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"Is a death on the street a human's death?"

Y-san: "Is a death on the street a human's death?"

"I wanted to take part in a worldwide network of homeless people, so I chose to join the homeless theatre called "Mu mu mu dan." The actors are homeless people, and we write the scripts together. We want "ordinary" people to become less prejudiced against homeless people through seeing us perform, and we want to show our theatre to the whole world.
I am also writing a book about the homeless. For example, various journalists often come to Shinjuku Park from Europe and the USA. I heard from them about the terrible situation in Brazil. I want to know more about the homeless situation in each country, It would be good if we could exchange information with each other."

Untitled, by Y (from Rojuku street magazine)

“O” died.

It was half past five in the morning, and Ishiyan woke me up. We made sure that “O” was still breathing, called an ambulance and waited. I was remembering ‘O’s life. When I met him at the beginning, he was always drinking alcohol morning, afternoon, evening and late night, and he talked rubbish. He also stole alcoholic drinks and foods from somewhere. He would suddenly sing, maybe “Oshoro-bushi,” a local Aomori song, though you could hardly recognise it!

It isn’t possible to really understand someone like “O” in just half a year, but I was getting to understand his background and past, little by little. Then, in the summer, in August or September, “O” disappeared. I heard from someone that he was taken to Shinjuku East Police Station and he was interrogated for hours.

“O” was still alive as I talked with friends about him. At midnight, I saw that “O” got Ai-chan up a few times, but at half past four in the morning, everybody got up to be with him. He was smiling when his death came, it was a gentle death. It was September.

I was interviewed by the police until six o’clock in the morning, and then I phoned to Kasai-san, a representative of Shinjuku Renrakukai - our supporter’s group. Some of his friends now have jobs, and they still don’t know about his death.

The Japanese nation is regarded as a stupid nation by the world for lagging far behind in its administration. Its slowness with the homelessness issue is giving rise to more homeless people than is necessary. Can’t we evict the civil servants who are living in the cheap apartment houses built by the Housing Corporation? They have forged official documents to be there.

I ask the Shinjuku ward office, “Are you pleased with homeless people’s deaths?” Are a human’s life and death only a start and a finish? Is a death on the street a human’s death?

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