Daily life

The do-nothing man

Shoji Morimoto is 38 years old and lives in Tokyo. He has a unique job: people pay for his companionship.

Morimoto charges 10,000 yen per booking. People have hired him over 4,000 times in the last four years. He has nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter, and he finds most of his clients there. He also has many repeat customers.

Morimoto's job is to be wherever his clients want him to be and to do nothing in particular. For example, he once went to a park with someone who wanted to play on a see-saw. Another time, he visited a train station to wave goodbye to someone. However, Morimoto doesn't accept every offer. He refused to move a fridge and refused to go to Cambodia.

Morimoto's job is his only income, and he supports his family with it. He sees about one or two clients a day.

Death Stranding video game

I don't play video games. I get addicted and spend too much time playing them! But a friend who is a gamer told me about a new game called Death Stranding, by video game designer Hideo Kojima. In this game, gamers help each other win. One player can build a bridge or road, then leave it there for other players to use. The point of the game is to bring a broken world back together. The reviews of the game are mixed—there are good and bad things about it—but I like the idea of a game based on working together rather than against each other. So many video games are about trying to beat other players. But, as my friend said, this is a different kind of game. You help each other out. The point is to connect people, both in the game and among gamers. I still won't play Death Stranding, or any other video game, but I'm glad to hear about one based on the value of working together.

How to overcome fears

We face many fears in our lives. People are afraid of all sorts of things: from seeing spiders to talking to other people. In fact, psychologists say that social fears are the most common. According to experts, 77% of people are afraid of public speaking. So why are social fears so widespread?

The psychoanalyst Alfred Adler wrote that when we were children, we felt helpless because we depended so much on our parents. And this fear of helplessness and powerlessness might stay with us forever.

While we are growing up, we are creating an image of ourselves. We hear what people say about us and we analyze that. But in many cases, we judge ourselves in the process. We focus on the judgement more than what we learned. In other words, we tend to remember negative things about ourselves rather than the positive.

The world tidies with Marie Kondo

In 2016, two years after the English translation of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” became a best-seller, Marie Kondo moved to Los Angeles to establish her home organization consultancy in America. Amidst her culture shock, the Japanese native soon realized her new country also provided something that her homeland did not: unprecedented levels of clutter on which to practice her art.