I found myself standing in an unfamiliar city.
It was filled with buildings and many cars were passing by. The city
looked like the place I lived, but it actually was not my city.
The sky was clear blue, the air was clean, and I could see greens and
flowers here and there. Buildings and cars were slightly different from
ones I knew. People of various races could strangely understand each
other and they were enjoying conversation.
For a while I was stunned. Then, a Japanese-looking gentleman came and
talked to me.
“Welcome, I’ve been waiting for you.”
He was a nice gentleman seemed in his middle 40s, casually wearing a
dark suit. He was absolutely stranger for me. While I was wondering, he
“Please come with me.”
I had no idea what’s going on, but he didn’t seem to be bad. I got
walking to follow him.
After all it was different from my city. Buildings, cars and all the
things were beautiful and perfectly harmonized with nature. Everything
was not flashy nor gorgeous, but very simple. Besides they were
functionally beautiful and perfectly effective with much favorable
designs and colors. I walked gloating over the cityscape, when he got
into a place like cafeteria. It was not large but a neat shop. We took
seats and a waitress immediately came to us with a menu and said,
“Hello! What would you like?”
The waitress was a black lady with a cute face, but could speak
Japanese. The gentleman passed me the menu and invited me to order. I
didn’t look at the menu and said,
“Ah, co- coffee, please.”
The gentleman ordered, returning the menu to the waitress.
“Two cups of coffee, please.”
His polite way to order comfortably sounded to me.
she replied with a good smile and got back to the kitchen.
After a short silence, I asked the gentleman,
“Excuse me ･･･”
He was smiling.
“Where are we now?”
He was still silent, and after all he said,
“Well, where are we?”
I was amazed. I wondered if he might be teasing me while his face
looked kind. Why did he take me here? I asked another question.
“Who are you? Do you know of me?”
He said with a good smile,
“You would see it later. Please follow me now and I won’t harm you.”
I was not satisfied with the answer but thought it’s not good idea that
I’d be alone in the strange city.
So I decided to follow what he said.
A couple of minutes later coffee was served and we drank it without
conversation. He was still smiling. I had absolutely no idea what’s
going on. The coffee was very good. In the meantime he said,
“Shall we go now?”
I had no idea where to go but I nodded and got up from the seat. I was
surprised that he was going out from the shop without paying. Would it
be charged on me? I followed him and went out of the shop, because I
didn’t know what to do. I thought the waitress stopped us but she was
looking at us with smile. Besides she said,
“Thank you. Please come again.”
The gentleman was walking away. I guessed that he had to be a repeater
of the shop and have coffee coupons kept. Yes, it should be. But I
thought that his treat was not good, because he was a stranger for me.
While I didn’t think he charged on me, I asked for safety sake,
“Excuse me. How much was it?”
He looked at me with an astonished face.
“How much? What is it?”
“Well, the coffee, we had now.”
“Please split it. I will pay for myself.”
With a wondering face he said,
He got on my nerves. He had to be teasing me. I should have checked the
menus by myself. I definitely said,
“Money for coffee! I’ll pay for it. Please tell me the price.”
“Money? Price? What is it?”
I was amazed. How far does this guy act stupid? What a funny man he is!
But I won’t mind it. If it is his treat, I loose nothing.”
After a short walk the gentleman stepped into a large building like a
major firm. I silently followed him. We passed a few people in the
building, and they all politely greeted him and he politely responded
to each person as well. I thought as follows.
Yes, he must be a big guy of the company, as he has a presence. He
looks like an executive who is in favor with staff members. He might be
He should have told me it earlier. I’d be better not to concern about
I thought I came to know a right person.
The gentleman stopped at a door. He advised me sitting in a long chair
to wait for a while, and he went inside. The door looked poor for the
president room. I waited for his coming back, sitting in the long
chair, which was more comfortable than I expected.
The door opened minutes later. An old cleaning man came out instead of
the gentleman. I firmly watched the old man and could hardly believe
what I saw.
“Sorry for your waiting.”
