Japanese man marries hologram

Japanese man marries hologram

Akihiko Kondo poses with his wife.
Akihiko Kondo poses with his wife.

TOKYO: Akihiko Kondo's mother refused an invitation to her only son's wedding in Tokyo this month, but perhaps that isn't such a surprise: he was marrying a hologram.

None of Akihiko Kondo's relatives attended his wedding to a hologram.

"For mother, it wasn't something to celebrate," said the 35-year-old, whose "bride" is a virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku.

Kondo spent 2 million yen (580,000 baht) on his wedding at a Tokyo hall.

Around 40 guests watched as he tied the knot with Miku, present in the form of a cat-sized stuffed doll.

"I never cheated on her, I've always been in love with Miku-san," he said.

"I've been thinking about her every day," he told AFP a week after the wedding.

Since March, Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a US$2,800 (93,000 baht) desktop device.

He considers himself an ordinary married man -- his holographic wife wakes him up each morning and sends him off to his job as an administrator at a school.

In the evening, when he tells her by cellphone that he's coming home, she turns on the lights. Later, she tells him when it's time to go to bed.

He sleeps alongside the doll version of her that attended the wedding, complete with a wedding ring that fits around her left wrist.

Kondo's marriage might not have any legal standing, but Gatebox, the company that produces the hologram device featuring Miku, has issued a "marriage certificate", which certifies that a human and a virtual character have wed "beyond dimensions".

Kondo's path to Miku came after difficult encounters with women as an anime-mad teenager.

"Miku-san is the woman I love a lot and also the one who saved me," he said.

And while Kondo says he is happy to be friends with a "3D woman", he has no interest in romance with one, no matter how much his mother pushes for it.

Even in a country obsessed with anime, Kondo's wedding shocked many. But he wants to be recognised as a "sexual minority" who can't imagine dating a flesh-and-blood woman.

"It's simply not right, it's as if you were trying to talk a gay man into dating a woman, or a lesbian into a relationship with a man."

"Diversity in society has been long called for," he added. "I believe we must consider all kinds of love and all kinds of happiness."

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Vocabulary

  • bride: the woman at a wedding who is getting married - เจ้าสาว
  • cheat: to have a secret sexual relationship with somebody else - นอกใจ, มีชู้
  • dimension (noun): a measurement in space, for example the height, width or length of something - ขนาด, ขอบข่าย, มิติ
  • diversity: including many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย
  • doll: a toy that looks like a person but much smaller - ตุ๊กตา
  • encounter: a meeting, especially one that happens by chance - การเผชิญหน้า
  • flesh-and-blood: from a human with "flesh and blood" not artificial or made of plastic or metal -
  • float: an object that floats in the water - สิ่งที่ลอยได้ เช่น แพ
  • hologram (noun): a special type of picture in which the objects seem to be three-dimensional (= solid rather than flat) - ภาพสามมิติ, ฮอโลแกรม
  • holographic: related to a special type of picture in which the objects seem to be three-dimensional (= solid rather than flat) ภาพสามมิติ, ฮอโลแกรม -
  • minority: of a part of a population that is different in race, religion or culture form most of the population - ชนกลุ่มน้อย
  • tie the knot: to get married -
  • virtual reality: images and sounds that are produced by a computer and connected equipment to make the user feel as if they are in real three-dimensional space - สภาวะเสมือนจริงที่จำลองโดยเทคนิคทางคอมพิวเตอร์
  • wrist: the part of your body between your hand and your arm - ข้อมือ

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