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Whether the stigma surrounding Shinsekai is deserved is open to debate. Many Osakans claim to be afraid to set foot in the area. The travel guide Lonely Planet Japan, warns visitors to “keep their wits about them” as Shinsekai may be the “closest thing in Japan to a dangerous neighbourhood”. Although in the 15th edition of this travel guide, published in 2017, this is not mentioned anymore. However, Shinsekai’s status as a dangerous area owes much to criminal activity that flourished in the decades before the 1990s. Continuing the area’s chequered fortunes of recent years, in place of rampant criminality, Osaka’s large permanent settlement of homeless has taken root in the areas around Shinsekai. Homeless men, often elderly, from all over Japan come to Osaka to escape the stigma of hometown societal shame and wander the streets around the area. The neighbourhood is also home to a large presence of prostitutes and a concentration of Osaka’s [cross-dressing] community.