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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Japanese Language Lesson for Today

'Marriage-hunting' is latest buzzword

TOKYO —

Selected as one of the trendiest words of 2008 by the Jiyukoku Minsha publishing company, “konkatsu” is an abbreviation of “kekkon-katsudo” — literally, “marriage hunting.” The term has spread like mad thanks to the recent trend of Japanese people marrying later in life. According to one estimate, 47% of women in their 30s are still single.

The 2008 book “Konkatsu Jidai” (The Era of Marriage Hunting), co-written by Chuo University Professor Masahiro Yamada and journalist Momoko Shiraga, is credited with coining the phrase and igniting a flurry of interest in the topic. The past year has seen the emergence of “marriage bars” and agencies that treat the search for matrimony like a job hunt.

A recent issue of mega-popular women’s magazine Anan offers tips on self-marketing for singles, like “Using Worksheets,” “Branding Yourself” and “Creating Your Own Catchphrase.” Next up is an NHK TV series, “Konkatsu, Rikatsu” (Marriage Hunting, Divorce Hunting), debuting April 10.

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