or years, headlines across international publications about free houses (akiya) in Japan’s countryside (inaka) have been popping up. Much like many others, these caught my eye, but didn’t sit right. Un-cited numbers were referenced, anecdotal evidence was commonplace, and the narrative was suspiciously, constantly vague.
All of this added up to, well, nothing. The average reader had no means to test the veracity of anything being communicated. This told me that even if the stories were true, no one had access, so I stared digging. This sort of thing bugs the hell out of me.