The guy was actually the gentleman. He appeared wearing fatigues and
gloves and drawing a machine like the electric vacuum cleaner. While I
was amazing, he said,
“What happens to you? Something wrong ?”
I lost my words in a moment, but I managed to speak,
“Is the cleaning your job ?”
He said with a confident face,
“Yeah, I’ve been cleaning the building for a long time.”
I went limp. I’d been trusting that I could be a friend with a rich
president or executive. Honestly I was very much disappointed.
Regardless such my feeling, he turned on the cleaner and started
working. I thought that the machine was very much efficient, because I
could hear no sound. He said,
“I would like to introduce the city to you, if at all possible. But I
have to do a job here for a while. So I’m sorry but could you please
walk around the city by yourself? There is nothing to worry about. All
the people in the city are very kind and please don’t hesitate to ask
someone whatever you wish to know. When you will get tired of a walk,
please come back here. I’ll do my job here, until you will return.”
I was slightly anxious but I have nothing to do there, then I went out
of the building alone. The city was beautiful and bustling as before.
What a strange place I came! Where am I now? I looked over people
walking by in the city. People of many races were walking. The white,
the black and the yellow race. They were all friendly and enjoying
conversation and laughing. I got pleased very much by just looking at
it. I don’t know where I am, but it’s a nice place. It does not look
like Japan at least. It might be the united states, as various races
are living. But I don’t think there is such a peaceful and beautiful
city in the united states. I spoke out to a beautiful white lady looked
a career girl, just walked by.
“Excuse me. May I ask where we are?”
The lady stared at me with a smile. I regretted what I did. I spoke to
her in Japanese. I was in panic and considering what to say in English,
when she suddenly said,
“Well. Where are we?”
She rapidly walked away with a smile. I was stunned. What a guy she is!
She speaks Japanese and teases me. What hell guys they are, both the
gentleman and the lady look kind though.
I was uncomfortable very much but happened to hit a good idea. I’ll
check maps. I can find something on maps. I just encountered a book
store and got into it. However my expectation was completely wrong. I
did find maps and I could read them without problem, because they were
written in Japanese. I could find out that the city was extremely large
as I should call it a country. But I could not find where the city is
on the earth and I was confused.
How strange it is. It is such a large country, but I’ve never know it
until now. I didn’t learn it in geography class at the school. Where is
this place for God’s sake? Is it perhaps on another planet? Stupid!
I’ve never heard that there is another planet where the human live as
I wobbled out the book store. I had no idea what happened. What shall I
do from now?
I happened to find a restaurant. It was small and looked casual and
comfortable. I suddenly realized I was hungry. I decided to eat at
first, then I could get a good idea. I opened the door of the
restaurant and got into it. A waitress let me sit at a table, and I
looked at a menu she handed me. I could find many pictures showing
delicious-looking dishes which natural materials were properly cooked.
I was happy to look at the menu, but I was frozen when I recognized
there was no indication of the price. Oh my God! It might be a high
class restaurant. The table and chairs look good quality, while they
are not appealing nor luxury. The problem is that I don’t have much
money, but I don’t like to get out now. Do I have enough money to pay?
However I won’t worry it, because I don’t think I can pay by Japanese
Yen in this country. In the worst case, I’ll ask a manager of the
restaurant to hold my charge and borrow money from the gentleman.
I worryingly gave my order of less expensive menus to the waitress. She
went back to the kitchen smiling and brought my ordered dishes a little
later. As soon as she put them on the table, I avidly ate it forgetting
about the price, as I was hungry, besides it was extremely delicious.
I was probably eating very greedily. When I had finished, I noticed
that two girls were giggling at the next table. They looked students
and white and black. I was ashamed it and left the table in hurry.
The concerned moment has come. How much am I charged? As forwarding the
door of the restaurant, I was looking for the cash desk. But I could
not find it, and I had to go back and to call a waitress.
“Yes, what can I help you?”
The waitress, with a charming face of Asian decent, affably responded
“Where is the cash desk?”
She looked not to understand it. I thought she couldn’t hear me because
it was quite noisy in the shop with many customers. I repeated slowly.
