Family For Hire
For those whose family life is less than ideal, a new service helps fill the void.
For most people, there’s no question about how important family is. But for many in Japan, where traditional family values are important, the concept of “family first” is taken to a whole new level. What if your family status isn’t the greatest, though? In Japanese society, that’s where the concept of the “rental family” comes to the rescue.
One company that rents out family members for a variety of purposes is called Family Romance. The business began over a decade ago. Back then, a friend of company founder Ishii Yuichi needed a favor. She was a single mother, and her son was denied entry into a kindergarten because she wasn’t married. So, Ishii went along to the interview, posing as the boy’s father, to give the interviewers the picture of the perfect family. Thus, Family Romance was born.
Today, Family Romance employs over 1,200 actors who can be husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, or just about anyone. Ishii himself has played the father in over 25 families and portrayed the husband of more than 600 women.