He allows himself to be hired by anyone, for nearly any purpose — not involving physical contact — as long as they pay his hourly wage: a mere 1,000 yen (about US $9). And he loves it.
With gray hair, visible lines on his face and loss of youthful slimness, he is more like a free-spirited bohemian in a strange disguise.
Throughout an hourlong Skype interview, in which comments are tediously ferried back and forth through an interpreter, his energy and enthusiasm never flag, and his answers grow more expressive and thoughtful with each question.
It’s all part of his job as a rented “ossan,” the Japanese word for a middle-aged man.
“Forty percent of my ossan rental clients want something to do with the violin,” Sasaki said. “Another 40% are questions about IT work, and the other 20% are asking advice for their lives. These are mainly younger people.
“My profile on the ossan rental website has a very light-hearted atmosphere,” he said. Though he notes his occupation in IT, he bills himself as someone who plays the violin and shogi, or Japanese chess.