“Where is the cash desk?”
She showed a wondering face and said in small voice,
“I’m afraid we don’t have such kind of thing here.”
I was amazed. What a hell thing these people in this country are
thinking! How fun is it to tease a stranger? I silently stared at the
waitress. She looked down in sorry attitude. I felt sorry for her and
asked in the most gentle tone.
“I just want to know the price of the food I ate. Otherwise I cannot
pay for it. If you don’t tell me it, I will leave without paying. Is it
She looked up and wonderingly said,
“Well, you may leave when you finished your meal. If you would like to
have more, we will serve you upon your order.”
She looked serious. I couldn’t find any sign that she was kidding. Is
it really free? Does the shop run a voluntary activity? In the meantime
I don’t think that customers are in trouble of living. I couldn’t
understand at all but I left the shop smiling at the waitress with the
right hand slightly up. She looked after me smiling and didn’t come
I started walking on the city filled with a feeling like bewitched by a
fox. It was actually free! Then the coffee which I had with the
gentleman, might be free as well. Why? How is it possible? At that
moment, I got a crazy idea in my mind. “Everything in this country is
perhaps free.” I amazed myself thinking such a stupid idea. I was sure,
without reasons, I could not logically understand the society
mechanisms to make everything free. It was stupid to think that the
society could be maintained without charge for everything.
I found a large supermarket and I decided to get into it, because I
should find out that the idea is wrong when I’ll get something here. It
is impossible to run the supermarkets without charge. They have to sell
things to maintain the business. I looked for a check desk as soon as I
got in the shop and I found it. Because it’s a large shop, there were
many checkout stands near the exit and there were long lines at all the
stands. Two clerks were working on each stand and busily handling
things to customers. I was relieved and picked up a basket, put things
around me into it, and then stood after the end of a line. I no longer
concerned that I had no money. I was at ease without reasons. It was
ordinal like this. If it was not, it’s strange. The line moved forward
and my turn was coming. I looked at the clerks on the stand and a
customer. One of the clerks took out goods from the basket and checked
them one by one. The other clerk put checked goods into shopping bags
and passed the bags to the customer. The customer took them and went
out the shop. I was stunned. I threw away the basket, was off the line
and run out of the shop.
I didn’t remember how, but I found myself in front of the building
where I left the gentleman. When I got into it, he was still working on
“Hi, how do you feel about the city? Do you think everyone is friendly?”
I had no idea how to respond it and said nothing.
“Wow, you look tired. Please wait for a while and I will finish the job
soon. Then I will take you a place where you can have a rest.”
Where will he take me next? I no longer concern what happens. I felt
sleepy from fatigue and resignation, and I fell down to the sofa next
to me and soon got unconscious.
When I recognized, the gentleman in a suit stood there.
“Thank you for waiting. Well, I’ll take you a nice place.”
I didn’t mind where we were going to, and just followed him without
conversation. We got out of the building and went underground through
the stairs at a corner of the sidewalk. It was an entrance of the
subway(tube). There were the station staff but as expected there was no
ticket gate. I had no energy kept to consider. Soon a train came into
the platform. The train silently stopped and the doors open. We got it
on and I heard BGM of good volume in there. The sound of the music was
very comfortable and eased my fatigue.
I was not sure how many stations we passed. The gentleman got off the
train at a station and I naturally followed him. When we went up on the
ground, I was surprised. While I didn’t think we had a long ride, I saw
completely different view of quiet residential area in the magnificent
nature from the downtown where we had been. Houses which were not
mansions but of which exteriors were unique stood in a proper distance.
As it was about sunset, the houses and roads were beautifully
illuminated by soft light of street lamps.
The gentleman stopped at a house. I thought, “This is his house. He
meant to invite me to his house by words ‘taking me a nice place’.” He
opened the door and the light was automatically on at the entrance. He
“Please come in.”
I got into the entrance. I thought it was a very good house as the
ceiling was quite high and drawings on the wall were my taste. He
opened a door of a room and invited me to come in. I was amazed to look
inside because the room was much larger than my expectation. It was a
living room, and there were a table and a comfortable-looking spacious
sofa for a couple of people in the center of the room.
