Some singles use dating apps, others seek human connections at bars. For the woman of his dreams, Yusaku Maezawa is offering a free trip — to the moon.
The eccentric 44-year-old Japanese billionaire, known for his art collecting, his online clothing company and for being the first paying tourist signed up for Elon Musk's SpaceX moon shot, advertised for a "female partner" to join him on his journey.
By the time he stopped accepting applications from around the world mid-morning on January 17 in Japan, 27,722 aspiring companions had thrown their hats in the ring by completing a "love diagnostic test."
Multiple-choice questions probed what they were good at cooking, what they'd change about his appearance, how motivated they were by his money, and — perhaps useful to know before spending a week together in a confined spaceship — how they would react if he passed wind.
While it may seem an offensive set of questions to some, it has drawn very little backlash in Japan. Maezawa's story has actually received more attention from outside the country than from the Japanese.
A marathon of test dates are scheduled for the next two months, until finally Ms. Right — single, at least 20 years old, committed to world peace — is selected at the end of March.
Of course, no modern romantic encounter would be complete without being fully documented in painstaking detail for the benefit and scrutiny of a TV audience. Maezawa's lunar love affair will be broadcast by an online streaming service, AbemaTV, which has dubbed the story, "Full Moon Lovers."
The actual celestial odyssey is set for 2023.
First published on January 17, 2020 / 6:53 AM
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