TOKYO – Shoji Morimoto has a dream job.
The 38-year-old Tokyo resident accompanies clients for an hourly wage of 10,000 yen (S$100) and exists as a mere companion.
“Basically, I rent myself out. My job is to be where the client wants me to be, and I have nothing in particular to do,” Morimoto told Reuters. He added that he has handled about 4,000 sessions over the past four years.
With his stocky build and average looks, Morimoto now boasts nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter and finds most of his clients. About a quarter of them are repeaters, and some have hired 270 times.
His job was taking me to the park with anyone who wanted to play on the seesaw. He also beamed through the train window and waved at a total stranger who wanted to see him off.
Doing nothing does not mean that Morimoto will do anything. He declines an offer to move Refrigerator and go to Cambodia and does not take any requests of his sexual nature.
Last week, Morimoto sat across from Aruna Chida, a 27-year-old data analyst in a sari, having a sparse conversation over tea and cake.
Senda wanted to wear Indian clothes in public, but was worried that she would embarrass her friends.
“I think I have to entertain my friends, but I don’t have to talk to the rental man (Morimoto).
Before Morimoto found his vocation, he worked at a publishing company, where he was often scolded for “doing nothing.”
“I started to wonder what would happen if we offered the ability to ‘do nothing’ as a service to our clients,” he said.
The companion business is now Morimoto’s sole source of income and supports his wife and children. He declined to disclose his income, but said he sees one or two customers a day. Pre-pandemic he was 3-4 times a day.
After spending Wednesday doing nothing in Tokyo, Morimoto reflected on the strange nature of his job, seemingly questioning a society that values productivity and ridicules waste.
“People tend to think that my ‘doing nothing’ is valuable because it helps[to others]. No need,” he said. – Reuters