Japan’s “Splitter-Uppers”

What an odd line of business to be in. “Find a need and fill it,” I suppose:

The function of the wakaresase-ya is the direct opposite of a dating agency: with great ingenuity, and the right fee, they will prise apart human relationships. Do you have a troublesome ex-boyfriend who won’t leave you alone? A beloved son who is getting engaged to an unsuitable girl? A dead-loss employee who refuses to take the hint and retire? All of these difficult situations can be resolved by the splitter-uppers.

The broken-hearted ex will be visited by the girl’s “new boyfriend”, a muscular gangster-type who explains why he would be wise to nurse his broken heart alone. The undesirable daughter-in-law-to-be will be lured into a drunken one-night stand with a handsome and mysterious man who appears from nowhere — photographs of their tryst will find their way to her fiancé. The stubborn employee will find himself confronted with evidence of gambling debts, or nights in massage parlours — and resign to avoid embarrassment. In each case, the dirty work — of threatening, seducing and investigating — has been done by a splitter-upper.

(via Freakonomics)

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