Finally: Valentine's Day for beta males

Rather than suffering in silence, a few months ago Mr Egami set up a social networking site, along the lines of Facebook and MySpace. Instead of encouraging members to get together to find friendship and love, however, it is intended for socially awkward people who revel in their isolation, undesirability and gaucheness.

They call themselves himote — the unpopular — and in the past few months they have stepped out of the shadows to assert themselves as never before…

Mr Egami added: “The iron rule is this: if you find a girlfriend, you’re out.”