Filling up the 80-sq.-meter space from the floor to the ceiling are "Made in
"They don't necessarily have to have monetary value," says the skinny, soft-spoken man, noting that he picks consumer electronics whose designs reveal the creativity and ingenuity of Japanese electronics makers from their golden years of the 1970s and '80s.
In fact, those were the years when a number of domestic manufacturers -- including
While his collection includes TV sets, record players and even non-electronic items such as furniture and metal figure molds, Matsuzaki's biggest obsession is portable radio-cassette players, that is boomboxes. He has collected 3,000 so far, mostly at recycle goods shops and garage sales, he says.
While their designs and features vary, typical boomboxes contain one or two cassette slots, a radio tuner, a speaker, and often a microphone to record live sound -- all in one. And while individual components were Western inventions, the idea to put them all together in one portable product was unique to
What's more amazing, Matsuzaki has brought countless numbers of broken electronics back to life, though he has never worked at an electronics company or studied mechanics at school. He says he learned the repairing expertise all by himself, by manually disassembling the components and putting them back together, learning the functions of hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny parts along the way.
"I don't know how many machines I ruined while learning how to fix them," he laughs.
Today many people regard him as a "repairer of last resort," asking him to fix stuff even the manufacturers don't know how to mend. Because he has spent so much time fiddling with the gadgets, he can now detect major causes of breakdown; it's typically a few key worn-out parts or the piled-up dust that ruins a product, he says.
When he can't find parts to replace the broken ones, which is often the case because manufacturers are reluctant to stock replacement parts in-house, he gets new ones made just for him. He showed me one of 20 identical
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