But I wasn’t really attracted to her in person, so I said no.”Onuki is a rarity in Japan: Somebody who will openly discuss meeting romantic partners online.
On a recent trip there, I often asked people if they or their friends were involved with web dating, and time and again they shook their heads.
“To us, female insight and comfort is really important.” In Japan, it is customary for men to pay for their dates, as Pairs’ male users do.
The company’s bridal marketing sends another message, less progressive and increasingly less American: dating means man plus woman. “We have had a few users ask us if they could have that kind of feature,” Kawashita says when I mention the exclusion might be controversial in the U. “It’s not that we don’t want to, just that it’s still very few, so we haven’t focused on that yet.”Cultural differences are the reason many Western dating sites have failed in Japan and in Asia, Kawashita says.
As with most Japanese dating apps, women can sign up for free, while men pay ¥2,380 (roughly ) per month.
In the late ’90s, Catfish-style frauds metastasized at a corporate scale: whole “online dating” offices were set up, staffed by employees of both genders (known as sakura, or cherry blossoms) who played the part of fake women.
Sakura kept multiple cell phones and email accounts.
“I think the experience [of online dating] is almost too confrontational for the Japanese,” says Roland Kelts, a Japanese-American journalist, University of Tokyo professor, and author of Japanamerica.
“It’s a culture that still prizes indirectness and a greater level of subtlety.”But I’m more interested in sites designed explicitly to match couples.
That fee includes 12 “likes”: If you like someone’s profile and they like you back, you can send a message and go from there.