A Japanese man has opted for an unusual career, making money by renting himself "to do nothing". Shoji Morimoto, a postgraduate in Physics has garnered an enormous following on social media. Anyone can rent Morimoto who takes requests under the name “Rental Person Who Does Nothing”. Despite a lack of any specific professional skill, thousands of lonely and bored Japanese people queue up for the services of this person from Tokyo.
Every session with Morimoto would cost 10,000 Japanese yen ($96), plus expenses for transportation and food. He will meet, eat and drink and give easy responses and nothing more. Thousands of clients are happy and filled with gratitude with his kind of support since he launched his services nearly three years ago. Initially, when he started, Morimoto would offer his services for free. However, later Morimoto started charging to discourage time-wasters and reduce the volume of requests.
According to Morimoto, he has taken an estimated 3,000 requests since he started his business in June 2018, typically seeing two to three clients in one day. Although his job is not time-bound, on a regular day he spends two to three hours with every client he meets.
There is no fixed workday for Morimoto and people rent him for various reasons. At times he will watch a movie, he will stay with a patient in the hospital who attempted suicide. He accompanies those filing for divorce and turns up to listen to health care workers who become depressed due to their exhausting work. One day, he went for lunch and listened to a cheater who wanted to confess to an affair. He has been to Disneyland and has participated in a gaming session. He has been hired to get moral support, pose for photographs on Instagram and even catch butterflies in the park.
Morimoto, who is married, told The Mainichi newspaper, “I’m not a friend or an acquaintance. I can ease people’s feelings of loneliness. I think the best thing to do is to make it easier for them by staying at their side (sic.)” Morimoto, who also worked as a writer and editor, says he has never been more satisfied with a job.
In the current age, people from various walks of life find it difficult to survive. Somewhere someone is longing for a listening ear or someone to cheer them on. Morimoto’s work has garnered immense demand and much attention in Japan. His story has inspired a television drama series known as Rental Nan mo Shinai Hito, or “Rent-a-Person Who Does Nothing.”