Japanese Self-Confessed Geeks Attend Masked Matchmaking Event

Japanese geeks, commonly known as “otaku”, too shy to go out and meet a potential date face to face attended a special matchmaking event where everyone wore anime character masks to conceal their identities.

The event called “Ota-konkatsu” took place in Kuki City, north of Tokyo, a “holy place” among anime fans. The city is home to the Washinomiya Shrine, which was a location in the 2007 television adaptation of Kagami Yoshimizu’s manga Lucky Star, a very popular anime series, and since then Kuki City has become a sort-of otaku pilgrimage site. Data shows the direct economic effect of Lucky star on the city is estimated to be about 100 million yen (US$1.22 million) over the past five years. So it’s no wonder why this location was selected for an otaku-oriented matchmaking event. Ever since 2009, Japanese geeks have attended matchmaking events in Kuki City, hoping to find like-minded partners, but organizers thought they’d be more successful if participants could get over their excessive shyness. So at this latest even, everyone wore anime masks to conceal their identity.

“I feel this is an easier way to talk to people,” said a 27-year-old woman wearing a rabbit mask, who introduced herself as Jet-Black Wings. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without this mask. I would feel too embarrassed.” As you can imagine, the whole thing looked like a masked ball for geeks, where fans could celebrate their favorite characters, and try to find Mr/Mrs Right. Participants arrived at different times, so that no one could see their faces before they put on their masks, and didn’t take off their disguise until after the end of the event, and then only if they hit it off with someone. It might sound weird, but attendants liked the idea of meeting someone who liked them for their personality, not their looks.

It cost ¥4000 (about $50) for guys and just ¥1000 (about $12) for women who wanted to take part in this geek matchmaking event, and at least half of them didn’t regret the investment, as organizers reported a 50% coupling success rate.

via Japan Trends

Photos via Mantan

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