Tuesday 16 November 2010


Due to the current house prices and space issues in Tokyo, a 39 year-old man has approached things in a uniquely small way. I’m talking real small. He and his mother have built a house on a plot of land the size of a parking space...I know. Talk about a recipe for an episode of Cops. Can you say domestic explosion due to cramped living conditions?

Fuyuhito Moriya decided that instead of building out, he would build up, and of course used every design trick in the book to make his new home appear and feel bigger. I’m thinking if one is living in a closet essentially, there is no hallway mirror big enough to make one feel like the room is bigger than it is, but that’s just me. According to Moriya, every single corner of the space is used. The furniture is minimal, there are hideaway cabinets for kitchen appliances, and design tricks and illusions used in every conceivable way. And get this, a parking space size home will cost you in Tokyo around a half million dollars (land is quite expensive there). I’ll give you a minute to digest that.

I’m thinking it may be time to move to the country. For Moriya it as simple, owning a home this size was better than not owning a home. If it were me, for that amount of money I’d want a home, WITH ten closets. In England you don’t get closets – it’s utterly maddening and absurd. I used to go see flats and walk around the room repeatedly uttering "but where's the closet?" like some mental patient. You get free standing cupboards. Americans put cookies in cupboards. We don’t want our shoes in there. 

As far as living with his mother, Moriya does admit that privacy is a problem. You don’t say? You live in a parking space, of course privacy is an issue! I can speak on my mother’s behalf on this one, the day she and I move into a shoebox together is the day the middle east becomes an Up With People love fest. I love my mother, and I want to keep it that way.

Apparently homes of this size are now becoming all the rage, which should tell you something about our cities populations and the housing shortage that is plaguing most metropolitan areas. As for me, my sanity and privacy is going to trump my desire to own a piece of property; especially if it’s a room that could fit my books alone. Then again, maybe living in such a simplistic way would force one to scale back and shed their earthly possessions….Actually, the King just reminded me that my earthly possessions have increased tenfold since his arrival, so that’s out of the question. Actually on this subject, I’m thinking only bachelors who are fond of their mothers can move into houses 30 square meters in size. Cause I know families couldn’t do it, hell, couples shouldn’t do. Not if they want to remain a couple.

My partner and I used to live in a flat was two rooms - two small rooms. You were either in one, or the other. No mystery there. So if one needed space, it was either you each picked a room and stayed there, or one of you was going outside in the freezing cold to get your breathing space. Don’t get me wrong, I realize not everyone can afford a large place. But Mr. Moriya forked out half a million bucks to be living on top of his mother, literally. I’m thinking in a few months he may be regretting that decision. 
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