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Married with two children, 46-year-old Kumiko Mashima thinks her life is just about perfect. She met her loving husband through an omiai — a formal introduction arranged by a go-between with a view to marriage — and they both adore their daughters. But before she found her way into her husband’s arms, she went through more than 30 omiai, meeting man after man in search of a soul mate.

Mashima was only 22 when she had her first omiai. She was still a university student and had no intention of being tied down. Unfortunately, though, her parents didn’t see it that way, and fretted over the possibility that their daughter would remain unmarried.

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