Japanese furoosha (bums) and hoomuresu (homeless): Living in the shadow of wealth

Richiko Ikeda, Eric M. Kramer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The authors in this chapter examine the linguistic shift from Furoosha (bums) to Hoomuresu (homeless) in another highly advanced society, Japan, by using the theory of dissociation and Gebser's integral perspective in a postmodern sense. They suggest that the actions of the authorities as presented in the media, and the shift in linguistic valence, indicate a fundamental relationship between modern identity and economic status. They reveal the changing attitude of the Japanese people through the semiotic analysis of "bums" and "homeless," not merely as words but as those people who are living in the shadows cast by the oft-cited Japanese miracle. People have become dissociated from each other, affecting the quality of community and interpersonal relationships. The homeless as Others are often dismissed as meaningless objects. Finally, they suggest the constitution of a qualitative relationship and Gebser's systatic relationship, which appreciate the differences that Others present and give society an enriched existence.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReading the homeless: The media's image of homeless culture
EditorsE. Min
Place of PublicationWestport, CT
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note



  • Homelessness Japanese Language Linguistics Postmodernism Semiotics Social Stereotypes Theory of Dissociation


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