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Rin Masayuki
4th grade, Itabashi-ku Oyama Primary School, Tokyo

How are you, people of 5,000 years from now? Tokyo on January 29th, 1969 is having one of its rare falls of snow. Usually we play baseball and soccer, but when it snows we play different games like skiing, sleighing and throwing snowballs. We wait for the snow to fall naturally but in your time will you just press a button to make the snow fall anywhere you like and as deep as you like?

I also imagine there will be no school like the one I go to every day. Teachers will teach you from a television screen whenever you push the button for the subject you want to study. You will be able to move up to higher grades at any age if you pass the examinations and plan and carry out your own education. I suppose that will be the way of studying in your age.

I wonder how food will change? I like ice cream, chocolate, fried chicken and sushi best. All of them are really nice. You may not be able to eat such delicious foods. Maybe all of your food will be like medicine and taste the same, or maybe it will have no taste. We eat three times a day, different dishes each time. Will you just swallow food in the shape of pills once a day? I wish I could give you ice cream-it really feels nice in my mouth.

Today, scientists across the world are studying hard to find out the secrets of outer space and the moon. In December 1968, three Americans circled the moon for the first time and came back to earth. Everybody was surprised and happy. There was great excitement. You're surprised and saying "how childish", aren't you? I believe there will be space cities and undersea cities in your age. You will say "I'll visit my uncle in the undersea city" and start out on a moving road. How fantastic!

I wish I could live again in your age. But I am quite happy now. I have kind parents and also a sister with whom I can quarrel once in a while. And there are blue skies and wide seas, all waiting for us. The world is full of mysteries. Our strength will pile up from generation to generation, and your age will arrive. I will do my best, too.

A society where everyone lives cheerfully and happily . . . . . . this must be the same goal for me and you, I believe. We must do our best until the next age takes over.

Goodbye from 5,000 years in the past.

** Selected from 3,811 entries in a children's competition.
(Translated from Japanese, A-3-1-1)

Harima Hideki
1st grade, Osaka City Aioi Junior High School, Osaka

How are you, people of 5,000 years hence? I am boy living in the 20th century. In today's world, everybody is dreaming about and yearning for the world you are living in. Some say "I wish I could have been born 5,000 years later." What is life like in your world? I suppose the world will certainly be united and convenient with everybody using the same language and speaking freely with each other.

About 2,000 years have passed since we started using the Christian calendar. During this time, science has made very big progress. But I think there will be even bigger progress before the arrival of your age. We have already started heart transplants and the grafting of artificial human organs. If things keep on going as at present, every one of you, I suppose, will never grow old or die.

If so, you will have to make more living space because of the increasing population. But I think your science will accomplish this easily. The problem will be solved by building apartment houses in the sky. reclaiming the sea and perhaps inflating the earth with gas.

If these things cannot be done, you had better conquer the solar system and improve it as you like. Man will be able to live on Mars by sending man-made oxygen and water to the planet, and on Venus by blowing away carbon dioxide and heat to outer space with a gigantic fan. And nobody will be surprised at having a tropical holiday on Mercury or going skiing and skating on Pluto.

I suppose the means of transportation will be totally different from those at present. Electric material transmitters which can send anything anywhere in an instant will be in practical use. Their energy will probably be sent from the sun through a pipeline.

At home, you will be just sitting in a chair with a machine attached to your head. If you want to do anything, just think of it, and the machine will do it. Children will be able to play any games in any era they like with material transmitters and time machines. Children will be happy about not having to study while they are awake. Machines will teach them while they are sleeping, and there will no longer be homework and school tests.

Such is your world as we imagine it. I expect and wish that all these things will be realized. This is the hope of us living in the 20th century.

Goodbye, people of 5,000 years hence.

(Translated from Japanese, A-3-1-2)

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