In a society where confrontation is hardly desired nor practiced, the Japanese’s reluctance to engage in face-to-face has created a whole new level of creepiness. Where wannabe models and actors elsewhere wait tables and tend bars, the ones in Japan find employment as wakaresaseya, or splitter-uppers.
Rather than pleading with him face to face, a woman whose husband is having an affair may hire a splitter-upper to seduce his mistress away from him. Parents may engage their services to prise off the unsuitable lover of a son or daughter. Dozens of wakaresaseya companies advertise on the internet, under names such as Lady’s Secret Service and Office Shadow. They employ models, actors and personable people of different backgrounds first to trail and then to seduce their quarry.
But looking at the grander picture, these soap opera-ish home wreckers are merely one symptom of much larger problems in Japan.