Kamagasaki: The Legacy of Poverty and Uprising in Urban Spaces
St. John, Hope
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Osaka has long been a hub of labor and industry in Japan. The Kamagasaki district near the famed Osaka Loop Line became the epicenter of day labor, even originating its own type of labor market – yoseba. Formally renamed the Airin district in the 1960s, the area has since fallen under the radar, despite its importance in Japanese labor history. Its decline from a marketplace of human capital to a receptacle of the aging, unskilled workers is evidence of an economic shift that has gone unmirrored by the space itself. This paper explores possible reasons the Kamagaski/Airin district has been unable to adapt to Japan’s changing economy and the social, political and cultural outcomes of its stagnation.