I found the book on my dad’s library when I was about 10, it was late 80′s.
The title of the book is ’2001年の日本 (Japan in 2001)’ and it sounded to far future on that time.
I had decided to read the book in 2001, then read it for the first time on new years day in 2001. Most of the stories had sounded a bit like science fiction on that time. Then I read the book again now, in 2012.
When I asked about the book to my dad, he described some of the cultural stories behind. He said the year 1969, when the book was published, was the time Japanese nation got so excited for the Japan World Exposition (Expo ’70). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_%2770 It was also just 5 years after Tokyo Olympics, which made the country significantly modernised in very short time and dramatic way. People shared optimistic visions of future based on that fast technological and economical development.
The main theme of the Expo ’70 was ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’. Then the book was published by the most trusted newspaper company, Asahi Shinbun, as gathered essays of forecast to the future by experts in various fields. It is a book to look at ‘Progress and Harmony for Mankind’ by nonfictional way.
When I read it, I can not stop feeling envious for the optimism they had on that time.
At the same time, it is interesting to see how people tried to guess what is going to happen in the future. Some of technology was so essential at that time, such as fast writing, and they couldn’t imagine beyond its functions, behaviours and needs. Some of the area of technologies were developing so fast on that time, such as aviation, therefore they estimated the future scenarios too far. I also think that level of accuracies are based on the experts personalities, who wrote the essays. Although, it doesn’t matter they were right or not. It is purely joyful to see future visions from the past.
I would like to put some notes on here to remember my excitements by the reading. I believe all the written words in any images will be translated automatically very soon, so put some images for your future reading too.
1. Visions about computers became pretty correct.
2. Visions around aviation industry became so wrong. They based on such an extreme plans, such as Tokyo-New York flight will be 3 hours, etc.
3. Newspaper and selling paper (delivering paper) has different entry. The idea of ‘fax’ was too bright and they didn’t imagine to read on non-paper media much.
4. Funny to have ‘fast writing’ section. I can imagine how special the skill was.
5. Esperanto! Of cause!