NIGHT SHIFT OSAKA
Towering skylines, teaming sidewalks, bullet trains, blue-suited workers streaming in and out of train stations, high rises, shopping malls ?" this is the land of the rising sun. In a society that values conformity, it is easy to get lost in the masses, moving about in rhythm with the world?s second largest economy and the millions of workers that each play their piece. Standing out against this bustling backdrop lurks a growing class of non-conformists, moving against the grain, at a slower pace. Japan?s inner-city tramps, sitting, sleeping and living in train stations, subways, and main streets. Some are part of the burgeoning homeless population, which was virtually unknown to Japan before the economic crash in the 1990s, and now numbering near 25,000 in Tokyo and 10,000 in Osaka. Their cardboard mattresses and shelters are neatly lined up, quite like the ubiquitous bicycle racks. Others are members of the masses of itinerant workers, migrating to cities for work and returning home only when they can afford to, moving between capsule hotels, pachinko parlours, adult theatres and internet cafes for shelter.