Andy in Tokyo

Universe for Rent

Nov 30th 2008

While the image above may typify the tourist image of Japanese homes, the reality for most Japanese is very different. Writer, editor and photographer Tsuzuki Kyoichi’s two-volume title Universe for Rent (賃貸宇宙 in Japanese) provides a voyeuristic peek into the living spaces of ordinary folk living in and around Tokyo:

Photo: Tsuzuki Kyoichi

Photo: Tsuzuki Kyoichi

Photo: Tsuzuki Yoichi

Photo: Tsuzuki Kyoichi

Photo: Tsuzuki Yoichi

Photo: Tsuzuki Kyoichi

Unfortunately this title isn’t readily available outside Japan. Luckily, do deliver overseas. Volumes one and two are available for JPY1,785 each (here and here). Both come highly recommended by yours truly.

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6 Responses

  1. soulfringe says:

    Wow, it makes me happy to know my room is clean compared to those.

  2. freedomwv says:

    That must be an interesting book. Although, I do wonder why the women in the green has a naked dutch wife.

  3. k says:

    @freedomwv…. not just a naked dutch wife. I spotted another head!

  4. mari says:

    Hey Andy, I live 45 minutes from Shibuya on the Odakyu and I have two tatami rooms in my house that actually look kind of like that. I thought I lived in a typical Japanese house. Not so? I just moved in. Is this unusual? It’s one of the reasons I took the house. Is it…fake??

  5. Mari, your landlord has probably used an elaborate system of holograms and mirrors to create the “traditional” effect. The government is trying to clamp down on such fraudulent activity at the moment.

  6. karin says:

    Great book ! i got it in Tokyo a few months ago. I read it over and over b4 i go to sleep or while flying.. The messy rooms make me so relaxed for som reason. They are full of character and inspiration.
    Again.. the contrast between japan that we know and hidden japan.

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Welcome to Andy in Tokyo. Here you'll find posts about living, working and enjoying life in one of the world's biggest cities. You can contact me at andyintokyo[at]