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- 1 Burakumin doesn't mean the section of fallen people
- 2 Second largest minority group?
- 3 Who are they?
- 4 Same group?
- 5 Buraku article
- 6 strange comment
- 7 deleted comment
- 8 Hierarchical social classes
- 9 Article reworked
- 10 Responding to Comments about Honganji Section
- 11 Reference to "the buraku" on House M.D. worth a mention?
- 12 Different ethnicity?
- 13 Etymology of eta
- 14 "Black"
- 15 Abbreviation?
- 16 Contemporary employment-related discrimination
- 17 Translation of Burakumin
- 18 The proper noun Burakumin or Burakumen
- 19 Photo
- 20 Cultural reference
Burakumin doesn't mean the section of fallen people
First of all, it ends with 'min' so it refers to 'people', not a section or something like that.
Secondly, burakumin is somewhat a wrong name for the people the article talks about. "Buraku" simply means a village or a settlement or something like that, as some people down there in this discussion page pointed out. As such, there is/was no deregatory connotion in it. It's true that the word "buraku" has become a taboo word and you don't hear it on TV or whatever at all, but that's simply because it implies so-called "burakumin". Today, in most of areas in Japan, "buraku" implies the places where those people live. But, the word "burakumin" comes from shortening "hisabetsu burakumin/被差別部落民", which means the people of discriminated villages. Here, hisabetsu means discriminated and buraku means villages and min makes it mean people living in such areas. There's nothing like "section of fallen people" about it. Historically, there have been different words to allude to those people such as Eta or Hinin. "hisabetsu burakumin", I believe, was coined after the meiji restoration, when the government needed an official name of those people.
So what I'm saying is that "buraku" certainly implies those people, but thinking that it means "the section of the fallen people" is totally wrong. "buraku" is a village and "burakumin" comes from that word, in some twisted way. Essentially, those people who define "burakumin" to be "the section of the fallen people" redefines the word "buraku", but if you open up the dictionary you can see "buraku" means just a village. So anyone can see how they are wrong on this.
Quick remark: People in areas where there are less hisabetsu buraku(notice I'm using the proper term), still use the word "buraku" without any malicious intention(they have no idea what it implies in fact). People in areas where there are many hisabetsu buraku(such as Kansai) avoid to use the word "buraku" just because of what it implies.
Second largest minority group?
In the links section: "Ainu, the second largest minority group in Japan.". Is that true? Doesn't it go 1- Burakumin 2- zainichi koreans?
http://www.stat.go.jp/data/nenkan/zuhyou/y0214000.xls Here's some official information, not including the about 1-3 million burakumin, about 1 300 000 okinawans/ryukyuans or the ~20 000 - 25 000 ainu. As you can see, nowadays there's more chinese (about 600 000, counting taiwanese) than koreans (less than 600 000), because of the many naturalizations that have been granted to koreans. The ainu population is Japan's only remarkable indigenous group - okinawans are not treated as such for various reasons.
Oh, there are other quite obvious blunders in this text. They could be checked from about any book treating the minorities issue and published since 1990. Japan's minorities, ed. Michael Weiner, is a classic and a good read, if a bit dated. IF anyone's interested, that is.
I'm a bad writer and I don't seem to understand the mystical rules of wikipedia community, so I let you guys change it the way you want. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 19:44, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
"A 1999 source indicates the presence of some two million burakumin, living in approximately 5,000 settlements." A source? What source? Cite it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 09:58, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Who are they?
I read this entire article and I still don't understand who these people are. Are they ethnically different? Do burakumin families remain so throughout the generations? I don't believe that just because your great-great grandfather was an undertaker during the Tokugawa era, that you are now officially an outcast burakumin and will remain so forever. Why are they outcasts? There must be some kind of common thread between them, other than the fact that they have crappy jobs. Otherwise there probably wouldn't be "liberation" groups working to help them. It's just that this is an ambiguous article. It says that they're outcasts, gives some reasons why they're apparently disliked, and gives their history--but who are they?
