Dating parties. If you live in Japan and are a single guy or girl, you've probably been to one. In Japanese, they're called "gokon" (合コン) or even "konpa" (コンパ). They're basically group blind dates, with groups of guys meeting groups of girls (and vice versa), and they're peppered with drinking games, flirting, and innuendo.
There's also a secret lingo among guys and girls. One of the more recent slang gokon words references one of the country's biggest games ever.
Fineboys (via Rocket News) magazine drew up a list of current gokon slang. The words, like most Japanese slang, are likely to go out of style as soon as they come in. There's "TNP", which means "tanonde nai piza" or "a pizza I didn't order". The meaning is that perhaps one of the girls or guys that showed up at the gokon isn't a fetching catch.
On Japanese comedy shows and dramas, there's a standard, long-running gag about a guy or a girl getting stuck with an ugly person at a gokon.
There are other words like "dejya busu", a word play on déjà vu and "busu" or "ugly". It refers to the second time you see the same ugly person at a group dating party.
Wildly popular Monster Hunter shows that it's captured the public's imagination with its inclusion. "Monster Hunter" refers to someone out to take home a "busu", or ugly individual. In Monster Hunter, players hunt large dragon like beasts.
While the word "busu" is hardly a term of endearment, there is one idol who wears the word like a badge of honor.
These terms, and there are apparently many more, can be sent to friends at the gokon via chat or text message. The list originally appeared in Fine Boys, a magazine for fine boys, but Japanese women's magazines routinely run similar lists.
Online, individuals who claim to frequently go to gokon said they were not familiar with these words, meaning that they could be terms used in select pockets or the invention of a Fine Boys editor!
I don't remember the gokon slang from a million years ago, when I was single and going to gokon with friends, but, from what I remember it was pretty basic. While we had cell phones, people were *just* starting to text each other, instead of good ol' fashion whispering. I came of age in a simpler time!
The group dating scene is a key part of social life in Japan. People do meet on the street (or wherever) via "nampa" or "gyakunanpa" (reverse nanpa), and they do go on dates one-one.
Group dates are a way for people, who might be reluctant to approach random individuals and who might need alcohol-induced courage, an opportunity to meet others. There's a blunt honesty to them, even if someone's only looking for a monster.
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(Top photo: Trans General Office)