Rental Person Who Does Nothing

A Memoir

by Shoji Morimoto

On Sale: 01/09/2024

Rental Person Who Does Nothing

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Rental Person Who Does Nothing

A Memoir

by Shoji Morimoto

On Sale: 01/09/2024


About the Book

***Now an International Bestseller!***

"Distinctively Japanese musings on meaning and connection."—Observer

I'm starting a service... available for any situation in which all you want is a person to be there. Maybe there's a restaurant you want to go to, but you feel awkward going on your own.

Maybe a game you want to play, but you're one person short.

Or perhaps you'd like someone to keep a space in the park for your cherry blossom viewing party...

Shoji Morimoto was constantly being told by his boss, "It makes no difference whether you’re here or not," and that his presence contributed nothing to the company. Morimoto began to wonder whether a person who "does nothing" could still have actual value and a place in the world. Perhaps he could turn "doing nothing" into a service? With one tweet, Rental Person was born.

Rental Person provides a fascinating service to the lonely and socially anxious. This book details thousands of his true-life adventures:
  • Accompanying a divorcee to her favorite restaurant
  • Waving goodbye to a client from the train platform
  • Sitting in the courtroom during a client’s trial
  • Supporting a client during a difficult surgery

Rental Person is dependable, nonjudgmental and committed to remaining a stranger, and the curious encounters he shares are revelatory about both Japanese society and human psychology.

In Rental Person Who Does Nothing, Morimoto chronicles his extraordinary experiences in his unique line of work and reflects on how we consider relationships, jobs and family in our search for meaningful connection and purpose in life.

Critical Praise

"Distinctively Japanese musings on meaning and connection."—Observer
"A beguiling kind of picaresque."—The Times
"Lays bare the bathos and banality of contemporary life... Morimoto, though still elusive, emerges as a modern Bartleby, an inadvertent dissident, someone who has come to see his practice as being 'about enjoying the absurdity of swimming against the tide of efficiency.'"—Guardian
"Shoji Morimoto's unique memoir tracks the author's life as he refuses work and rents himself out as a passive companion."—The Skinny
“Undeniable poignancy… a narrative that transcends cultural borders… An eccentric, charming book, showing how humans can connect in the strangest of circumstances.”—Kirkus STARRED review

"Shoji Morimoto raises questions about work, productivity culture, and companionship in this unique account of his service called 'Do-nothing Rental.'"—Booklist
“A fascinating and oddly endearing memoir.”—Library Journal

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781335017536
  • ISBN 10: 1335017534
  • Imprint: Hanover Square Press
  • On Sale: 01/09/2024
  • Pages: 192
  • List Price:26.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American
  • BISAC2 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Personal Success
  • BISAC4 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture

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