Penniless and subsisting on only water for three weeks, Tokyo street-dweller Tokuchika Nishi thought he had come to the end of his life.

"My money ran out and I thought it would be fine to just die a dog's death," says Nishi, 38, who had spent two years homeless in the Japanese capital after going into debt.

His life changed, however, with the discovery of Newcomer "H" Sokerissa!, a dance group with members that include homeless people and some who have made it off the streets.