The weirdest startup project in Japan?
Well, any venture project that has survived isn’t strange because I admire people who are capable of coming up new ideas and taking action.
However, there is a startup that I consider to be “the weirdest startup project (in a good sense)” or “the funniest venture project (in a good sense)”.
It’s called “Ossan Rental“, meaning “Mid-aged Man Rental”.
Ossan is a disrespectful word describing a mid-aged man in Japanese.
・drunk and tired all the time
・smell not good
・tend to belabor things not really important
and other negative things (… oh my goodness).
In short, people don’t think much of middle-aged man in Japan.
As a matter of fact, I also use this word especially when seeing a man behaving badly.
However, we might have to understand (!?) why some people became like that.
Ossan (Oops, Japanese men) spend a couple of hours commuting, work overtime and have a variety of tasks while being under enormous pressure.
But why do they tolerate it? Because they need to support their families or just they have a strong sense of responsibility.
Nevertheless, they’re not as respected as they should’ve been.
*If a man is well-off, cool, generous, sexy, understanding, open-minded and adventurous, we regard him as a gentle man for sure, but in reality not everybody behaves gently.
In an interview, he explained the reason for starting up this business.
“The word “Ossan” itself is funny but Ossan have been looked down on. So, I just wanted to change people’s stereotype of Ossan.”
According to the interview, he mentioned that the business receives 30 ~ 50 requests a day. Popular Ossan are even handling 50 ~ 60 different work a month on their own.
Their common ground is that every Ossan considers (misunderstands) himself to be very cool (!?), which is also important because the CEO Nishimoto wants all of Ossan to help their customers confidently. Then, people can realize that Ossan are actually very dependable.
The fee is just ¥1,000/hour and you can ask any kind of help except for some inappropriate jobs like crimes and sexual activities.
The contents of requests also
・Talking to a customer about his/her matter
・Spending time with a senior customer
・Taking a walk together
・Visiting a customer in the hospital
The reason why so many customers have used Ossan for discussing their personal matters is that talking to somebody who is not your acquaintance is more comfortable or safer than doing so with your friends, Nishimoto explains (definitely!).
¥10,000/month (Ossan’s registration fees) → Ossan Rental
¥1,000/ hour (Customers’ fees) → Ossan
(Photo: Ossan who is good at singing)
The reason why Nishimoto requires Ossan to pay such a expensive fee every month is not only for the revenue, but to avoid hiring Ossan having ulterior motives such as the aim of coming across women.
Because of this, they’ve been able to prevent big problems between Ossan and customers.
Ossan Rental allows us to register if you’re over 33 years old.
In other words, you might start being called “Ossan”.