Live Currency Rates
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Japan 'geeks' seek love at masked match-making  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 24/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) Self-confessed geeks in Japan who might ordinarily be too shy to ask someone on a date are trying a new kind of matchmaking: wearing cartoon character masks.

In a small town north of Tokyo, 15 men and an equal number of women donned plastic masks of Doraemon, Mickey Mouse and other fictional creations to try to find a date on Friday.

"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."

The party, in Washinomiya, was organised for the benefit of "otaku" -- people obsessed with high-tech products, Japan's manga comic books and the anime (cartoons) that sprang from them.

Otaku -- often translated as "geeks" -- freely confess to being more at home with their two-dimensional heroes than communicating with the real world.

As well as giving participants a boost to their bravery, the masked meet also ensured that people with similar, albeit rather particular, interests were able to meet each other.

The event was organised by the local chamber of commerce, who realised the power of the otaku-yen when their otherwise unremarkable town became a pilgrimage site for fans of the "Raki Suta" (Lucky Star) cartoon in 2007, all clamouring to see the place in which it was set.

"The direct economic effect from the Raki Suta fans is estimated to be about 100 million yen (1.22 million) over the past five years," said Shinji Matsumoto, one of the organisers.

"We are really lucky that so many otaku people come to this town. We want them to have good time here."

At Friday's event, seven male-female couplings were formed, giving the afternoon an approximately 50 percent success rate.

A 33-year-old man wearing the mask of a villain from a 1970s TV show hit it off with a 26-year-old woman with a Mickey Mouse face on. Both managed to keep smiling when they revealed what was under the disguise.

"My heart was beating as I was taking off the mask," said the Mickey Mouse woman.

Asked if the matchmaking would result in a real date, the man -- who gave his name as Furuta Oribe, a samurai and master of tea ceremony from the 16th century -- was a little unsure.

"I hope so, yes?" he asked, turning to his new beau.

"I was really nervous. I still cannot believe this," he said.


  MENA News Headlines

Live Currency Rates



Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help