Cheating on your partner is a universally terrible thing to do but is usually not illegal. One Japanese man’s scheme that had him dating at least 35 women at once, however, actually turned out to be criminal.
Takashi Miyagawa, 39, was recently arrested in Osaka for defrauding at least 35 women, all of whom were reportedly manipulated into believing that they were each in a serious, monogamous relationship with him.
This Casanova's alleged crime? Faking his birthday and getting presents all year long.
According to Japanese news outlet MBS News, the part-time worker told one 47-year-old girlfriend that his birthday was on Feb. 22, but said to another 40-year-old woman that his birthday was in July. Another 35-year-old woman thought Miyagawa’s birthday was in April. His actual birthday is Nov. 13, the same report said.
It is unclear how exactly Miyagawa’s scam unraveled but in February, the women banded together to form a “victim’s association.” They then reported Miyagawa to the police for defrauding them of 100,000 Japanese yen ($919), the combined sum of what they supposedly spent on gifts for his fake birthdays.
Miyagawa reportedly met these women while selling shower heads, water purifiers, and other equipment for a multi-level marketing company.
In an interview with MBS News, one of Miyagawa’s victims said that he had told her that he was serious about their relationship and wanted to be with her forever.
A camera crew from MBS News found Miyagawa back in January, before he was arrested, leading to a painfully awkward ambush interview on the streets of Osaka.
“You’re Mr. Miyagawa, right?” the reporter asked. “No, that’s not right,” Miyagawa responded while attempting to bolt from the interview. The video comes to a peculiar end with the reporter trying to keep up with Miyagawa as he runs away.
The bizarre crime has people amazed and amused.
“Are you aiming for a Guinness World Record???” wrote one Twitter user.
One user applauded Miyagawa’s insane multitasking skills.
“He’s skillful and diligent, what great talent! It’s not possible to do this unless you can remember the personalities, names, jobs, and preferences of 35 people,” they wrote on Twitter.
But many were just trying to figure out how Miyagawa pulled this off.
“With 35 people, if he was seeing one person a day, that means he could only meet the women once every 35 days. If he met two to three women a day, then he could see them every two weeks,” one tweet reads. “Did he treat dating like juggling different part-time jobs?”