More Japanese people are single than ever before, with new pop-up services and clubs opening to fill the void. Is Japan heading toward a loveless future?
In Japan, about 60% of unmarried women and 70% of unmarried men between the age of 18-34 years are single.
The reason for this is a changing attitude toward relationships among Japan’s young population.
It is custom in South Asian marriages for women to take sole responsibility for household chores, often leading to careers being cut short. As a result, many younger women view relationships as preventative obstacles that can block them from achieving their professional goals.
To avoid the awkwardness of social interactions, some men have turned to cyber girlfriends and ‘paid companions’. The latter usually offer a service where one can date someone dressed as their favourite fictional character.
A lot of people also blame this changing attitude on the emotional trauma that follows a break-up, as well as a rising inability to be emotionally invested in relationships. To many, love seems like a commitment that’s too problematic to make.
Luckily for there are new services and shops catered toward the single and lonely. Here is a quick rundown of a few available, as well as the initiatives currently in development that are attempting to alleviate Japan’s love problem.
What are ‘Cuddle Cafes’ and how do they work?
Ever cuddled with someone you’re fond of? Let me rephrase. Ever cuddled with a stranger?
Whatever your answer, Japan has a service called ‘Cuddle Cafes’ where you can hug a stranger for a fixed amount of time, and offers a variety of other intimate options.
Cuddle buddies caress their client’s head, deeply gaze into their eyes, and even clean their ears with a Q-tip!
Most paying customers are frequent visitors. Part of the appeal is in filling a void caused by the absence of a significant other.
Although sexual activity is prohibited, many simply visit these cafes for the human warmth that a cuddle buddy provides and aren’t interested in physical gratification.