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Down and Out in Late Meiji Japan$
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James L. Huffman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780824872915

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824872915.001.0001

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Shadows and Storms

Shadows and Storms


(p.126) Chapter 5 Shadows and Storms
Down and Out in Late Meiji Japan

James L. Huffman

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter Five looks at the special problems that accompanied poverty, problems made worse by the near total lack of buffers when special difficulties arose. It begins with those who hit rock bottom, particularly the homeless and juvenile beggars (kojiki kozō). Next, it takes up illnesses that attacked the poor with special frequency and force, including STDs, tuberculosis and cholera. There also is a discussion of the isolation hospitals (actually, dying dumps) to which poor people with contagious diseases often were sent. Then come disasters such as floods and fires, which ravaged hinmin areas more often than other parts of the cities. A section on crime examines police data to show that while petty crimes like pickpocketing were high, other types of crime were no higher in hinmin areas than elsewhere. The chapter concludes with the psychic issues that accompanied poverty, including the tendency toward self-blame and the frequency of suicide.

Keywords:   Homeless, Kojiji kozō (juvenile beggars), STDs, Cholera, Tuberculosis, Isolation hospitals, Pickpocketing

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