The Booming Japanese Rent-a-Friend Business - The Atlantic


65 bookmarks. First posted by farley13 november 2017.


"Morin: When you’re working, is it purely acting, or do the feelings ever become real?
Yuichi: It’s a business. I’m not going to be her father for 24 hours. It’s a set time. When I am acting with her, I don't really feel that I love her, but when the session is over and I have to go, I do feel a little sad. The kids cry sometimes. They say, 'Why do you have to leave?' In those instances, I feel very sorry that I’m faking it—very guilty. There are times, when I’m done with the work and I come back home, where I sit and watch TV. I find myself wondering, 'Is this, now, the real me, or the actor?'
Morin: How do you answer that question?
Yuichi: I don’t think I have an answer. The person that used to be me—is he me now? I know that it’s common for actors to feel that way. If you’re a really good actor—if you’re in it all the time—it feels very unsettling."
a:Roc-Morin  a:Ishii-Yuichi  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:2017.11.07  w:3000  interview  Japan  family  acting  parenting  relationships  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by bankbryan
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral.
culture 
8 weeks ago by twoif
this q&a is insane and a great read.

"How do you know that your family hasn’t been hired?" was a trip.
from twitter_favs
12 weeks ago by antifuchs
In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance.
culture  japan  society  business  family 
november 2017 by soobrosa
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by damaddok
The Booming Japanese Rent-a-Friend Business
from twitter
november 2017 by kejadlen
In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance. Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  16  min 
november 2017 by sabelacal
This is wild.
november 2017 by jenmyers
Bizarre, but fascinating interview in the Atlantic:

Morin: How do you know that your family hasn’t been hired?

Yuichi: That’s a good question! No one knows.
atlanticmonthly  japan  acting  psychology  culture 
november 2017 by warnick
Yuichi: I played a father for a 12-year-old with a single mother. The girl was bullied because she didn’t have a dad, so the mother rented me. I’ve acted as the girl’s father ever since. I am the only real father that she knows.

Morin: And this is ongoing?

Yuichi: Yes, I’ve been seeing her for eight years. She just graduated high school.

Morin: Does she understand that you’re not her real father?

Yuichi: No, the mother hasn’t told her.

Morin: How do you think she would feel if she discovered the truth?

Yuichi: I think she would be shocked. If the client never reveals the truth, I must continue the role indefinitely. If the daughter gets married, I have to act as a father in that wedding, and then I have to be the grandfather. So, I always ask every client, “Are you prepared to sustain this lie?” It’s the most significant problem our company has.
japan 
november 2017 by tomshen
In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance.
digest 
november 2017 by iandick
I need a 'WTF:JAPAN' tag, and probably a 'blade_runner_in_real_life' one too.
world:japan  soc  wtf 
november 2017 by phnk
This story is (a) insane, and (b) got to be a film soon, surely
from twitter
november 2017 by dunstan
In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance.

Morin: When was your first success?
Yuichi: I played a father for a 12-year-old with a single mother. The girl was bullied because she didn't have a dad, so the mother rented me. I've acted as the girl's father ever since. I am the only real father that she knows.
Morin: And this is ongoing?
Yuichi: Yes, I've been seeing her for eight years. She just graduated high school.
Morin: Does she understand that you're not her real father?
Yuichi: No, the mother hasn't told her.
Morin: How do you think she would feel if she discovered the truth?
Yuichi: I think she would be shocked. If the client never reveals the truth, I must continue the role indefinitely. If the daughter gets married, I have to act as a father in that wedding, and then I have to be the grandfather. So, I always ask every client, "Are you prepared to sustain this lie?" It's the most significant problem our company has.
japan 
november 2017 by jellis
Morin: What does it mean to be “more than real”?

Yuichi: There are less concerns. There is less misunderstanding and conflict. Our clients can expect better results.

Morin: You’re offering a more perfect form of reality?

Yuichi: More ideal. More clean.
japan 
november 2017 by theautomaticlady
The Atlantic on fake friend services in Japan: actors hired to play the public role of friends, family, or…
from twitter
november 2017 by waxpancake
Ahh, what? You can hire an actor to be a fake father to your child? Or hire an entire half of a marriage ceremony? 🤯
november 2017 by thingles
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by flobosg
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by frog
This is straight up Truman Show stuff.

