Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 30581
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2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/3    

2004/6/3-4 [Recreation/Dating, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan] UID:30581 Activity:high
6/3     http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20040603/6255200s.htm
        "The good men are all married," writer Junko Sakai says. "Those left
        behind are all nerds or without jobs or violent or not nice-looking."
        Ahem.
        \_ http://www.keithwatanabe.net (I rest my case.)
        \_ that's good, at least there's an 'or' between 'nerds' and 'jobs'.
        \_ "She says Japanese men sometimes propose to women with lines like:
            'I want you to cook miso soup for me the rest of my life.'"
           This is a _very_ traditional way to ask a woman to marry you. The
           words themselves are virtually meaningless now.  I was skeptical
           of the article to begin with, but this overt lack of cultural
           context cinches it.
           \_ cool!  I will try that line on the next hot japanese babe I meet.
           \_ So what exactly do you disagree with in the article?
              \_ She misses the point that the good women are all married, too.
                 If you're 30+ and not married, you're not a good prospect for
                 marriage.
                 \_ So not only are the leftover men not good prospects, but
                    the leftover women aren't either?
                    \_ Correct.  All the leftovers get to live angst ridden
                       lives like Sex in the City and suffer one bad attempt
                       at having a relationship after another because they're
                       undeserving of anything better and wouldn't know it if
                       they had better anyway.  That's what makes them left-
                       overs and poor prospects.  It's self-fulfilling.
2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/3    

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www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20040603/6255200s.htm
Page 15A No sex please -- we're Japanese By Paul Wiseman USA TODAY To an astonishing degree, the sexes are going their opposite ways in Japan. Young women are revolting against the traditional role of obedient housewife, opting instead to live at home and shop and socialize with girlfriends. Check-ins at the country's famed 'love hotels' are even falling. TOKYO -- Junko Sakai was nervously looking forward to a romantic getaway with the man she'd been seeing. But when they arrived at a seaside hotel last fall, her beau requested separate rooms. Stunned, Sakai nonetheless anticipated a late-night knock on the door. Nothing is happening with depressing regularity between Japanese men and women these days. Marriages, births and hanky-panky are all spiraling downward with troubling implications for the nation's future: A sagging birthrate means that fewer working-age people will be around to support a growing population of elderly; And so, to an astonishing degree, men and women go their separate ways -- the women to designer boutiques and chic restaurants with their girlfriends or moms, the men to karaoke clubs with their colleagues from work or the solitude of their computer screens to romance hassle-free virtual women. Better educated, more widely traveled and raised in more affluence than their mothers, young women no longer feel bound by the Japanese tradition that says a woman unmarried after age 25 is like a Christmas cake on Dec. Men, meanwhile, seem intimidated and bewildered by assertive young women who are nothing like their moms. As a result of the disconnect between genders, Japan, just emerging from a long economic slump, is experiencing a social recession in: * Marriage. Japanese are postponing marriage or avoiding it altogether. Weddings dropped last year for the second straight year. About half of single Japanese women ages 35 to 54 have no intention to marry, according to a survey in January by the Japan Institute of Life Insurance. Just 11 million babies were born in Japan last year, the third straight decline. The average Japanese couple now produces just 132 children, well below the minimum 208 needed to compensate for deaths. As a result of plummeting birth rates, Japan's population is expected to peak in 2006, and then decline rapidly. In a 2001 survey, condom maker Durex found that Japan ranked dead last among 28 countries in the frequency of sex: The average Japanese had sex just 36 times a year. What's more, an increasing number of those visiting love hotels aren't there for romance, AERA says; they've found that love hotels offer the cheapest access to karaoke machines and video games. Over tea in the sunlit lobby of the Akasaka Prince Hotel near the Imperial Palace in downtown Tokyo, and later over soba noodles and chicken yakatori at a nearby restaurant, Japanese writer and television personality Yoko Haruka describes the shortcomings of love and marriage Japanese-style. The husband works long hours and carouses into the night with his pals from work. The wife is expected to stay home, clean house and take care of kids. In fact, Japan's divorce rate rose steadily to 23 divorces for every 1,000 people in 2002 from 13 in 1990; it appears to have dropped a bit last year, partly because fewer people have been getting married. He has fashionably wavy hair and a good job with an advertising agency in Tokyo. Rather than risk rejection or summon the energy to maintain a modern relationship, many Japanese men simply pay for affection in the country's ubiquitous hostess bars and brothels. You have to be attentive to your partner,'' says Kunio Kitamura, president of the Japan Family Planning Association's Family Planning Clinic. It's a condition in which they seclude themselves in their rooms for weeks at a time (though the causes seem to go well beyond fear of women to traumatic experiences from the past, such as being bullied at school). In 1973, a Japanese government survey found that the happiest people in the country were those over age 60. Maybe Gloria Steinem was right: Women need men like fish need bicycles. Many young Japanese women live carefree lives, staying at home with their parents, paying little if any rent, letting their mothers cook their meals, clean their rooms and do their laundry. Many work dead-end jobs that don't pay much but don't cause much stress and give them enough spending money to buy designer handbags, shoes, clothes and jewelry and enough time to take overseas holidays with their girlfriends. Emerging from the Louis Vuitton shop on Namikibashi street in the heart of the Ginza shopping district, Tokyo secretary Yukiko Matsumoto, 38, says she's happily single and living at home with herparents. It came from the 1997 Japanese horror movie Parasite Eve and applies to young, live-at-home men and women alike, though Yamada says the most carefree of the parasite singles tend to be women; the men are more serious about establishing careers and moving out on their own one day. Staying at home meant sharing a room with brothers or sisters. But after decades of prosperity and falling birthrates, many young adults are pampered only children. Leaving home to marry means the drudgery of housework (especially for women) and the poverty of having to pay your own bills. Sociologist Yamada says the single life in Japan isn't as blissful as it seems. For one thing, many young women still want to marry: They keep waiting for the perfect man -- a rich handsome guy who either helps with the housework or can afford to hire help. He cites one case study that he fears will be a model for the future. A woman lived with her parents until they died, inherited the family home but found that her job didn't pay enough now that her parents weren't around to foot the bill for groceries and other necessities. She ended up bankrupt after borrowing heavily in a futile effort to maintain her lifestyle. The phenomenon of parasite singles also is creating a demographic nightmare. Japan now has about four working-age people to contribute to pension plans to support one of today's retirees. By the middle of the century, there will be just two workers for each retiree, which will create huge financial problems for the country. Yamada says young men and women need to get more realistic. Men need to start helping with the housework and supporting their wives' careers. Women need to stop waiting for the flawless man who's never going to show up. But it's going to take a lot of convincing to get Japanese women to give up their independence. Sakai says Japanese society still thinks there's something wrong with unmarried women over the age of, say, 30.
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www.keithwatanabe.net
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