The Invisible homeless in Japan


Have you ever wondered if in Japan there are homeless, homeless, walkers or beggars? Yes, as in any country. In this article we will talk about the invisible homeless people living in Japan.

Japan is a rich country where 80% of people live above the poverty line. The reputation that Japan is a rich and uninequality-free country creates ideas that in Japan there are no homeless people, or that rare.

Still, he estimated that in Tokyo alone, there are more than 5,000 homeless people and that millions of people live in the poverty line.

The invisible homeless in japan

Why are there homeless people in Japan?

As in most countries, most of these homeless people have lost their families, have some mental illness, health problem or is an alcoholic or addicted. Drinks and Pachinko are one of the main causes.

Although Japan desperately needs people to work, most homeless people are over 40 years old, and it’s hard to get a job in that age group, especially in the conditions they are in.

The invisible homeless in japan

In addition to homeless people, there are a large number of young people living in Cibercafés, Mangacafés and who have temporary, partial work, or simply use country money.  

Many of these homeless people survive through garbage collection and recycling. Others do beaks and daily work, spending all the money on drinks, games and pachinko.

Homeless In Japanese society

The Japanese usually ignore the homeless and give them space. Homeless people in Japan are rarely persecuted by police or some evildoer. 

The invisible homeless in japan

Many live in homeless communities, makeshift tents in rivers, parks, bridges or train lines. Japanese courts have defended the rights of the homeless on several occasions.

One example is that they do not allow the police to dismantle the tents of the homeless. If necessary, the police must follow the same procedure used to dump an apartment or home.

The government tries to do its utmost to help these people. But unfortunately some prefer not to be helped, simply because many have purposely adopted this lifestyle.

The invisible homeless in japan

That was already different in the 1990s. At that time the homeless in Japan were seen as a nuisance. Many were tortured by police, some even made riots and protests because of some cases.

The government even tried to get rid of homeless people preventing them from receiving government benefits. In 1997, Tokyo finally recognized their existence.

In 2001, the government reported that there were about 25,000 people homeless in Japan. And Osaka has the largest homeless population in the country, actually has even a neighborhood where the homeless live.

The invisible homeless in japan

Kamagasaki – Japan’s largest slum

In southern Osaka is japan’s largest homeless source and homeless. The neighborhood is called Kamagasaki and it is believed that in this neighborhood there are walkers and homeless people from all over the country.

The Neighborhood is giant and is located near famous places in Osaka. It is possible to find several homeless people scattered in buildings, especially in humanitarian centers such as Airin Labor.

The invisible homeless in japan

Tents can be found in squares such as Sankaku Park or below the train line that runs the neighborhood. There are several recycling centers and agencies offering jobs and nozzles in Kamagasaki.

The neighborhood has an environment of poverty, with old buildings, cheap houses and affordable accommodation that attract thousands of backpackers from the country and the world. The neighborhood is widely commented on by the media.

The invisible homeless in japan

In the Neighborhood is held several events and festivals to help the homeless population and homeless people. In addition to summer festivals and shows, food distribution and the famous sopão always happen.

How are the homeless people of Japan?

The homeless of Japan are extremely polite and quiet. They never ask for money, let alone steal. That’s ironic because the Japanese are likely to donate.

Japan’s homeless people do everything they don’t get in the way of anyone or get in the way. They avoid staying in moving locations during the day. Many even work as day-time diarists.

The invisible homeless in japan

Overnight the city’s centers and parks are filled by some homeless people, but at dawn they carefully move to another location in order not to bother anyone.

Japanese street dwellers are also known to care for abandoned anime in urban parks. Not all homeless people in Japan are in this situation due to lack of alternatives or opportunities. 

Most of these homeless people are elderly retirees, abandoned, or simply decided to isolate themselves from society for some reason. Social and economic pressure ended up affecting some of these people.

The invisible homeless in japan

A good number of these homeless people are in this situation because they chose to live this way because they want to feel free and without the pressures imposed by society.

Unemployment is not a common cause, as in Japan it has more manpower than employees. Still, some homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work, or just took labor trauma.

As many have opted for this life, we should not yoke them, nor blame the country for this small number of homeless people. In fact many are happy and have a better social life than many Japanese.

The invisible homeless in japan

We write this article dedicated to them, so that you all do not forget that in Japan there are people with problems, and they face these problems and challenges in a positive way.

Are there beggars in Japan?

Beggars are different from homeless, they ask for things on the street, in public places and sometimes have a home and a family. In Brazil there are thousands of beggars, some richer than workers with minimum wages.

It is believed that the act of begging can be a disease, so surely there must be beggars in Japan. There are people who have no financial need but like to ask for things.

The invisible homeless in japan

On one occasion, I was in Tokyo and a young man stopped by bike and reached out to me, I just took a 100 yen coin and put it in his hand. Without saying anything he just left.

I also met a woman in Ginza who was asking for money to help with the earthquake in Hokkaido. I knew that money wouldn’t go to help the earthquake in Hokkaido, i was obvious it was a scam.

Still contributes and made friends with the lady and she invited me to a restaurant with amateur presentation of singers, where I had a great time. It was interesting to befriend strangers in Japan.

The invisible homeless in japan

Still, it is not common for Japanese to ask for money for others on the street, mainly homeless and homeless. Japanese are proud and don’t like to bother or depend on other people.

An example of this is that not even waiters and hotel employees are customary to receive tips. Sometimes a foreigner even tries to offer tips, but employees simply reject it.

What do you think of the homeless in Japan? Can anything else be done? I hope you enjoyed this article. If you liked it, share and leave your comments.

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