Japanese Culture Teaching Notes


Thursday

Burakumin

(Not written by me)
Even today burakumin is a word that many people do not say and refuse to listen to.


Burakumin are a group of people in Japan that have suffered discrimination and hardships. The problem that the Burakumin face comes from the jobs that the descendants of the current Burakumin held during the Edo period (1603-1867) of Japan. These people took jobs that nobody else would. These jobs were considered "dirty" jobs. Work such as working with leather, dealing with dead animals and many more. Because these jobs where considered dirty, the people faced discrimination and were labelled Burakumin which has the meaning of outcast. The current Burkumin face difficulties in getting a good education and steady jobs just because of the jobs their descendants held. Some Burakumin Links.


The word burakumin comes from buraku (部落), a designated village where burakumin were forced to live in the Nara and Edo period. Many burakumin were and still are tanners or butchers and much of the prejudice that surrounds them comes from the Shinto association with the pollution of death and Buddhist teachings against the killing of animals. Those connected with the killing of animals or the sale or treatment or their meat or skin were considered to be tainted and were shunned. Many slaughterers, butchers and leather-workers were dubbed eta (pollution abundant) or hinin (non-person) and forced into buraku or ghettoes. Ghettoes that still exist around Japan's major cities. The Meiji government abolished the terms eta and hinin and emancipated the burakumin. However, the piecemeal legislation was not fully implemented and had little effect in altering the deep-seated hatred that existed towards the burakumin.


Today there are at least 3 million burakumin in Japan. It is impossible to establish a true figure as many desperately hide their origins, some even falsifying documents to pretend never to have been born in or lived in a buraku. Burakumin are six times more likely to be unemployed than their non-burakumin counterparts.

Posted by ・Andrea :: 2:36 AM :: 1 Comments:

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