Japanese man Shoji Morimoto’s ‘do nothing’ service, once earning US$300 daily, now offered for free

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Shoji Morimoto

11th July 2024 – (Tokyo) Shoji Morimoto, the entrepreneur behind the unique “rental person” service in Tokyo, has announced a shift in his business model. Since 2018, Morimoto has been hired over 4,000 times, offering his company for a variety of reasons—from aiding individuals in social settings to more peculiar tasks like assisting in online dating scenarios. However, he recently declared that his services would now be free, charging only for travel and incidental expenses.

Morimoto’s venture began as a paid service where clients could hire him to simply “do nothing” more than be present. This novel idea quickly gained traction, reflecting a societal demand for no-strings-attached companionship. His services ranged from mundane coffee meet-ups to attending personal milestones and even participating in divorce proceedings, albeit his interactions remained minimal.

Despite his business’s success, bringing in nearly $300 daily before the pandemic, Morimoto found the essence of his service—passive entertainment—to be inherently enjoyable. This enjoyment, coupled with the explorations in his recent memoir, “Rental Person Who Does Nothing,” led to his decision to stop charging for his companionship.

Morimoto’s approach challenges conventional business models and social norms, highlighting a societal undercurrent that values simple human presence over active engagement. His clients, like Aruna Chida, appreciate the lack of obligation to entertain, which contrasts sharply with typical social interactions.