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Musk’s big space dream conjures up a decades-old time warp

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Back in 1956, a Japanese organization started taking reservations from people who were interested in purchasing land on Mars.

Called "Nihon Uchu Ryoko Kyokai" (Japan space travel association), its members included mystery fiction writer Ranpo Edogawa (1894-1965) and multitalented showbiz personality Musei Tokugawa (1094-1971).

This was no flaky publicity stunt. The association charged a fee for the issuance of reservation slips for 100,000 "tsubo" (roughly 330,000 square meters) of land on Mars.

According to "Daitoa Kagaku Kidan" (Strange tales of Greater East Asian science) by Hiroshi Aramata, the reservation slips listed the qualities required of anyone planning to........

© The Asahi Shimbun