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This Japanese man makes a living by renting himself out ‘to do nothing’

By RED DIMAANDAL Published Jan 22, 2021 3:31 am Updated Jan 22, 2021 5:37 am

I need a job!

That’s a line we always hear from young professionals and fresh college graduates these days. They are desperate for a job. But, let’s have courage and admit it, that’s a natural consequence of the dark economic times we’re trudging through especially during the pandemic—high unemployment rates.

It’s sad but true, many people have relevant experience and the prerequisites to boot; however, many applicants are vying for positions too few to count, making the competition harder than cutthroat. 

Furthermore, difficult times call for creative maneuvers and unconventional tactics, which push job seekersboth fresh grads and those who want to explore and seek a new professionto think outside the box. Surprisingly, when they do, they are greeted with opportunities they have never expected existed before. 

Say, for instance, we found this man named Shoji Morimoto, from Tokyo in Japan, who makes a living by renting himself out “to do nothing.” 

Morimoto first offered his services in June 2018 after posting a tweet that read: “I offer myself for rent, as a person who does nothing.” For 10,000 yen or approximately P4,600 pesos, anyone can rent Morimoto, but he will not do anything except eat, drink, and give a simple response.

“Generally, every request I get is so fresh and varied that I like most of them. In particular, the stories or requests I’m sharing below are those that left an impression on me because the response was great,” he said in an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe. 

Shoji Morimoto was asked to send off people who are moving away.
Shoji Morimoto was asked to send off people who are moving away. 
He got a request to accompany a person who is filing for a divorce.
He got a request to accompany a person who is filing for divorce.

Morimoto was asked to pet a dog while walking.
Morimoto was asked to pet a dog while walking. 

After graduating, Morimoto worked as an editor in a publishing house and tried his hand at freelance work. However, he said that no matter how much he tried, he couldn’t hold down a job for long. “I found myself unable to continue them. I’ve thought ‘Am I just not suited for anything?’ or, rather ‘Am I just suited to doing nothing?’ which led to the idea of offering the service of not doing anything. From observing my surroundings at work, in parties, in things like barbeques, I’ve found that I’ve been that person who does nothing. I used to believe that was my weak point but then, what if I was able to turn that into my strength? I thought that’d be interesting to do,” he said. 

Now, in less than three years, Morimoto, who used to work as a writer and editor, has published books about his career choice and even inspired a television drama called Rental Nan mo Shinai Hito or Rent-a-Person Who Does Nothing. 

Japanese translation by Paolo Cruz

Photos from Shoji Morimoto's Twitter account