It can be a challenge to find that special someone, and in overworked Japan the difficulty of people to find a partner to marry is seen as a serious social problem, leading to a declining birthrate and the eventual extinction of the Japanese race over the next millennium, according to current projections (really). To combat this trend, many municipal governments have taken to promoting konkatsu or “marriage activities” to help people find love, using city resources to host gokon (“group dating”) parties, essentially structured events where men and women can interact and find out more about each other. Recently the city of Maebashi made national news when it sponsored the biggest-ever gokon event (described as マンモス, or “mammoth”), with 500 men and 500 women eating, drinking and talking about their interests over a four hour period. I hope some of the participants were able to find their life’s partner — the future might just depend on it!
Would you eat and drink with 500 women, just to get married?