quote of the day

A big door was opened within the two weeks or so since the start of the petition.


Masahiko Tanigawa, who heads the Osaka-based Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute that successfully petitioned Google to remove about 200 videos from its YouTube site that violate the company’s hate-speech policies for promoting discrimination against “buraku” people.

© Asahi Shimbun

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During Human RIghts Week in Japan, which is recognised every year around this time, perhaps this kind of discrimination - which is also ingrained and institutionalised - would be an additional subject rather than the "barrier-free" life and school bullying that city halls tend to focus on, as if there is not much else going on.

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For those interested, the Wikipedia article is worth reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burakumin

This is not about an ethnic group like the Ainu. Burakumin are Japan's equivalent of the Dalit or 'Untouchable' caste in India. A cultural hangover of the feudal system and superstitious beliefs about social/moral/physical purity, employment and inheritance. The issue surfaces in Europe in the late 19th century when physiognomy became popular and was used as a way of marginalising people. The Nazis then picked up that ball and ran with it.

One general difference between class and caste is the acceptance that you can aspire to a higher class and eventually get there through education, hard work, marriage and the acquisition of wealth (even if it takes a couple of generations). Caste is more of a pernicious cultural lock in, hard-wired to heredity.

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I guess much of that is theory, history from a bygone era or just hearsay. You’ll surely find also very rich among the considered buraku people who made it anyway, as well as many poor people without much money, education and jobs among the ‘normal’ majority who can’t even pay for children’s school lunch. Without reliable facts or data and statistical proves that whole discussion and campaigning is also only very superstitious itself.

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