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Cubicle Shelter: New Spaces for the Tokyo Homeless

Kilina, Elena (2012)
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Abstract
This paper explores the intersection of new urban spaces and new modalities of ‘homelessness’ in Japanese cities. We argue that the recent social phenomenon of “net café refugees” (netto kafe nanmin – people who substitute ‘manga cafes’ for their domestic residence) is conditioned by new forms of leisure, information technology, social manners, and the longterm contraction of the Japanese domestic economy. The utility of leisure spaces in Tokyo has shifted in parallel with changes in the work habits and professional expectations among the Japanese poor and lower middle class. White-collar workers substitute karaoke’s and saunas for living rooms, and they use capsule hotels in place of regular bedrooms. Many students and the chronic... (More)
This paper explores the intersection of new urban spaces and new modalities of ‘homelessness’ in Japanese cities. We argue that the recent social phenomenon of “net café refugees” (netto kafe nanmin – people who substitute ‘manga cafes’ for their domestic residence) is conditioned by new forms of leisure, information technology, social manners, and the longterm contraction of the Japanese domestic economy. The utility of leisure spaces in Tokyo has shifted in parallel with changes in the work habits and professional expectations among the Japanese poor and lower middle class. White-collar workers substitute karaoke’s and saunas for living rooms, and they use capsule hotels in place of regular bedrooms. Many students and the chronic unemployed spend virtually all their time in gaming cafes and 24- hour’s convenience stores. This study investigates the co-evolution of the “hidden homeless” and Tokyo Internet and comic book spaces called “manga cafés.” Why are more Japanese people ‘living’ in manga net café’s? What can this tell us about changes in the Japanese urban fabric and social landscape? This work will try to investigate assumptions about distinction between public and private, what the role of “hidden homeless” in the process of changes of public space for private use and the dynamic of changes certain space under social changes. (Less)
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author
Kilina, Elena
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
private space, Internet, Tokyo, temporary homeless, nanmin, manga café, public space
language
English
id
3044950
date added to LUP
2012-08-27 09:56:56
date last changed
2013-06-28 09:41:46
@misc{3044950,
  abstract     = {This paper explores the intersection of new urban spaces and new modalities of ‘homelessness’ in Japanese cities. We argue that the recent social phenomenon of “net café refugees” (netto kafe nanmin – people who substitute ‘manga cafes’ for their domestic residence) is conditioned by new forms of leisure, information technology, social manners, and the longterm contraction of the Japanese domestic economy. The utility of leisure spaces in Tokyo has shifted in parallel with changes in the work habits and professional expectations among the Japanese poor and lower middle class. White-collar workers substitute karaoke’s and saunas for living rooms, and they use capsule hotels in place of regular bedrooms. Many students and the chronic unemployed spend virtually all their time in gaming cafes and 24- hour’s convenience stores. This study investigates the co-evolution of the “hidden homeless” and Tokyo Internet and comic book spaces called “manga cafés.” Why are more Japanese people ‘living’ in manga net café’s? What can this tell us about changes in the Japanese urban fabric and social landscape? This work will try to investigate assumptions about distinction between public and private, what the role of “hidden homeless” in the process of changes of public space for private use and the dynamic of changes certain space under social changes.},
  author       = {Kilina, Elena},
  keyword      = {private space,Internet,Tokyo,temporary homeless,nanmin,manga café,public space},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Cubicle Shelter: New Spaces for the Tokyo Homeless},
  year         = {2012},
}