Riajuu: An Ideal Person Japanese People Want To Be

These days, with the widespread use of social networking services, people can interact with each other on the internet. And more people are keen to show off their fulfilling lives on the internet, as represented by Instabae (instagrammable). Accordingly, there is a divide between those who enjoy real life and those who live comfortably on the internet. One side envies those who enjoy real life and calling them “Riajuu”, while the other side ridicules those who can only enjoy their lives online as “Hiriajuu”. Their meanings are quite similar to “Inkya” and “Youkya”, but the implications are slightly different.

What is Riajuu (リア充)?

The word “Riajuu” is a combination of the words “real” and “jyujitsu (= fulfillment)”, and was first used as internet slang, but many young people use it in their daily lives now.

Typical Characteristics of Riajuu

  • Surrounded by many friends
  • Belonging to a prevalent company or school club
  • Having hobbies to spend holidays
  • Having a partner

Hi-Riajuu (非リア充)

The term used to describe the opposite meaning of Riajuu is “Hi-Riajuu. It has “hi (非)” at the beginning that means “non-“. Hi-Riajuu often refers to socially awkward people, has no partners or physically active hobbies, and prefers to stay indoors. They belong to an online community and are fulfilled to some extent, but others perceive them as not having a satisfying life in the real world at all.

Kyorojuu (キョロ充)

There is also the term “Kyorojuu”, which refers to the type of people who are pretending to be Riajuu, but is not. “kyoro” comes from the word “kyorokyoro (きょろきょろ)” which means “look around restlessly”.

Typical Characteristics of Kyorojyuu

  • Very quiet when they are alone
  • Overly concerned about what others think of them
  • Riajuu wannabe

Are You Riajuu or Hi-Riajuu?

The following summarizes the differences in behavior based on the diagnostic test for “Riajuu” and “Hi-Riajuu”.

SituationRiajuuHi-Riajuu
How to spend a holidayGo outStay at home
Reason for a recent callJust wanted to talk casuallySomething important
Any partner?YesNo
Have a friend who lets me stay at their houses when I miss the last trainYesNo
When seeing people working hardWant to cheer/support themWish they would fail
Up for anything?YesNo
When I find someone attractive:Approach from your endWaiting for that person approaching you
When hanging out with friendsJust go outMake a plan in advance
The photos in my phone are:Photos taken outsidePhotos taken inside
If there is a social networking off-line eventJoinHesitate to join

Some of the people, who would fit into many of ”Hi-Riajuu” categories in the above table, are not satisfied with their current situation and are feeling impatient. And did you know that there is a service for such people in Japan?

Current Status in Japan

We sometimes find that “Hiriajuu” people commenting “Riajuu, you should just explode!” on social media when they see a flirting couple or find a photo or video of everyday life that makes people envious. It is more of a self-deprecating joke than a malicious comment. Having said that, people have a desire for recognition in any day and age. There are a lot of people who want to show that they have a fulfilling life. To meet the needs of such people, there is a service called “Riajuu Agency”.

I did a bit of research and here’s what the service looks like:

  1. Taking a photo that makes it looks as if you were celebrated at a birthday party by lots of friends
  2. Taking a photo that makes you look like you enjoyed holidays traveling with your friends

People can specifically request the age, gender, and even the clothes of the person who will take the photo with them. And there are also other services that rent boyfriends or girlfriends for pictures to be posted on social media or to visit graves on your behalf.

Sounds strange? I think so too, but the fact is that there are a certain number of people who need those kinds of services to lead a meaningful life.

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