LWIF EP78: Homeless in Japan Part 1: Why they’re Different from North America’s

One day while walking around Shinjuku, a major hub for government and business in Tokyo, Japan, I noticed a shelter built by a homeless man. It looked semi-permanent, but more importantly, had solar panels on it. I thought this was very different than the homeless I encountered in my former city of Vancouver, Canada, so I started to investigate homelessness in Japan.

I was lucky enough to interview Professor Tom Gill, who has researched homelessness and other societal issues in Japan for many years.

This is part 1 of a series of videos I’m making about the homeless in Japan. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave in the comments. Thanks for watching.

To see part 2, please visit https://www.lifewhereimfrom.com/lwif-ep81-homeless-in-japan-part-2-who-they-are

Support on Patreon
Thanks to all those who support projects like this on Patreon. It really does help me spend the time on topics like this that take time to research and produce.

→ UN Drug Use and Health Consequences Data – https://data.unodc.org/#state:38
→ Yakuza by apes_abroad – http://flickr.com/photos/apes_abroad/514272781/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3423064
→ Horse Racing – By Guilhem Vellut from Tokyo, Japan – Horse racing @ Tokyo Race Course @ Fuchu, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37285704
→ Pachinko By Tischbeinahe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12746666
→ U.S. Marine Corps By Sgt. Christopher R. Rye – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20718647

2 comments on LWIF EP78: Homeless in Japan Part 1: Why they’re Different from North America’s

  • CW

    I’d like to know what the circumstances are for people who are not the “mainstream” (rough sleeper) level of homelessness. What I am referring to here is tertiary and secondary Homeless (more information here http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6442465066), is this a common occurrence in Japan. As a secondary question I’d also like to find out in the cases of domestic violence, how do women and their children (in some cases men) leave a violent relationship as DV is often times a substantial factor to people becoming homeless as well.

    Thank you so much for highlighting this human rights issue. As active members in our global community, your role in highlighting diversity and difference is amazing to see.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

    • lifewhereimfrom (author)

      I think non-rough sleepers make up a much bigger portion of homeless, but I don’t have any stats to back up this statement. After I finish the series on the rough sleeping homeless, it’s a topic I’d like to explore, as I wanted to explore the lives of the working poor.

      I know there is specific shelters/homes set up for victims of domestic violence, but beyond that I currently know very little. Good question an another topic for research.

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