How Tokyo Changed The World


I am interviewed in the Emirates in-flight magazine, talking about Japanese inventions that are actually useful:

“For demographic and geographic reasons – a high population and very little flat land for building – the Japanese were generations ahead of the rest of the world in terms of having to cope with living piled on top of one another,” says Dr Jonathan Clements, author of Modern Japan: All That Matters.

“This has led to a greater interest, in terms of design and technology, in being able to isolate oneself from the people around you. The Walkman was originally designed so that the boss of Sony, Akio Morita, could listen to music on a plane. Can you imagine air travel today without it? The Walkman then kicked off a revolution in fitness, but miniaturisation and falling costs have also been instrumental in the migration of TV sets from lounges to bedrooms, and the diversification of media into narrowcasting, whereby different people can watch the TV programmes or videos that they want, even in the same house.”

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