Polygamy illegal in Japan, but 1 man & his 2 ‘wives’ publicly living best lives with 6 children
They are open to sharing about their lives as a family.
A man in Kalimantan, Indonesia, recently got married to both his girlfriends.
If that is raising eyebrows, a family in Japan has been breaking social norms through their unconventional way of living for some time now.
One man, two wives
Nishiyama Yoshikatsu, 38, is a calligraphy artist in Japan.
He lives together with his two “wives” in Japan’s Saga prefecture.
He has two children with his first “wife”, 38-year-old Yukari.
And another three children with his second “wife”, 41-year-old Yuuko.
Along with a son Yuuko brought over from her first marriage, the Nishiyamas have six children in total.
The three of them live together without being married as polygamy is illegal in Japan.
Together, they call themselves the “Iyasaka family”.
Friend told him it’s not wrong
Yoshikatsu, the breadwinner of the family, told Yi Tiao in a 2018 interview that while he got married to Yukari seven years ago, he started to have feelings for Yuuko.
He became bogged down by such feelings for the next three months, as he felt trapped between his newfound feelings for Yuuko and his obligation to remain faithful to Yukari.
He then talked to a friend, who said that what Yoshikatsu was experiencing is not unethical as “it’s not like [Yoshikatsu] intentionally wanted to commit adultery”.
His friend advised him to be truthful with Yukari and tell her what he was truly thinking.
What’s the point of marriage in the first place?
Yukari said she was surprised when Yoshikatsu first told her about his feelings towards Yuuko.
But she could understand why Yoshikatsu fell in love with her.
“Yuuko is like my older sister. I trust her a lot. She has helped us in many ways too.
So I thought it’s natural for Nishiyama to like Yuuko.”
Yukari was also glad that Yoshikatsu talked to her about it, instead of cheating on her with Yuuko behind her back.
“Of course, a part of me felt that it was impossible to accept this sort of arrangement.
But I was glad that Yoshikatsu was frank with me.”
And it was this honesty in the Nishiyama family that Yuuko was attracted to.
“My ex-husband and I lacked honesty with each other, so we ended up getting a divorce.
I liked the way the Nishiyamas communicated with each other, so I told Nishiyama I liked him.”
The three of them had a discussion together afterwards.
“We thought, what’s the point of marriage in the first place?
So we decided to find the answer together.”
First wife willing to give it a shot because of her baby
Naturally, it wasn’t easy for Yukari at the beginning.
“Of course, I felt like it was impossible for me to accept this sort of situation.
But two weeks after we moved here, I had a baby.
And because of this baby, I was willing to give it a shot.”
Yukari then said that because of their children, the trio got closer to one another.
“You can say that “children” is the key word here. They bind us together.”
The two women even helped each other deliver their babies, with Yuuko helping Yukari first, and then vice versa.
Who to spend the night with?
As for which wife to spend the night with, Yoshikatsu said in an interview that they used to have a system in the past which allocated certain days of the week to either woman.
But now, they allow the situation to “flow naturally”.
The trio were so honest with one another that during Yoshikatsu’s first night with Yuuko, Yukari watched on.
This was because she thought that knowing what happened was better than imagining things by herself, although she admitted that it felt “terrible” when she did that.
You can watch the full interview here:
Top image via Yi Tiao