There are many new ways of making friends in today’s world. The best way is meeting new pals online. The Japanese are doing things a little differently. There is a growth in rent-a-friend agencies. The only problems that the friends you meet will not be your true friends. You simply rent one when you need one for a specific occasion. The friends for rent are professional fakers. They will pretend to be anyone you want them to be. They serve a very useful in Japan, where it’s very important to keep up social appearances. If you do not have a best man for your wedding or you need a rich aunt to seal a business deal, rent-a-friend agencies will provide you with the perfect impersonator.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper interviews on Ryuichi Ichinokawa, the owner of the agency. He has been the best man at weddings, making jokes about happy couples he did not know, and has acted as the uncle of students at school sports days. The Guardian says: “He has helped the couples and recorded their parties on his video camera.” Ichinokawa charges just over $150 as a rental charge, but says there are extra fees for singing at a karaoke party or making a speech at a wedding. Ryuichi says he plans everything in detail so he doesn’t embarrass his client. He says proudly: “In three and a half years people have never found out I work for a rent-a-friend agency”.
|a.||Most Japanese people rent their friends.||T / F|
|b.||Friends from rent-a-friend agencies usually become lifelong friends.||T / F|
|c.||The friends you rent will pretend to be anyone you ask them to be.||T / F|
|d.||People rent friends in Japan to maintain their public image.||T / F|
|e.||The owner of a friend-rental agency often knows the bride at weddings.||T / F|
|f.||The owner cheered for children he never knew at a school sports day.||T / F|
|g.||You have to pay extra for your rented friend to sing or make a speech.||T / F|
|h.||The agency owner said he was found out as a fake just three times.||T / F|
|Rent a …||Reason for renting||What you would do|
|work of art|