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In Japan, People Play Arcade Games in a Hong Kong Slum

The Tokyo-based software engineer behind Random Wire, a blog about lifestyle in Asia, recently stepped inside a ridiculously detailed reproduction of Hong Kong's infamous Kowloon Walled City, the lawless, crowded encampment that once housed some 50,000 people. Why, exactly, would anybody recreate a place where brothels and gambling hubs "operated with impunity"? Why would someone want to rebuild a city known to be a haven for heroin dealers and prostitution rings? A hotspot for unlicensed doctors? A slum liberated from such pesky things as sanitation regulations? Despite the fact that the place was demolished 20 years ago, the architectural horrors of Kowloon (this cool graphic thing enumerates them) has remained a media spectacle—yes, there's a Lego version—so the company behind this absurd arcade in Kawasaki, Japan, is really just the latest to cash in on Kowloon's notoriety. At Anata no Warehouse, all eight floors are decked with the makings of an industrial dystopian nightmare: rusted signage, exposed electrical wires, neon lettering, walls and balconies streaked in rust and mildew, narrow hallways, and strings of drying laundry.

Like the actual Walled City, light in the arcade is scant, the surfaces grimy (-looking) and the advertising stickers and exposed meat spits plentiful. Oh, and "the juxtaposition of a high-tech Japanese toilet in an authentically grimy bathroom has to be seen to be believed." Photos, below.

· Kowloon Walled City Rebuilt in Japan [Random Wire]
· Inside the Japanese Arcade That Looks Like a Hong Kong Slum [Kotaku]
· Mapping the Horrors of Hong Kong's 'Lawless' Walled City [Curbed National]
· Here's a Crowded Urban Dystopia Built Entirely Out of Legos [Curbed National]