In a fancy cabinet there were bottles looked like high quality liquor
and glasses of unique shapes. But the most amazing item was mega screen
like TV built in the wall, which was appeared when he pressed a switch.
Although I didn’t wear specified glasses, I could continuously see
exiting projected images as if they really existed there. It was
absolutely not comparable to the stereoscopic image I knew.
The gentleman looked at my amazing atitude with smile.
“What do you think? It’s intriguing, isn’t it?”
He casually said,
“This is your house from now on.”
I made a strange voice. What does he mean? Does he intend to live with
me? What would he do on me? He was so kind that he had designs. Oh, no!
I hate it! I would choose to die rather than such a situation. While I
was in panic, he said,
“Please don’t take it differently. I have another my own house. This is
prepared just for you. Don’t worry, please.”
I lost my voice. ‘What? Just for me? How did he know that I come? Who
could allow me to use this wonderful house?’
I had too many questions and I could not understand the situation at
all. I thought it’s useless to consider further more. He said,
“Would you live here, please? I think it’s not bad.”
I just nodded with my mouse open. He smiled as if relieved and showed
me other rooms. The house was really incredible. If I had not stop
considering, my mind should be broken.
We came back the living room, when we looked all the rooms. With my
consent he took a bottle looked like liquor and two glasses out of the
cabinet and made a kind of drink. We sat down on the large sofa and
toasted. The drink was a little different from my familiar spirit. It
was never sweet but easy to drink, and had a incredible nice aroma and
relaxed my body. I would not be sick from drinking it much.
I was blankly drinking the beverage in the glass for a while. The
gentleman was still watching me with smile. In the meantime an innocent
question slowly but certainly came up in my mind. My protective
instinct preventing me from asking numberless issues after I came this
house, but I could not ignore of the restaurant and the supermarket,
where I didn’t need to pay money. I timidly asked,
“Excuse me. Don’t you have the money in this country?”
He wonderingly responded,
“Money? Probably you said the term previously, right?”
A little later he said,
“I don’t know the term of money and have never heard about it. What a
hell thing is it?”
I had been expecting such a response, but I was still shocked with his
straight and honest response like this. I picked my wallet out of the
trouser pocket, poured a couple of bills and many coins onto the table
and spread them.
He picked them up and intriguingly looked at them for a while, and then
“What can these dirty pieces of paper and the bits of metal be used
I had no answer. How can I explain it people living in a society
without money? Anyway it’s not easy. I made up my mind to talk about
money with terms as I could remember.
“We get money if we do some work in our country. There is a price for
everything. We use the money to buy things at shops or to eat something
at restaurants. Well, ‘to buy’ means that you get something in exchange
for the money. You have to pay money to get something. No one can live
The gentleman was wonderingly listening to me, and I continued.
“People live on the money they’ve earned from their work. If you work
hard, you’ll get a lot of money, and then you can have an affluent
lifestyle. Although it is true that there is some unfairness and there
are a few crafty people who earn a lot of money without working, most
people live on the money they earn by themselves. So you can see that
money is an essential part of our life.”
Then he interrupted.
“You mean, in other words, that people cannot control their desires
without money in your country, right?”
I got in trouble of responding. He might be right. However I countered
“Maybe you are right, but if you can get anything without paying money,
you don’t have to work at all and you can just live it up everyday.”
“If everyone keeps living it up all the time, there will be nothing you
can get because there will be no one who makes and provides products.”
“If people don’t have to work for their living, I guess there must be
some people who keep having fun without doing any work.”
He laughed and said,
“There is no one who thinks like that. I suppose you associate money
with working too much.”
“I live in a culture in which people are supposed to work in order to
“Working is a service for society, and everyone should work for the
world, for other people, and for oneself to make the world function
even if you don’t get money for the work. Society will provide you what
you need for your life without charging you any money. Our world is
functioning in this way.”
