There are three kinds of people in South Korea: those who make real money and live in real homes; those who make cents assembling your phones and share a room with six other people; and those lucky ones who make a few dollars and can afford these prison cells that they call "apartments."
In big cities in Asia, space can come at a premium. Not every residence is a shoebox, but they do exist. And some of them are truly awful.
In the past, there have been teeny-tiny sleep and study spaces in South Korea for students called "goshiwon" (고시원).
As tipster Sang points out, they were originally designed for students who needed to get away from distractions and simply buckle down and study for college entrance exams, government job exams, and whatnot. The rooms are rented for between the equivalent of $300 to $400 a month.
However, according to Korean media reports, some of these living complexes are being rented out as actual apartments and are now being dubbed "goshitel," with the "tel" referring to "hotel."
Fewer affordable apartments and residences in big Korean cities are to blame. Then, there are some who are renting these cramped spaces as they try to get back up on their feet.
Online in South Korea, people pointed out that sleeping right next to the toilet was hardly ideal, while in neighboring Japan, the rooms were being compared to prison cells.
Some goshiwon are larger and nicer looking, and they even have kitchenettes—like a proper studio apartment.
Below, you can see some of the cells, I mean rooms.
You know, if you don't want to leave home, but still need help concentrating, you can always get a study box.
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.