We’re all aware of how wonderfully weird the Japanese can be, but they sometimes take it to a whole new level. For one, they have the world’s shortest escalator. Then there are the square watermelons and the women’s legs-shaped pillows for lonely men.
And then there’s the weird jobs: jobs that you thought nobody would want to do, jobs that you didn’t think existed, and jobs that are just downright strange. Here are 5 of them!
See Also: Top 10 Weirdest Job Titles
1. Fake Wedding Guest
If you’re quite the Bridezilla and panicking that there won’t be many guests attending your fairytale wedding, you might want to consider hiring a few fake wedding guests.
The Japanese consider weddings as events that must be attended by as many people as possible (the saying ‘the more, the merrier’ has never been more true), and while family and friends decline invitations, a niche in the market slowly opened.
Office Agents specializes in renting out fake family members and long-lost friends for your big day for a fee of $200 each. The company also offers fake lovers, stand-in secretaries, and… yes, funeral guests.
2. Balloon Watcher
Kind of like bird watching, but without birds, and with balloons – advertisement balloons, to be precise. Bear in mind that these are giant balloons we’re talking about here (so you really can’t miss them), which are used to advertise big department stores, major companies, and the like.
Balloon watchers can make up to 7,300 Yen (about $60) per day, and their job basically entails keeping an eye on the balloons to ensure they remain properly inflated and that they don’t stray.
If you’ve ever lived in big cities like New York, London and Paris, and have had to travel to work by train during the morning rush hour, no one will judge you for thinking it was the worst thing ever. However, when travelling by train in Japan during rush hour, you have one more little thing to worry about other than your neighbor’s bad body odor and people invading your personal space: oshiyas.
It sounds like something you’d order off the menu of a sushi restaurant. But it’s really not. Oshiya is actually a pusher. Yep, these people get paid to push you onto the train during rush hour, ensuring everybody gets in and no one gets stuck in closing doors.
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “like sardines in a can,” right?
You’re stuck in the queue waiting to get your hands on the latest Apple gadget, when you suddenly remember you’re meant to pick up your kid from school. What do you do? You call for a narabiya, of course.
Narabiyas will gladly stand in line for you while you go about doing your own thing for around 15,000 Yen (about $122) for up to six hours. You could be relaxing at home, while your hired stand-in waits in line for One Direction tickets.
5. Sexual Care Worker
This is by far the weirdest entry on this list, and probably the weirdest job I’ve ever heard - full stop. Sexual care workers are basically the social workers of sex. White Hands, a company specializing in assisting the disabled umm, well, ejaculate, offers a step-by-step guide on what to expect from their so-called Ejaculation Help service: from a session’s necessary “tools” to the actual, towel-covered ejaculation. No actual sex takes place, though, so calm down, Perry the Perve – care workers simply “massage the genital area.”
See Also: 5 Jobs That You Didn’t Know Existed
Can you think of any other bizarre jobs in Japan you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!