While I felt what he said might be reasonable, I kept opposing position
“You know, if you have money and you don’t use it soon, you can put it
in a savings account. A savings account is a place in a bank where you
can keep the money you’ve saved. You can withdraw and use the money
whenever you want. If you save a lot of money, you can lead an
extravagant lifestyle, which is great!”
The gentleman curiously asked,
“What does extravagant lifestyle mean?”
“Well, let me see, it’s a lifestyle that you can buy anything you want
and eat a lot of delicious food.”
“In this world, we can have anything we need without paying money.”
“I don’t call it extravagant if you can only have what you need. An
extravagant lifestyle is one that you can have very expensive things
and much more than you need.”
The gentleman burst out laughing.
“Why would you want to have more things than you need? There will be no
end if you try to fulfill such a depthless desire.”
It might be right, but I couldn’t be defeated.
“But you know, if you keep saving the money you earn, you need not to
worry about your life when you get too old to work.”
“We are pleased to give anything to people who physically cannot work.
Do such people also need money to get things they need in your world?”
I could not talk about a stingy story regarding pension in our world. I
began thinking our world seems very sorry one. However I kept opposite
stance, while knowing that it must be futile.
“Are there any thieves? A thief is someone who steals things. Well,
since there is no money existing, do thieves steal for instance your
“No one steals other people’s belongings because everyone can get
anything new at shops. There is no reason for stealing from others. If
there happens to be people who want to have things that I’ve made, I’m
pleased to give those to them as far as possible.”
I got into panic.
“You know, much of the work we do is associated with money, such as
making estimates of products or going through payment procedures. I
wonder what happens to banks and insurance companies when there is no
money. People working for those companies must have lost their jobs
when money disappeared from the world.”
“Wait a moment. There were many words I’ve never heard of, but I think
I understand what you mean. Are you afraid that when money disappears
from the world, people who engage in work associated with money or who
deal with money will lose their jobs?”
I nodded without word. I was slightly ashamed by feeling that I seemed
to be a little boy. The gentleman said,
“I guess in your world, people spend so much time and efforts just
circulating the money. In other words, people are doing unnecessary
work for unnecessary things.”
“But I can’t see how world will function properly without money.”
“I know, but no one eats the pieces of paper or the metal things or
actually uses them to make something. After all, the money is just a
common scale for everyone to recognize the value of things. Therefore,
even if all the money disappears at the same time, the world will keep
functioning if people don’t stop working.
Please imagine what happens when the people who deal with money were
released from all their work and started using their time and efforts
for helping the world.
I know dealing with money is an important job in the monetary system
you have, but imagine what happens when people used their time for
serving society. The world becomes much easier to live.
You know, the world has enough affluence to keep everyone’s life going,
even when all the people dealing with money quited their jobs at the
same time. If you consider that the world kept functioning even when
people spent so much time and efforts doing such useless things, you
can imagine that everyone’s life will be much easier when they start
using that time and efforts for something more useful in their society.”
I see, I was getting to accept it. When money disappears from our
world, all of the money-related troubles such as tax evasion, suicides
for too much debt, bank robberies, and the contradiction of “work for
money” will all disappear too.
The disappearance of money will help save people who are suffering from
hunger and poverty around the world. I said to the gentleman to the
“However, I still cannot believe the world will keep functioning if
money disappears. I think everyone will stop working and the world will
The gentleman laughed.
“(Laugh) It’s funny you think the world will be ruined because of some
pieces of paper and bits of metal. I’m not sure, but it must be
difficult in your society immediately to give up the money. Your people
have to ennoble the spirit. Someday you might be able to establish a
society like ours. It depends on a way you go.”
I had no word. I felt there was a large gap between us.
The gentleman continued,
“Probably you cannot expect real evolution in your world, while most
people work for the money. We work to contribute the society. It’s not
for return. If you work for return, some problems shall occur. Someone
hopes more return than what have been done, and another tries to get a
profit from an unnecessary job. Such movements shall result into
absolute competitive society. And it is not toward mutual uplifting,
but degrading each other.”
