Vision of the future, from 1969 Japan

Matt Alt in Tokyo, following up on a recent BB post about a 1979 American view of the future, shares this wonderful scan. He says:

This is 1969's view of 1989! It's from Shonen Sunday Magazine, a weekly comic compilation. Beautiful, groovy art. Hey, at least they got the "Roomba" right (even if they were off by a few decades!)


    1.  FWIW it was a common quip among AI types in the early 80s that japanese robotic vacuums would be cleaning american smart tanks. 0 for 2.

  1. The future won’t happen until we all get on the same page and start wearing our space footie pajamas.

  2. At least things like the “Automatic vacuum” in the lower left and the “TV Phone” came to pass in somewhat different states. 

    I like the “Antenna” attached to the Iron (lower right corner)… Wi-fi? 

  3. Secret message? For some reason, am tempted to print this out and attempt an Al Jaffee fold-in – as you’d find in the back of Mad Magazine – perhaps revealing a pre-akira-techno-evangelionic rapture. Or is this merely wishful thinking?

  4. The guys are wearing spandex jumpsuits with dickies. 

    Are dickies making a comeback at least in a retro ironic way?

    “….. Cloth turtleneck-style dickeys are still sometimes seen, for example on the TV series The Big Bang Theory, worn by the character Howard Wolowitz, as well as in Dinner for Schmucks character Therman Murch, played by Zach Galifianakis wore an orange turtleneck dickey. Cousin Eddie, character played by Randy Quaid, in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” wore a dark green turtleneck dickey underneath an ivory sweater. The character Liz Lemon wore a “sweater” type dickie on the opening episode of season 6 on the TV series 30 Rock.[2]….”

    1. Well, it’s future Japan, so everything is thinner.  Future America looks more like the human characters in WALL-E.

  5. the cool thing about this is that the illustration is titled “computer life”. also i wonder if this was from a kids’ publication as it has furigana over most if not all of the kanji…

    1. Well, yeah, obviously for kids. The first sentence (lower right) reads: “In 20 years, when you’ll be adults and work, computers will be an inseparable part of life.”

    1. Wow. Thanks for that view into contemporary internet crack-pottery. I haven’t seen anything that demented since the time cube guy.

  6. A future where people are not walking around starting at their internet-crack-phones? I like it!

    1. But they are staring at their internet-crack phones. Everyone here is staring at a computer. And by the looks of them, they’re being social with other people (as opposed to computer games or whatever), which to me is the most striking thing they got right.

  7. Yeah I’d say they got it all pretty right… apart from the era. All this stuff mostly exists in some form now and it makes heaps more sense with a little translation.

    Top left: “Hover Craft”

    Guy in top left is playing/watching some kind of 3D/realistic television

    Then you got the Roomba

    Top middle you got a news computer (OK, we don’t print our own physical copy though)

    Then you got the dude using Skype (Though its called a television something)

    Then you got the girl using what translates something like “Personal home computer”

    Then you got the iron (OK, this working prototype isn’t for sale and looks kinda different) 

    Top right you got a dish washing robot

    Below that you got an automatic food table  (?)

    1. Your “television something” says テレビ電話 or “video phone” which has existed for a long time but was just a fad for most of its existence. Also, the dude on the left is using a “3D TV”; again, just a fad without any real practical applications.

      This is a collection of obsolete fads if you ask me (well, except for the hovercraft maybe…).

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