Meet the Japanese man with four wives

For all the constant media brouhaha about people not dating or having sex in Japan, it seems that at least one guy is determined to boost the national average. And challenge the laws about polygamy at the same time.

It’s a case that’s surely not typical and shouldn’t be used as a brush to paint all Japanese guys, but what a story it is.

As featured in late December on Abema TV (sorry, folks, we missed it at the time), Ryuta Watanabe in Sapporo has four “wives” and three kids, and seems to live happily with them.

japanese man multiple wives polygamy married

In fact, 35-year-old Watanabe doesn’t even work but is a househusband taking care of the cooking, etc., and living off the wages of his four “spouses,” who seem to believe he’s a good catch.

Taking turns to sleep with his partners (having given on sleeping with all three at once because it was too physically difficult on the futon), he hopes to gradually increase his offspring and household.

japanese man multiple wives polygamy married

His roost currently comprises: his first wife, Hisaki (22) and their two kids (aged two and one); his second wife, Ayaka, with whom he presently has no children; a third wife, Chiharu (27) and their five-year-old son; and a fourth wife (24), Chihiro, who did not appear on the show, and does not live together with the others.

Watanabe is actually married legally to just one woman; the other women are common-law spouses. Whenever he wants to marry another woman, Watanabe technically has to divorce the previous one first, since Japan does not allow polygamy. A polyamorous relationship, on the other hand, is fine, and that’s what’s going on here.

Watanabe hopes to change everyone’s surnames to his so that even after a legal divorce (and the wives and children revert to their previous or their own separate household and name in the Japanese family register system), they would appear to be one family.

japanese man multiple wives polygamy married

The arrangement might bring to mind old kings and their wives and concubines, and Watanabe is indeed a fan of Tokugawa Ienari, and hopes to best his 53 children.

The women also help look after each other’s children, which makes a lot of sense considering their offspring are half-siblings and all live in the same home in Sapporo. (There’s also a dog, just to make things more crowded.)

Watanabe began his marital adventures a few years ago. He met his fourth wife on a dating app when he was 31 and also starting dating his first wife at this time. The three of them began cohabiting.

When he was 33, he started dating his second and third wives. They also moved in with Watanabe and his harem. His fourth wife moved out (we wonder to what extent he maintains a relationship with her) and his first wife gave birth to their first child.

japanese man multiple wives polygamy married

When he was 35, his first and third wives became pregnant and gave birth to the latest batch of children.

Watanabe is currently on the lookout for his fifth “wife.” Ladies, if you fancy living this kind of life in Sapporo, you know who to call.

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  • TK403 January 17, 2024

    well I have to say having those wife’s his definitely a devoted husband..

  • TheDude January 17, 2024

    A harem seems great but lots of hard work

    As both a pervert and a history otaku I must point out that Tokugawa Ieyasu the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate had 17-20 kids. It was that stud muffin Tokugawa Ienari, the 11th shogun that had 53 spawn.

    To quote Mel Brooks ” It is good to be the king” or at least Shogun!

  • Thai Teena January 17, 2024

    Is he an Islamic?

  • Tadashi Anahori (Post author) January 17, 2024

    @The Dude

    Right, Ienari, not Ieyasu. Sorry, that was our mistake. We misread the name in the Abema story. Fixed now.

  • Surprise January 17, 2024

    Those are some messed up individuals

  • Anon404 January 17, 2024

    getting a feeling this guy’s the reason why some time early last year a couple of J-dramas there got harem as plot point


  • jack from downunder January 22, 2024

    What’s his excuse for not having a job

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