The front cover of the latest Big Issue Japan, featuring Kitaro and Medama Oyaji (uncle eyeball) from the famous manga series 'Ge-ge ge no Kitaro', against a backdrop of the blue tarp of homelessness (which quite unintentionally sounds like some magic device in a Harry Potter book).
Sad to say that just like the U.K there is a need for the big issue. One of the most enduring images I have from first arriving in Japan was of walking through the park next to the govenment building in Tokyo and seeing the same blue tarps. Homelessness isn't an image I had associated with Japan before I came here, but in parks, under highways and by rivers in Japan is the undeniable evidence of the collapse of Japan's economic bubble. Most of the homeless I have seen in Japan have been pensioners.
The above photo was taken in the park just outside my house this morning. The park is L shaped, with the shorter end running north to south next to the local shrine.