We are in the process of upgrading software and the SDN website will be temporarily unavailable for a few hours on Monday morning EST. Once the software is upgraded, this notice will no longer appear and the site will be back to normal. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Image 1 of 0

Japan's Hidden Secret: Kamagasaki

Magdalena Sole | Japan

Kamagasaki, Osaka, Japan. Kamagasaki is home to an aging population of day laborers and homeless men who came from all over Japan looking for construction jobs and a new identity during Japan’s economic boom. Today, Kamagasaki is home to remnants of that era, aging men mostly in their 60s. With few jobs left, many take to peddling, gambling, or just waiting. The neighborhood is marred by homelessness, poverty and declining health. Osaka residents shun the area. Kamagasaki’s ecosystem hosts 60 Yakuza syndicates who deal drugs, run gambling and prey on welfare recipients. As forlorn as Kamagasaki might seem, it is quintessentially Japanese. Men living in cardboard boxes arrange their shoes as if at a fine inn. Every evening they head to the public bathhouse. Though outcasts, these men project the core values and vitality of a polite, respectful, highly organized Japanese society.

All Photographs Copyright © 2009 Magdalena Solé. All rights reserved.

What inspires me is urban light and the nooks and crannies it illuminates, especially in immigrant and working class communities where beauty is found in displaced spirits and peeling paint. I work in color because I find that culture is best expressed through color.

Forgotten Places is the title of my new series, the road to the interior of the cities I love. It is an exploration of communities that exist at the edge of society, forgotten or shunned by the mainstream. My photographic journey uncovers the hidden and unspoken.

My photographs describe brief moments of human existence. Carried by the rhythm of a setting, they convey what is at once simple and vast, passing and constant, ordinary and intangible.

The enclosed collection of images are an on-going project titled "Japan’s Secret: Kamagasaki" captured in Osaka, Japan, a displaced community, still beautiful and illuminated by urban light.


Magdalena Solé



Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments