Motoshi Yatabe grew up on a quiet, almost ruralstreet in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture. There was a vegetable garden in front of his childhood home and a rice field across the street—plenty of room for him and his sister, Masako, to play. Sited roughly 15 miles outside of central Tokyo, it had yet to be colonized as part of the Greater Tokyo Area. Today, each block is lined by single-family homes packed shoulder to shoulder like commuters on a Tokyo subway.
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