Can People Legally Marry Inanimate Objects?
You can not legally marry an inanimate object anywhere that we know of, this includes anime pillows, the Efile Tower, video game characters, or any other non-being. Below we look at the concept of marrying an inanimate object including one of the more popular stories from Japan where a Korean man was said to marry his pillow
Marriage Laws in Japan
Even just as a matter of practicality, to be legally married both parties must sign the marriage license in front of an official, with one other witness. Obviously an inanimate object can’t sign the marriage license.
Did a Guy Really Marry a Pillow?
In 2010 a Korean man named Lee Jin-gyu was reported to have married his pillow. However, a legal marriage appears to have never taken place. The photos are from a staged photo shoot following an appearance on “Martian Virus” a South Korean TV show.
FACT: There has been more than one person who “married” an inanimate object, in all cases the marriages aren’t legally recognized. Often, like with Lee Jin-gyu, it is largely a media stunt and entertainment.
The History Behind the Man Marrying His Pillow
In 2010 Lee Jin-gyu (a Korean Otaku) traveled to Japan to marry his “dakimakura” (a large body pillow usually portraying an anime character). Apparently he had been obsessed with the pillow for some time with a friend saying, “They go out to the park or the funfair, where it will go on all the rides with him. Then when he goes out to eat, he takes it with him and it gets its own seat and its own meal.”
The wedding was reportedly chronicled by the local media and caused some worldwide attention with headlines proclaiming variations of “Man Marries Pillow”. There was even a TV show discussing the marriage where Lee Jin-gyu is the featured guest.
Despite all the claims, Lee at one point admitted to the press that he was unsure about going through with the marriage saying, “my love for Fate is unchangeable, but I will take more time to think about our marriage.”
So while most of the events are true, we have found no evidence to support that an official marriage took place or that if it did it would be a legal marriage. Rather it seems that following the TV appearance Lee made good on his on TV promise to go take wedding photos, but never actually made good on his promise to get married.
Here is the actual TV show that features Lee Jin-gyu with English sub-titles. He appears at the 6:00 mark and confirms he is living in South Korea. It’s worth noting that this is a comedy show that looks for odd stories so some parts of this could be fabricated or embellished by Lee or the show to make the story more entertaining.