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YODO HITO
 
OSAKA 2017
 
BOOK PUBLISHED 2018
                 EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE
CONNOR KAMMERER
                  TRANSLATION
YUKA TAKAHASHI
CONNOR KAMMERER
                            LINK TO BUY

"AMONG THE JOGGERS AND DOG WALKERS ALONG THE YODOGAWA RIVER, THERE ARE THOSE WHO LIVE ALONG ITS BANKS AND WASTELANDS. PEOPLE WHO HAVE ADOPTED THE LAND FOR THEMSELVES. THESE STRETCHES OF GRASSLAND AND CONCRETE FLOODPLAINS HAVE PROVIDED SPACE FOR SOME PEOPLE TO RESTABILISE THEIR LIVES AND BUILD SOMEWHAT PERMANENT HOMES AND COMMUNITIES.

OSAKA CITY, JAPAN HAS THE HIGHEST RECORDED CONCENTRATION OF HOMELESSNESS IN THE COUNTRY. A FIGURE LARGELY THE RESULT OF 30 YEARS OF LAYOFFS IN THE DOMESTIC LABOR FORCE, COMBINED WITH A FAILED GOVERNMENT SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR PEOPLE OUT OF WORK AND FALLING INTO POVERTY.

THE WORSENING SITUATION HAS LEFT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITH FEW OPTIONS TO STABILISE THEIR LIVES. IN OSAKA, MANY TURN TO ‘FLOP HOUSES’ IN THE FORMER LABOR TOWN, KAMAGASAKI, WHERE ROOMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD THE 1,000¥ (£7) A NIGHT FEE. FAILING THAT, MANY SLEEP IN THE SURROUNDING PARKS AND DOORWAYS.

THE YODOGAWA, FOR SOME, HAS PROVIDED AN ESCAPE FROM THE STREETS OF THE CITY, AND YEARS OF MINIMAL GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION HAS ALLOWED SOME INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES TO BUILD THEIR LIVES FOR OVER A DECADE ON THE BANKS OF THIS RIVER."