Photographs from a small group of islands
Sep 26 2014 21 Comments
9/26/2014 at 11:43 am
Is he trying to make a statement? I can’t believe it’s common for someone to be sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk in a fashionable area.
9/26/2014 at 1:02 pm
Nah. Well, pretty sure he wasn’t. It was in Shinjuku, so while there are plenty of high-end brands, it’s not really a glitzy area along the lines of somewhere like Ginza. Lots of homeless there too.
9/26/2014 at 11:46 am
I’m amazed no one from LV has come out to gently ease him along his way! Usually this happens in other countries pretty quickly.
9/26/2014 at 1:04 pm
Pretty sure that’d normally be the same here too, but this was in the early hours of the morning, so nobody about.
Hans Ter Horst says
9/26/2014 at 3:06 pm
Frankly, I can only hope that he is making a statement as there are a lot of people left behind and homeless in Japan and nobody pays any attention, or at best blames them for getting made redundant or not fitting in.
9/26/2014 at 7:35 pm
It’d be nice to think that way, wouldn’t it? But I imagine that when one is in such a position, simple survival takes up pretty much all of your time. And even if it was, like you say, more than likely nobody would take any notice anyway…
9/26/2014 at 5:48 pm
The way he positioned himself and his belongings, it all looks very neat and organized – if not for sleeping in the street on a cardboard box I could imagine him getting up, fixing his tie and going to some office job when he wakes up. Also, I dig the “contrast” (forgive me for being not very fancy with words here) in this photo – a homeless guys sleeping below a store where every item sold could probably feed him for a month.
9/26/2014 at 7:37 pm
It does. A man who may well have lost most things, but thankfully not his pride.
It was that contrast that drew my attention. Says an awful lot. And yeah, definitely. Feed him very well in fact.
9/26/2014 at 7:27 pm
Lee awesome picture. This is photo contest material. Do you send many of your pictures to contests?
9/26/2014 at 7:39 pm
Thank you very much! I don’t actually. But definitely something I should try, if only for the experience.
9/26/2014 at 8:48 pm
Seriously your pictures would definitely win. Keep up the great work.
9/26/2014 at 10:13 pm
Thanks again. That’s ever so kind of you.
9/26/2014 at 10:39 pm
Any chance he may be simply a salaryman having missed yesterday night’s last train? He seems well kept for a homeless man.
9/27/2014 at 11:17 am
He does, but nah, not a salaryman. There are plenty of options to stay somewhere if he were. Plus it was only just after the last trains had gone when I took the photo.
8/27/2016 at 12:46 am
I’ve actually seen homeless people under a bridge in Shinjuku all wearing white dress shirts and slacks while eating their takeouts and sleeping on cardboard boxes. The sight seems too ironic it still boggles me up to this day. This was just last week. Aug 2016
9/27/2014 at 1:20 am
Pulitzer Prize shot. And, yes, I think he’s making a statement. Posting this to my FB page with another plug for your site.
9/27/2014 at 11:20 am
You aren’t the first person to say that, so let’s hope he was. And actually, even if wasn’t, unintentionally he was.
9/29/2014 at 10:26 pm
This is a pretty heartbreaking photograph. I do wonder about Tokyo’s homeless population though. Some do try to make themselves visible in upmarket areas, rather than laying low in a suburb with more options for shelter.
9/30/2014 at 9:11 am
Good point. I’ve seen a few in Ginza which seemed odd. Little in the way of shelter, camaraderie etc. This on the other hand was taken in Shinjuku, which like so many other big hubs, now has a big and continually growing homeless population…
9/30/2014 at 10:33 am
I absolutely love the shot. I’m surprised nobody evicted him — this doesn’t look exactly like a quiet location.
9/30/2014 at 4:35 pm
Good to hear!
In the daytime it’s a busy thoroughfare, but I took this late on. 1:30am-ish I guess. So not many people about, and definitely nobody connected to the shop.
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