You might have more luck finding love at a tonkotsu party than a konkatsu party.

Long-time readers of this website are probably familiar with our writer Seiji Nakazawa’s journey from a lovelorn bachelor to boyfriend, husband, and right back to a lovelorn bachelor again. This means he’s once again thrust into the mix of dating apps and the Japanese custom of konkatsu parties, matchmaking gatherings with a particular focus on finding someone to marry rather than a casual relationship.

For Seiji, a konkatsu party is about one step up from the bottom of social media and apps when it comes to finding a serious relationship. At least with a konkatsu party, there’s a sense of formality and organization that you can put some faith in.

▼ Seiji does consider himself the life of the party… in the sense that he’s the only living person there.

But to find out just how much faith you can put in them, Seiji tracked down an insider who was willing to speak on the condition of anonymity about what you can realistically expect from a konkatsu party.

This person, who we’ll call “Takahito Nago,” has held konkatsu parties for seven years, handling everything from management to reception. He says that he’s held so many at this point, he can size up an attendee’s personality pretty easily by the end of a party and knows what it takes to make the right impression.

▼ Nago did agree to share a photo of his torso with us.

Seiji: Are good looks really important when it comes to matchmaking?

Nago: “Hmm… From what I’ve seen in the past seven years. I don’t think people’s faces have that much to do with it. If anything, it has more to do with a person’s appearance.”

Seiji: What’s the difference between a person’s face and their appearance?

Nago: “For example, if you come to a konkatsu party wearing shabby clothes, you’re not going to find a match regardless of your face. Considering this is a place where people come to meet each other, you’d normally dress in a way that makes you look good. I think that when people come wearing unkempt clothing it makes others question their common sense as to why they’d wear something like that. A person’s face is a result of their genetics, but the way a person dresses is a result of what’s going on inside them.

Seiji: I see… Are there any other types of people who have trouble making matches?

Nago: “When I see people who act arrogant at the reception or people who only talk about themselves, I think: ‘I know exactly where this is going…'”

Seiji: So, what kinds of people are more likely to find matches?

Nago: “I think it’s probably people who pay close attention to details. Considering these are events to meet other people, minding your own appearance shows consideration for others and it’s all connected in that way.”

▼ Although he often sticks to a relaxed look, Seiji is not afraid to dress for the occasion when necessary.

Seiji: What are the chances of making matches?

Nago: “There are definitely some zeros. If there are 10 parties, I’d say there might be three or four parties where no one matches up.”

Seiji: So, that means matches are made in the other six or seven?

Nago: “Put it this way… If there’s a party with eight people on each side, you’d only need to hit it off with one out of eight people, so the odds wouldn’t be so low.”

Seiji: Is it possible to have a party where everyone matches up?

Nago: “In the seven years I’ve been doing this that has never happened. The most matches in a single party have been three. This’ll happen in about two out of every 10 parties.

Seiji: So what are someone’s chances of ending up married?

Nago: “From my experience, only about three percent of all people end up married.”

Seiji: Three…

Nago: “There are some people who just keep coming again and again.”

That was a harsh realization for our reporter to learn that even these people willing to put in the effort to attend konkatsu parties could only be successful three percent of the time. Seiji wasn’t even doing that much, so what chance did he have?

It made him think about his own parents and how they managed to not only find each other but to stay married and raise a child, which seems like a miracle to pull off in this day and age. There’s a lot of talk about Japan’s declining population, and Seiji wonders if the problem is that it’s just harder than ever to meet people these days.

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