romance

Free to download Japanese marriage applications are cute, stylish, and legally binding

In Japan, the act of getting married isn’t really all that exciting. I don’t mean that weddings here aren’t memorable affairs, as they’re packed with all the joy and emotion you’d expect (and sometimes the video game references and crazy cakes you wouldn’t). The ceremonies held at churches, shrines, and wedding halls in Japan don’t constitute a legal union, though.

The only way to be officially hitched is to turn in a marriage application, called a konintodoke, to your local ward office or city hall, where you and your beloved will be pronounced husband and wife with all the stirring pageantry that goes along with a clerk stamping his authorization on the paperwork. When my wife and I submitted ours, the clerk offhandedly told us “Otsukaresama,” more or less “Thanks for stopping by,” instead of “Congratulations.”

Thankfully, there’s now a way to add a little color to the otherwise bland proceedings, with a new line of artistic marriage applications that’re not only approved for official use across Japan, but also free!

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Newlywed couple’s hearts beat to Beatmania with music game-themed wedding cake

A lot of times, the simulated situations of a video game are a lot more enjoyable than they would be in real life. For example, a Street Fighter or King of Fighters session is a pretty fun way to kill an hour, but it’d be considerably less entertaining to, in reality, spend 60 minutes brawling with a string of 10 or 20 dudes, one after another.

But what about music and rhythm games? Sure, dropping a few hundred yen into Konami’s DJ simulator Beatmania is cheaper than cover charge at a club, and arcade staff members are much less likely to give you an attitude than a front door bouncer, but the digital version doesn’t give you the same chance to form a connection with potential romantic partners, does it?

Actually, sometimes it does, as seen in this newlywed couple’s Beatmania wedding cake.

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The Four Lows: Many Japanese women’s new image of the ideal man

When the subject of how men can attract women in Japan comes up, there are some pretty dubious sources of advice out there. Rather than apply twisted logic to gain twisted insights on how to pull women closer to them, guys have a better chance of success by putting their efforts into becoming the kind of people women are drawn to without any special prodding.

But what exactly do women want? Well, that’s an answer that of course varies from person to person, but if you’re interested in playing the percentages, a recent poll of women in Japan indicates four things to strive for.

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Gamer newlyweds see eye-to-eye as they slice their wedding cake with Zelda’s Master Sword

There are two things that I think stand out as particularly memorable from my oldest brother’s wedding ceremony. One is the stuttering mess of a toast I gave as his best man. The other is that he and his wife cut their cake with an honest to God sword, since my brother, being a member of the Marine Corps, got married in his dress uniform, complete with Mameluke saber.

It definitely made for a much more dramatic effect than slicing up dessert with some puny kitchen knife, and you might now find yourself wondering how you could incorporate a similar idea for your own wedding reception. Thankfully, you don’t even need an official work blade, just a love of iconic video games, as demonstrated by the couple in Japan that cut their cake with the The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword.

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Chinese drug dealer weds girlfriend in elaborate prison wedding 【Photos】

Between bad dates and missed connections, ever feel like true love is a myth invented to sell flowers and chocolates at arbitrary times of the year? This story straight from a Chinese prison may be able to warm your cold, jaded heart and renew your hope in love.

A man serving an almost eight-year sentence for dealing drugs recently married his sweetheart in one of the most elaborate weddings you will probably ever see in a correctional facility.

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Japanese men list the top four reasons why they dumped their past girlfriends

There’s no failsafe strategy for forming a strong, permanent romantic connection. That sort of emotional bond operates on such a deep, personal level that the necessary ingredients will always vary from person to person.

But screwing up a relationship? That, it turns out, there are some pretty universal methods for, as shown by a poll that asked Japanese men what caused them to tell their girlfriends “We’re through!”

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Worst date ever! Japan’s ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid

Dating these days is a complete minefield, and nowhere more so than in Japan. There’s a lot of stress put on guys to impress a girl with their choice of date spot. Sure, you can get away with cute cafe dates with yummy tea and cake during the “getting to know you” phase, but after that the onus is pretty much always on the guy to come up with something enjoyable each time. In fact, indecisiveness when it comes to date decisions is a major turn-off for Japan’s ladies, according to a survey conducted by Livedoor. To avoid potential dating disasters next time you’re in Japan, here are the top five dates to avoid if you don’t want her to run screaming!

