time to love



Nowadays, we can perceive the changes occurring in our society in many ways, from social issues to fashion. In this radical changing period we can also witness various feelings regarding relationships, especially between man and woman, which is facing a drastic change.
In the Japanese traditional society, it was considered normal that women got married before reaching the age of 30, having kids and becoming a housewife. However, in the late 1980’s women got the right to choose their life, getting jobs like the men and having a successful career. Couples are currently getting married later and some even prefer to not have children to preserve their freedom. Time has drastically changed; we went through a tough economic crisis, which lasted longer than predicted and also faced painful earthquake disasters. Therefore, it is obvious that the mind has changed in a dramatic way, people want to be much more together than before. This is of course also associated with the SNS boom, seeking to socialize with the unknown and connecting with friends of friends. We also see an increase in sport and culture group activities, but in this issue, I want to talk mainly about men and women.
In the government statistics, the average age of getting married is currently 30.7 for men and 29 for women – which is 3 to 4 years older than the average of 30 years ago. It is said that the tendency of delaying marriage is due to women working in society. Is this really the absolute truth? I doubt this conclusion.
I have recently perceived that many novels and comics where marriage is a subject tend to always include fear of living a life alone, not being able to get married and dying without a loved one. In those stories, the age of the protagonist seems to frequently be around 30. It would appear that they are still young to be free from those apprehensions. In spite of public figures, it is clear that recently women seek to get married earlier or are not feeling comfortable with being alone – leading to anxiety regarding their future and relationships with men.

At the start of January, a remarkable exhibition was held at the Hillside Forum of Daikanyama Hillside Terrace in Tokyo, where cultural events occur and where lifestyle driven fashion shops can be found.
“Act of Love” is a research-based exhibition showcasing the natural behaviors of animals, birds and insects when in love – trying to seduce the opposite sex and their sexual encounter. It is supported by Sagami Rubber Industries, the first Japanese condom manufacturer. Professionals studying the behavioral ecology, ranging from professors of universities to the BBC, were asked to correct the data collected and supply the imagery. They also got in touch with artists to collaborate and create art based on courtship behaviors of animals, to demonstrate the endless possibilities of creativity.
A beautifully made visual dictionary and website offer the public a breathtaking peek on the unusual courtship behaviors of 73 animals – using their entire body, sounds, movements and so on. A glimpse of the fascinating investigation can be seen on the website !
Nowadays, we make use of many ways of communications. However, I truly feel that it is time to use our body, facial expression, hair, movement, make-up color, scent of skin and sound of our voice to let each other know what we really feel – how we want to be together and with who we want to be. The time has come to sincerely love someone.
Kaori Ieyasu