Love and laughter and Japanese youth


Are you currently in love? graph of japanese opinionSpring is sprung and the sap is rising, and young thoughts turn to love, so let’s enjoy a recent survey from goo Research, conducted between the 27th and 29th of March 2007 amongst 555 single youths, most in their twenties, from all over Japan, on the matters of love and laughter. Note that the male-female split is not reported.

It does seem a rather disjoint pair of topics, but the answers are rather interesting. I do find it amusing that half as many women are in love than men, which perhaps prompts the question “what exactly does ‘love’ mean to you?” Alternatively, perhaps it is the unwillingness of men to commit themselves to a serious relationship, or just that women have stronger passions than men.

Note that the word used in the survey for being in love is 恋愛, ren’ai.

Let’s get a little personal, ack, no, let’s not get too personal, as I’ll sound far too soppy! I’ll just say it was common values that was the main spark for me, as well as that special magic, and it didn’t take too long (a month and a half?) for me to realise that we would marry. Oh, and we met through an “Other” method.

Survey results

Q1: Are you currently in love? (Sample size=555)

Yes (to SQs)37%30%45%
Don’t know14%13%15%

Q1SQ1: Are you thinking about marrying your lover? (Sample size=206)

Thinking seriously30%10%43%30%
Thinking a little28%28%34%20%
Not really thinking about it16%29%7%15%
Not thinking about it at all18%26%11%22%
Don’t know8%7%5%13%

Q1SQ2: How did you meet your lover? (Sample size=206)

Knew from school, university28%
Introduced by friend21%
Work in the same office14%
Met through internet11%
Met through work10%
Met at party, re-union, etc8%
Met on the street2%
Met through night classes, etc2%
Met through marriage introduction agency1%

Q2: On which of the following aspects do you base your choice of partner? (Sample size=555, up to three answers)

Love, affection40%
Looks (face, body)33%
Common hobbies16%
Way of talking15%
Knowledge or upbringing14%
School, university history1%
Don’t know1%

Note that the above adds up to 284%, so fortunately most people have at least three factors.

Q3: If you were going out with someone of the opposite sex, but someone new appeared on the scene, what would you do? (Sample size=555)

Continue going out with current partner29%36%22%
Break up with current partner23%15%30%
Go out with both of them11%13%9%
Don’t know38%37%39%

Wow! I didn’t expect men to be more loyal or less fickle than women for this question!

Q4: When on a date, who should pick up the bill for food, etc? (Sample size=555)

Each pay own share30%30%31%
Men should pay larger share41%38%44%
Women should pay larger share0%0%0%
Men should pay all11%11%11%
Women should pay all1%1%0%
Should take turn about paying bills11%12%10%
Don’t know5%7%4%

Now, a change of pace as we move on to comedy.

Q5: Do you like making people laugh by telling jokes, etc? (Sample size=555)

Like it a lot22%24%24%19%
Like it a little60%54%63%62%
Don’t like it much12%12%11%13%
Don’t like it at all2%3%1%3%
Don’t know4%7%2%4%

Q6: About how many comedy shows per week do you watch? (Sample size=555)

Five or more8%
Three or four24%
Hardly ever watch16%
Never watch6%

Q7: Why do you watch comedy programs? (Sample size=555)

Just like comedy65%
Just to pass the time43%
Laughter relieves stress42%
Because my favourite comedians appear in them24%
For stimulation16%
To give me something to talk about at school or work15%
For the skillful talk12%

The final question was on people’s favourite comedian or double-act, but only the top four answers were highlighted. Number one was Downtown, the manzai pair Hitoshi Matsumoto and Masatoshi Hamada, with 28%. Next was the man old enough to be all the respondent’s father, Akashiya Sanma, at 25%, then Ninety-Nine, Takashi Okamura and Hiroyuki Yabe, at 21%, then Jicho-Kacho, Jun’ichi Koumoto and Satoshi Inoue, at 17%.

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