Shoji Morimoto has an unusual career: he makes money out of doing nothing.
For 10,000 yen—plus expenses for travels and means—Morimoto, now 37, can be hired to do exactly that—nothing. An article in The Independent says for that money, he won’t do anything except “eat, drink, and give a simple response”.
According to The Independent, Morimoto first offered his rather unusual services in 2018, when he quit a job in publishing to post a tweet that read: “I offer myself for rent, as a person who does nothing. 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”.
His bio on Twitter reads: “I will lend you a person (me) who does nothing. We are always accepting. You will only get 10,000 yen, transportation expenses from Kokubunji station, and other expenses such as food and drink (if any). Please use DM for requests and inquiries. I can’t do anything other than eating and drinking and giving easy responses”.
He has since seen an enormous following online.
When he first put up the offer he did it for free, The Independent says. However, his services saw a surprising number of responses, prompting him to charge a fee to reduce the number of requests he gets for his rather unusual offer. The Independent says he sees 3 or 4 clients a day, and since 2018, seen 3,000 people.
The Independent quotes him as saying that people rent him for various reasons, but mostly out of loneliness—they simply want someone who’s willing to listen.
From having lunch to posing for photos on Instagram, and even to accompany them to file for divorce, he’s since been hired for a variety of reasons. The most unusual among them was a man who once hired him to describe a murder he had committed. Another person paid to take him to revisit the spot where he had tried to kill himself.
Moromito, who holds a postgraduate degree in physics from Osaka University, told The Manichi newspaper: “I’m not a friend or an acquaintance. I’m free of the annoying things that go with relationships but I can ease people’s feelings of loneliness”.
Since 2018, Morimoto has published books, inspired a television drama, and gained 2,70,000 Twitter followers, the Independent says.