Monochrome photography of Japan’s Largest Slum Kamagasaki (釜ヶ崎)

Man with swollen eye

“Japan’s Forgotten Ghetto” a black and white photograph series by American photographer Andrew Houston .

“Rapid economic growth in post-war Japan brought on a construction boom, and with it a huge demand for day laborers, who came from around the country to recruitment sites such as Osaka’s Kamagasaki. As Japan grew, so did the population of these “labor towns”, which by the 1970’s were inhabited almost entirely by single dwellers living in flophouses and ramshackle hotels. When Japan’s economic bubble burst in 1991, these areas were the first to feel the shock. Today, the “labor towns” of the postwar era have become “welfare towns.” Thirty percent of the population of Kamagasaki is homeless, with many more one step away as they struggle to make ends meet in the midst of economic stagnation.”


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