Image: Andrew Houston
A road through Kamagasaki
Kamagasaki’s origins as a shantytown go back at least to the 1950s, when it was populated by a lot of World War II refugees. Many of these people were day laborers who did any menial job they could find to eke out a living – everything from shining shoes to picking up trash. Soon, a labyrinth of cheap hotels and shanties sprang up. The 1960s saw a further influx of people looking for employment in the city after losing their jobs in mining or leaving work in farming. The transport, manufacturing and construction industries employed a large number of these workers.