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Looking for a new hobby? Find out how “attractive” your new pastime will be to Japanese women

A kind Japanese netizen has compiled a list of hobbies based on their respective difficulty and how much they would appeal to women for the benefit of all mankind. We felt you might appreciate the info, so decided to share with you the kind of hobbies that are considered attractive to Japanese women (at least according to the creator of this chart!), as well as those that not only require a lot of time and effort but may in fact be a big turn-off for some.

If you’re looking for a Japanese girlfriend, perhaps it’s time to take up a new hobby. Or maybe ditch your old one!

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Japanese women reveal their methods of raising a guy’s bedroom technique

While common values and shared intellectual interests are crucial for a successful romantic relationship, you can’t downplay the importance of a mutually enjoyable meeting of the bodies to go along with that of the hearts and minds. But just like not everyone is born with perfect pitch or the ability to curl their tongue, some people aren’t naturals when it comes to greatness in the sack.

Recently, Japanese website Modelpress asked for Japanese women’s methods for helping their boyfriends raise their game, and today we take a look at their top five picks.

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The 30 most ‘romantic’ lines that women want to hear (well, according to the Japanese internet)

OK, ladies: imagine you’re taking a moonlit walk with the object of your affections. Or maybe you’re dining at a fancy restaurant with your dream date, or cuddling together on a blanket in a field with no one else in sight. All of a sudden, your crush leans in close, looks deeply into your eyes, and whispers, “You’re mine.” What do you do?

If you’re the type who would immediately blush and feel your heart beating at a quickened pace, you’ll probably enjoy the following list of 30 things women want to be told. The list has recently been circulating around Japanese social media sites recently, leaving sparkly, flower petal-filled puddles of shojo manga sappiness oozing in its wake. If, however, you’re of a slightly more cynical disposition, you should also enjoy the compilation, but instead for its value to induce a good chortle.

Don’t worry, because whichever type you are, we promise not to judge!

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Survey reveals chance of marrying your first love in Japan, other romantic probabilities

In a lot of ways, romance is a toss of the dice. There’s a long checklist of items you want to be compatible on before making a relationship permanent and tying the knot, but you’ll cross the threshold for the initial spark long before that. The only way to know if the person you’re attracted to is legitimate marriage material is by going on dates and spending time together, and sometimes the potential we see early on doesn’t pan out, which is why so few people end up married to their junior high school sweetheart.

Of course, sometimes luck is on your side when you roll the bones, and for some people their first love is also their true one. A recent survey revealed just how often this happens in Japan, as well as a few other statistics about Japanese chances for love.

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Man calls girlfriend a pig for not looking like his anime crush, still not done being a jerk

If we accept the premise that nobody’s perfect, being in a happy romantic relationship is all about learning to take the good with the bad. For example, your boyfriend might like going to the horse track regularly, but if he’s an otherwise financially responsible and emotionally considerate person, you might be able to live with him playing the ponies. Likewise, my wife puts up with my numerous shortcomings as a human being in light of my many redeeming qualities, such as…umm…

But hey, we’re not here to talk about me! We’re here to talk about a woman whose boyfriend was obsessed with his anime crush, and wasn’t quite able to make up for it by calling his girlfriend a lazy pig.

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Get a room, you two, with this love hotel-finding smartphone app and its 2,000-yen discount

In many ways, Japan’s love hotels are a brilliant concept, offering a room with discreet staff, simple amenities, and large beds for couples looking for a place to physically and nakedly express their feelings for one another. There is one sticky point to utilizing them, however.

People generally find themselves in need of a love hotel when overcome by a spontaneous wave of passion, so they don’t usually book ahead. And while a hand-in-hand dash to the love hotel district can be a bit of heady fun, finding a place to do the deed is sort of a time-sensitive objective. Spending too much time walking around searching for a hotel with a vacancy can put a damper on the mood and/or contribute to your sobering up and realizing that maybe it isn’t a good idea to sleep with your boss’ nubile 23-year-old daughter, no matter how willing she says she is.

Such problems may soon come to be a thing of the past, though, with a new smartphone app that can help you find and book a love hotel in as little as 10 seconds, plus, right now, even help you out with the bill.

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Blogger offers her top four tips for Japanese women dating foreign guys

A while back, we dissected a list from blogger and internationalist Madame Riri about three things Japanese women do that scare off foreign guys. Love is a two-way street though, which means the romantic roadblocks run in both directions.

Today, we’re taking a peek at Madame Riri’s latest batch of bullet-pointed suggestions, which focuses on her top four tips for Japanese women looking for a successful relationship with a man from overseas.

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International survey finds that 90% are open to a romantic encounter with a Korean partner

Earlier this year South Korea’s largest matchmaking company decided to look abroad and ask the people of countries in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia about their romantic feelings towards Koreans.

The results, which were reported on 22 July, were certainly something to put a spring in the steps of the people of South Korea. A whopping 90 percent of respondents declared that they would like to have a romance with a Korean person. That is, unless the people of the ROK are as neurotic as I am and are wondering, “What’s up with that other 10 percent?”

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Woman in Singapore is looking for the “sexy” man she saw on the train–but is she out of luck?

In the modern world of dating websites, hook-up apps, and whatever is going on with Ashley Madison, you’d think “finding the one” would be easy. But while Internet dating has become nearly the norm, it’s still not easy to find someone you’re compatible with online. On the other hand, sometimes real life drops a cutie right in our laps, but we don’t have any idea what to do about it!

Logically, the best thing to do would be to pluck up your courage and give the sexy stranger a nice “How do you do?”, because if you don’t seize the opportunity, your only recourse is the missed connections section. And we’re pretty sure people only read those in TV shows! But one woman in Singapore has turned her “missed connection” into a viral video, guaranteeing a lot more viewers than just a lonely Mindy Kaling.

Now the real question is: Did it work?

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To say kawaii or not to say kawaii? Almost half of Japanese guys don’t want to be “cute”

It’s no secret that Japan is seriously into cuteness. Accordingly, in most situations, deeming something kawaii, or cute, is seen as high praise.

This is especially true when it comes to women. Whereas in English-speaking countries some may take issue with what they perceive as a diminutive or demeaning connotation to the word “cute,” in Japan, calling a girl kawaii is almost universally considered a compliment. Even actresses and models who would ordinarily be described as “beautiful” by English speakers earn kawaii cred if they have a kind smile, or any other sort of soft warmth to the aura they project.

But while just about any Japanese woman is happy to be called kawaii, things aren’t quite so simple for men.

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Man’s image of the ideal female body is shockingly skinny even by Japanese standards

Happiness in the real world is largely the result of prioritizing what’s really important for you, going after those things, and not being too picky about everything else. Of course, when you’re talking about fantasizing, you can have it all, as we’ve seen previously when men are asked for the characteristics of their ideal woman.

So when a men’s magazine in Japan recently published the results of a similar survey, we weren’t surprised that the compiled average of the physical parameters were pretty strict. What was shocking, though, was the response given by one man, whose image of the perfect female figure isn’t just largely unattainable, it’s downright unhealthy.

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Tokyo dating event needs guys who like girls who like anime about guys who like guys

No matter how deeply you respect someone’s core values, or how physically attractive you find them, it’s hard to build a successful romantic relationship without some common interests. So it’s really no surprise that an upcoming singles party in Tokyo’s anime mecca of Akihabara is looking for men and women with a shared love of animation.

This isn’t the only romantic anime event coming to Tokyo, though. On the other side of town, organizers are in the process of assembling a quorum of guys who’d be happy dating women who’re fans of male homosexual anime and manga.

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Awesome anime marriage proposal simulator lets you create romantic scenes, dark comedy

The company Recruit is mainly known for its online job-hunting service, but that’s not the organization’s only business arm. Recruit also runs Zexy, one of Japan’s most popular wedding planning websites.

In order to help singles get into the marrying mood, Recruit has created an animated proposal simulator, where you can type in words for one of five dreamy anime-style guys to say. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to unleash your inner poet and dash off a smooth, romantic line. On the other hand, you can also use the system that allows you to make them say anything for a little bit of snarky fun.

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