Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What is Keiyaku Kekkon?

 Here's a good song for this post:

"Keiyaku Kekkon" is a Japanese phrase that literally means "Contract Marriage." It is basically a marriage arrangement where the husband and wife write down their expectations of one another for their relationship. The contract can include anything from housework, to financial responsibilities, and even sex life details. The concept of "Keiyaku Kekkon" became popular in Japan over the last year because of television drama called Nigeru No Wa Haji Da Ga Yaku Ni Tatsu. (The drama also created the Koi Dance meme)

I watched that drama and got the idea of creating a Contract Marriage service.

So why is Contract Marriage a good idea?

Imagine going on a date with someone and knowing, before you even shake their hand, that this person has the exact same vision of married life as you. All the hard questions about children, career, household roles - all of it is already settled.

That's basically what Keiyaku Kekkon does by matching people on contracts. It removes a lot of the anxiety men and women have about committed relationships. Many men today are skeptical about the benefits of marriage. With Keiyaku Kekkon, they can see up front and in writing exactly what they stand to gain from having a wife. Women similarly benefit. They need not waste years of their time trying to entice a man to commit to marriage. They can know at the start whether the man intends to support her career, allow her to be a stay-at-home mom, or seek some middle ground.

I think the concept has value to a lot to people who dream of marriage but worry about finding a compatible partner. It may ultimately be a niche market, but we have to start somewhere to try to improve the institution of marriage. Marriage is important for society. Healthy cultures encourage marriage. But unfortunately marriage has been in decline in developed countries for some time. Declining marriage rates lead to a number of social, economic, and demographic problems. I think there are four big reasons for the decline of marriage:

1. The economy - the transition to two-income households
2. The culture - attitudes about marriage, sex, and gender
3. The legal system - family courts and welfare policies
4. The logistics of dating and matchmaking

I will dive into these issues in more detail in later writings. For now I'll just say that the severity of each of these problems differs by country. In Japan for example, I think number 4 is a much bigger issue given the relatively high rate of virginity and the greater separation between men and women. In America I think numbers 2 and 3 are much more serious. Keiyaku Kekkon cannot do much to help with problems 1 and 2, but it can help a bit with problem 3 and a lot with problem 4.

Keiyaku Kekkon is only a week old. It is still in alpha and only has a few dozen users. It is completely free to use during this period, so I encourage people to sign up and tell their friends. Over the next few weeks I will be busy fixing bugs, promoting the site on social media, and going to startup events to pitch the idea. I have spoken with a few seed investors and registered Keiyaku Kekkon with several startup sites. With a little funding, I think I could make the site much nicer and do more aggressive marketing.

Check out the site to learn more. Still in need of more alpha users for feedback. Let's make marriage great again!