WaiWai: Virtual Nampa – Online Dating

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell (Following article by Cheryl Chow). Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

Hey guys, wanna go “nampa?” It can be more fun than the rumba, and if you learn the steps right, you can score with a girl.

Nampa is slang for picking up girls. Nothing new about that, but thanks to the Internet, guys who had to struggle alone, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous women that refuse to stop when a total stranger accosts them on the street, can now lick each other’s wounds electronically and in the flesh. A nationwide network of self-avowed pick-up artists linked via nampa Web sites has blossomed, Spa! (8/29) reports.


For easy camaraderie, these nampers hold off-line meetings where they swap information and critique each other’s fashion, mannerisms and facial expressions. One old-timer tells Spa! that in March, 40 nampers nationwide showed up for a Nagoya meeting, converging at the train station and collectively hitting on girls. A contest was held afterwards over drinks rating digital photos of women they’ve laid.

Meetings like these have evolved into clubs with a nationwide span and given birth to rules of etiquette, like banning compensated dating or hurling insults at unresponsive women. Some adopt a monthly ensnarement quota of three or more girls.

Like all cliques, they’ve developed their own lingo:

  • “Getto” (a Japanized version of “get”), to score with the girl you picked up
  • “Ganshika,” when a female totally ignores you
  • “Jizo” (stone Buddha), standing around unable to find a woman
  • “Jirai” (land mine), a girl you picked up who continues to badger you, maybe even turns stalker

The nampa network acts as a springboard from which the more timid can dive into the streets to meet women in the flesh. They can also call on each other for moral support. Also, namper masters are willing to coach newbies and hand down hard-won skills.

Ironically, many nampers prefer the male bonding of these clubs over the actual women hunt. They told Spa! about the pleasure of running into fellow nampers at pickup meccas like Ikebukuro and Shinjuku. Lifelong friendships have blossomed from these encounters. One namper says that 70 percent of the calls he gets on his cell phone are from fellow chatter-uppers rather than girls. And these days, nampa diaries focus more on events at off-line meetings than on the hunt or the hunted.

Here are some tips for aspiring nampers:

  • Devote two to three hours a day to hitting on more than 30 women
  • Tom Cruise looks are not necessary, you just have to discover your personality and make the most of it
  • For inspiration, read net diaries chronicling the progress of others — from hopeless bungler to winner

Suggestions for the over-30 set? Tough, diminishing success rate — give up.

(The Mainichi Waiwai column ran online from April 19, 2001 – June 21, 2008. It was a much loved form of entertainment amongst foreigner in and outside of Japan. To any reader it was obviously not serious news, but it was a set of articles that portrayed quite well how the Japanese tabloids actually write about their own country. In 2008, a small number of Japanese people bought it to the attention of rival news groups that Mainichi was running an anti-Japan column on its website. With the bad publicity, Mainichi was forced to shut the page down, and take punitive measures against the journalists that were working on it, claiming that it was receiving opinions that were critical of the column, such as “its contents are too vulgar” and “the stories could cause Japanese people to be misunderstood abroad”. A perfect example of how Japanese consider what they write in their own script to be an acceptable secret code, that the rest of the world cant understand. When that same tabloid rubbish gets inconveniently translated to English to make light of some aspects of the Japanese people, it gets canned. Stippy.com finds this unacceptable, and will reproduce as much of the Waiwai content as possible in order to bring it once again to our computer screens for a good laugh. Of course we claim no credit for this content, and attribute it to it’s writers who were former Mainichi employees. Waiwai in its true and glorious form has been discontinued, but it’s legacy will live on at stippy.com for all to enjoy.)

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