Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

TOKYO —

In a lot of ways, the NEET social phenomena is something that could only happen in Japan. The term stands for “not in education, employment, or training,” and refers to those individuals who are neither earning a living nor officially doing anything to approach that basic goal in life.

In many other countries, most people would conclude that a dose of tough love, or a few swift kicks to the backside, is in order. And while that’s the strategy Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino would recommend, in Japan, a large number of parents are willing to support their adult children’s NEET lifestyles for years on end.

Now, though, one man is putting a twist on the “not in education, employment, or training” label by renting out his services as a professional NEET.

Visitors to Akihabara first spotted the uniquely enterprising man, named Yosuke Naka, hanging around the Denkimachi exit of Akihabara Station early this month. The professionally-attired 25-year-old was seen holding a sign identifying himself as a “rental NEET.”

According to his advertisement, the 25-year-old Naka is a college graduate who’s never had a job. He charges 1,000 yen an hour for his services, but he’s not here to impart secret techniques for mooching for food or “forgetting” to mail in your job application.

Instead, Naka will simply hang out in Akihabara with his clients. He lists his primary area of expertise as collectible card games such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and he’s happy to trade cards or play a few rounds with his customers. Alternatively, he offers to swap tips on building plastic Gundam robot models, or to help with snapping photos.

Naka reports he’s already had three people purchase his company, and the position he takes up near the busy train station ensures his venture is getting plenty of exposure. He’s also had a few people bring him snacks or drinks, which he says he was grateful for since he’d already used up his budget for the day on train fare to Tokyo’s anime and video game mecca.

We’re not entirely convinced rental NEETs will become the same sort of lucrative industry that maid cafes, which also originated in Akihabara, have. Still, considering that he’s currently got the market all to himself, Naka’s got a shot at claiming all of the potential profits for his newly created economic sector, whatever they may be.

Source: IT Media

Read more stories from RocketNews24.
Advice from Japanese women on dealing with your boyfriend’s anime girlfriend
Lonely or in need of female assistance? Try a rental friend in Tokyo
The old-timey treat that’s back in style thanks to Hayao Miyazaki

RocketNews24

  • 0

    combinibento

    Hi sign includes the company name NEET株式会社, so I assume he is in fact employed by that company and is thus very well "in employment."

  • -1

    tmarie

    25 and never had a job. That speaks volumes as to why no one wants to hire this guy. get that Japan is really hard now when it comes to find a FT, decent job but there are PLENTY of jobs out there. The problem is that so many here seem to they think are above getting their hands dirty. 25, living at home and standing outside a station with a sign hoping someone hires him for his "knowledge" about Akihabara. God lord. I was raised to believe that it was shameful not to be working and to never think I was/am "too good" for a job. Better to get your hands dirty than have no job at all. No hope for this country's future if the healthy, fit and young they think they are too good to do certain things. Elderly care, daycare, nursing... all crying for people. Yep, poorly paid but better than nothing. Hope his parents enjoy supporting him because looks like they will be for the rest of their lives.

  • 1

    inkochi

    Where a niche is perceived, perhaps there is a niche.

    Not my lifestyle though.

  • 10

    taj

    "the NEET social phenomena is something that could only happen in Japan. "

    Except that the term was coined in the UK, referring to the phenomena there in the late 1990s.

    And with that cleared up, Good on this guy! I hope he has a bit of fun with it. Gets people talking. I'm sure someone is going to want to hire him for just having the nerve and initiative to get out there and try this.

  • 6

    JoshuYaki

    I wish it was a phenomenon limited to Japan.. I have a few friends who are now in their 40's who rolled to the end of the runway and never took off...

  • 2

    trinklets2

    I might as well hold a placard too for a rental fool on my layman s view on political, educational, social and emotional sides of issues accumulated in my more than 20 yrs of savage living in Japan. lol

  • 0

    Scrote

    I'm not sure that being an expert in Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! card games will be enough to provide an adequate living for this chap. My son had a passing interest in those card games when he was 8, but tired of them after a few months. Mind you, I could never understand the rules for those games, so maybe this guy has a talent after all.

  • 2

    Jax Contour

    This wouldn't be the first time I have seen something life this, and Japan is defiantly not the only place with a NEET culture. London has many NEETs who even refer to themselves by this name. Also if you go to London you will see many people offering to show you the highlights of London and to fain interest in you chosen tour, and many of them will speak your language (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese ect).

    With that that said I am not one to put down improv entrepreneurship, I would however advise him that he is dressed for business, and his clients are likely to be foreign Otaku so loose the suit, they won't care, maybe dress up as your fave Manga char. Also if you have no English you should probably learn some and consider widening your field from pokemon to all things those kinds of people are interested in. I he does this, he will most defiantly corner the market for Tokyo.

  • 1

    hereforever

    We see this as something innocent enough as a guy is holding the sign. What if it were a female?

  • -3

    tmarie

    Jax, the is a huge chance the guy doesn't speak English and would be of zero use to a foreigner coming to Japan. The sign in Japanese gives it away. If he did speak Engish, he might actually be able to make a go of this. Japanese? He's one of a million work shy males in this country with a useless "talent" of knowing about gaming and manga.

  • 5

    SumoBob

    What a NEET idea.

  • 4

    borscht

    the 25-year-old Naka is a college graduate who's never had a job.

    So, what's the point of going to college? Waste time and money? Learn a marketable skill? By 25 most of my friends had been working part-time for ten years. We learned something about work and life in even the crappiest jobs so we started college - those of us who went - with a goal.

    Naka seems to be one of many young people who could have profited by not going to college but by getting a part-time job straight out of high school until they discovered what it was they really wanted to do.

  • -1

    Mirai Hayashi

    Pathetic!

  • 0

    Laguna

    At first, I thought he was attempting something like the American startup Postmates, where people desperate enough will do anything that you need done but don't want to do yourself.

    By the end of the article, I learned that he's just a selfish loser with no interest in life.

  • 9

    Cricky

    At least he has an idea! Could have stayed in his room.

  • 1

    Tohka

    I have to give him credit, crazy but novel idea. He already has all the core soft skills to actually get a proper job, it's a pity that he's applying it for all the wrong reasons.

  • -2

    mataka

    "Visitors to Akihabara first spotted the uniquely enterprising man"

    Excuse me but what is enterprising about a man who is 25 and has NEVER worked? WAKE UP!

  • 9

    Cos

    Gambare ! I'm amazed by the negativity. The guy is starting a business. He has already 3 customers. Great ! He may not go far with this venture, nor the 10 next ones, but in a Japan where 99% of people will never have the guts to ever start a project, he is in the elite.

    company name NEET株式会社, so I assume he is in fact employed

    Why don't you assume he's owner-shacho.like Zuckerberg ?

    I was raised to ... never think I was/am "too good" for a job.

    And that education failed totally as you are dishing at someone's job as if that was not good enough.

    I would however advise him that he is dressed for business,

    I had that thought 2 seconds Jax, but then no... perfect, because he really rocks that job hunting suit with the lost puppy face and the pants not at his size, and that goes well with his dry humor.

  • 3

    Patricia Yarrow

    Cos, well said, very observant. I support this young man and wonder where it will lead for him. He is rather adorable, too.

  • -6

    tmarie

    **And that education failed totally as you are dishing at someone's job as if that was not good enough. **

    What job? The guy is not employed and is pretty much a begger. Plenty of jobs out there he could do but nope, stand outside with a sign and hope that someone takes pity on him. Bonus that he's been given food as if he is a beggar. A waste of his parent's money.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Except that the term was coined in the UK, referring to the phenomena there in the late 1990s

    I've always wondered how NEET only seemed to be a Japanese convention even though it's an acronym of English words. Thanks for the history lesson.

  • 5

    Cliffy

    So, it is sort of like an escort service then.

  • 0

    Tessa

    Oh well, more power to his elbow. It's kind of astonishing to me that a 25-year-old college grad has never had a job in his life, and that parents are so willing to support their kids' NEET lifestyles. Like most people of my age, as soon as a I got an after-school job my parents charged me for room and board!

  • 1

    Tritone

    "Denkimachi"? Isn't it "denkigai"? C'mon, I've only passed N4 and even I know that.

  • 4

    Vincehwr

    I'm one of persons who thinks this is not a bad start. It's better than doing nothing or something more harmful to the society.

  • 2

    scipantheist

    The negativity in the comments here astounds me. He is trying to turn his life around and you have nothing to offer except a kick in the groin. If he were really selfish he would realize that society is messed up and begin less... socially acceptable means of surviving. I hope you look forward to that, commentators!

  • 2

    DenTok2009

    25, college graduate and no work experience is not so unusual in Japan. One of my neighbors told me his wife, whom he married when she was in her early thirties, never did any アルバイト or パートwork till after they divorced (by then in her early 40's). While they were married, she wanted to keep up with her friends and constantly complained to him about not having much of a paycheck. He told her to get a job and she was furious. I've chatted with others with similar stories (college graduate, no work experience, marriage) of siblings, cousins and friends. At first, I thought it was because they grew up in the bubble era when jobs were plenty and money was flowing (enable the chick to stay in the nest). But the bubble era is long past and time so the young and able bodied NEETs to pound the pavement. Good for Naka Yosuke kun for deciding to earn some money on his own.

  • 0

    Tessa

    One of my neighbors told me his wife, whom he married when she was in her early thirties, never did any work till after they divorced.

    That is a very familiar story to me, I've met plenty of J-women who went straight from their parents' home to their marital home without doing anything to earn their keep, or expecting to (I've even met educated women in their thirties who didn't know how to use a washing machine or a rice cooker!). So I guess this young man deserves some credit for getting his act together. Here's hoping he finds a niche, and meets with success.

  • 1

    tmarie

    ** It's kind of astonishing to me that a 25-year-old college grad has never had a job in his life, and that parents are so willing to support their kids' NEET lifestyles. **

    Tessa, it's not all that surprising these days. iId say half of my university students have never worked a day in their life. They are busy with club and friends. Some are amazing and work two or three jobs but they are the rare cases. Why parent's here fund this lifestyle is beyond me. Not just the females either. If anything, my females are the go getters - though they dream of becoming housewives and "enjoying their lives and relaxing" - their words, not mine.

    ** He is trying to turn his life around and you have nothing to offer except a kick in the groin. If he were really selfish he would realize that society is messed up and begin less... socially acceptable means of surviving. I hope you look forward to that, commentators!** How is he "trying" anything? Trying would be getting out and taking one of the thousands of jobs out there that need people. This guy either thinks he's too good to get his hands dirty or is too lazy to. Do you think he's paying his pension and health care? I don't look forward to having to prop up people like this guy when his folks die and the money runs out and that is exactly what happenes in these cases. That or maybe he'll just off hir parents when they finally have had enough.

    Am I being "negative"? Not really. Realistic. No one wants to hire a 25 year old job grad with zero work experience for a "real" job. Why not start somewhere? Say Lawsons?

  • 0

    Eppee

    Not sure why there is so much full of hate comments there. The guy is getting out of his house, trying to link his interests -ok, not the majority's interests- to a source of income. That won't be the first one, is that more degrading than being a tennis instructor, a pilot or whatever people chooses by passion ? I wish him all the best, and hopefully he can make a living out of it.

  • 0

    Tohka

    Why all the anger? New ideas are always seen as crazy when they come out. I think nowadays, you really have to be able to take a plunge and try something new instead of stick to orthodox methods.

  • -1

    Mike Critchley

    Not really a rental NEET. But rather an enterprising otaku GEEK. And in a place like Akihabara, where people might actually need a bit of advice and guidance around by somebody who knows the scene, he might do very well for himself. No, it's not likely to be a lucrative career, but at least he's not at home watching cartoons and mooching entirely off his folks. Double thumbs up for this guy!

  • 1

    scipantheist

    Am I being "negative"? Not really. Realistic. No one wants to hire a 25 year old job grad with zero work experience for a "real" job.

    I hope you are mentioning his age because you think that he is too young to get a "real" job. No one is going to sign up for your wage slavery gigs just because that is all that is left them.

Login to leave a comment

OR
  • Reservations and Operations Executive

    Reservations and Operations Executive
    Destination Asia Japan、Tokyo
    Salary: ¥2.0M ~ ¥3.0M / Year
  • Marketing & Communications

    Marketing & Communications
    East West Consulting (イーストウエストコンサルティング株式会社)、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable
  • Country Manager

    Country Manager
    Gallo Japan KK、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable
  • Business Development Leader

    Business Development Leader
    GPlus Media K.K. / 株式会社ジープラス・メディア、Tokyo
    Salary: Salary negotiable Commission Based Depending on Experience
  • IT Operations Manager

    IT Operations Manager
    Temple University, Japan Campus - テンプル大学ジャパンキャンパス、Tokyo
    Salary: Commensurate with experience plus transportation from/to TUJ

More in Lifestyle

View all

View all