November 17th is known in Japan as Family Day.

Recognizing a golden opportunity, Regard Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based housing and architecture firm specializing in custom-built houses, has created a unique promotion geared towards customers who are exploring the possibility of home ownership.

In a world first, the company has hired professional actors to allow open house visitors to not only explore one of their beautiful model homes but to also imagine what it might be like to live there with an actual family.

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

The number of marriages and births continues to decrease in Japan year by year. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported that the number of births in Japan from January to July 2019 was 5.9% lower than it had been during the same period the previous year.

According to Regard's press release, young Japanese people often have opinions such as "I don't think having a family leads to happiness," or "I can't imagine a future in which I have my own family." As an architecture firm committed to creating "the joy of living with a family," Regard wanted to do their part in addressing this grave issue. That's how they came up with the idea of offering an open house service so that "people who don't have families now can experience the joy of living with a family."

Your model family

Without further delay, let's introduce your model family:

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Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Family role-play scenarios

Here are the different scenarios you'll be role-playing. (English translations are ours):

Coming through the entrance of your beautiful home and being greeted by your family

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Preparing for a special party in the kitchen island you always dreamed of having

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Forgetting the bustle of the city as you spend a good time in your family's company

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Enjoying an afternoon drink with your wife on your balcony

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Enjoying craft activities with your daughter and being a kid again

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

What went into creating the experience

To begin with, Regard consulted with the architects who built the 50 homes they have already made in the Kokubunji neighborhood of Tokyo, getting valuable advice on the features and advantages of the homes they offer, in order to create the best role-playing environment. Then, they consulted with the sales staff so they could share their successful sales stories and find out what specific aspects of the homes customers were most pleased with. Then, they surveyed single men on the family situations they imagined were the most happy ones and used this information to design the role-playing scenarios.

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Once they had all the information they needed, Regard carried out a rigorous audition and finally selected the two actors who would play the roles of wife and daughter. The wife will be performed by the accomplished actress Saori 早織, formerly known as Saori Koide 小出早織, who played the role of Karin Takeda in the 2005 TV drama Train Man (Densha Otoko) and Komako in the 2007 comedy film Maiko Haaaan!!! Saori is affiliated with Stardust Promotion Inc. and you can see her profile here.

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

Finally, they hired Masashi Suwa of the Kyoto-based theater troupe Europe-Kikaku to oversee the stage direction with the goal of creating the best possible mood of a "warm and happy family" for the participants to experience. Skilled not only as an actor but also as a scriptwriter and director, Mr. Suwa has the spontaneity and acumen to keep things on track.

Courtesy of © Regard Co., Ltd.

How to sign up

If you're interested in participating, please visit the open house website here. Please note that only five participants will be selected.

As you probably realized from the scenarios above, single men are the primary target this time. According to Regard's press release, "you will play the role of a father in his 30s, so we have assumed that participants will be male."

If the service is a success and they decide to do this again, perhaps Regard will consider also hiring a male actor and provide for greater variety in the roles participants can play.

By - Ben K.