Homeless in Japan, part 2: who they are

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/04/homeless-in-japan-part-2-who.html


Former yakuza (Japanese mafia) members have an especially hard time getting hired because it’s easy to spot their missing finger joints and tattoos.

That sucks, really.


I remember reading last year about this prosthetics maker who works with former yakuza to help them, well, fake it til they make it:


Please note that where Prof Gill uses the word “slum districts” to describe areas like Sanya, “slum” dos not have anywhere near the right meaning. Sanya is most definitely “low rent” but you really have to know what you are looking for to understand the difference between that area and a working class neighborhood.

Also I suspect that some of Prof Gill’s comments are edited. There is a bit of a difference between the actual homeless and the day laborers who still live in areas like Sanya. He does cover this but its something worth emphasizing.

Having a criminal record won’t lock a person out of all full time or part time employment. The kind of jobs it will lock you out of are the kind that people who only finished up to max high school couldn’t get anyway.

The former yakuza and sarakin debt issues are probably pretty minor in the overall scope of the homeless population. First of all the finger cutting as apology really died off decades ago. The yakuza themselves realized how much this outward sign worked against them even in the course of their “normal” business and simply stopped the practice. As far as the debt issues, to get those salaryman loans, one has to have what amounts to a salaryman job to begin with, i.e. a full time corporate job which would have required more than a high school diploma to begin with. This isn’t to say that debt doesn’t contribute to the problem of causing homelessness since there

Comparing bankruptcy rates between the US & Japan is apples to oranges. The laws are totally different. That should not have been included.

As for homeless women, Prof Gill’s initial explanation of sexism doesn’t really cut it. It seems that its actually easier for women to stay in work even at a very low income level even without any education beyond secondary school. That combined with the fact that if a woman was married to a man who became homeless, she would still qualify to receive his pension, or could easily file for divorce at the local city hall and re-marry. Another option which is common in rural areas is for a woman to move back to her parents house. This last one is rarely acceptable for men.


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