The man became famous due to his ability to do nothing: now he makes money on it
After graduating from college and alternating one dull job after another, Shoji Morimoto, in 2018 an unemployed, self-proclaimed bum, opened a Twitter account under the pseudonym “Do Nothing Rent-a-Man” and began offering the world his fellowship - but without a drop of sweat, reports CBS.
In his 38 years, Shoji Morimoto has grown accustomed to being told by his family, classmates, and colleagues that he is a "bum" - the kind of guy who stays on the sidelines and allows others to take the initiative.
“I give myself to doing nothing, which means I don’t make much effort,” he said, sitting in a local park between meetings. He makes up to three appointments almost every day.
“I am not initiating a conversation. I respond to chatter, but that's all, ”he says.
He turned down requests to help clean houses, “be a friend,” wash, joke around, visit a haunted house, and pose nude. But he stood in the freezing cold listening to the struggling street musician, accompanied the painfully shy ones on their shopping and restaurant trips, and even shared a birthday cake with a lonely man.
“People use me in different ways,” he said. - Some people get lonely. Some are ashamed to go somewhere alone - they want someone to share their impressions. "
“What's surprising is the huge variety of personalities, circumstances and situations,” he said. "It hits me almost every day."
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On a recent weekday, he met a woman in her 30s, one of his regular clients. After a casual greeting, they sat down to drink coffee - in silence.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the Rental Man offered a safe meeting place without judgment, without commitment, and without talking.
“Japanese women tend to worry about what others think and about not burdening others,” she said. - It's tiresome. Therefore, letting go of this obsession is valuable. ”
The concept of offering to be a partner in a restaurant or on a shopping trip is not uncommon in Japan. But Morimoto may have been the first to undertake a wide variety of "assignments" simply at the expense of the cost of the car and, if necessary, food.
Almost a quarter of a million people follow him online, he wanders around the city, and often outside it, meeting with a constant stream of customers. “Man-for-hire” resonated in this land of workaholics and conformists.
Thousands of interesting encounters, his experience helped him make a living. He has written four books, including a manga comic strip, on how to join clients for a few hours in a cafe or for a walk, or even provide moral support when a client files for divorce.
While his clientele is mostly female, some of the often poignant stories come from men eager to be listened to even by a complete stranger. There was a young man stuck in a heartbreaking office job who asked the Rental Man to meet him on the swing after work to experience the joy of life for a little while.
Another memorable client was a lonely young man who asked to share a homemade meal and an intolerable secret: his mother raised him for a life of crime and he was sent to a correctional facility for participating in a robbery that killed a woman. And yet, as the man said, he still yearns for the mother who ruined his life.
Men-for-hire's signature blue cap and backpack, and its unexplained prominence, inspired the semi-fictional 12-part series Amazon Prime last year.
By evening, Morimoto was on the road again, heading for a drink with a calm 44-year-old medical worker named Tamami Miyazaki.
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“With a friend, you have to worry about whether he likes the bar or not,” she said. -But Man-for-hire-san just says yes or no directly. It's less drama than dating a friend. "
Morimoto has spawned many imitators. He is outraged by suggestions that this is something like a real job. According to him, there is nothing more fun than doing nothing.
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