As the Olympics come to Tokyo, Big Issue Japan vendors share their thoughts on the event and sporting memories
This year’s Olympics arrives in Tokyo despite an ongoing pandemic and outrage from some of the city’s residents. Often those at the fringes of society are forgotten about when mammoth sporting events like this begin. The Big Issue Japan asked some of its vendors to share their thoughts on the approaching games and also their own personal sporting memories and achievements.
In October last year, coinciding with the World Food Programme’s ‘World Food Day’, The Big Issue Japan officially launched its new ‘night-time bakery’ project which not only creates work outside of selling magazines but also aims to reduce food waste. Since, it has gone from strength to strength.
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.
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.”