There is a new trend in Japan, hiring middle-aged men.
For around $8 - $12 an hour Japanese people can hire a "ossan" which in a derogatory way translates as middle-aged man or uncle. Takanobu Nishimoto founded the company Ossan Rental service in 2012. Many Japanese people would like to speak to an older man to get advice but are uncomfortable speaking about personal matters with someone too familiar.
Not all the people hiring the men want advice. Some are looking for companionship to go to events, helping with household chores or acting as a boyfriend to ward off stalkers.
There is also the sad reality that middle-aged men in Japan are often disrespected and mocked for having a receding hairline or pudgy mid-section. Men used to reign supreme in Japanese society but the times have changed and their value is dropping. Nishimoto was inspired to start the company after hearing schoolgirls laughing at some middle-aged men on a bus.
The hope is to bring some dignity back to middle-aged men.
In Japan you can hire a middle-aged man for $9 an hour to listen to you complain, do your chores, or ward off stalk… https://t.co/Mcuhk3RevF— Business Insider (@Business Insider)1537805849.0
@businessinsider They do that here in the United States too at fast food restaurants.— Supreme Tweeter Fa'Reed Blackman (@Supreme Tweeter Fa'Reed Blackman)1537805923.0
@businessinsider Youre basically hiring my dad.— Joey (@Joey)1537835776.0
@i_am_joey @businessinsider Is he available? I’ll bump up@the wage if he can ward off my stalker.— Darlene Shaw (@Darlene Shaw)1537837238.0
Some folks were digging the idea.
If anyone wants to rent me, I’ll meet you at the donut shop. The real reason people rent middle-aged men in Japan… https://t.co/arogJnpK5W— Joe Caramagna 🍩🏒 (@Joe Caramagna 🍩🏒)1533421380.0
The real reason people rent middle-aged men in Japan - CNN so this must mean I’m middle aged. There must be a pill… https://t.co/ppx9QZu7qd— LORI MIXSON (@LORI MIXSON)1533415382.0
The real reason people rent middle-aged men in Japan - CNN. It gives a whole new meaning to to pay for play.… https://t.co/abBUatee78— Brian Garrido (@Brian Garrido)1533414973.0
"The real reason people rent middle-aged men in Japan - CNN" Japanese culture is awesome and weird (only to other… https://t.co/6MRCMEGRAE— Gerry Conway (@Gerry Conway)1533406359.0
YEAH! WISDOM! I'm actually on sale at the moment - rent me for 75% off and only two bottles of whisky.* (* terms a… https://t.co/95qNPxICQz— Darren Ewing (@Darren Ewing)1533313933.0
The real reason people rent middle-aged men in Japan https://t.co/QbtpHiBeQY Not aware of this practice. I can be rented.— Steve Martin (@Steve Martin)1533324282.0
We're not sure how this brings the dignaty back, but if it's working for Japan, then we are all for it.