The Japanese edition of The Big Issue is, indeed, big in Japan. And from yesterday it just got a little bigger: I was coming out of Asakusabashi station, my station, on Tokyo's Sobu Line, went down the stairs onto the street, and just to the left of the little mobile lottery booth was the sight, familiar in much of Tokyo, but not in Asakusabashi, of a man selling The Big Issue.
I walked past, thought, looked in my wallet, found I had coins, went back, and bought a copy. It featured the Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama on the cover, and an interview with her inside.
The vendor told me that this was the first day for The Big Issue to go on sale in Asakusabashi, and that he would be a regular fixture from hereon in.
160 yen of the 300 yen you buy the 30-page Big Issue for goes to the vendor. He was also selling Big Issue merchandise, notably fabric shopping bags.
The issue I bought was number 183. The Big Issue being a monthly, that makes this year the 15th year of The Big Issue in Japan.