You just can't beat Japan. At anything.
Japanese people have an amazing heritage to call back on. Their society, which grew in isolation from most other nations over the course of it's history, is really the byproduct of hundreds and thousands of years of selective isolation and development. In the past, Japan looked to China for inspiration, but these days there's no place in Asia at least that doesn't look to Japan to see how things need be done.
Have you been there? I don't know anyone that went away unimpressed.
I lived in Japan for two years and for me it was a dream come true. I lived in Kyoto which made things that bit more special and during that time I really dug a lot of things about the Japanese ethos. Sure, like anywhere in the world, it's not a perfect place, but I've never felt such an affinity with a place as I did there.
So in my ongoing obsession with Japan, I have added a few modern day touches to my repertoire. This includes on going championing, support and patronage of certain Japanese brands that just get me really excited in a nerdy kind of way. I hate labels but I love UNIQLO. I pine for a MOS burger every now and then. I disintegrate like a geek when I see window displays of washi (traditional Japanese paper) and I have a weakness for anything that even remotely sports a Japanese motif.
Living in Europe makes it tough for me to get my Japanese fix. At least in Italy. Yes, there are a million Japanese/Chinese/Thai restaurants but, let's face it, most of them are not any cop.
When daily life got the best of me in Rome, I would hop down to the tiny little MUJI store that exists there. It's like as big as a broom closet, but it was big enough to kind of restore the hope that this country often crushes in me.
Well, good news. MUJI it seems is moving into new territory. We're talking MUJI flat pack houses people. Prefabricated houses that sell from as little as $150K and that don't bother you with doors orr internal walls. It's open space living. And of course, being so fabulous, MUJI will send someone out to set it up for you. It's not a DIY nightmare waiting to happen.
Think neutral tones, efficiency and design, design, design.
Watch this video for some fabulous background (with computer generated narration(?) and start lining up at my gift registry for the housewarming.