Shine shoes on the street and go to see the last one December 28, 11:44

The street is the person's workplace.

We will wait for customers to visit even in the cold weather.

After the war, many people were doing the job, but they were finally the last one.

Men's job is to polish shoes on the street.

I went to see what the last person was.

(Ken Memida, Reporter, Network News Department)

50 years

"I used the money my parents earned to polish their shoes to go on to university."

The Marunouchi exit of Tokyo Station, where businessmen come and go.

A man sitting on this street and shining his shoes said so.

The name is "I want you to refrain from it", which is a secret.

The age is "70 years old".

The landmark of the workplace is a handmade sign that says, "70 years since the establishment, the best shoe shine in Japan for 1000 yen."

She wears a fancy hat and shoes that have been polished to a shiny finish.

The last shoe shine man

"Shoes are a substitute for business cards and signs, so I polish them carefully and make them shine."

The first time I went to see him was in June, shortly after the state of emergency for the new Corona was lifted.

The appearance of people is sparse, and there are about three customers a day, and there are days when no one comes.

Even so, he has been sitting here for 50 years and has been shining shoes for 50 years.

As for shoe shining on the street, there are many pictures of adults and children polishing their shoes while sitting under the guards of stations such as Ueno and Shinbashi in Tokyo, which became a burnt field after the war.

The appearance of such a child became a song.

Last one

When I asked the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, it seems that permission is required to polish shoes in the prefectural roads under its jurisdiction.

However, since we have not accepted new jobs since the 1950s (the person in charge in Tokyo), it is a profession that will not increase anymore.

Four years ago, another reporter was interviewing an 85-year-old woman who was shining shoes in a corner of SL Square in Shinbashi, and at this time five people were shining shoes on the street in the 23 wards of Tokyo. Was there.

The woman raised her five children in a shoe shine job and said, "I want to sit here until I die as long as there are customers in need."

But now I don't see any women.

When I asked the capital, only one man interviewed applied for permission to use the prefectural road this year.

The man was the last shoe shine on the street.

Even when I was embarrassed

The male parents were also shining their shoes at the same place near Tokyo Station.

When he was a child, he thought his parents' work was embarrassing.

"You have the image of" poor "or" under the guard after the war. "I didn't like that image."

"However, I was happy to buy a color TV a little earlier than the households around me. I wasn't in trouble. "

The reason I started shining shoes was when I was a student, with the help of my parents.

When the hourly wage of a part-time job was about 300 yen, the fee for shoe shining was 500 yen per person.

"I felt that it was a good deal, and it became a job to earn living expenses as it was."

The appeal of shoe shining work was that many customers talked to me while polishing my shoes.

"Maybe it's because I have no interests, but when I'm brushing my shoes, people's real intentions come out. This job is to meet various people, listen to them, and get energized. Masu "

When New Year's Eve is scraped

There are many things that can happen when you polish your shoes for a long time.

Occasionally, someone who didn't know "buy a muffler for 100 yen" suddenly asked me to buy something.

He refused because he wasn't sure if it was stolen or picked up.

I once bought it, thinking "Isn't it a problem in my life?" And "When I'm in trouble, it's like each other."

Then, after that, other people started calling out to me if they could buy me something, and I heard that I was in trouble.

Surprisingly, in the olden days, New Year's Eve after the company had finished its work was the "time to scrape".

People from rural areas made a long line to return to their hometown with clean shoes when they went home using Tokyo Station.

"The times have changed and now that's not the case anymore."


I still sit on the street from 10 am to 7 pm except on rainy days.

On this day, a customer came to say that even if he retired from office worker, he would come to polish his shoes.

This man, who has been a regular for a long time, is 81 years old.

When I called out to him, I thought I could hear good words that were a little complicated, but I was proud to work.


man "I couldn't be a top-notch office worker, but at least I wanted shoes to be on par with a top-notch office worker. That's why I'm still here."

There was also a 56-year-old office worker who attended once a week for more than 20 years.

He said that he exchanged business cards here, connected to business, met with business partners, and had various encounters.

A 56-year-old office worker

"Because of the current situation, it's a relief to come and talk to shoe shine like this. It's a place of relaxation."

The shoes will be polished over about 20 minutes.

The amount of shoe polish and the amount of force applied are adjusted by looking at the condition of the skin, so the method of polishing was different for each person.

For shoe shine

About half a year after the first interview, I went to hear the story again on November 10.

The area was a skyscraper and the streets were shaded during the day.

During this time, the wind passing through the building was cold, and in a few minutes I felt the cold.

The man wears a muffler and sits down on the street, saying, "I don't care if I've become a shoe shine body, because it seems to be tolerant."

At this time, the number of customers was "about 70% (male)".

Shoe shine to the end

The number of people infected with the new corona is increasing again, and I went to see him again.

"The number of customers who have returned a little is starting to decrease again."

The man said so and kept sitting on the street.

When you polish your shoes, you can understand the atmosphere of the world.

"After doing this job for a long time, I came to think that shoe shining is a barometer of my mind. Whenever the number of customers increases, I can afford it in the city and in the world. It's time. "

In this era, technology is advancing, science is advancing, and various new jobs are being created.

On the other hand, the number of people who polish their shoes with all their heart on the street continues to decrease, and the last man.

When I asked him about his work, he told me something like this.

The last shoe shine man

"The trend of the times is unavoidable. But I don't like" making money ". I like

work that uses the body and head, I like shoe shine. The work of dripping sweat on my forehead. "I like the

new Corona,

but no matter

what, I just polish my shoes with all my heart."

After talking about that, I broke up with a man.

I think I recently heard a story that I don't often hear.