the homeless of shinjuku

 

 

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “the homeless of shinjuku

  1. jennyredhen

    When I was in Japan earlier this year i was shocked by all the homeless people. How do they survive in the winter? Are there any charities that help them ? The Japanese economy has really deteriorated since I was last there 10 years ago. Many more second hand shops .Which is a good thing I even saw a second hand clothes floor in a department store. You would never have seen that in 2004. In fact I have never seen it anywhere else!

    • I know.

      and this picture paints a very creme de la creme picture de les homelesse, as though they all sleep, legs crossed, in front of louis vuitton . which i know, of course is not how the most of the people – way too proud to beg, incidentally – would live.

      i don’t know about the government based structures to help them. my impression is that you get six months of unemployment benefit and then are left to your own devices.

      • jennyredhen

        I believe the deterioration of the Japanese economy is for the following reasons.
        1. Increased competition from China and Korea in Japans core industries
        2. An aging population and increase in unemployment leading to increased Welfare spending. ( Welfare beneficiaries always get the blame…its called beneficiary bashing )
        3. Many businesses never recovered from the crash in 1986 when the banks called in all the loans and they had to be renegotiated.The assets which were security had often decreased in value below the amount of the loan so either a. the business never got the $$$ or
        b. they got it at vastly increased interest rates.
        both of which had serious financial impacts
        Are there any more reasons?

        Japan had that great leap forward after WW2 and now the rest of the world has copied them and caught up. . eg packaging.. people go on about the amount of wasteful packaging in Japan but the packaging here is just as over the top now if not worse. In fact the packaging in Japan seems to be paper and cardboard whereas here its that indestructible plastic.

        One good thing about the deflation in Japan is that it is much more affordable to visit than previously, and still as gorgeous..

  2. Renee Stout

    Thanks for sharing another realistic slice of Japan and helping to make the view for those of us who have yet to get there, more well rounded.

  3. What I thought was interesting about this scene is the contradictions: I mean the placing of a homeless person next to a symbol of wealth such as Louis Vuitton is something of a visual cliche, but in this picture the man, though homeless, has a sense of dignity (Japanese homeless people don’t beg), and seems more than Michelle Williams’ equal. There is a strange sense of defiance in it.

    • carole macleod

      You have given us some powerful images, for sure. And I agree with you-that man in the first picture may not have a home but he has the dignity of a king.

      It’s a sobering contrast of the luxury bag and the model versus the man.

      Sometimes i feel like this is a time when the bag has value: the people less so.

    • Marina

      I noticed the ad as well. He chose to sleep there next to the high end advert. There is something in that.

  4. Dearest GInza
    Paris too is much blighted now by homelessness. Something we used to think of as a peculiarly British and American disease (in the soi-disant ‘developed world’).
    How very said. When a state cannot provide a home for all its citizens it seems to me to fail as profoundly as a parent that cannot care for their children.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I totally agree. Strange, though, how very isolated the homeless Japanese are. Once you have use up your six months of social security, there is nothing. No charity. No government assistance, and no begging. And just the contempt of the people who walk by you without even noticing.

  5. Too sad for words, too terribly sad. 😦

  6. Lilybelle

    How very, very sad. I had no idea that homelessness even existed in Japan, which shows you how ignorant I am. I truly believed the Japanese took care of their own. ;(

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