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Rent-A-Family Service — An Aid For Loneliness?

In a world filled with eccentricity and no bounds to idiosyncrasies, we continue to find ourselves engulfed by the hazy storm of what’s right or wrong. Every time an aspect of the society gets invariably fractured, there come “pseudo solutions” paving the way to capitalistic motives disguised as “societal reformations”. To provide context, Japan particularly has been one of the pioneers entrapping their ever so “unsociable” population to a seemingly delectable escape.


Yes, you heard that right, 40% of the adult Japanese population has been said to feel lonely according to an article by The Japan Times. From largely undiagnosed depression to sweepingly high suicide rates, almost everything falls back to persistent alienation, generational and systemic suppression of emotions. In the face of such outlandishness, Japan had to revert back to its ‘mechanical’ tactics but what POSSIBLY could they be?


Unable to buy a house for whatever reasons? Rent it!


Lack of capital to invest on a vehicle? Rent it!


Devoid of interpersonal relations owing to internalized issues? Rent-A-Family service is your answer.


First offered in the early 1990s, Rent-A-Family is a “Professional stand-in service which provides clients with actor(s) who portray friends, family members, or co-workers for social events such as weddings, or to provide platonic companionship.”

However appalling it may sound, the said business model has undoubtedly killed two birds with one stone. It has been observed that people in Japan have genuinely been “happier” lately which makes it obvious that these rental agencies have been hitting higher profit margins than they should.


A farce in the eyes of people, that they so knowingly seem to ignore has far been overtly normalized over the span of many years. A business model created indifferent to the human condition, isn’t anything new and will continue to dominate the market in the bleak future we are heading towards. The question of ethics could never be so redundant or abstract in the face of what might seem as a utopia to some and dystopia to others.


Drawn into this beguiling matrix of rent-a-family service, there's one quandary that might never possibly be solved - should one pick the blue pill or the red pill?

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