Tokyo Man Rents Self Out to Do Nothing

It makes more sense the longer you think about it

A Tokyo man has found a lucrative business doing nothing. (Kind of.)
Jezael Melgoza/Unsplash

In 2018, Tokyo resident Shoji Morimoto took on a new challenge after leaving his previous job: doing nothing, albeit on a freelance basis. You might not think so, but doing nothing turns out to be a surprisingly lucrative proposition. An article by Frankie Lantican at Vice explores Morimoto’s intriguing choice in careers — and why he’s found such a demand for his services.

The article notes that Morimoto finds clients via Twitter. His bio translates to “I will lend you a person (me) who does nothing.” This can encompass a range of experiences, including listening to someone confess their adultery, accompanying someone else on a helicopter ride and spending time with someone as they filed paperwork for their divorce. Most of the tasks he’s asked to do last between 2 and 3 hours. He charges a flat rate of 10,000 yen (around $96), plus expenses.

Given that Morimoto has, by his own estimation, taken 3,000 requests — doing nothing sounds like a relatively lucrative occupation.

As for the reason for why hiring someone to do nothing has proven so successful, Morimoto has a few thoughts on that as well. “I think it comes down to needing ‘the presence of one human being’ in a given situation,” he told Vice. At a time when more and more people are experiencing solitude due to the pandemic, it’s not hard to see why interacting with someone new might be appealing.

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