Konkatsu: A Look Into Japan’s Spouse Hunting Parties

As I was recently browsing through my SNS feed, I came across an interesting ad. It was a notice about a cruise trip around Japan and South Korea put out by a travel agency, but what made me curious was the unusual catch copy: “A cruise not to be missed by girls who are doing konkatsu (spouse hunting)! A chance to go on a cruise trip for free!” Clicking on the ad led me to a page with a big image that said: “Be one of the 26 selected princesses. Enjoy a free cruise trip

I scrolled down the page, not because I was interested in looking for a spouse, but I wanted to find out how so many girls could embark on a gorgeous six-day cruise, free of charge. There must be some kind of catch, I thought.

A konkatsu cruise ad, reading: “You can be one of the 26 chosen princesses. You can join this cruise trip for free. We backup all girls who are doing their best at konkatsu (finding their future husband).”

Lower down the page, it said that all ladies interested in participating must first be screened. Only 26 girls who passed this screening process were to be given a privilege to enjoy the free cruise trip. The deal was that if they were selected, they would have to sign a contract and have their pictures taken – which would be printed on flyers as well as put up online, along with their nicknames.

This screening was only required for women. The cruise organizer would start accepting registrations from men after all female participants had been determined. In other words, men would get to examine all the pictures of their potential future spouse and then decide whether or not they’d like to pay to take part in …continue reading