Although Kuwabara inadvertently fell in love with Mrs Isohata, he had been paid to track her down and seduce her as a professional wakaresaseya — or “splitter upper” — hired by her husband to provide him with grounds for a divorce.
The case is raising questions about the ethics and legality of “splitter uppers” — shady, but seemingly widespread operatives to whom a surprising number of Japanese turn.
As Mrs Isohata’s father said during the trial: “I can never forgive a business that toys with the emotions of human beings.”
Wakaresaseya perform a variety of functions, but all of them arise from the Japanese dislike of direct confrontation. Rather than pleading with him face to face, a woman whose husband is having an affair may hire a splitter-upper to seduce his mistress away from him. Parents may engage their services to prise off the unsuitable lover of a son or daughter. Dozens of wakaresaseya companies advertise on the internet, under names such as Lady’s Secret Service and Office Shadow. They employ models, actors and personable people of different backgrounds first to trail and then to seduce their quarry. The classic wakaresaseya operation was the one commissioned by Mrs Isohata’s husband....Wakaresaseya (pronounced Wack-Array-Sass-Sayer) are private detectives who bring to an end relationships of all kinds
As well as breaking up couples, entrapping someone into an affair can be useful to an employer who wants to secure the “resignation” of an employee or a businessman seeking “favourable terms”
Five years ago there were about a dozen companies, but there are now many more on the internet. The industry relies upon the power of shame and is unregulated
Cost is a question of time and complexity. An initial consultation might be Y10,000 (£71), but the average case takes three months and costs can easily mount
The wakaresaseya say that men are the easiest targets. “They never seem to smell a rat when, despite the fact they’re middle-aged, a beautiful young woman falls for them,” one said
Source: Times database
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