A LOT OF PEOPLE IN JAPAN work temporary jobs. This lack of stability and money means that temporary workers are hard-pressed to find affordable housing, and as a result, many end up living in the cheapest living quarters they can find: 24/7 internet cafes.

These “Net Cafe Refugees” are casualties of a society with relatively little access to employment and cheap housing, and have chosen to live in the tiny, miniscule booths of the internet cafes rather than go totally homeless. It’s a bizarre cultural phenomenon, but a very real one nonetheless. Shiho Fukada’s short documentary on the lives of two Net Cafe Refugees is well worth the watch.

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