I was rather terrified than surprised, because he accurately described
our world situations. He said at last,
“I would tell you a simple way to judge whether your current job is
really valuable. That is whether you think to continue the job, even if
the money disappeared and you could not get return from the job.”
The gentleman gave me his contact written on a piece of paper, thanked
me, and went away. He must have gone home. I felt good and easy as my
brain gave up thinking. I lay down on such a comfortable bed that my
body was getting melt. I came over to a strange world. I have
absolutely no idea why I’m here, but it’s not bad to stay. So I’ll
relax myself until going back. What shall I do from tomorrow? Well,
everything is free and there is no concern to live, I will do
sightseeing. But the gentleman might blame such my attitude, I
supposed. While thinking with a doze, I fell into sleep.
After all I could find nothing but sightseeing and I started traveling
from the next day on. It was absolutely fun. Since everything was free;
any traffic systems, any far place to go, any foods, and any
facilities, then there was no concern. Everyone was very kind to tell
me anything and I could communicate with everyone without language
concern. The nature was extraordinarily beautiful and filled with
vitality anywhere. And I had never been to more equipped facilities
than museums, concert halls and amusement parks in this world. I
enjoyed traveling very much. I was forgetting where I was.
I was not sure how many days I spent in such life. I was not tired on
it, but started feeling uncomfortable thoughts. “I owe this enjoyable
life to everyone’s labor. If everyone didn’t work like me, no one could
live along like this. I make no contribution in this world. Even I
happened to come over here, I regret this enjoyable life. The gentleman
told me that job is to serve the society. As I’m served, I have to do
something useful for the society.” I thought I could understand a
little about what the gentleman told me. I called the number on the
paper he had given me. The telephone was different from one in our
We met at a tearoom after many days since the last meeting. The
gentleman was smiling as before. I said, “Well, I would like to do some
job. Could you please offer me something I can do?”
The gentleman said smiling,
“Well, you get such an intention as I expected. I’ve been thinking that
you say so sooner or later. If you don’t think so, you should never
come this world.”
“Excuse me. What do you mean?”
The gentleman asked me without answering my question,
“What kind of job would you like?”
I was in trouble. I hadn’t thought about what to do. I considered for a
while and said as the first response,
“Let me see, I was working in our world for an ad agency, where I was
producing TV commercial. The firm undertakes contracts of advertising
articles to sell things. But there isn’t such a job in this world,
because there is no money, right?”
On the contrary the gentleman said,
“Yes, there is. There are many ad agencies. Why do you think there is
no advertisement because of no money? The advertisement is to spread
information, isn’t it? No one could know of new products and events
without the advertisement.”
I was grad to hear that. I thought that the job I have been doing was
very valuable. But I had one question and asked it to the gentleman,
“I have never seen something like advertisement since I came here,
though. There is no sign board in the city and there is no commercial
on TV, I suppose.”
“The advertisement is not open to the public in this world, because it
should be contacted by persons who want to know the information. On the
other hand there is an exclusive TV channel to commercial. Besides, it
is finely divided in each product category, and you can watch a
commercial of your concerning product whenever you wish.”
According to the gentleman, the commercial in this world is not to
force everyone seeing it between programs like our world, but to be
accessed by people wishing to know it on demand. Aha, it was so. I
didn’t recognize such TV channel, because everything was very
intriguing in this world. I’m going to watch it as soon as I return
The gentleman introduced me an ad agency, and I got an appointment with
a person in charge of personnel on the nest day. Meanwhile I went back
home and turned on the exclusive channel to commercial with the huge
I thought commercial had to be formal and boring, because the purpose
is not to sell. But to my surprise, every commercial was far more
interesting and persuasive than ones in my world. I thought that I
would not be bored to watch them all the night.
On the next day I went to the ad agency. Just after I was leaded to a
reception room, black woman got into the room. She looked 27 to 28
aged, smart and veteran.
She smiled on me with beautiful and intelligent face, and said,
“Thank you for coming. I’m a person in charge on personnel.”
