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Lonely? Sounds like you need to sit in 'the hugging chair'

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Buy this chair, and you'll never have to look farther than your furniture for a snuggle bud

Everyone needs a hug from time to time — there's just nothing quite like the comfort that comes from having two supportive arms embrace you. And that's what Japanese company UniCare is banking on with its unique "tranquility chair."

UniCare debuted the creepy innovative chair at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo, where a spokesperson explained, "It makes you feel safe."

To mimic the psychological benefits of a real hug, the back of the chair consists of a doll shaped like a giant human with long, pillowy arms that can wrap you in a warm embrace.

While his oversized oven mitt hands totally skeeve us out, we may not be the tranquility chair's target demographic anyway.

"Anyone can use it," a UniCare spokesperson said, "but it is designed for older people."

If you take into consideration that 25 percent of Japan's population is over 65 and that this percentage is expected to double in the next few decades, the chair's geriatric-focused marketing makes sense.

According to Oddity Central, the chair — which retails for $419 — is inspired by the studies of Professor Hidetata Sasaki and is intended to also improve quality of life for people suffering from dementia, anxiety, fear or anger by encouraging relaxation.

We're not quite sure how anyone could relax while cuddling with the clown from Poltergeist, which is what this guy reminds us of. Can you imagine getting up at night to grab a glass of water and seeing the tranquility chair in a dark corner?


UniCare may actually be trying to corner the market on comforting-slash-creepy home products for the elderly. Its other creations include Life Rhythm Dolls, which play old Japanese music and remind owners to complete tasks like taking their medicine or going to bed.

Said a spokesperson for the company's lifelike products, "They are comforting for people who live alone — they can talk to them and hug them."

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