From bookstores to barbecues to balance-loss, these Japanese women would love to meet the love of their life in these unexpected ways.
Japanese society isn’t very big on public or direct displays of affection, which sometimes causes it to be labeled unromantic. However, plenty of people in Japan have a romantic streak, and while many seek a dating partner at singles parties, others wish they could meet their soulmate through a more dramatic chance encounter.
Waku Waku Communications recently polled 1,000 Japanese women presenting them with a list of scenarios and asking which would be their ideal fateful first meeting with a romantic partner, with all respondents between the ages of 25 and 39 (so you won’t see any current classmate sweethearts on the list). Let’s take a look at the 10 choices.
10. While watching a pro baseball game at the stadium, the batter hits a home run. You get excited and high-five the fan next to you, and it turns out he’s a suteki (wonderful and handsome) guy. (78 votes)
9. While having a barbecue with friends at the park, a suteki guy from the next group over comes over and lights the fire for you. (82 votes)
This seems like an extremely specific set of circumstances, but a guy who knows how to cook, or just has a helpful mastery of fire, is apparently considered a very eligible bachelor by the survey respondents.
8. While out at a bar, the waiter comes over with a drink and says “It’s from the gentleman sitting over there,” who’s a suteki guy. (92 votes)
7. A thug or a drunk is bothering you, and a suteki guy suddenly appears and gets rid of him for you. (122 votes)
While not explicitly stated, it’s strongly implied that said suteki guy should be less drunk than the accosters he’s fending off.
6. As an adult, you suddenly run into your old boyfriend from junior high, and you rekindle your romance. (151 votes)
Considering how often high school is idealized in Japanese fiction, it’s surprising to see middle school specified here, although maybe that’s because the younger age makes it easier for the past breakup to feel like water under the bridge.
5. You start to stumble on the stairs, but a suteki man catches you. (180 votes)
4. A suteki man moves into the condominium unit next to yours. (184 votes)
3. While at the bookstore, you reach for a book at the same time a suteki man does, and your hands touch. (189 votes)
2. On the Shinkansen, a suteki man helps you put your luggage up on the overhead rack. (196 votes)
While Japan’s famed bullet train is incredibly speedy and convenient, you’re on your own as far as handling your luggage, unless a gallant stranger lends a hand.
1. You’re seated next to a suteki man on an airplane, and it turns out you’re going to the same city, and then you bump into each other again at a sightseeing spot there. (257 votes)
With that many coincidences lining up, it must be fate, right?
Looking at the list, it seems most of the scenarios have a certain low-key drama to them, with a guy who’s nonchalantly helpful seemingly coming out of nowhere. Now, as with all surveys of this type, it’s important to bear in mind that the researchers asked the women for their ideal situation, which explains why the word suteki shows up so frequently. In other words, the respondents don’t necessarily expect to meet the man of their dreams in the TV drama-style ways laid out here, but if such a chance came along, they’d certainly be happy about it.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’d like to remiind everyone not to interpret entry number five as “lurking in stairwells is a great way to meet women!”
[ Read in Japanese ]