Monday, November 02, 2015

"the works of Christ" - How to Help Old and Poor People

Ginza, Tokyo

How to Help Old and Poor People

There is a movie made in Japan in the middle of 1970s.

The leading character called Tora-san, a kind of care-free vendor, met a half-drunken old man who had no money in a noodle shop annexed to a station in a Tokyo downtown.  As a waitress treated him badly and intended to call the police for bilking on a restaurant bill, Tora-san having a humble meal there stood up.  He gave her a little lecture about humanity and paid a charge for him.  After the incident, they drank together and became friends.  Tora-san even took the drunken old man to his home, which was in fact a rice dumpling shop his uncle ran.

Later the old man was found to be a famous Japanese-style painter.

Apart from a story of the movie, there are some old and poor men who have nobody to rely on and no jobs.  If they could not receive social welfare, they would rather eat in a restaurant to be arrested and sent to a prison, especially when their physical conditions don't allow them to survive on streets as homeless men.  And when they are released from prisons, in most cases they have not enough money.  They will repeat this cycle from a street to a prison.

So, the public administration in Japan is taking some measures to support old discharged prisoners.  Public experts in this field provide them with consultation, help them receive any social welfare, and find jobs for them.

According to statistics in Japan, a recidivism rate of old men is more than 70%.  It means seven of ten old men arrested for shop theft and the like repeat similar crimes. Recently, the number of those who are 65 years old or older and arrested by the police is more than 46,000, and the number of those, 65 years old or older, put in prisons is 2,200.  (The population of Japan is about 120 million.)  And many of these old inmates need a nursing care in prisons.     

In the world, there must be more tragic statistics.  But, in Japan, the more the society is matured economically and technologically, the more old men lose connections to families and society.

The advancement of civilization without love does not mean an increase in a number of simple but humane guys like Tora-san.

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Mat 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
Mat 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Mat 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: