In need of a foreigner? You can always rent one…

Business Trends & Culture - March 14th, 2014

This slightly tongue-in-cheek (so we’re assuming) site looks to put Japanese customers in touch with a variety of foreigners with different backgrounds and talents. And the rates seem reasonable…

If you live here long enough as a foreigner, you’ve probably had the experience of being appreciated for your ”foreignness,“ rather than who you really are. For some teachers, you might get the feeling of being nothing more than a human tape recorder, or you might have a friend bring you to a party almost as a curiosity. Come to think of it, there might be a few people on Japanese television who have even made a career out of being foreigners.

So if this strangeness of being appreciated just for being a foreigner doesn’t bother you—and in fact, you’re willing to embrace it, you might consider registering on がいこくじんレンタル (Gaikokujin Rental). As the site explains, “Customers read your profile here and rent you. They choose the number of hours they want to rent you and send along their preferred meet-up place, time, and requests to us at Gaikokujin Rental. We then forward these details, along with your new customer’s contact information, to you. You then contact your new customer to seal the deal. Customers have agreed to pay you in cash. Your business with them is yours, as well as what you earn from them.”

The listings include designers, photographers, English teachers, furniture builders, and movers, and we could see the site turning into something of a craigslist for this particular market. The fellows behind the site (you can find their profiles among the listings) acknowledge that the name of the site might seem odd, but they say that they have high aims for the platform: “Gaikokujin Rental is a new social and economic frontier—abandoning the older closed systems (corporate to individual) for something more open-source and fun (peer to peer), allowing beneficial relationships to align between foreigners and Japanese.”

So, if you’re looking to earn a little bit of cash for an English lesson (or just the pleasure of your company) check them out, and let us know how the experience goes!

Note: Tokyo Weekender does not endorse the use of Gaikokujin Rental. Furthermore, you should be aware of the kind of work you can perform under the terms of your visa.