Japanese billionaire opens applications for girlfriend to take on moon voyage

Yusaku Maezawa will be SpaceX’s first private passenger for a 2023 moon voyage

Yusaku-Maezawa-Reuters File photo of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo, who has been chosen as the first private passenger by SpaceX, in Tokyo, Japan, October 9, 2018 | Reuters

The first private passenger to register for a voyage to the moon, via Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, has opened applications for a girlfriend to accompany him on the trip. Eccentric Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has announced that he seeks a 'life partner' to go with him on a voyage around the moon, with the aim of spreading a message of peace and love.

Maezawa made the announcement on his website, saying, “As feelings of loneliness and emptiness slowly begin to surge upon me, there’s one thing that I think about: continuing to love one woman.”

“I want to find a ‘life partner’. With that future partner of mine, I want to shout our love and world peace from outer space.”

He tweeted a post similar to a job application. "WANTED:Why not be the ‘first woman’ to travel to the moon?"

Maezawa's search for a girlfriend will be the subject of an upcoming documentary titled Full Moon Lovers, which will be streamed on AbemaTV.

The requirements are listed as:

  • Single women aged 20 or over
  • Bright personality and always positive
  • Interested in going into space and able to participate in the preparation for it
  • Want to enjoy life to the fullest
  • Be someone who wishes for world peace

Applications for the position will close on January 17 and Maezawa will select his partner by the end of March. 

Maezawa, 44, is once-divorced, having recently been married to actress Ayame Goriki. As the founder of fashion e-tailer Zozo, which was recently acquired by Yahoo! Japan for $3.6 billion, his net worth is estimated to be around $2 billion by Forbes.

The girlfriend-hunt is but the latest in Maezawa’s plans for the moon trip. When he was announced as SpaceX’s first private passenger in September 2019, Maezawa also declared that he would bring eight artists to the moon in a bid to see what they would conceptualise in space. He booked all the seats on the flight, and will let the artists travel for free.

Maezawa is an avid art collector, having spent $110 million to acquire a single painting, and much even on gathering and supporting contemporary art. As part of a project titled ‘#DearMoon’, Maezawa hopes to take "some of Earth’s greatest talents" onboard a spacecraft so that they can be ‘inspired in a way they have never been before”.

In the website he created for the project, he asks, ‘During the week-long spaceflight, what will they see? What will they feel? And what will they create?”

In a section titled, “I choose to go to the Moon, with artists” Maezawa writes, “If Pablo Picasso had been able to see the moon up-close, what kind of paintings would he have drawn? If John Lennon could have seen the curvature of the Earth, what kind of songs would he have written? If they had gone to space, how would the world have looked today?”

The flight will be a crewed lunar flyby, lasting six days and taking passengers on a lunar trajectory around the moon using just gravity to fly from earth to the moon and back. 

In 2020, Maezawa made Twitter history by creating the post with the highest number of retweets. His technique was simple—he offered to give 1 million yen ($9000) to 1,000 of his Twitter followers if, to be selected at random from people who retweeted his post.

He did the giveaway as a “serious social experiment” to see if free money can increase one’s happiness, an idea he said was inspired by the concept of universal basic income. Through regular surveys, Maezawa wanted to track the happiness of each of the recipients.