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.
Some folks were digging the idea.
We're not sure how this brings the dignaty back, but if it's working for Japan, then we are all for it.