A 35-year-old Japanese man has married a hologram in an intimate ceremony witnessed by 40 guests, that his own mother refused to attend.
Akihiko Kondo married Miku, an animated 16-year-old with saucer eyes and lengthy aquamarine pigtails, in a $24,000 formal ceremony at a Tokyo hall. However, no relatives attended the ceremony.
“For mother, it wasn’t something to celebrate,” said the soft-spoken 35-year-old, whose “bride” is a virtual reality singer named Hatsune Miku.
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, using a honorific that is commonly employed in Japan, even by friends.
“I’ve been thinking about her every day,” he told AFP a week after the wedding.
Married life with a hologram
Since March, Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a $3,800 desktop device.
“I’m in love with the whole concept of Hatsune Miku but I got married to the Miku of my house,” he said, looking at the blue image glowing in a capsule.
He considers himself an ordinary married man and sleeps next to 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 that doesn’t bother him. He even took his Miku doll to a jewellery shop to get the ring.
Almost 4,000 ‘cross-dimension’ marriages
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 not alone either, he says Gatebox has issued more than 3,700 certificates for “cross-dimension” marriages and some people have sent him supportive messages.
Kondo’s path to Miku came after difficult encounters with women as an anime-mad teenager. As he got older, he says a woman at a previous workplace bullied him into a nervous breakdown and he became determined never to marry.
Kondo wants to be recognised as a “sexual minority” who can’t imagine dating a flesh-and-blood woman.
“I believe we must consider all kinds of love and all kinds of happiness,” Kondo said.