According to a recent study that has attracted the attention of news media around the globe, nearly half of Japanese people are not having sex. The reason for this phenomenon is hard to pin down, but many have suggested that Japan’s strenuous work culture prevents people from even finding the time to get together as a couple.
Whatever the cause, it must be hard for the millions of Japanese out there who will be spending this Valentine’s Day alone. One such lonely bachelor wrote about his harsh experiences online and received a flood of comments, some offering words of support or sympathy while others were not so kind.
From Yahoo! Japan:
Reaction Over Single 53-Year Old’s Blog Post: “I Have Nothing To Do”
A blog titled, “I’m a 53 year-old bachelor but it’s tough because I’ve got nothing to do”, posted online by a man who appears to be in his middle ages, has been making the rounds lately.
Recently in Japan, while marriages are rapidly starting later and later, the number of unmarried people has also been on the rise. According to a report by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, between 1980 and 2012 the average age for Japanese peoples’ first marriage rose drastically by 3 years for men and 4 years for women, as did the percentage of people who remain unmarried for life, with the rate of unmarried men going from 2.5% to 19.5%, and the rate of women rising from 4.6% to 9.9% men. It’s a situation typical of a country coming to grips with its declining birth rate.
The reality of the situation hit home in a blog written by a single office worker who claimed to be 53-years old that was posted to “Hatena Anonymous Diary”. According to the post, the man says he has a “fairly well-off position in a company” and “receives a pretty decent salary”, and yet…:
It seems that he’s in a situation where “both of my parents have passed on” and “most of my colleagues have families, so I can’t call them to hang out on weeknights”. Taking about himself, he writes, “At one point I was reading novels but my eyes got tired so I quit” and said, “Honestly I hate being told to get a hobby”. With this kind of disposition and lacking anything to do after work or on weekends, he complains about his severe troubles saying, “I wish I’d gotten married”.
This post provoked a huge response in the comments as well as on Twitter, where some offered concrete advice such as “You should get a dog or at least a cat”, “I think it would be good to become a foster parent for children overseas” and “Practice Buddhism” or words of consolation like “Why don’t you get started on marriage activities right now?” and “Yeah, well if you get married, you’ll wish you were single”.
Then while there were critical comments such as “Once you’ve come to think of doing anything as annoying, your life is over” or “Even if this guy gets married he’ll find something else to complain about”, others kept coming to pile their own futures onto those of the poster, saying: “I’m a 27 year-old woman but I completely understand this man’s pain”, “43 year old bachelor here. It pains me to see how much this resembles my own state of mind”, “This is me in the future”, and “It seems like I might end up becoming this sort of guy, but the difference is that I don’t have money. Even worse”. There’s a term for what’s commonly called a “family of bachelors”, and it seems there are more than a few who saw their own future in the middle-aged man leading a rather un-family-like life and got spooked.
Comments from 2ch.net:
Get a dog or cat.
It seems to keep my grandpa busy.
Take up bonzai
Why don’t you go on a trip or go to a brothel?
I probably kill most of my time at work
The rest of the time I watch TV and then it’s over like that.
Why not surf the net or watch TV?
I have no idea what your problem is.
I guess you have no choice but to take on a risky business venture or join a new
religion. You won’t even have time to worry about this or that.
You should go back to studying. If you even write one book or thesis before you die, you might be able to save a trace of your life in a database.
Not much different from when you are married
Plus when you are married, you don’t have any money you can spend as you want, so when your kids grow up you don’t have much to do.
Kinda think that when guys like him were young they had plenty to do…
My favorite thing ever is having nothing to do, just hanging out.
It’s just painful having a crammed schedule.
Aim for 990 points on your TOEIC!
I took up woodwork out of interest and in no time at all I’d become a pro.
Dude, there’s always 2ch.
I’ve killed 12 years just on this site.
Absorb yourself in the meditative trance of online gaming on weekdays.
On weekends, drink , shoot, shop.
When I have nothing to do I can finally relax.
How about volunteering or something?
I think if he did something for the benefit of others it would give him some vitality.
Leather craft is really fun.
Up to now I only enjoyed games and manga, but it’s amazing to make something, and then to be able to use it.
It’s not something I would sell, and I’m not very good, but I’ve become really fond of making things myself.
He should go traveling on his own.
Saying stuff like “Oh, if only I’d got married” is all just relying on others to get what you want out of life. I bet he’s ever really thought about himself carefully.
If he knew who he really was, he could probably be satisfied with the simplest things in life.
Guys like this don’t fare any better even when they are married.
Watch YouTube and surf all the related videos or something!