Since the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, there have been many heartwrenching stories in the news about people wanting to make more meaningful human connections, spurred by the realization that life is short. An article in the Asahi Shimbun reports that the clearest evidence of this change in societal attitude is a sharp rise in wedding-related goods and services. In the months of March and April, sales of engagement rings were 40 percent higher than they were for the same period last year; with sales of wedding rings 25 percent higher.
The marriage consulting and introduction service O-Net told the newspaper that “inquiries” into the company’s services rose 12 percent in April and 24 percent just from women in the Kanto region. There was also a 20 percent increase over last year in the number of people registered with the company who successfully tied the knot in March, and an 18 percent increase in April. A single woman in her 30s who newly registered with O-Net told the Asahi that she realized she wanted a life partner after she spent six hours walking home to an empty apartment on the night of March 11.