Japanese adolescence dating practices
Idols’ owe their success as much to their looks as their voices, and by running their performers ragged, they also run the risk of ending up with a group of haggard-looking, exhausted vocalists.But since the talent agencies want to minimize the idols’ private time, managers will add on-site breaks and rest periods in the middle of the work schedule.
TOKYO — It’s widely known in Japan that idol singers are often contractually prohibited from engaging in romantic relationships.
The reasoning goes that if word gets out that an idol singer has a boyfriend, her fans will feel betrayed that she isn’t solely devoted to her role as a musician and entertainer, and thus stop buying her CDs (there’s also the unspoken implication that openly dating someone will destroy the fantasies of individual fans that would like to date the singer themselves).
That’s why in addition to legal pledges not to date, the Japanese entertainment industry has a number of sneaky tactics up its sleeve to prevent its idols from falling in love or going on a single date.
A handful of entertainment industry executives, under the condition of anonymity, recently shared some of their methods, which involve psychological and time-management tricks as complicated as some idols’ stage routines.
Beyond the basic desires which most individuals experience during this time, researchers have noted the relative significance of dating, not only for individuals but also for societies.
The initiation and maintenance of intimate, romantic relationships have been linked with improved physical and emotional well-being, stronger perceptions of community attachment, and better developmental outcomes for the individuals (e.g., Amato ).
During adolescence and the early adult years, dating enhances identity formation for individuals and provides socialization experiences which are necessary to forming and maintaining intimate and interpersonal relationships in life (Chen et al. Although researchers have directed their efforts toward a better understanding of the dynamics of dating and partner selection, focusing upon the influence of such elements as the family environment (e.g., parental divorce, parental marital quality, parent-child relationships), peer relationships, and community factors (Bryant and Conger ), the majority of studies focusing upon dating and romantic relationships have utilized samples of Western youth.
In China, marriage and family life continues to be a central element within Chinese culture, with adolescents and young adults typically assuming that they will eventually find a partner.
This is also why some idol appearance agreements include riders about keeping the break room stocked with specific snacks or other items the idols are fond of.