Rental Person Who Does Nothing: A Memoir

We rated this book:


The introduction of Rental Person Who Does Nothing suggests a team assisted author Shoji Morimoto in the writing of the book, though there is little note of that fact elsewhere. It is unfortunate because, while the premise is intriguing, I did wonder who to blame for the presentation of the author as a rather unlikable protagonist.

Morimoto began advertising himself as a “rental person” in 2018 in Japan. He’d had a rough encounter with an employer who suggested his presence at work made no difference, so Morimoto began to wonder what he could do that would have value.

When clients hired him. he accompanied them as they accomplished small tasks, shared meals with them, and at times, just sat in a room while they worked as a sort of proxy accountability partner. His only compensation was reimbursement for travel expenses and the price of whatever food they shared. Morimoto repeatedly expresses a philosophical belief that all human beings are valuable regardless of how productive they are, and his primary goal seems to get though his life by doing and producing as little as possible.

Perhaps it is my existence in a capitalist culture or my own hard-scrabble work ethic at play, but I found his disinterest in the clients with whom he worked—preferring their interactions to be silent in a somewhat antiseptic manner—to be cold and infuriating. There is much to learn from one another, and he seemed poised to do that better than most, but elected, instead, to simply be a Rental Person Who Does Nothing.

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Author Shoji Morimoto
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Hanover Square Press
Publish Date 09-Jan-2024
ISBN 9781335017536 Buy this Book
Issue April 2024
Category Biographies & Memoirs