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Inside For-Profit Japanese Crying Sessions


In Japan, a company sells tear-inducing services to emotionally repressed patrons.
Hiroki Terai, a successful Japanese businessman and author, was conducting research for a book about the country’s rising divorce rate when he came to a startling conclusion. “He found that [many] Japanese women who were initiating divorces never got over the divorce,” the filmmaker Darryl Thoms told The Atlantic. As Terai explained to Thoms, “the whole legal and practical process overwhelmed people so much that they didn’t have a chance to emotionally deal with it—and they never got around to crying.”
Ever the entrepreneur, Terai saw an opportunity. “The business started to initially help women cry after that life-changing event,” said Thoms. “After that, Terai thought that perhaps more people could benefit from crying.”
Terai’s Tokyo-based company, Ikemeso Danshi —which roughly translates to “Handsome Weeping Boys”—provides cry-therapy services for those seeking a catharsis they feel unable to express in daily life.

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