chapter  3
4 Pages

Sanya: Japan's Internal Colony*

Day Laborers in Japan of the city's central commuting
WithBrett de Bary

Sanya, too, is a carefully camouflaged part of the city. When tourists from all over the world gathered in Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic Games, the city government launched a "clean-up campaign" of the possibly embarrassing eyesore, despite the fact that Sanya's human population was increasing through massive labor recruitment for the construction of superhighways, superexpress railway lines, and Yoyogi Stadium. Since, needless to say, hunting for Tokyo'S slums was hardly a high-priority item on the schedules of Olympic tourists, the campaign-largely replastering on the flop-house street front entrances--achieved modest success. More recently, the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) administration of Minobe Ryokichi again made Sanya the subject of beautification efforts, as part of its "modernization" program for Tokyo. As a result, garbage collection services in the area improved, a few more "modem" flophouses were built, and the notorious word "Sanya" was removed from the city map, Today, only the more poetic of the area's ancient titles remain, contrasting oddly with the reality they identify: "Street of Pure Waters," "Bridge of Tears," "Jewel Princess Park."