As with many subcategories of the technology sector, Japanese companies seem to reign supreme. And with loneliness, their proficiency in the area is likely a consequence of the country’s unique relationship to it. Japan has the fastest-ageing population in the world. Currently, over than a quarter of its citizens are 65 or older, a share that is expected to rise to 40% by 2050. The statistic has birthed an entire business in which companies sell insurance to landlords, offering to take care of tenants who die on their properties and to even pay for months of missed rent.
Japan also has a celebrity solution for those who suffer from loneliness thanks to Hatsune Miku, the holographic pop star who’s opened on tour for Lady Gaga and sells out shows across the globe, despite not being a real human. What you might not know is that Japanese businessmen are also flocking to marry the blue-haired perennial 16-year-old. For about $2,800 plus a monthly fee, shoppers can purchase a “black orb” containing Miku, meant to be an at-home girlfriend.
“It won’t necessarily make you happy to be bound to the ‘template’ of happiness in which a man and woman marry and bear children,” says Akihiko Kondo, one of Miku’s reported 3,700 cross-dimensional husbands. “I love and see her as a real human.”