeah, I could have been married by the time I’m writing this now) I really learned the sadness of idea of marriage without love… and lust.

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Phase 1: Choosing the right event targeted at appropriate population segment

  1. Know the differences among various parties
    • Petite omiai party: It is where you have the chance to converse with every participants for 2-3 min, followed by free time to converse with those you felt affection with. Because it is highly organized and the process is systematical, giving every participant chance to meet all participants, it has higher rate of success. It also allows because speed dating is an individual play, one can participate alone.
    • Large omiai party: Most popular  style of omiai party which is more flexible than speed dating style of petite omiai party. It is more like a dinner party with games and matching events organized throughout the party. It gives people more time to converse with participants they are interested in.  Since meeting people require some aggressiveness, if you are shy person, this is not the party for you.
    • Travel omiai party: This is an all day event where the agency rents out a bus and takes the participants on a day trip to amusement park or hiking in the mountain or whatever. Throughout the day, participants get to know eachother while having fun together on a relaxing weekend trip
  2. Identify target segment- who do you want to meet?
    • What are you looking for? a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife?
      The higher the entrance fee is, the more serious participants are in kokatsu acitivty and the higher the success rate is for finding your life partner. Identify what you are looking for and choose the appropriate event with appropriate level of entrance fee.
    • Every omiai party has requirement for participants… whether it’s age, salary, marital status, academic degree, occupation, find out what your target segment is and choose the appropriate event with the people you want to meet with.

Phase 2: Looking groovy for the party – no need to be sexy or beautiful, the most important thing is to look clean!

  • Guys, watch out for body odor, bad breath,  beard, dirty nails, dirty shoes, unwashed un-ironed shirts
  • Girls, no need to show off your cleavages, but look clean and pure, smell like soap and smile a lot

Phase 3: What to do at the party

  1. Be on time, or rather, get there early
    • Tardiness could mess up your experience in the event completely: messy hair, lack of time for last minute makeover,  bad impression, lack of time to work on profile card, nervousness, panic
  2. Work on your profile card, write a lot, give lots of information
    • Since your profile card is conversation initiator, you want to really work on a well developed profile card which opens conversation with various participants easily and openly. Starting a conversation with a total strangers is difficult so in most cases, you and your partner will start the conversation from eachothers’ profiles. Put as many information as possible, but nothing heavy, nothing serious, write down trendy movies and interesting hobbies, new trendy restaurants in town and interesting stories of your latest vacation! https://tokyocherie.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
  3. Don’t get drunk
    • no need to explain in detail… I suppose

For advanced participants: Tricks for Omiai Party

  1. Be a good listener more than a good talker
  2. (If you really wanna be “matched”) Mark as many people as appealing for the final matching vote, this will increase your chance of being “matched” to someone
  3. Give out your mobile phone number and email addresses on your “message card” to increase the chance of being contacted after the party even if you fail to be “matched” for the night
  4. Use follow-up service
    After the party, if you really want to contact unforgettable participants you met at the party but were not matched to, you can ask the agent to send personal message to them for extra fee.

Souce: Men’s strategy for Omiai party
http://www.konkatuman.com/entry13.html

Note: I thought it’s not just for male so I translated/edited some information to make it general tips and advice

My friend went to a konkatsu party and she told me all about it, so let me share the details… ok ok, I must confess, it’s not just my friend who went to the konkatsu party, I went with her. As you can guess, we were a little hesitant and a little embarassed to attend the konkatsu party, but what the heck. Life is all about experience!

Romance meter: 65%
Conclusion: Although speed dating with 35 men can be very dizzy, it’s surprising how 2min quick chat is enough to see if there is any potential between you two, and it seems this instinct is often mutual between the couples… well, at least in our cases it was. Konkatsu party turns out to be much more efficient, cheaper(at least for us girls), and safer way to meet people than going to a gokon.

Genre: Speed dating (with no alcohol)
Show time: 7:30pm
Running time: 120 min
MPAA rating: G

Guys team: 35 men in the 20’s with college degree or in civil service with 3,500,000 JPY ($35,000) annual salary
Girls team: 35 women in the 20’s

Synopsis:

We arrived at a building in ginza which had a sign “Mariage company” on the 5th floor of the building at 7:20pm, 10min before the party starts. In the elevator up to 5th floor were us and 2 more girls dressed in pastel color spring dresses doing last min make up with pink lip gross. They were, like us, a little hesitant but a little excited to “see what’s out there,” well, aren’t we all like that when we go out to a night out may be expecting something special to happen. So… may be konkatsu party isn’t all that weird… was what I was thinking just when the elevator door opened and there were 20 men  lining up to pay the 6,500 JPY ($70) entrance fee to the konkatsu party… ok… this is no “normal party” for sure… but then again, don’t men always pay higher entrance for night clubs and bars, when women often get free drinks and discounted entrance? so it is normal that men pay higher fee to meet women.

