1時間=1,000円な「おっさんレンタル」 The ¥1,000 an hour “Ossan Rental” service


Living alone in Tokyo you often find yourself wishing you had someone to talk to. Since 2012 the web service “Ossan (Middle Aged Man) Rental” has been helping to fill the void that the city’s left in so many hearts.
The service is exactly what the name implies, and is amazingly easy to use. Simply pick an Ossan you’d like to rent from the site’s roster and add him to your cart, where you can choose how many hours you need him for before checking out. The going hourly rate is a mere ¥1,000. After that details like dates and meeting places are worked out via email.

ラインナップされているおっさんの数は、本校執筆時点で約70名。彼らのサムネイルには、「新商品」「HOT」「人気」といったタグが付けられている。おっさんたちはまさに“商品” 扱いだ。職種や年齢(33歳以上62歳未満)もさまざまで、雑談/恋愛相談/食事の同伴etc. 交渉次第でいろいろな要望に応えてくれるという。

The site’s current lineup consists of 70 or so Ossan. Their thumbnail photos are conveniently tagged with things like “New Arrival,” “HOT” and “Popular.” Yes, they’re treated exactly like any other merchandise. Ossan are between 33 to 62 years old and they come from all walks of life. That makes it easy to find the perfect partner for small talk, advice on your love life or grabbing a bite to eat. The Ossan always do their best to accommodate special requests, too.
Given the rates they certainly aren't in it for the money, so what motivates these guys to give their time to complete strangers? And how did they get involved with the service to begin with? The more we think about it the more the questions pile up.
What better way to satisfy our curiosity than by asking a former Ossan himself? With that in mind we made an appointment with recently retired rental Ossan Go Kanno (38) to talk about his year with the service.

Q.まずは、「おっさんレンタル」活動をスタートした理由を教えてください。Let’s start with how you got involved with “Ossan Rental.”


This might sound crazy, but to be honest I’m not a very social person. I used to struggle in conversations with new people. One day I realized that if I closed myself off from others I risked becoming a conceited or worse. I wanted to find a way to reach out beyond my circle of friends and interact with new types, which led to me enlisting at the rental service.

Q.どのように“おっさんデビュー”を果したのでしょうか?What was it like in the beginning?


I first heard about “Ossan Rental” sometime around last September. They were recruiting so I immediately got in touch with Takanobu Nishimoto, the man in charge. After a two hour interview process I was an official Ossan (laughs). Back then the site wasn’t as well known and there weren’t as many Ossans to choose from. I’m a little taken aback by how far it’s come since then.

Q.レンタルのペースや依頼の内容、客層について教えてください。Please tell us a bit about your customers, how often you were being rented and what you found yourself doing.

僕の場合は週1件ほどのペース。年間で約50件の依頼を受けました。依頼者の年齢層は20代~70代までと幅広く、9割近くが女性でしたね。依頼は恋愛や仕事の “悩み相談”が多かったです。友人や家族にも悩みを打ち明けられず、孤独感や悩みを一人で抱える人が予想以上に多いのだと感じました。

I was getting rented about once a week, so I did something like 50 jobs over the year. 90% of the customers were women, ranging anywhere from 20-70 years old. The bulk of requests were to discuss problems at work or in their love life. There are a lot of people bottling up their emotions because they can’t open up to their friends or family.

Q.活動を通じて利益はありましたか?Were you able to turn a profit doing this?


Just to be listed as an Ossan you need to pay a ¥10,000 registration fee, plus ¥10,000 a month in dues. So financially I didn’t profit at all. When you factor in expenses the ¥130,000 I made there was a wash. I run a ramen shop in Higashi Nakano called “Misoya Ringo Dou” so I wasn’t concerned about the money aspect at all. My work is part of the reason I had to leave after just a year.

Q.菅野さんはどんなスタンスで相談を受けていましたか?What was your policy when it came to giving out advice?


I was always careful to listen as calmly as possible. If you force yourself to dish out deep advice, you're not helping yourself or the other person (laughs). Something I often felt while hearing people out is that they were seeking some sort of forgiveness. The world is full of ethical dilemmas, and I think a lot of people are suffering through life with a mysterious sense of guilt they can’t seem to shake. I’d sit there and wish that I had a way to help relieve their burdens.

Q.最後に、Z世代に向けてメッセージをお願いします。Can you close with a message for Generation Z?


I guess what I’d say is to not worry too much about being normal or following conventions. Make up your own mind and don’t limit yourself by catering to others’ expectations. That’s easier said than done, but with a bit of trial and error your life will become a lot more enjoyable!

おっさんレンタルOssan Rental



Unfortunately Kanno’s already moved on, but “Ossan Rental” still has a full stable of charming older men there to lend an ear and offer advice based on their many life experiences. Why not give them a try the next time Tokyo life’s got you down?


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