Shoji Morimoto works as a so-called “Do Nothing Rent-a-Man”.
People hire the 38-year-old to participate in activities such as eating, shopping and going for walks.
“I’m not making any particular effort,” he told CBS News, adding, “I’m like chitchat, but that’s it.
Shoji Morimoto loves his job, but he does not try much on it.
That’s actually exactly what makes him so good at it.
The 38-year-old Japanese man offers his services – or lack thereof – as a so-called “rent-a-man”.
“I lend myself to doing nothing, which means I make no special effort,” he told CBS Saturday Morning. “I’m not initiating conversation. I’m similar to chitchat, but that’s it.”
People pay him to participate in activities ranging from the worldly, like eating a meal, to the extreme, like listening to a murder confession.
Morimoto got his start in the unusual job in 2018 when he was unemployed and opened a Twitter account called “Do Nothing Rent-a-Man” to advertise his services. He now has more than 200,000 followers.
Morimoto told CBS News that he is constantly amazed at his clients’ “wide variety of personalities, circumstances and situations”.
“Some people are lonely,” he said. “Some feel it’s a shame to go somewhere (interesting) alone – they want someone to share their impressions with.”
He books up to three concerts a day and has completed more than 3,000 so far, according to The Independent.
His previous concerts include sharing a cup of coffee in silence, listening to a bush, sharing cake with someone on their birthday, accompanying people to restaurants and shops and joining a client on a swing set, he told CBS News. Some of the requests he has declined include cleaning houses, doing laundry, posing naked and becoming someone else’s friend.
“I’m not a friend or an acquaintance,” Morimoto told the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun earlier. “I’m free of the annoying things that come with relationships, but can ease people’s feelings of loneliness.”
Japan has recently struggled to deal with loneliness and social isolation among its inhabitants. In 2020, the country reported rising suicide rates for the first time in 11 years, appointing a “loneliness minister” to help tackle the problem.
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