Life on the margins in Japan: homeless, migrant day laborers, and people with disabilities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most striking challenges to the image of Japan as a middle-class and mono-cultural society is the existence of yoseba (a gathering place for day laborers) and doya-gai (single-room housing hotel districts) in many urban areas throughout Japan. People involved with the construction industry, as well as other manual laboring jobs, live and fi nd work in these districts nestled in Japan’s larger cities – Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The term yoseba literally means “a gathering place�?; the fact that this is a place where day laborers gather is merely implied. The presence of a labor introduction offi ce is the primary defi ning characteristic of a yoseba, although this does not preclude other kinds of labor brokering that occur outside the offi cial government offi ces, including unoffi cial or illegal labor brokers on street corners.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781136736278
ISBN (Print)9780415436496
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this