For its GW (Golden Week) special issue, Tokyo Sports (May 5) delivered a triple-whammy, with three articles -- nearly an entire page -- devoted to aficionados of "rabu dooru." The word might be mistaken for "rubber dolls" (they're actually composed of silicone), but in this case the "rabu" stands for "love," and in the case of harem owned by 62-year-old Tokyo resident Senji Nakajima, their names are Megumi, Saori and Saorin.
"Seven years ago, I started getting interested in love dolls after visiting an ero-goods shop in Akihabara," Nakajima tells the reporter. "A store clerk told me there was a showroom close by, and I went to check it out, and man, I tell you it was love at first sight. That was how I met Megumi. These days she stays home but I never tire of her companionship. When I come home, she's there to welcome me with open arms." (Well, the way he described it was a little more explicit but we will stick to decorum.)
When Nakajima goes out, he sometimes helps Saori into his car and they go for a drive together. They disembark at a parking lot outside a park, and he transfers her to a wheelchair. After a stroll he might seat her on a bench and the two will engage in a one-sided conversation.
On other occasions he has taken his fake female friends on camping trips, skiing and to the beach. They have also accompanied him to love hotels. An accompanying photo shows one of Nakajima's partners seated on a low plastic stool as he tenderly lathers up her, er, protruding parts.
Nakajima, who is not a bachelor, hails from Ibaraki Prefecture. He is wed to a woman one year his senior and has two adult children. His work required him to live in Tokyo, and being a person who enjoys company, he procured a total of three of the life-size dolls.
"Even more than when I first met them, I like them even more now," he gushes. "They never complain and they never get older. Sometimes when I'm in a foul mood, I feel like strangling one, but they don't mind.
"When I'm on my deathbed, I hope they'll be there to mourn me," he added. "I enjoy having created this form of technical love."
Tokyo Sports also visited Yoshiki Hyodo, who operates a "Hihokan" (House of Secret Treasures) in Yashio, Saitama City. For an admission price of 1,000 yen, visitors can see a collection of about 20 love dolls in all sorts of garb. There are two dressed in uniforms of the former Soviet Baltic fleet, a Viet Cong costume, and wartime civil defense gear formerly worn in Japan. He's adorned the teenage dolls to resemble student nurses, beggars and other variations that boggle the mind.
Hyodo said about 15 years ago he found a mannequin that had been discarded in a vacant lot to start his collection. Most of his dolls are manufactured by Orient Industries, which sells them for 300,000 yen and over. After seeing his collection, the general consensus is that it deserves a much wider audience -- perhaps as temporary exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum?
The third article introduces a 13-year-old "aidoru" (idol) named "Hitsuji" who lives at home with "Mashiro," a 130-cm-tall love doll.
"I picked her out at the Orient Industries' showroom after I saw Hyodo-san's collection," she tells the newspaper. "Isn't she cute?"
Hitsuji especially enjoys dressing up her love doll in a variety of costumes, some ordinary and some a bit on the kinky side. "I've never lived together with a man or a girl. I mostly just stay at home and socialize with people online. But I'd like to see Mashiro do some modeling. She never complains when her photo is taken, and always has a smile for me. I only wish she would speak. Anyway, the way things are now, it's sort of like I'm keeping her captive in my room," she giggles. She told Tokyo Sports she has dreams of starting her own shop, and appearing together with Mashiro in a DVD.© Japan Today