- / - / - / -

Some people in Japan are trying to find happiness through surrogacy services. One agency rents out “significant others.” A retired man hires a rental wife and children in order to relieve his loneliness. A young man hires a girlfriend, so he can practice going on dates. People can be hired to play a variety of roles, and demand is on the rise.
There are others who try to create happy memories through another form of surrogacy. They send their stuffed animals on trips organized by a special travel agency. To help maintain their long-distance relationship, a young man and his girlfriend send their white teddy bears on trips together. A middle-aged woman sends off her panda in memory of her late grandmother. The owners enjoy the trip through instant posts on social media and make new friends.
We observe how digital technology is changing people’s relationships and even family traditions in Japan. Some people are not only virtually connecting with strangers but are also creating precious memories with them.

Director Mayu Nakamura
Location Japan
Duration 28 min.
Genre Society / Social issues / Life
Air Date (JST) Mon., Jan. 21, 2019 *rerun
Mon., Nov. 19, 2018

On Demand


Mayu Nakamura

Mayu Nakamura


Mayu was born in Kyoto and spent 14 years away from home studying abroad. She obtained a degree at the Graduate Film Program at New York University. In 2006, her first fiction feature film, “The Summer of Stickleback,” was premiered at the Busan International Film Festival at the competition level. In 2012, Mayu directed a documentary feature film, “Lonely Swallows – Living as the Children of Migrant Workers,” which follows Japanese-Brazilian children trying to survive in Japan and Brazil. The film won the Grand Prix in Documentary Features at the Brazilian Film Festival. In 2015, Mayu directed another documentary feature film, “Alone in Fukushima.” The film follows a man who spent a year living and caring of his animals inside the highly contaminated restricted zone. The film was screened at the Montreal World Film Festival and released in theatres across Japan. Currently, Mayu directs documentaries mainly for NHK World.


Design Your Own Ending, 2017
Taxi Planet: Driving through New York, 2017
Alone in Fukushima, 2015
Lonely Swallows – Living as Children of Migrant Workers, 2012
Summer of Stickleback, 2006

  • Director’s Interview


  • Preview