In Brief

Japanese man marries hologram pop star

Tokyo administrator spends £13,500 on wedding to virtual reality mascot Hatsune Miku

A Japanese man has “married” an anime hologram, saying he sees himself and his virtual bride as an ordinary couple.

Akihiko Kondo, a 35-year-old school administrator, marked his commitment to virtual reality pop star Hatsune Miku in a 2 million yen (£13,580) ceremony at Tokyo city hall earlier this month.

Miku is the virtual reality face and voice of Japanese singing synthesiser software Vocaloid. Created in 2007, she has become a pop star in her own right, performing to packed stadiums and releasing chart-topping albums of her synthesised vocals.

Kondo said he was rejected by women and branded a creep at school for his obsession with anime, but “found solace and inspiration in the countless songs made for the virtual diva” by software users - around 100,000 as of last year, Asia One reports.

“Miku-san is the woman I love a lot and also the one who saved me,” he said.

Kondo “considers himself an ordinary married man”, despite the fact that his wife “lives” in a small holographic chamber in his apartment, The Japan Times reports. “His holographic wife wakes him up each morning and sends him off to his job… In the evening, when he tells her by cellphone that he’s coming home, she turns on the lights.”

Their wedding was a small affair, however, as Kondo’s family declined to attend. “For Mother, it wasn’t something to celebrate,” he said. Instead, 40 guests watched him wed a cuddly toy stand-in of Miku.

Although the marriage has no legal standing, Gatebox, the company which created the desktop version of Miku, has issued the couple a certificate to mark their union “beyond dimensions”.

Remarkably, “Gatebox says it has issued 3,700 such certificates”, Techspot reports, “although Kondo is reportedly the first to have held an actual wedding ceremony”.

Even in a country obsessed with anime, “Kondo’s wedding shocked many,” says the Japan Times.

However, Kondo has taken a phlegmatic approach to disdain by his family and society at large, claiming that his bond with Miku is a legitimate sexual orientation.

“I believe we must consider all kinds of love and all kinds of happiness,” he said, adding: “It won’t necessarily make you happy to be bound to the ‘template’ of happiness in which a man and woman marry and bear children.”

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