Homeless in Tokyo

scroll left scroll right
  • Bedtime Smoke
  • Cardboard Coffin
  • Pachinko Gaming
  • Dancing Together
  • Hello Kitty
  • Messing Hairdresser
  • National Anthem
  • Sake & Beer Dregs
  • Thoughtful Mind
  • Flowers in the Gutter
  • An Honest Portrait
  • Collected Covers
  • Shoyu Distribution
  • Resident's Garbage
  • In Place

A growing phenomenon in Japan, particularly within the densely populated urban areas, is the number of homeless on the streets. Japan’s homeless find themselves excluded from society and are provided with little help in the form of welfare from the state. Nonetheless, they do not beg for money as this is seen as demeaning.

The district of Sanya used to be a flourishing town where two main roads merged and led to the historic region of Edo. During the Meiji era, over 200 years ago, the area developed as a stopping point providing travelers with affordable hotels, motels and hostels.

More recently though the area has become dilapidated but still manages to provide accommodation for low paid workers and sometimes temporary accommodation for the homeless. The homeless have congregated in this suburban area because of this but also because it is a less frequented area of Tokyo, keeping them out of view.

Many homeless were surprisingly jovial considering their circumstances. They seemed to find support and amusement from one and other. They would drink day in day out and occasionally try to get work as journey men.