Sunday, October 7, 2012

Homeless in Tokyo

One of the initial things I wonder when I visit a city for the first time is,how do it's citizens look after their homeless?In Tokyo, they're  everywhere, you just have to look for them.I suspect the Japanese see them but choose not'see' them, if you get my drift.By day break, their belongings are neatly bundled up by the side of the footpath, where they will  safely remain ,until sunset, when their owner's will again find the nearest underpass, park bench,subway entrance etc to doss down. I suspect that some of the inhabitants of Shinjuku Park West have been there since we last last visited two and a half years ago.Being without a home in Tokyo appears to be a shameful existence, a little like the salary man who has been relegated to a desk in the outside hallway.Sacked but not'sacked'. With winter coming on, it's going to be brutally tough for these people.I hope the Japanese government opens it's eyes soon.No society, particularly one as ostentatiously wealthy as Japan,should allow it's citizens to end up in this situation.
I was saddened to see that this children's play ground equipment had been  sneakily blocked off to prevent the homeless from sleeping there at night.So everyone loses. The children can't play on the equipment and the homeless have to find somewhere else to sleep.Or am I being churlish?


Chandra said...

In some sense, we have "advanced" as a society, only to abandon "humanity" and kindness. Or, I think that's the case sometimes.

Great post and thanks for opening world's eyes to problems of a wealthy country!

Peace, Ian :)

BB said...

I've a sneaking suspicion that whatever city we live in, as locals most of us close our eyes to some degree of homelessness. As a tourist, the very fresh and immediate perception of a strange place can be rewarding, but, sadly confronting at times.

slow rpm said...

Chandra,The homeless in Tokyo behave with typical Japanese modesty. Their belongings are neatly packed up in the morning and left on trolleys until night fall.Thier bicycles are rarely locked as theft is almost non existant. (and never locked to anything.Just a small wire and padlcock job through the wheel)


slow rpm said...

BB. I was heartened to see a man outside Shinjuku station selling the big issue.(which happens to be my favourite magazine)He seemed to be ignored.Seen,but not seen. I never saw him sell a copy.