Yesterday I had a meeting with a couple of the top executives from Recruit corporation of Japan. One of the guys is the president of a Recruit subsidiary company. He introduced me to a young guy who he said is one of their top salesmen.
(Gratuitous use of cheesecake photo) Whatever she's selling, I'm buying!
Recruit is one of the biggest and most famous companies in Japan and specializes in Human Resources and job searches. If you go to any train, or subway station, in Japan you'll see tons of free magazines and papers. It's a pretty sure bet that most of those are Recruit owned publications.
For the fiscal year ending in March 2011, Recruit had over $97 million (USD) in annual sales (which is a 30% drop from the year earlier) so "one of their top salesmen" is making tons of money for them and is no joke. The guy is now being groomed for a top management position. So he was brought to our meeting to see how to steal our information.
He was telling me that, in one of their profitable businesses, dating services and online dating, there is a huge shortage of available men! I was dumbfounded.
Girls like this are having trouble getting guys to their parties???
He said that, "...at most events there will be about 300 people. Seventy percent are women. Sometimes the breakdown of percentages is so bad that I had to go and participate as one of the eligible men..." WTF!!!????
Actually, it is okay that he participated as an eligible bachelor because he's not married (hell, I'd be stoked if a top salesman at Recruit married my daughter! The guy makes huge bucks!) but it really surprises me that they can't get enough men to join these dating parties! He also told me that they've been trying all sorts of promotions to get more men and that it was one of the biggest challenges to that businesses' future success.
A room full of beautiful and available Japanese girls and they can't get enough men to come to the party? You kiddin' me? I thought he must have been joking or that was a temporary problem but it isn't it seems.
Yes. Marriage should be a deeply religious experience... Holy!
Seriously, guys, Japanese women are having a problem finding enough eligible and suitable men to get hitched to. Unreal! This country has so many beautiful and sexy women that it's hard to comprehend but true!
Need proof? Well, I have it for you. It seems that the old Japanese tradition of pre-arranged marriages has made a comeback and that's okay with me. Why? Well, my third marriage was arranged! Really! I was so drunk all the time back then that don't know how my marriage got arranged but my wife just told me where to be at what time. And when I got there, it was all set up.
The Telegraph UK has a report about the comeback of these marriages in Arranged Marriages Make a Comeback in Japan:
Until 1945 they were almost universal. They started to decline during the post war American occupation, but as late as 1960 it is estimated that 70 per cent of weddings were arranged.
Westernisation and the increasing independence of women led to a marked decline. By 1990 the proportion of arranged marriages is thought to have fallen to around 30 per cent of the total.
But things changed in the after a swathe of the country was devastated by the tsunami and earthquake.
"People felt so lonely in the big cities," said Sasaki Akiko, a tour guide. "After the earthquake, there was no public transportation and people had to walk up to 10 hours to get home." It was a time for reflection. "Many felt that if they died nobody would care, so they thought they should marry." With arranged marriages back up to 40 per cent, business has been brisk for photo studios, who prepare the portfolios which are shown to potential suitors.
Women pose in a kimono and also in informal attire; men wear a suit and tie as well as dressing down for the other picture. Anxious parents then circulate the portfolio, which also sets out the youngsters' interests and prospects, to work colleagues, friends and neighbors. Once a meeting is arranged the couple are normally accompanied by their mothers who act as chaperones.
Polite small talk is the order of the day. Afterwards it is a case of comparing notes to see if there are grounds for pursuing matters further.
At this point a professional go-between could get involved although they are scarcer now than a few decades ago.
Arranged marriages may appear anathema to westerners but, according to Ms Akiko, the divorce rate is lower than that for more modern partnerships.
"With an arranged marriage, you go into it with both eyes open, with love you always have one eye closed."
Seriously. Only in Japan, eh? This isn't the first time that I've heard that the divorce rate for prearranged marriages is lower than regular marriages, but wow!
My two older daughters aren't married... Maybe if they don't get married by 35, daddy (that's me) will have to arrange marriage for them...
I wonder if that Recruit salesman will still be available in a few years? He would be a great candidate... After all, it would be nice to have someone in the family who is making some money... Daddy (that's me) certainly isn't!