In Japan, you can hire a private agent called “wakareseya” (lovemaker) to seduce your spouse. Or the one with whom they have an affair, writes Air force.
In 2010, Takeshi Kuwabara was convicted of the murder of Rie Isohata's mistress. But why has domestic crime caught the world's attention? Kuwabara was a wakareseya, a professional hired by Isohata's husband to destroy their marriage.
Kuwabara's agent, a married man with children, set up a meeting with Isohata at the supermarket. He said he was a computer engineer, and his "nerd" appearance, his glasses seemed to confirm this.
The couple began an affair, which eventually grew into a real relationship. Meanwhile, Kuwabara's colleague photographed them at the hotel for lovers, and Isohata's husband used the pictures as evidence of treason required by Japanese law for divorce.
When Isohata found out about the deception, she was angry and tried to break off relations with Kuwabara. However, he did not want to let her go. It all ended with the fact that he strangled his beloved. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
After Isohata's assassination, the wakaresei industry fell into decay for a while. The tragedy pushed for reforms in this business, among other things, a requirement was put forward for private detective agencies to work only under a license.
Yusuke Mochizuki, an agent for the breakup company First Group, says that Wakareseya's services were banned from online advertising and that part of the community became suspicious of the "lovebirds", which made it difficult for agents to work.
But after the murder of Rie Isohata, 10 years have passed, and advertisements have returned to the Internet, and business is booming again - despite high prices and ongoing debate in society over its ethics.
Demand for the services of "homeless people"
This business is still a niche one. One study found that around 270 Wakareseya agencies advertise their services online. Many of them operate as divisions of private detective firms.
“These services are quite expensive,” admits Mochizuki. So his clients are usually well-to-do people.
Mochizuki, a retired musician who has turned his long-time obsession with detective practice into a career, says that a relatively simple case in which a lot is known about a person can cost 400 yen ($ 000), but the price rises sharply if the one to be seduced, lives as a recluse.
Rates can go up to 20 million yen ($ 189) if the client is a politician or celebrity and a high level of privacy is required.
Mochizuki argues that his firm guarantees a high level of likelihood of a successful outcome. However, the advisory office on the activities of the "homeless" agencies warns that in fact such guarantees should be treated with a certain degree of skepticism and be prepared for the fact that agents will fail in the task.
The novel by the London-based writer Stephanie Scott "What's Left of Me Is Yours" is based on the Isohata case. Scott researched the topic so deeply that she was invited to be an observer at the British-Japanese Legal Association.
She says that the lover agent helps you avoid confrontation.
“This is a way to get out of a difficult situation without entering into conflict [with a loved one, with whom it is time to leave]. And your wife is much more likely to agree to a divorce if she is in love with someone at that time. ”
It turns out that these services are especially useful if one of the spouses does not agree to a divorce.
However, most of Mochizuki's clients are not spouses looking to get a divorce, but those who want to destroy their wife's or husband's romance on the side. This is how he describes the typical course of events in such cases.
Let's say Aya thinks her husband Bungo is having an affair with someone. She turns to the agent-wakaresei Tikahide for help.
Tikahide begins to study the materials that Aya provides him, tracks Bungo's movements, gets acquainted with his profile on social networks, looks at who he is friends with, what he does during the day. The agent takes the necessary photographs and eventually comes to the firm conclusion that Bungo is cheating on his wife.
Bungo hails from Kagoshima and is a fitness enthusiast. Chikahide sends his employee Daisuke, who is reprimanded by a native of Kagoshima, to the gym where Bungo usually goes.
Daisuke gets to know Bungo and gradually gains confidence in him - especially since they have so much in common. A "friendship" is being struck.
He already knows a lot about Bungo and his interests in life from Tikahide, so it is easy for Daisuke to find common topics of conversation. Bungo ends up telling him about his girlfriend Amy.
After that, Fumika, a female agent, enters the arena. As in the case of Daisuke and Bungo, Fumika establishes friendships with Amy and learns as much as possible about her, including her preferences in relationships with the opposite sex, her ideal man.
Fumika organizes a friendly lunch with Amy and several other male agents. One of them is Goro.
Goro has already studied all the information Fumika has given him about Amy, he knows what she likes, what she doesn't like. Goro tries to act like Amy's perfect man.
In the end, he seduces her (although our friend Mochizuki claims that the agents do not sleep with those being developed in order to avoid violating the prostitution law).
So Amy is in love with another man and is breaking up with Bungo. This outcome of the case is considered successful (although the client may return to the agency after a while if his partner starts an affair on the side again).
Agent Goro, meanwhile, gradually ends his relationship with Amy, never admitting to her that he is a wakareseya.
As you can see, four agents participated in the operation, and it took four months of work for the romance to end on the side. Very labor intensive.
“You should be very familiar with Japanese laws,” says Mochizuki. Including those that regulate marriage and divorce. And it's good to understand where you can't cross the line (for example, without permission to enter the house or threaten).
He admits that there are shadow agents-rivals who operate without a license, but such firms, Mochizuki suggests, are created as one-off, for one task, and then disappear.
Human Relationship Service and the Japanese Market
While some aspects of the wakaresei business are unique in Japanese, Scott says similar services exist in other parts of the world. They may involve less formalized trapping or other tricky operations. Or carried out under the wing of a private detective agency.
Scott warns: Westerners tend to portray this Japanese business as something sensational and even exotic. "The creation of fake exoticism from scratch is a fairly frequent occurrence in the West."
It is difficult to fully understand what motivates people to use these services because, according to Scott, “they hate to have their names mentioned in this context, let alone to be spoken of as victims. ”. Still, the Vakareseya business has a bad reputation.
As journalist Mai Nishiyama points out, "Japan has a market for everything." Including for the maintenance of relationships between people - for example, renting fake family members, helping to reconcile former lovers, ridding his son of an unsuitable girlfriend for him, preventing porn revenge, etc.
Agents can also be hired in order to collect evidence of betrayal of one of the spouses - then the deceived or deceived will receive so-called consolation payments in case of divorce as compensation for the breakdown of relations.
Although Yamagami International Law Center does not work with lover agents, lawyer Shogo Yamagami notes that some clients turn to private detectives to gather evidence of adultery.
The system of consolation payments means that the work of the vakaresei is beneficial not only in terms of moral satisfaction, but also from a practical, financial side.
The fact that the Vakareseya business continues to exist confirms that money and deception are intertwined in human relationships more often than we would like to admit.
Divorce laws, social norms regarding adultery and the complexity of conflict with a once loved one are unlikely to change in the near future. Therefore, Mochizuki's business is doomed to prosperity - there will be demand for it.
“This is a very interesting job,” he muses. According to him, it makes it possible to understand how and when people lie and dodge. "It's very interesting to see what people are made of."