In Japan there are a surprising number of homeless folks living under bridges and overpasses. Whether by choice or by force of circusmstances they have dropped out of the rat race of modern Japanese society. The lack of petty crime and social deference in Japan affords the homeless a fairly stable and dignified existence in comparison with street people in other countries, as appears to an outsider at least. They build sturdy shelters from scavenged wood and cardboard, insulated by plastic tarps, and keep their surroundings neat and orderly. Some even have cell phones.

Many of these under-the-bridge dwellers seem to make their living by scavenging cardboard and cans, so its helpful to have a cargo vehicle to haul big loads. Some of the scrappers I saw in Tokyo push enormous handcarts for gathering cardboard, with sleeping quarters onboard constructed of cardboard as well to create a rugged mobile home. The bicycles in the photos were parked at an elaborate homeless camp under a bridge in Kyoto. I was impressed with the cargo racks on these bikes made from found shelving units, much like the cargo bikes made by Alex at Bubbly Dynamics.

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