The Japanese man who “married” with a hologram
The mother of Akihiko Kondo rejected the invitation to the wedding of her only son, last month in Tokyo, but perhaps it is not something surprising: she was going to marry a hologram. The man asks to be considered as a “sexual minority”.
“For my mother it was not something worth celebrating,” says this 35-year-old man whose “wife” is a virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku.
Actually, none of Kondo’s relatives attended her wedding with Miku, a 16-year-old cartoon with eyes like saucers and long blue ponytails.
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But that did not stop Kondo from spending two million yen ($ 17,600) at a formal ceremony in Tokyo.
About 40 guests saw him give the “I do” to Miku, present in the form of a stuffed animal the size of a cat.
“I never cheated on her, I’ve always been in love with Miku,” she told AFP a week after the wedding. “I’ve thought about her every day.”
Kondo lives from March with a hologram of Miku that moves and speaks from a desktop device that is worth 2,800 dollars.
“Die, otaku disgusting!”
Kondo is considered a married man like any other. His wife-hologram wakes him up in the morning and says “goodbye” when he goes to his job as administrator in a school.
In the afternoons, when he tells her on the phone that he is returning home, she turns on the lights. Then, it notifies you when it is time to go to sleep.
He sleeps next to the stuffed version of Miku who was at the wedding and who now wears the wedding band on his left wrist.
Kondo does not care that his marriage has no legal basis. He even took the stuffed Miku to a jewelry store to buy the ring.
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In addition, Gatebox, the company that produces the device of the hologram in which Miku floats, issued a “marriage certificate” in which it states that a human and a virtual character were married “beyond the dimensions”.
Kondo is not alone and according to him Gatebox issued more than 3,700 “interdimensional” marriage certificates.
The way from Kondo to Miku came after several difficult encounters with women when he was a teenager crazy about anime.
“Girls used to say ‘die, otaku disgusting!'” He recalls, using a Japanese term for anime followers that may have a negative connotation.
Being already older, he tells that a companion of a previous work harassed him until provoking a nervous depression to him and decided that never it would marry.
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That would not be uncommon now in Japan. In 1980, only one in 50 men reached the age of 50 without ever having married. Currently, the ratio is one in four.
But in the end, Kondo realized that he had been in love with Miku for more than a decade and decided to marry her.
“Miku is the woman I love and also the one who saved me,” he says.
And although Kondo recognizes that he likes to be friends with a “woman in 3D”, he is not interested in a romantic relationship with a real one. The two-dimensional characters can not cheat, grow old or die, he says.
Even in a country obsessed with anime, Kondo’s wedding surprised many people. But he wants to be recognized as a “sexual minority” who can not imagine dating a real woman.
“It’s not fair, it’s like wanting a gay man to have dates with a woman, or a lesbian relationship with a man,” he said.