Nisan (pictured above) is a balding, flacid, 37-year-old, never-married video gamer.He describes his 3-year relationship with “Nemu” – whom he’s driven hundreds of miles on trips to visit Kyoto, Osaka and Nara — as blissful but chaste.A new video game subculture has been flourishing in Japan: men who are so obsessed with pubescent, female, Anime figures they form “relationships” with body pillows covered with the girl’s image.In this world known as Moe, the rising popularity of so-called “2-D Lovers” has spawned its own thriving industry among some men.There’s been a growing popularity of men in China buying silicon dolls and treating them as girlfriends and sometimes even children.Men have been spotted in public taking their dolls on dates to the movies and the park, according to People’s Daily Online. He likes dressing her up in different outfits and taking photos with her in public.
Many have a long tradition and are still made today, for household shrines, for formal gift-giving, or for festival celebrations such as Hinamatsuri, the doll festival, or Kodomo no Hi, Children's Day.
The female characters and the Moe men who love them — some more innocently than others — are 10 to 12 years old.
However, the ornate costumes that create flashes of bright color on video screens often look nothing like the “get-ups” on the pillow covers.
Some are manufactured as a local craft, to be purchased by pilgrims as a souvenir of a temple visit or some other trip.
There may be a continuity in the making of the dogū, humanoid figures, by the ancient Jōmon culture in Japan (8000-200 BC) and in the Haniwa funerary figures of the subsequent Kofun culture (around 300-600 AD).