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Rent a Family?

No need for drama at the Thanksgiving table anymore....

I saw this episode of Conan O’Brien where he goes to Japan and rents a family. At first I thought it was a crazy idea to be able to hire Actors to play a mother a father or even child. Indefinitely? As long as you’re willing to pay! About $100 an hour. It turns out there are agencies that provide this legitimate service to people. Like I was shocked!!!! However the more I watched the show I realized that it actually could fill a purpose. Let’s say you have a business dinner that your real family can’t attend. Or a father daughter school dance but there’s no dad in sight. Maybe your mother has refused to attend the wedding? Perhaps your wife just passed away. Rent a family can save the day. It’s a lucrative business in Japan. There is also Rent a girlfriend and rent a boyfriend. I guess this is similar to our escort services but without the stigma attached.

Below is an example of service I found on Wikipedia

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. [...] 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.

— Ishii Yuichi, founder and head of

Family Romance, 2017 interview

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