Whose lives will autonomous driving change?

Autonomous driving will reduce traffic accidents and change how much time we spend time in transit. Its development will bring radical change to human society after 2035, maybe even transforming distribution services, land values, and the nature of the family. What other new possibilities will autonomous driving bring?

We asked four writers to imagine how people will behave in the driverless future to come.


Farther Down the Road

Mitsuhiko Fujiki

Tokyo, 20XX. My paternal grandfather has died so I’m with my parents in an old self-driving car on the way to my father’s family home. Along the way I find out my parents seem to be getting a divorce. In our family, the important stuff always gets talked about in the car. What will happen to my family by the time the self-driving car reaches my father’s hometown…?


In addition to dramatic scripts for Baipureiyazu [By-players] (TV Tokyo Network) and Yo ni mo kimyo na monogatari [Strange Tales] (Fuji TV Network), Fujiki is also active as a scriptwriter, comedy writer, and playwright, including script-writing, character development, and song lyrics for educational programs Miitsuketa! [Found It!] and Okaasan to issho [With Mother] (ETV), and scriptwriting for theatrical performances Setsujitu [Urgency], Muroshiki [Muro Style], and Shakunetsu no Pari [Paris Burning].



The Demanding Princess Mistis

Yukiko Mishima


After making documentaries for NHK, Mishima wrote and directed the film Shiawase no pan [Bread of Happiness] (2012). After going on to direct Budo no namida [A Tear Drop of the Grapevine] (2014), Tsukuroitatsu hito [A Stitch of Life] (2015), and Shojo [Night’s Tightrope] (2016), her Osanago warera ni umare [Dear Etranger] (2017) won the Jury’s Special Grand Prix at the Montreal World Film Festival, the Yamaji Fumiko Movie Award, and the Hochi Film Award for Best Director. Her latest film, Biblia koshodo no jiken techo [Memory of Antique Books] opened on 1 November 2018.



One Day, at a Destination Unknown

Keiichiro Hirano

(Photo: Mikiya Takimoto)


The story Nisshoku [The Eclipse] that he contributed to the literary magazine Shincho while still in university won the 120th Akutagawa Prize (1998). Since then he has continued to produce novels that have translated around the world. With broad knowledge of art and music, he also writes critical essays in a wide range of genres. In 2014 he was named a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. His written works include the novels Kekkai [Dam Break], Don [Dawn], Kuhaku o mitashinasai [Fill in the Blanks], and Machine no owari ni [At the End of the Matinee], as well as the essay collection Watashi to wa nani ka—“kojin” kara “bunjin” e [Defining the Self: From Individual to Dividual]. He is a member of the jury for the Mishima Yukio Prize. His most recent novel is Aru otoko [A Man] and collection of critical essays is Kangaeru ashi [A Thinking Reed] (Kino Books).



Two Speeds

Tomohiro Maekawa

(Photo: Ramon Onizawa)


Leader of the Ikiume theater company, Maekawa is known for theatrical works that adopt a paranormal take in exploring human psychology through worlds concealed beneath the everyday such as Omote to ura to sono muko [Outside In, and Out There], Kansu domino [Mathematical Domino], Ten no teki [Enemy of Heaven], Sanpo suru shinryakusha [Strolling Invader], and Toshokanteki jinsei [A Library-like Life]. In 2017, Sanpo suru shinryakusha was turned into a movie by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa with the title Before We Vanish. His broad professional activities also include original screenplays for films such as Taiyo [The Sun] (Directed by Yu Irie, 2016) and the NHK drama Mario (2018).

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