After a short discussion it was decided that I would attend an
orientation for a client on the next day. She might think to see my
capabilities on the job, because I had experiences in my world. On the
other hand there was a training center for newcomers with no experience
of the advertisement. I was surprised that she could determine it by
herself and understood that the society was based on the mutual trust.
Some others should produce the advertisement with me and I would go for
the orientation with persons from other departments, but I was exited
with the job after the long vacation. I was pleased that no money was
On the next day we visited a building of the client and were led to a
conference room of the ad department. Two groups of a few people were
already there and they seemed ad agencies. I was nervous for knowing
that the job was the competition. My associates, however, friendly
exchanged greetings with them and started talking about our company and
so on. I was puzzled because we talked little with the competitors in
After a while two persons, seemed clients, came into the conference
room. One was an Asian woman in bright suits and looked around 40 years
old. The other was a white man in casual wear and looked around 30.
They sat in front of us on the opposite side of the table. The woman
set to the meeting.
“Thank you for sparing precious time to come today. We have eventually
developed a new product after long term studies in our developing
department. In this occasion, we would like you to help us to execute
advertizing with your knowledge. We appreciate in advance for your
The new product was a new model of 3D-TV. I was astonished with the
actual product, because I expected minor changes like modification on
the visual design. The one in my house was amazing enough, but the new
one was further and incredible. You should think that it was not vision
but real. I inadvertently reached out my hand and touched the screen.
My hand didn’t go through the screen, but it was as if there was a
transparent wall between the outside and the inside. Two guys of the
client explained details of the new product, while we were startled. I
was sure that many people rushed for it by the advertisement.
On the way back in the car, I talked to my colleague sitting next to me.
“They are very polite as clients, aren’t they?”
He wonderingly replied,
“Are they? I think they are usual.”
I was puzzled with his unexpected response.
“The clients are somehow bossy in my world, because
they give us jobs.”
He surprisingly said,
“Wow, your world is so strange that people to request things are bossy.”
I had no words for a moment, but got to the point after a short
consideration. Just without money, the common sense is so different. I
began laughing from a funny feeling, and he was smiling next to me.
In the conversation with him, I learned that new products are rare in
this world. Regarding both the design and the capabilities, all the
things are nearly completed and it’s difficult to find points to be
improved. Therefore it’s sufficient to produce the standard goods. In
this world people understand that replacement with minor modifications
makes just a small difference, and new products are required to have
superior improvements. And the advertisement could persuade few people
immediately to take a new product. People usually use things with much
care until it’s broken. And when the time comes, it will be replaced
with the newest one.
The purpose to work is not compensation but service in this world.
Therefore people don’t intend to cause unnecessary jobs. They
understand that the profusion causes extra jobs for someone to do and
wastes precious resources.
How different it is from my world! In my world new products come out
next to next, and many people rush to buy them if they can afford to
buy them. The reasons are partly because of less advanced products, but
mostly because people focus their mind on short view and are too
slavish for new things and fashion. At the same time companies could
survive only with the mass consumption. The society is established on
such conflicts. Why could it happen? What is wrong? Our car arrived at
our company when I was considering such issues.
In several days, we had team meetings again and again. The meetings
were very hot and everyone was serious. As no one concerned the profit,
we, staff of the creative department, merely concentrated to create a
joyful and easy CM.
However I asked a question, I happened to have, to the guy with whom I
had talked in the car the other day.
“Very few people would get the product soon when they watched CM. The
manufacturer should not be in trouble with that. Why is the
“Someone would get it right away. For instance, someone newly require
it, and someone have to replace it. After all everyone would get it
sooner or later. Therefore it is useful to provide information about
the new product. On the other hand a manufacturer whose products people
would not choose is useless and not necessary. As no company forces
people to choose their products, many companies have disappeared until
now because their products are not necessary. No one will be stranded
by companies’ shutdown and remained companies are fairly competing each
other to develop better technology.”
“But it’s not required to make efforts to create interesting CM, is it?”
“It is the same as your world. The entertainment is required for the
advertisement. An interesting CM is better than boring one, isn’t it?”
