Shoji Morimoto, a 37-year-old man from Tokyo, Japan, rents himself out to other people "for doing nothing". Shoji has thousands of clients and a huge social media following.
Initially, Shoji offered his services free in June 2018. He posted 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." Shoji charges 10,000 yen (7500 INR), plus food and travel expenses, for a request.
Shoji has an average of three or four clients a day and has rented himself over 3000 times. He usually gets rented by people who are bored or lonely and want to be listened to. He has been hired by people to have lunch with them, to pose with photos for social media, for catching butterflies in the park and even to describe a murder that had been committed. A client paid Shoji to take him from the hospital to revisit the spot where he had attempted suicide.
Shoji has a post-graduate degree in Physics from Osaka University and worked with a publisher before finding the job "hard to fit in".
According to the Japanese newspaper, The Mainichi, Shoji commits to "doing nothing" and gives back-channel feedback when someone speaks to him.
"I myself don't like to be cheered on by others. I get upset when people simply tell me to keep on trying. When someone is trying to do something, I think the best thing to do is to help lower the bar for them by staying at their side," Shoji explained, as quoted by The Mainichi.
"I'm not a friend or an acquaintance. I am free of the annoying things that go with relationships but I can ease people's feelings of loneliness, Shoji had told The Mainichi.
In the last three years, Shoji has published books about his career choice, which was inspired by a television drama, and acquired more than 267,000 Twitter followers.