Have you ever wondered if in Japan there are homeless people, homeless people, wanderers or beggars? Yes, as in any country. In this article we are going to talk about the invisible homeless people who live in Japan.
Japan is a rich country where 80% of people live above the poverty line. The reputation that Japan is a rich country without inequality, creates ideas that in Japan there are no homeless people, or that they are rare.
Still, it is estimated that in Tokyo alone, there are more than 5,000 homeless and that millions of people live on the poverty line.
Why are there homeless people in Japan?
As in most countries, most of these homeless people have lost their family, have a mental illness, health problem or are alcoholics or addicts. 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 is difficult to get a job in this age group, especially in the conditions they are in.
In addition to homeless people, there is a large number of young people who live in Cibercafés, Mangacafés and who have a temporary or partial job, or simply use the country's money.
Many of these homeless people survive through garbage collection and recycling. Others do odd jobs and day jobs, spending all their money on drinks, games and pachinko.
Homeless in Japanese society
The Japanese tend to ignore the homeless and give them space. Homeless people in Japan are rarely harassed by the police or an evildoer.
Many live in homeless communities, makeshift tents on 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 for the homeless. If necessary, the police must follow the same procedure used to evict an apartment or house.
The government tries to do its best to help these people. But unfortunately some prefer not to be helped, simply because many have purposely adopted this lifestyle.
This was different in the 1990s. Back then, homelessness in Japan was seen as a nuisance. Many were tortured by the police, some even staged riots and protests because of some neglect.
The government even tried to get rid of homeless people by preventing them from receiving government benefits. In 1997, Tokyo finally acknowledged their existence.
In 2001, the government reported that there were around 25,000 homeless people in Japan. And Osaka has the largest homeless population in the country, in fact it even has its own neighborhood where the homeless live.
Kamagasaki – The biggest slum in Japan
South Osaka is home to the largest source of homeless and homeless people in Japan. 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 huge and is located close to famous places in Osaka. It is possible to find several homeless people scattered in buildings, mainly in humanitarian centers such as Airin Labor.
Tents can be found in squares such as Parque Sankaku or below the train line that runs through the neighborhood. There are several recycling centers and agencies offering jobs and odd jobs in Kamagasaki.
The neighborhood has an atmosphere of poverty, with old buildings, cheap houses and affordable accommodation that attract thousands of backpackers from the country and the world. The neighborhood is heavily commented on by the media.
Several events and festivals are held in the neighborhood to help the homeless and homeless population. In addition to the summer festivals and concerts, there is always food distribution and the famous soup kitchen.
What are the homeless people in Japan like?
Japan's homeless people are extremely polite and calm. They never ask for money, let alone steal. This is ironic because the Japanese are prone to giving.
Japan's homeless people do their best not to get in anyone's way or get in the way. They avoid being in busy places during the day. Many even work as day laborers.
At night, the city's centers and parks are filled with some homeless people, but at dawn they carefully move to another location, in order not to disturb anyone.
Japanese homeless people are also known to care for stray animals in urban parks. Not all homeless people in Japan are in this situation for lack of alternatives or opportunities.
Most of these homeless people are elderly, retired, abandoned, or simply decided to isolate themselves from society for some reason. Social and economic pressure ended up affecting some of these people.
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 Japan has more labor than employees. Still, some homeless people are lazy and don't want to work, or they just got trauma from work.
As many have chosen this life, we must not judge them, nor blame the country for this small number of homeless. In fact, many are happy and have a better social life than many Japanese.
We wrote this article dedicated to them, so that you all don't 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 they have a house and a family. In Brazil there are thousands of beggars, some richer than workers with minimum wages.
It is believed that begging can be a disease, so there must certainly be beggars in Japan. There are people who have no financial need but like to ask for things.
On one occasion, I was in Tokyo and a young man stopped on his bike and held out his hand to me, I just took out a 100 yen coin and put it in his hand. Without saying anything he just walked away.
I also met a woman in Ginza who was asking for money to help with the earthquake in Hokkaido. I knew that money was not going to help the earthquake in Hokkaido, it was obvious that it was a scam.
Even so, I contributed and I made friends with the lady and she invited me to a restaurant with an amateur performance of singers, where I had a lot of fun. It was interesting to make friends with strangers in Japan.
Still, it is not common for Japanese to ask for money from others on the street, especially homeless and homeless people. Japanese are proud and do not like to bother or depend on other people.
An example of this is that not even hotel waiters and employees are in the habit of receive tips. Sometimes a foreigner even tries to offer tips, but the employees just refuse.
What do you think of homeless people in Japan? Can anything more be done? I hope you enjoyed this article. If you liked it, share it and leave your comments.