I whole heartedly agree, how are they identifiable as burakumin to people who discriminate against them? I once was told by a Japanese professor that there are literally lists of names of burakumin families, is this true? If so is it a comprehensive list or just more like how someone with the last name of goldstein is likely to be jewish? Also if there are physical differences a description or picture may be in order? I'd help but I have no clue where to start other than agreeing that this article leaves a lot of questions unanswered? Mwv2 (talk) 04:26, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
As a foreigner living in Japan, further to the content of this article, I can add that the Burakumin are not "ethnically" different - though through long term discrimination it is arguable that perhaps they have married among their own for long periods of time and there are names that are associated with the Burakumin. Lists of Burakumin names are illegal to produce, but do float around among the sort of people who would consider such a thing worth having. In short, the Burakumin is equivalent to a caste system, like the castes in India, and like the members of "untouchable" classes in India, there are people devoted to reducing occurrences of discrimination. The Burakumin "Liberation" Group sounds dramatic in English, but I am sure it is nothing like an organised Liberation Army! In answer to your question "do Burakumin families remain so throughout the generations?" - I believe the idea is, yes, they do - even though it seems a rather silly concept to be tainted by your grandfather being a butcher to an outsider. There are parts of Osaka/Wakayama (my domicile) that are considered to be Burakumin areas and I have visited some of these areas in the line of my work. Burakumin areas seem to be low on the socio-economic ladder. Funnily enough, these are areas where I have experienced very low levels of "gaijin glaring" compared to other areas. Generally, the Burakumin are considered to be quite convivial and welcoming to foreigners. They are "disliked" by conservative older Japanese (the type of angry old people who don`t seem to like anyone or anything - you get that sort in any country), but most younger Japanese people do not seem to be prone to strong opinions of such a nature. None of this is worthy of contributing to the article, which I thought to be quite illuminating, but then again, I have prior knowledge regarding the topic. I hope this helps to clarify your questions. E. Swann (talk) 10:33, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Do the burakumin have anything at all to do with the Ainu? I was under the impression that they were completely separate groups... but this article seems to state that all Ainu are burakumin, and that all burakumin live in Hokkaido. If the Ainu aren't burakumin, the reference should probably be taken out. Sekicho 05:54, Feb 27, 2004 (UTC)
- I suspect it is due to poor grammar by me. I reworded the sentence so that it reads better my intention. It should be ok now. -- Taku 02:22, Feb 29, 2004 (UTC)
Cool. Another question:
In a court case of 1859 described by author Shimazaki Toson, a Meiji magistrate declared that "An eta is worth 1/7 of an ordinary person."
There weren't any "Meiji magistrates" in 1859, were there? Part of this sentence has to be incorrect. Sekicho 05:06, Feb 29, 2004 (UTC)
Somebody has just started an article on "buraku" that seems a decent attempt but a pointless duplication of what's here. In view of that, I'm about to convert it to a redirect, but before I do so, here's its content:
- Buraku is a Japanese word referring to village or hamlet. The word began to acquire a new connotation after the administration in Meiji era (1868 - 1912) started to use “Tokushu Buraku” (special hamlet) in reference to former outcaste communities. The intention was to negatively distinguish former outcaste communities from other areas.
- At present the word “Buraku” is usually referred to as communities where discriminated-against Buraku people reside. On the other hand, the term “Tokushu Buraku” has been figuratively used from time to time in distinguishing a different society from a so-called ordinary society as well as in describing Buraku areas, resulting in fostering discrimination against Buraku people.
- "Some of the naive educators like to imagine burakumin as innocent martyrs to discriminations, but historically buraku has had something to do with yakuza, this fact is also getting Buraku problems delicate."
This isn't correct English, plus it's strangely worded; I think it's implying the burakumin are disproportionately involved with the yakuza and thus deserve no respect? Or something. I don't want to get into an ethnic/racial quibble debate...
- I went ahead and rewrote this to be more NPOV. I'm tempted to remove it completely unless some supporting evidence is given.
I am afraid you made 2 mistakes.
1. The comment above has nothing to do with "and thus deserve no respect" or something similar. If you can read Japanese, you will find the same statistics in the homepage of a professor named KATO Hisao, Keio University; http://www.kclc.or.jp/humboldt/katoj.htm
If you cannot read Japanese, this article might help you; http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:nJz9zapwtEEJ:research.yale.edu/wwkelly/restricted/Japan_journalism/NYT_951130.htm+buraku+yakuza+&hl=ja
2. The burakumin are not an ethnic group nor a race, but a social class. Indeed KIKUCHI Sansai (1890-1966) insisted the origin of the burakumin was Nivkh, but now his theory is considered too old.
"In November 27th, 2001, the BLL expressed their delight at the terrorist attack against the United States on 9.11. The BLL is also known as a friend of North Korea."
This comment was deleted as "vandalism". But, if you can read Japanese, you will find it is an obvious fact that the BLL welcomed 9.11. The Kaihou Shinbun (the BLL's official newspaper) stated as the following; http://www.ngy1.1st.ne.jp/~ieg/ieg/inter/vol4-4/911j2.htm#部落解放
"世界の貧者と弱者は、世界貿易センタービル（ＷＴＣ）と、米国防省にたいする自爆テロに、喝采をあげ、歓喜した" means "The poor and the weak of the world cheered for the suicide attacks to the WTC and the Pentagon." "わたしも、明け方までテレビにかじりつき歓喜をあげつづけた" means "I also shouted for joy, sticking at my television, until dawn".
