A man in Tokyo who rents himself out to other people “to do nothing” has been inundated with requests — and now he’s getting paid for it.
Shoji Morimoto, 37, started advertising himself as a person who can “eat and drink, and give simple feedback, but do nothing more,” in June 2018.
“I offer myself for rent, as a person who does nothing,” Morimoto wrote in his first tweet about this unique service. “Is it difficult for you to enter a shop on your own? Are you missing a player on your team? Do you need someone to keep a place for you? I can’t do anything except easy things.”
Since then, he’s received over 3,000 requests. He originally offered his services for free, but now charges 10,000 yen (roughly $96) just to reduce the volume of requests and to discourage the time-wasters.
Morimoto says he sees on average three to four clients a day. People rent him for a variety of reasons but most are bored and lonely and simply want to be listened to.
He’s participated in video game sessions, accompanied those filing for divorce, and caught butterflies with strangers in the park.
“I’m glad I was able to take a walk with someone while keeping a comfortable distance, where we didn’t have to talk but could if we wanted to,” one client posted online.
“I had been slack about visiting the hospital, but I went because he came with me,” another wrote.
One client says she has rented Morimoto on at least 10 occasions. She asked him to stay beside her when meeting a man for the first time, and also had him listen to her talk about her views on love, which she did not feel comfortable talking about to her friends.
Morimoto currently has nearly 268,000 Twitter followers and has quit his full-time publishing job to “do nothing”.
When asked why he thinks so many people are interested in his services, he said, “I’m not a friend or an acquaintance. I’m free of the bothersome things that accompany relationships, but can ease people’s sense of loneliness. Maybe it’s something like that for me.”