Hiring the services of a complete stranger to introduce to his friends or family, especially during formal ceremonies or large receptions, is a surprising but common practice in Japan and South Korea. Shoji Morimoto, a 38-year-old Japanese, took this concept a step further by offering his services to…do nothing.
Concretely, people invite him to be present at their side and that’s it. He doesn’t need to make a conversation, he’s content to come for 10,000 yen or 73 euros independent.
A customer, for example, asked him to wait for him at the end of a marathon only to see a familiar face in the crowd after running. Another asked her to sit with him until he finished his thesis, and he was unable to bear to work alone. He has also gone to a counseling session to have hemorrhoid surgery or to sign divorce papers.
This way of life suits thirty-somethings well, who do not talk much or are very expressive, even when they are not working.
Shoji Morimoto got into this business after being criticized in his previous jobs for not doing enough or even doing nothing. “I decided to take advantage of that and get a business out of it,” he explains.
strange and not close
Shoji Morimoto finds that his customers don’t want to impose their needs on the people they care about. Then he gives them the emotional support they need but doesn’t dare ask their loved ones. He summarizes: “They just want access to a foreigner without restrictions.”
Yasushi Fujii, professor of psychology at Meisei University in Tokyo, explains.
After more than 4,000 clients, Shoji Morimoto believes that his client’s success is due to his lack of judgment and empathy.
Her success is envious anyway: her activism is the subject of three books and has even been adapted into a television series.
“Unapologetic pop culture trailblazer. Freelance troublemaker. Food guru. Alcohol fanatic. Gamer. Explorer. Thinker.”