At the reception, women were asked to show their ID to confirm their identity and received the profile card to fill in. We were also given an assigned number and a number plate to put on our clothes. From here on, everything that happened during the party was as described on the company website, as translated in What is Konkatsu party.

Here is what happened for us, me and my friend. First we were given 70min to have 2 min conversation with 35 men. This was an experience. I think this is the most people I have ever talked with in 70min without being hydrated. (they should really give us a bottle of water, or better yet, a bottle of beer!) But as surprising as it sounds, 2 min is enough to figure out if there is any possibility with the guy we are talking to. Sometimes, 2 min is too long even! When the guy is too short, or has overly jelled hair, or wearing a black shirt with skull and crossbones, or … well whatever that is not so appealing, you know there is not going to be anything between you and him. And this is not surprising, we use this kind of judgmental instinct everywhere in the dating scene. Whether in a bar, night club, dinner part, restaurant, or among your friends, we use this instinct to see if he could be your potential object of affection!

Among the 35 men, there were a pair of lawyers (#4 and #5) who were also coming to the konkatsu party together for the first time (I believe… well at least that’s what they told us) and the 2 of them were co-workers/friends. Although the speed dating is designed to be an individual game, since we were both sitting next to our friends so the 4 of us started to converse together for the total of 4 min. As you can imagine, the ease of involving our friends took away the nervousness and we hit it of fairly well. The fact they worked very close to our office, and often go for lunch in the same neighborhood, and go for after 6 drink in the same area helped our conversation flourish.We scored them “mb” (for may be) in our checklist. Most of the others were given “nw” which in our code stood for NO WAY.

During the approach time (this is the time we are supposed to approach the people we found interesting during the speed dating process), my friend and I decided not to approach anyone (since no one was THAT interesting anyway, why make the effort) and let the guys approach us. We also receive message card from secret admires. My friend received messages from 2 secret admires, and she showed me the card. One of the messages was from a NO WAY guy which had his mobile phone mail address and a message saying “let’s have coffee together sometime. I am REALLY interested in you” to which she shaked her head sadly. The next message was from one of the lawyers (#4) we talked with! With a smile she showed me the card which read “wanna go for drinks after this is over?”  #4 and #5  then approached us to our table and we continued our conversation from where we left it off, the bike trip #4 did from Spain to France.

Then, we were told to cast a final vote for potential partners. We were tempted to not vote at all so to avoid being “matched up”, so we can just go for a drink ourselves to laugh about the whole experience… but  then she showed me the message from #4 and shrugged her shoulder. “oh well… what the heck, why not put #4 and #5 and see what happens”…

During the matching process conducted in the backroom, we were shown a brain washing DVD about a happy partners who met in the konkatsu party and are now happily married. The happy wives all wore pink apron and welcomed their salary-men husbands home, thanking the agency for “matching them” and helping them find happiness. We were also given a thick booklet with a 150 page list of all the konkatsu parties, konkatsu golf, konkatsu bbq, konkatsu hanabi, konkatsu breakfast, konkatsu dance,… I mean the list goes on and on for all the “social event” the agency hosts with match making as main objective. This made me feel really sad and gave me goose bumps… how people must be so lonely in this metropolis Tokyo…

“Congratulations!!! Tonight we have 13 matched couple” the match maker shouted with happiness and excitement! “I will announce the paired numbers and the guys will leave the building and please wait for your partner downstairs. And here we go, the first pair is…”

(to be condinued in Tokyo date report #3: double date after konkatsu party)

Review:

If I must chose between spending 4000JPY ($40) to spend 3 hrs in a cheap restaurant drinking beer, stuck with group of not-so-interesting not-so-impressive guys pretending to have fun, and spending 120min talking with 35 men with no drink not even water, but having dinner and drink bought by a pair of fairly interesting people somehow “matching” our taste, I’d prefer the latter option.

But then again, this is not my real review of this konkatsu party. I’m truly shocked to have seen people who are really involved in konkatsu activity that I have been jokingly about. Some of the people at the party, I could tell, were serious konkatsu activist… and well… I don’t know what to say… let me digest this experience a bit more.

photoh2


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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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