“Who hasn’t dreamt of living somewhere they really want to be?” whispers a new “living concept” called a Muji Hut. Who hasn’t dreamt of living in a shed that costs 3,000,000 yen, or about $27,000 American dollars? This vision and others will swim before your eyes as you browse the overwhelmingly serene website for the Muji Hut, where burbling brooks and med spa synths lull you into a buyer’s stupor.
“Put in the mountains, near the ocean, or in a garden,” the page continues. One of these places will not look as good as the others, it might add. This aesthete’s shed will look right at home standing alone at the base of the mountain range that you own. How will it look sitting in a backyard, serving as the residence of one’s adult son? The page has no photos of this.
Rest assured that the M-Hut is not some rat-infested lean-to off the Appalachian Trail or a “tiny home” that is secretly an RV. Outer walls with burned hardwood cladding shield you from the elements; a sliding door shuts out the meditation music playing at full blast outside. “Light and wind visit through another window,” the page says. The immensely tranquil being who dwells within this shed will awake at dawn to shout, “Good morning, my old friend light! And hello to you, brother wind!”
Muji’s designers are said to prize “simplicity and utility” above all else, and its hut looks neat and sturdy. If you want an Instagram-worthy structure on your private beach that discourages relatives from visiting in groups larger than one, it might be a great investment. Yet the whole thing seems a bit like a stunt, given that the company created an English-language page for a product with “no sales scheduled outside Japan.” For now, Americans’ dreams of #shedlife will remain only dreams.