Street papers provide global update on how the world’s homeless population is facing the coronavirus
The Big Issue took stock of how coronavirus is affecting the world’s homeless community, providing another update on just how severely the spread of the virus is impacting street papers and the people for which they provide an income.
Coronavirus – or Covid-19 – has spread to multiple countries with street paper representatives, including Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Italy. INSP is gathering information about how measures by governments and the medical community, and the reaction of the general public, are affecting street paper vendors in those locations.
Mr K. sells The Big Issue Japan from his pitch at Takatsuki station in Osaka and has been working as a vendor for three years. He credits his work with awakening his increased interest in the lives of others and giving back to the community. His dream is to return to his work as a chef and to open a restaurant that helps those in need. In the meantime, the happiness that he feels when he sells a copy of the magazine keeps him going.
Big Issue Japan vendor Toshihiko Sakata to his 25-year-old self: “Your future is as deep, vast, and full of hidden potential as the Pacific Ocean”
To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. This is the final instalment in the #VendorLetters series, and features veteran Big issue Japan vendor Toshihiko Sakata writing lyrically about his life.
Street papers from across East Asia and Australia get together for INSP’s first Asia-Pacific regional meeting
Staff from four Big Issue titles based in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia got together in Osaka for INSP’s first Asia-Pacific regional meeting, to talk and learn more about the unique problems facing each of them and the innovative projects they are involved in.
Tokuchika Nishi has lived an interesting life. The now Big Issue Japan vendor talks us through growing up in Kyushu, studying, joining the army and taking part in disaster relief, and finally returning to Tokyo where he became homeless. He also talks of his love of dance and joining the Newcomer “H” Sokerissa performance group.
There were days in the past when Naofumi Mima thought, “I’ve had it for today” and left. Selling The Big Issue is something that he hasn’t always found easy, particularly when he was faced with low sales. After some time away from being a vendor, he’s now back at work. Mima knows that for every bad thing that happens, something good might happen, too. He credits this attitude with bringing about an increase in his sales!
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Teruo, who sells The Big Issue Japan, selects Japanese guitar maestro Masayoshi Takanaka.
2017 saw Big Issue Japan vendor Makoto strike up a relationship with his fellow vendors, learn how to cook and become a more well-rounded person.
Makoto was a truck driver before selling The Big Issue Japan, but work was hard to come by. “Before I took on this job, I thought it was just selling magazines,” he says. “I didn’t expect people would take care of me like this.”
Keiichi Egami has had quite the life, from working on naval ships, to computer programming. Now what does he look forward to most? “Selling The Big Issue Japan.”