By Mark McConville
STRIKING pictures have revealed the forgotten people living in the slums of the most unlikely country to be home to such poverty – the world’s third largest economy, highly developed Japan.
Incredible images Japan-people themselves are not aware of are from the commercial centre of Osaka.
Photographs show the poverty etched on the of faces of poorest of the city’s nine million people, who live in total squalor, with an elderly woman dressed in grunge-style clothes, a happy man laughing and a woman giving two peace signs.
Other stunning pictures show a man feeding the pigeons, people playing and listening to a guitar and people sleeping everywhere from men slumped in chairs to one man lying down on a table.
The fascinating photographs were taken in Airin-chiku, Osaka, Japan by photographer David Tesinsky (28), from Prague, Czech Republic in parts of Japan local people warned him not to venture into.
“Most Japanese people don’t have a clue that a slum in Japan even exists,” he said.
“On the outside, it only looks like groups of old people drinking wine and sake and smoking cigarettes all day long.
“I went there and I have never met more friendly people as them in my life.
“When I had drunk half of one beer, it was quite common that one of the older men would come and throw it away and place a brand-new beer in front of me.”
Tesinsky claims he had an absolute ball hanging out in the Japanese slums. At one point someone handed him a guitar, which he willingly took and strummed out songs such as Karma Police by Radiohead.
The whole slum were following him and singing along. He spent a total of three days there, drinking beers with its inhabitants and enjoying himself.
He went against the advice of others and was told he would not be welcome to take photographs but as this series of illuminating images proves, that was not the case.