Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

I now pronounce you man and game


Japan has given birth to some of the world’s most memorable video game characters, from Mario to Sonic the hedgehog.

So it was only a matter of time before something like the wedding between Nene Anegasaki and a college student who refers to himself as SAL9000 took place.

What makes this wedding special is that Nene happens to be all digital,  a character from SAL9000′s favorite video game.Nene Anegasaki on SAL9000's DS

“In the Japanese otaku or nerd culture, there’s a tradition of calling characters ‘my wife’, and I sort of thought of Nene as ‘my wife’. Since I was calling her that, I thought we’d just have to get married then,” he explained to Reuters.

Matchmaking gets divine touch


I admit there was some personal interest when I volunteered to cover the praying/speed-dating event at a shrine in Tokyo recently. I wanted to see what a matchmaking event at a shrine involves and who would attend.

I did not expect, though, that I would actually get involved.

A group of 14 women and 14 men gathered at Imado shrine in Tokyo, which honours Japan’s indigenous Shinto gods of marriage. The participants varied in age and occupation, but had one common goal — finding a good marriage partner.