A resourceful Japanese guy has found his dream job: getting paid to do nothing. Shoji Morimoto, a former publishing house employee, praises himself for simply being there for lonely people, he once even got paid to say goodbye to a lone traveler.
Morimoto, 38, says he charges customers around 71 euros per hour for just being there, with around 4,000 bookings over the past four years, earning him enough money to support his his wife and child. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, he earned nearly 300 euros a day. “Actually, I praise myself. My job is to be where my clients want me to be and not do anything in particular,” he explains.
He notably contented himself with riding on a seesaw with a customer in a local park, and sat in a restaurant with a woman who was worried that her Indian sari would embarrass her friends if she wore it in public, so he intervened. “With my friends, I feel like I have to entertain them, but with him, I don’t feel the need to be chatty,” client Aruna Chida, a 27-year-old data analyst, said of the service offered by Shoji Morimoto.
He explains that the idea came to him after being repeatedly criticized for doing nothing while working in a more traditional job in publishing. “I began to wonder what would happen if I offered my ability to do nothing as service to clients. People tend to think that my way of doing nothing is valuable because it helps other people. But it’s fine to really do nothing. You don’t have to be useful in any specific way,” he said.
Today, this original activity is Shoji Morimoto’s only source of income, and as surprising as it may seem for us French and Europeans, in Japan , his business is flourishing and he manages to earn a very good living. But beware, he makes it a point of honor to set limits. For example, he does not accept requests for anything sexual, and has turned down jobs moving a refrigerator or traveling to Cambodia.