Did a Korean Man Marry His Pillow?
Myth

People can legally marry inanimate objects.

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

Articles 731–737 of the Civil Code govern marriage in Japan. Nowhere in that code are people permitted to marry inanimate objects.[3]

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.”[1]

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.”[2]

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.

 



Notes

Common Myths and Misconceptions about A Korean Man Married His Pillow in 2010

Most stories report that the man married his pillow, however there is no evidence of an official marriage. The man himself admitted, “my love for Fate is unchangeable, but I will take more time to think about our marriage.”

Some people have mistakingly thought the man was Japanese (see title of video below). However in the Korean TV show featuring him (above) he clearly speaks Korean and says he lives in South Korea. He did however go to Japan to “get married” and the pillow is from a Japanese anime. This is most likely what caused the confusion.

Some people have mistakingly thought the character was underage. Fate grows from 9 to 25 in the Anime series Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. From what we can tell she is at least 19 as the picture seems to be from the StrikerS arc of the anime or later.[4]




Conclusion

Since one cannot legally marry an inanimate object in any country we know of, all marriages to inanimate objects are myths of sorts. In the case of the Korean man marrying his pillow, the events all did seem to take place and are documented by photo or video. However there is no evidence that a legal marriage happened. In fact, it seems one can’t legally marry a pillow in Japan. So not only did Lee elude to not going though with the ceremony, he also wouldn’t have been legally married if he did.

This seems more like a publicity stunt playing off of other recent instances of otaku marrying objects. For instance a Japanese otaku married his virtual girlfriend Nene Anegasaki, a character who only exists in the Nintendo DS game Love Plus, in November of the 2010. [5]


References

  1. Man Marries Pillow“. Metro.co.uk. Retrieved Sep 29, 2015
  2. Korean falls in love with pillow, plans marriage“. Bt.com.bn. Retrieved Sep 29, 2015
  3. BOOK IV RELATIVES“. Law.yale.edu. Retrieved Sep 29, 2015
  4. Fate Testarossa“. Nanoha.wikia.com. Retrieved Sep 29, 2015.
  5. Tokyo man marries video game character“. Cnn.com. Retrieved Sep 29, 2015


Leave a Reply to Thomas DeMichele Cancel reply

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x'lm kx lk on
Supports this as a Fact.

CUZ I SAID SO

sammy eisenberg on

this is not true talk about the person who married a game of tetris!!!!!

Thomas DeMichele on

You can’t legally marry Tetris. But yes, a woman does say she wants to. I say let her be happy, but marriage is a legal contract of the state, and I did not find any legal way to do this in my research.

https://metro.co.uk/2018/01/05/woman-plans-marry-tetris-breakdown-relationship-calculator-called-pierre-7206091/