Parachuted from a Totoro flight, I landed gently among the delicately beaded morning dew of the forest.
A UFO in Japan
The joyful singing of birds and the rustling of leaves are the only sounds. The old flying saucer seems to be on the alert, and there’s a faint ringing in my ears as I walk around.
Now round the other side. Suddenly a blue flight of steps emerges from its gaping maw. I hesitate a second. Who’s coming out? Please don’t let it be E.T. as I’m unspeakably scared of him! With a bit of luck, it might be the alien in the film La soupe aux choux with its rubber chicken head! A powerful beam of light catches the eye. Recovering my senses, I venture into this magnificent structure.
Inside it’s deserted, but our alien friends had clearly planned everything: comfortable chairs for the voyage, windows to admire the view, and a fireplace to combat the interstellar cold.
And now over to you, as you might well be asking … but what on earth is it!?
The Futuro house
So here we are, inside one of the many Futuro houses. The Futuro, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968, was intended as a type of mobile home.
This is probably the only example still surviving in Japan. Research by Michael Gakuran here (another haikyoist) seems to show that the house was rescued by the Japanese guy contracted to demolish it. It’s thought to have been moved here, put up for sale, then abandoned for lack of a buyer.
The Futuro house is another of those real estate projects that failed … to take off. You probably remember my article on Nakagin Capsule Tower, if not take a look.
Now here’s a little game for you! Find this house. Whereabouts in Japan is it? You don’t need to understand Japanese (otherwise you can try Google Translate), but at least be curious and clever, with some technical knowledge (but without necessarily being an internet bandit). Once you’ve put your finger on it, cross the road (north), and there you’ll come across a building. In its name, there’s a 4-letter word … that you already know 🙂 Got it? Go to Online MD5 Hash Generator, type this 4-letter word in lower case in the Hash Generator for Text section, choose SHA1, and share the result in the comments.
My next book is sure to have games like this 😉