the japanese who gets paid to do nothing

Shoji Morimoto has what some would consider a dream job: he gets paid to do practically nothing.

The 38-year-old Tokyo resident charges 10,000 yen ($71) per booking to accompany customers and simply exist as an escort.

“Basically, I rent myself. My job is to be where my clients want me to be and not do anything in particular,” Morimoto told Reuters, adding that he has handled about 4,000 sessions over the past four years.

With a slender build and average appearance, Morimoto now has nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter, where he finds most of his customers. Approximately a quarter of them are repeat customers, including one who has hired him 270 times.

His job took him to a park with a person who wanted to play seesaw. He also smiled and waved through a train window to a complete stranger who wanted a goodbye.

Doing nothing doesn’t mean Morimoto will do anything. He has declined offers to move a refrigerator and move to Cambodia, and he does not accept any requests of a sexual nature.

Before Morimoto found his true calling, he worked at a publishing house and was often reprimanded for “doing nothing”.

“I started to wonder what would happen if I provided my ‘do nothing’ ability as a service to customers,” he said.

The companionship business is now Morimoto’s only source of income, with which he supports his wife and child. While he declined to disclose how much he earns, he said he sees about one or two clients a day. Before the pandemic, it was three or four a day.

As he spent a Wednesday doing nothing in Tokyo, Morimoto reflected on the bizarre nature of his work and seemed to question a society that values ​​productivity and derides uselessness.

“People tend to think my ‘doing nothing’ is valuable because it’s helpful (to others)… But it’s okay to do nothing. People don’t have to be helpful in a specific way,” he said.

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