Loud and Proud: Japanese Husbands Shout Declarations of Love in Public

Japanese tradition values reticence. But this group of men has decided to shout out their love.

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Marlon Brando might have made it look easy when he shouted his emotional cry to Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. But let’s face it, most men aren’t as outspoken when it comes to expressing their love. And Japanese men are known for their quiet demeanors. But one group of middle-aged husbands in Japan’s capital city seems to take a cue from the prolific actor.

Dozens of Japanese men gather once a year in a Tokyo park to publicly declare their love to their wives. It happens annually in the days preceding January 31 — the date in Japanese is a play on words meaning “beloved wife,” Reuters notes. On Tuesday, the traditionally staid husbands stepped up on a stage at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park and screamed out their love at the top of their lungs.

“I am sorry that I have gained weight over the last seven years,” a suit-clad man yelled, Reuters reported. “But that’s because the meals you cook are so delicious!”

“Let’s hug each other a lot tonight,” another man shouted while holding his daughter. “Thank you!”

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The event is the brainchild of Kiyotaka Yamana, who founded the Japan Aisaika Organization to promote a culture of  “Aisaika,” meaning “adoring husbands.” The annual event is now in its fifth year. The group’s website says its mission is to promote “the lifestyle of wife-conscious for sustainable marital relationships.” It urges Japanese husbands to “get home by 8.p.m. and say thanks to their wives for all they do.”

Yamana, a business man in Kawasaki, split up with his first wife because she could no longer stand his workaholic ways. He vowed to change after remarrying, according to the BBC.

Wives present at Tuesday’s event clapped and laughed. Yuko Todo, 33, told Reuters that she thought her husband Takeshi was “fabulous and manly today.” “It just reminded me how macho he used to be – I had forgotten that in the eight years we have been married,” she said. “My heart pounded.”

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