At last the day for presentation came. I mainly developed our idea,
which I was satisfied with. The other member agreed with it and I was
confident in it. We were led into a larger room than the last one upon
our arrival at the client. I saw an unexpected situation there.
The other two competitors were in the room. In my world the client
calls agents one by one in series of presentation. Otherwise agents
have to wait for a longer time. I asked my colleagues from wondering it
and came to know that all the agents jointly make their presentation.
As a result my tension went higher.
The presentation started. Three companies in turn explained their
creative ideas with a large vision of CM. Our company was the last and
I made a presentation. The ideas of two other companies were very good
and I was nervous.
When our presentations was completed, one of the clients said,
“Thank you for good presentation. All the CMs were wonderful. Then you
three companies please discuss to select one from three.”
I couldn’t trust what I just heard. The guy said we should select !
With discussion among three competitors ! In my world agents shall
leave and the client is supposed to select the one. But regardless of
my wonder three competitors immediately started discussion.
I expected a difficult discussion because each company recommends its
own CM. But contrary to my expectation three competitors unanimously
agreed to select our CM after a short discussion. All the clients were
nodding with very pleased smile.
I asked the same colleague as the other day in the car to go back.
“Is the decision usually so easy as today?”
“No. We usually discuss more, but it was enough today. I think there
was a clear difference on excellence.”
I was surprised with his response, because I myself, as the producer,
found no major difference.
“Don’t you think every agency wishes to select its own idea?”
“It’s true, if you have a good idea. But if there was a better one, you
should take it for the client.”
I fully understood it. In this world works are for the society and
others. People don’t seek for profit of themselves at all and it is not
necessary. I asked another question.
“The client doesn’t select the idea, right?”
He stared at my face and wonderingly said,
“It is a hard work for an amateur to decide. It should be the agent’s
I was surprised that he said it as if it was too natural.
“But what do you do, if the selected CM doesn’t work well? It might be
better that the client would select ･････”
He got laughing.
“It’s irresponsible, isn’t it? It’s OK, because there must be a smaller
risk in our decision than client’s decision. All the clients rely on
I thought my responsibility is large, and I have to create a good idea
so hard that the client doesn’t fold up. At the same time, I
irresponsibly thought that no one should be in trouble to live even if
it folded up.
I was getting to understand mechanism in this society. Everything
stands on reliance. And all the people consider how to contribute the
society and others rather than themselves and execute what they can do
as their jobs. They don’t waste things and try to live with as less
things as necessary. Living in this world looks plentiful because the
technology is much more advanced than ours, but it is absolutely
different from our luxury. There is almost no waste and most of
resources are recycled. No one hopes better life and higher position
than others. Was this society created with a condition of no money? Or
don’t such people require money?
Months quickly passed and I successfully continued the job. I got well
used to life in this society and got to know many people. Everyone had
a single face and I could make very comfortable relations with them. It
was nothing but nice and cozy. Obsessions with money and position
disappeared from my mind as time passed. My heart was light as if I
abandoned a heavy load.
I met the gentleman after many days. He said with usual smile,
“You look good. How is going on your job?”
“I’ve never lived the more fulfilling life than these days. I’m doing
my best. I can’t help being pleased to contribute the society.”
He smiled and deeply nodded.
“I’ve never known there is a wonderful world like this. I wish to tell
it to people in my world at any cost. What is this place?”
For a moment he showed puzzled face, but he smiled, looked into my
face, and said,
“You have already known it, haven’t you?”
We were silent for a while. I stared at his face without word. The term
“heaven” happened to hit my mind. At that moment I thought all the
questions were solved.
I noticed that I was standing in my familiar city. It was apparently my
city. The sky was dark gray and honking horns were noisy. I coughed
from the exhaust gas. A housewife, with bags of a supermarket, was
about to run into me, annoyingly glared at me and passed by. I got into
a coffee shop. A waitress tiresomely came over and stood by my table.
Upon my order of coffee she went back without word and a while later
brought my order on a tray. She roughly put the cup and saucer on the
table. Small amount of coffee spilled on the saucer. The taste was bad,
but I didn’t get annoyed about it as ever.