A Japanese man in a polygamous relationship with his four “wives” and two girlfriends said he wants to father more children than Tokugawa Ienari, a shogun who lived in the late 18th and early 19th century, had.
About the man:
Watanabe Ryuta, 35, of Sapporo, Hokkaido
in a December episode of infotainment show “Abema Prime
” that he has been living with his three “wives.” His first and third wife disclosed their ages as 22 and 27, respectively.
So far, Watanabe has three children: two with his first wife and a newborn with his third. His fourth wife, aged 24, lives separately from them.
What he wants:
Watanabe said he hopes to surpass Tokugawa Ienari, a shogun infamous for fathering approximately 53 children
with 27 concubines during his reign in the Edo Period between 1787 and 1837.
“I want to overtake him. As such, I want to have 54 children, so my name can go down in history. I am still searching for a new wife,” he said.
How they live together:
Watanabe’s three wives each have their own room
and he follows a schedule on which room to sleep in every night. He also revealed that he has not worked in the last 10 years and lives off of his wives and girlfriends’ paychecks while filling the role of a house husband.
What his “wives” say: Watanabe’s first wife said she welcomed the lifestyle after learning that he already had girlfriends when they started dating. On the other hand, the second wife initially wanted to break up, but she later accepted and was absorbed into the polygamous relationship. She said she now lives “a very comfortable life.”
Alleged legal workaround:
While polygamous marriages are illegal in Japan
, Watanabe explained that a workaround he found is to marry one of his wives, divorce her later and marry the next woman. Still, it’s unclear if such a solution would be permitted given their circumstances.
What people are saying:
Many Japanese YouTube
users found Watanabe’s lifestyle baffling. One user wrote
, “The most amazing thing is that I found four women who can tolerate this.”
“What’s truly astonishing is not only the establishment of a polygamous relationship of this scale but also the bold mentality to openly share this fact on the internet,” another commented
. “It’s truly impressive.”