Weak, effete men and the improved social position of women in recent years are held to be amongst the reasons that a quarter of Japanese may soon pass their entire lives without ever marrying.
The latest trend amongst unmarried Japanese is “婚活 / konkatsu”, an abbreviation formed from the words “kekkon” and “katsudou”, meaning marriage and activity respectively.
Such activities, now well in vogue, try to create opportunities for meetings between the sexes for the ever increasing population of aging and poorly connected Japanese aspiring to matrimonial bliss, as it seems many feel an overwhelming social pressure to pursue marriage, and in yet in the normal course of their lives are never to able to court potential paramours.
A recent work by a sociologist and a journalist, “Age of ‘Konkatsu’”, attempts to analyse this trend, and presents findings which may disturb those Japanese keen to pursue married life.
Until now, the proportion of people in their fifties who remain unmarried their entire lives has stood at 16% for men, and 7% for women, however this is estimated to increase to 25% never marrying as the younger non-marrying generations age.
Factors cited in this trend are increasing numbers of passive men fearful of rejection, and increasing numbers of women with greater social stature, and less time to meet potential suitors. The work is presumably too circumspect to mention the economic expectations of women as a factor.
As a result, active attempts to find a spouse are said to be essential – it is the “Age of Konkatsu,” if this research is to be believed.
Other researchers have stated that now is Japan’s last hope before an irreversible demographic death spiral grips the nation, as the few children of mostly childless couples themselves proceed to have even fewer children, who in their turn may have even fewer children…