H/t
from twitter_favs
november 2017 by mathewi
Fake Friends and Family for Hire

Roc Morin, The Atlantic

In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance.
november 2017 by NextFem
this is one of the wildest stories I've read in a long, long time. Via
from twitter_favs
november 2017 by girma
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by carlosmiceli
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by evanwalsh
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral.

His 8-year-old company, Family Romance, provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients. With a burgeoning staff of 800 or so actors, ranging from infants to the elderly, the organization prides itself on being able to provide a surrogate for almost any conceivable situation.
japan  culture  family 
november 2017 by verstehen
RT : This is the most incredible interview you will read all year
from twitter
november 2017 by Iko
"In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance."
japan 
november 2017 by jimmykduong
family romance
november 2017 by motokotoki
Morin: Why do you think these women hire you?

Yuichi: The women typically say that in a real relationship, you’re slowly building trust. It takes years to create a strong connection. For them, it’s a lot of hassle and disappointment. Imagine investing five years with someone and then they break up with you. It’s just easier to schedule two hours per week to interact with an ideal boyfriend. There’s no conflict, no jealously, no bad habits. Everything is perfect.

Morin: You’ve been on so many fake dates—what is it like for you, in your own personal life, to go on an actual date?

Yuichi: I don’t have a real girlfriend right now. Real dating feels like work. It feels like work to care for a real person.

Morin: Do you plan on having a family someday?

Yuichi: Honestly, I’m full. I’m full of family, and I feel like it’s a lot to manage. Sometimes, a client asks me to be there in the room when she gives birth. One time, the client was a pregnant woman, and rather than ask her parents, she wanted me to be there. So, I went. Some women propose to me, and I say no, but it’s very hard for me to say no.

Morin: Why?

Yuichi: Many women say, “I want to marry you.” I say, “You’re in love with an order form. It’s not me—it’s the acting that you love.” If I married her, I’d have to keep acting. And, there are certain women who are wonderful, but the soul I have with them is not my real soul. So, I cannot and I would not.

Morin: Do you ever prefer playing a role to being yourself?

Yuichi: I like playing the caring father. I play with the kids, even when I’m tired. It’s very tough when you're exhausted, but you still show up, and you try to create happiness. That’s the kind of father I admire, even when it’s me.



Morin: What does the word “real” mean to you?

Yuichi: I believe the term “real” is misguided. Take Facebook, for example. Is that real? Even if the people in the pictures haven’t been paid, everything is curated to such an extent that it hardly matters.

Morin: Do you believe that the concept of “realness” has become invalid?

Yuichi: I believe that the world is always unfair, and my business exists because of that unfairness.

Morin: So, you are correcting injustice?

Yuichi: A woman with a boyfriend doesn’t need to hire a boyfriend. A man with a father doesn’t need to hire a father. It's about bringing balance to society.

Morin: Is it possible to avoid the truth forever?

Yuichi: The truth does have to come out eventually. The happiness is not endless, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without value. The child had a father when she needed him most. It might have been a brief period, and she might know the truth now, but she had a meaningful experience at that time.

Morin: In your own personal life, what do you want that you don't have?

Yuichi: There is nothing more that I want. I've met so many clients. I've played so many roles with them. By doing my job, their dreams come true. In that way, my dreams come true as well. I feel fulfilled, just being needed.
personal  japan  *  culture 
november 2017 by rita
"How to Hire Fake Friends and Family"
from twitter
november 2017 by peterjblack
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by bkerr
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by fritter
"The Japanese are not expressive people. There is a communication deficit. In conversation, we do not express ourselves, our opinions, our emotions. Others come first, before our own desires. The family size is diminishing too. Families used to be larger. Now, you eat alone."
november 2017 by floricanto
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is…
from instapaper
november 2017 by AramZS
"In this company, one person can only have five families at a time. That’s the rule."
from twitter
november 2017 by j0ni
Loneliness/Blade Runner aesthetics/the future is now/what is real/blimey
from twitter_favs
november 2017 by dalcrose
This is a crazy story.
from twitter_favs
november 2017 by lurrel
Guy in Japan has a business providing actors to play roles in people's lives
interesting  article 
november 2017 by philbert2501