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Wakaresaseya or wakaresase-ya (別れさせ屋, "breaker-uppers") are Japanese businesses that specialize in breaking up relationships, often by drawing one of the partners into an affair or by producing other incriminating evidence.[1][2] For a fee, a customer names a target, and an undercover employee of the company then attempts to initiate an affair with the target or produce other incriminating evidence.[1] Though most often used to gather evidence of infidelity for use in a divorce case, it may also be used for purposes ranging from bringing shame to someone, securing the resignation of an employee, luring away the lover of one's spouse,[1] or breaking up some other relationship.[3]

The activities of these agencies were first widely reported in about 2000, and in 2001 the TV network NTV aired a drama series Wakaresase-ya.[4] In 2005 there were around twelve such companies in Japan, but the field has grown since with companies offering services through the internet.[3] In 2010 an internet search located some 270 wakaresaseya agencies.[5] The cost of retaining such an agency was given as ranging from 500,000 to 1.6 million yen, not including a success bonus of 250,000 - 800,000 yen.[5]

People involved in the business agree that men make easier targets and will almost always be seduced by good looking operatives.[1][3]

The business entered the limelight in 2010 when a former operative of a wakaresaseya agency was sentenced for murder. He had fallen in love with a female target the company had assigned to him. After the true nature of the relationship came to light, she wanted to leave him and he killed her.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Magnier, Mark (10 January 2002), "Breakups Are Their Business", Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Coeyman, Marjorie (28 February 2002), "Calling in the Split Man", Christian Science Monitor
  3. ^ a b c d Parry, Richard Lloyd (10 February 2010). "Japanese murder exposes world of hired marriage wreckers". The Times. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Wrecking a relationship doesn't come cheap". japantoday.com. 5 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b c "Relationship breaker-upper for hire gets his day in Tokyo court". Tokyoreporter.com. 24 March 2010.