Culture: Man hunting enhanced by a pole?
In the brave, odd new world of modern Japan the government, manga, parental pressure and experts have so far been unable to address the growing problem of Japanese not marrying. In fact, they seem to be having a harder and harder time even finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.
I’ve heard all sorts of reasons why. Mother’s telling daughters not to marry too early and warning them of the many duties of a housewife (perhaps scared too many off). Japanese sons not having full-time, good paying jobs to be employed and attract a girl and afford an expensive Japanese wedding. Often, children stay with their parents well into middle age, enabling them to stay in the nest and be cared for without being responsible (this type is often referred to in Japanese by the English word, parasito). Society and technology making a terrible mix where Japanese were always shy and had a hard time meeting new people to new tech making that job much more difficult. Or perhaps the breakdown of traditional Japan, who took on many of the empty Western traditions of materialism and did not take anything of much substance to fill life with purpose or meaning.
Whatever the reason, according the Wall Street Journal, it’s gotten worse and worse. Japanese not married by age 40 is soaring and there is no end in sight. As the country struggles, some apartment owners are trying to do what others could not, bring Japanese couples together. For these konkatsu, or ‘Marriage Hunters’ they’ve been making special pads for them to get romance moving again. It takes a strange twist, but much of their ideas are good. For example, adding more natural light, providing space for two to prepare food at the kitchen table and to bathe together. All well and good, but the extra touch was a bit shocking and only something in a country of Love Hotels (places to stay almost exclusively for sexual fun, many are tacky and over the top, but fun for sure) could produce. Yes, they stripper poles to private residences! Apparently, this loosens things up and gets said couple into the right state of, er, being to live happily as a couple. It does lead one to wonder what other parts of Japanese life may be spiced up with a stripper pole– parks, zoos, schools? I also suspect that more often it is the male humiliating himself on the pole that the hazakashi (shy) female creatures of the country. If you imagine I am wrong, swing by a karaoke place and see who’s putting on the Sailor Moon outfits. Hint, it isn’t whom you’d hope to see wearing the tight fitting garb.
Quite and odd and special world Japan so often is. Best quote from this article was a comment at the bottom from Paul Blackburn who said, “…I’d like a dance pole in my house, if someone could tell me how to convince my shy, very cold wife to spin around it.”
For more, see the article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-japan-marriage-hunting-homes-come-with-stripper-poles-1422486135?mod=e2fb