The Japanese engineer calling for a life without electricity

Yasuyuki Fujimura runs the Atelier Non-Electric company and advocates a lifestyle without electricity. Photograph: Japan for Sustainability

It is not all that long ago when we began using so many electrical appliances in everyday life. Japan’s first “pulsator-type” washing machine, a prototype of current models, reached the market in 1953. Its popularity exploded as it was a convenient product that considerably reduced household work loads. Full-scale television broadcasting also started in 1953. This year set a precedent for the expanding use of various home appliances; so much so that it was later referred to as “year one of electrification”.

Among these new appliances, the washing machine, refrigerator and black-and-white television set were called the “three sacred treasures” (referring to the Imperial regalia of Japan, the sword, mirror and jewel) that everyone longed for at that time. With incomes increasing as a result of rapid economic growth, consumer demand for these home appliances skyrocketed. By 1973 most households had purchased these 3 appliances.

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Categories: Japan

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