When the train has gone and a hotel is too expensive, pavements and benches are the only option. Pawe Jaszczuk on how he captured new phenomenon
A well-to-do man is dressed for success: black lace-ups, tie and a sharp pinstripe suit. So why is he asleep on a Tokyo pavement in the dead of night, curled up like a foetus in the womb?
High Fashion, a new book, shows that this is no isolated incident. In photograph after photograph, lone suited-and-booted businessmen sleep in the middle of the city. A couple of drinks after work can sometimes get out of hand many of us have been there. But in the deferential, work-hard/play-hard, corporate culture of Japan, getting drunk and ending up stranded without a bed seems to happen all the time.
When the last train is gone, a city bench or the street are the only options left. For most, a hotel is too expensive, says Pawe Jaszczuk. Initially, the Warsaw-born, Tokyo-based photographer says that his eye was attracted by the sleeping salarymen on purely aesthetic grounds. The contrast between these well-dressed men and the street grabbed my attention, and the message came later.
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