“I want to get married soon, hopefully by the end of this year,” said Iwate, a 36-year-old employee at a mail-order retailer in Tokyo. “The recession made me realize I’m not going to make as much money as I expected, and I’d be more stable financially if I had double income to fall back on.”
“I know women before my generation worked so hard and pursued their careers so they could prove they’re just as good as men,” said Reiko Kubo, 25, who bought a good-luck charm at Tokyo Daijingu shrine (also known as marriage-hunter’s shrine). “They didn’t have to depend on men and that’s cool, but it’s not the path I want to follow.”
Japan’s husband hunters are pursuing relationships the way they might search for jobs: They interview at agencies — dating agencies, in this case. They attend networking parties or just let friends know they are ready for commitment.
“looks shouldn’t matter because they’re not essential to leading a married life. You need to consider men you normally wouldn’t date.”
Meanwhile, Natsuko Ono, 25, is sparing no expense to find a man. She said she’s spent 370,000 yen so far, mostly for a professional portrait and registration at a matchmaking agency. “It sounds like a lot of money, but if you consider that it’s a way to find a husband, it’s a reasonable investment,” she said while scoping men at Green.