Shoji Morimoto has what some would consider a dream job: he gets paid to do practically nothing. The 38-year-old Tokyo, Japan resident charges 10,000 yen (367 reais) per reservation 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 done about 4,000 such jobs in the past four years.
On Twitter, Morimoto now has nearly 250,000 followers, where he finds most of his customers. Roughly a quarter of them are recurring — including one who has hired him 270 times.
His work once took him to a park with a person who wanted to play seesaw. On another occasion, the Japanese man smiled and waved through the train window to a complete stranger who wanted a farewell.
But doing nothing doesn’t mean Morimoto will do anything. He declined offers to move a refrigerator to Cambodia, and 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, there were three or four.
After spending a Wednesday doing nothing in Tokyo, Morimoto reflected on the bizarre nature of his work and appeared to question a society that values productivity and derides uselessness.
“People tend to think that my ‘doing nothing’ is valuable because it’s useful (to others),” he said. “But it’s okay to do nothing. People don’t have to be helpful in a specific way.”