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Men who consider themselves unattractive to women have organized a club in Osaka Prefecture where they can openly share their personal complexes and thoughts with each other.

The club, called Bokura no Himote Kenkyukai, which literally means Our Research Group on Unattractiveness, has held about 40 meetings since 2017 and published a book in 2020.

Participants have an opportunity to open up frankly on problems and thoughts that they cannot usually discuss. Some of them came to face up to their perceived unattractiveness by reflecting on themselves, according to the group.

In each session, about 10 people meet in person in the prefecture or online. The purpose of the club is not to help members become attractive, so they do not share tips on how to get a girlfriend. Instead, they speak on topics such as their personal worries and fantasies.

One participant drew laughter when he admitted that a woman who is kind to him seems like a goddess, while another confessed that he made the wrong move of texting a woman he likes via a messaging app tens of times in a day. Some express unvarnished truths about being bullied or about their family circumstances.

The club does not have a clear definition of unattractiveness, so participants range from young men without girlfriends to married men and even to women and people from outside the Kansai region, which includes Osaka.

The club often organizes events to help members socialize with each other, such as a meeting of men polishing their nails, held based on a proposal from a member who had wanted to do it since his childhood, as well as camping trips and excursions.

“I sometimes get rejected completely for being unattractive, so I couldn’t tell others about my problems. But people at the club listen to my stories without making fun out of it,” a 26-year-old participant said.

He once thought about turning his dismal life around by dating a woman he likes.

“I had thought that being unattractive is a bad thing, and I had struggled to escape it, but now I can accept myself as I am,” he said.

“Men are often told not to worry about such things, but I thought that a place is needed for these men to talk and put their hearts at ease,” said Kai Nishii, the 31-year-old founder of the club, who had thought that he himself was an unattractive man. “Some people became able to enjoy being unattractive. I want to make a place to talk.”

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