Woman Whose Dad Walked Out on Her as Kid Finds Way to Fill Void on Vacation

A woman who spent most of her formative years growing up without a father found a unique way to fill the void during a recent trip to Tokyo in Japan.

Tyen Rasif, who is a personal trainer and musician from Singapore, said her dad “walked out” on her and her family when she was just 11 years old.

The impact of a father’s absence on children is well documented. A 2013 study published in the Annual Review of Sociology found that it negatively impacts high school graduation outcomes, adult mental health and social-emotional adjustment for those children affected.

During a recent trip to Tokyo, however, Rasif got the opportunity to see what life would be like if her father was still around: she rented a dad.

Companies such as Ossan Rental offer visitors the chance to rent an older man to accompany them for the day. Ossan is a slang term in Japan referring to middle-aged Japanese men. For a fee, an Ossan can accompany an individual on their excursions, giving the outside perception that they have company.

Tyen Rasif and her brand new "dad."
Tyen Rasif and her new “dad.” Rasif hired a man to play her dad for a day out in Tokyo.


For some in Japanese culture, this can help them “save face” in the public eye. For Rasif, however, it was about something else.

“I wanted to try this to see if this could heal father wounds,” she told Newsweek. “I also wanted to see what the experience would be like to have an old man pretend to be a father figure for a day.

She ended up being paired with 63-year-old “Mr. Natori” for a day doing what she described as what any “normal father-daughter holiday might look like.” They visited the Asakusa Sensoji Temple, got matcha together, and, most poignantly of all, Mr. Natori offered Rasif some “life advice,” such as: “Every day is your youngest day.”

In a video chronicling her experience, which was posted to TikTok under the handle @tyenrasif, Rasif said their day together gave her a clearer understanding of why these kinds of services as “so beneficial” in one of the “world’s loneliest countries.”

“As a young girl seeing my friends’ dads watch their concerts, I can see how this is healing,” she said. “Saying goodbye was really hard but it was comforting knowing I have a dad again in Japan that I would hopefully meet soon.”

Rasif said she got a huge amount out of the experience.

“He turned out to be a great tour guide, and because he is English-speaking, we were able to connect deeply, which made exploring the sites even more meaningful,” she said.

“My highlight was making a meaningful connection with him and receiving the wholesome experience of being listened to and given fatherly advice to for a day.”

Rasif had one piece of advice for anyone considering renting a dad for a day. “Go for it with an open mind and the experience was healing in a way that made me realize how beautiful dads can be,” she said. “He is a wonderful father and grandfather.”