It is widely known about the friendship between the BLL and North Korea; http://18.104.22.168/sinboj/sinboj2002/2/0211/82.htm#南副議長
- Just glancing at the article in the link provided, it seems very questionable to claim that an organization has taken a particular stance based on one editorial (it might even be a letter to the editor, it wasn't clear whether this person named K was affiliated with the paper or not) written by one man in a newspaper written by the organization. Later in the same article that is being quoted above, the author praises the newspaper for printing various opinions on the matter. (以上の点はさておき、「解放新聞」がその主張に反する異質な個人見解を公開されたことに敬意を評します。個々人の意見表明を尊重する人権・民主主義感覚におおいに期待しております。Ｋさんとの率直な議論・有意義な論争を期待して。) I know very little about this organization or this newspaper, but this "evidence" seems pretty flimsy. Unless the BLL officially endorsed the 9-11 terrorism, or there are multiple sources that have supporting evidence, I am against this claim being restored to the article. CES 03:24, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
- Full text of above citation is here. And read this, writer of this column is an exterior left-wing editor, after the disputing which also the reader mixed, BLL's trust to this one was cancelled. About north Korea, they had working with zainichi Korean against discriminations in Japan. Johncapistrano 07:19, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm a little confused by this sentence in the article: "Their presence in Japan is small, partly because Japan's society has a comparative lack of hierarchical social classes." For one thing, it's not clear what "their presence in Japan is small" means; are we just trying to say that they are few in number? Also, "a comparative lack of hierarchical social classes", compared to what? Certainly the idea of social hierarchy is hardly unknown in Japan. Is the point that this does not take the form of social classes (other than the burakumin themselves, not to mention Koreans and other ethnic minorities)? Also, the connection between the two clauses of this sentence are not entirely clear. It also seems misleading to mention a current lack of social classes in Japan if it is in fact the case that, during the Tokugawa era, Japan had a rigid hierarchy of classes. - Nat Krause 10:31, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
I made a number of organizational and copyediting changes today in an attempt to improve the quality of this article. Some areas, however, are still in serious need of expansion; for example, the hard statistics (if available) on the economic status of today's burakumin, an expansion of the burakumin rights movement beyond the BLL, and the sourcing (or, failing that, removal) of a number of claims that appeared dubious to me. The final section on the Hoganji feels problematic for me as it doesn't really flow with the article as it reads now; if anyone can add more context or perspective, please do so, but right the focus on this one sect's relations with the burakumin seems somewhat arbitrary to me. MC MasterChef 09:26, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Responding to Comments about Honganji Section
I agree that the Honganji section I wrote possibly needs expansion and more context. However I do feel it is important due to the large number of Burakumin who were designated Honganji followers by the state. As the quote I cited suggests it is not therefore a case of arbitrarily picking out one particular sect for attention:
""the imperial family is in Tendai, the peerage is in Shingon, the nobility is in Jodo (Honen's followers), the Samurai is in Zen, the beggar is in Nichiren, and Shin Buddhists (Shinran's followers) are at the bottom." (Kasahara 1996)"
ASB 12:26, 10 October 2005 (GMT)
Reference to "the buraku" on House M.D. worth a mention?
I (an American) had previously associated the concept of "untouchables" with India, so hearing mention of Japanese "untouchables" on the November 14 2006 episode of House, M.D. was interesting. To be honest I am too lazy to properly bring together all the documentation and correct formatting, so I'm not going to edit this article, but someone probably should -- unless passing mention in an American television show is not significant enough to warrant inclusion. Morypcaina 03:30, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
- It's notable inasmuch as House is proven to not always be right - he uses a wrong term :) Having said that, I don't think it really merits mention. TomorrowTime (talk) 09:21, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Should we make reference to Douwa Mondai as the politically correct term for burakumin in Japan? --
Due to social separation for several centuries, I think it's inevitable that there is a greater degree of homogeneity in the Burakumin community than in the wider Japanese ethnicity, and I am sure that there are certain characteristics by which Burakumin can be differentiated. Whether it be characteristics oif their speech, differences in appearance, culture, or even just slight genetic differences, it seems certain that 5 centuries of forced separation would yield certain differences. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 05:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC).
Caste systems exist all over the world. One can only keep the "dogs" of racism and prejudice at bay by refusing to let old beliefs stop us from moving forward into what is the promise of a good, no a grand life and out of ignorance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 17:48, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Etymology of eta
Some insight into the word 'eta': "Lowest of all the classes were the eta. They could eat meat, as strict Buddhists could not, they were compelled to marry other eta, and they could not reside outside their own community at the southesast edge of the city. Possibly the world “eta” came from etori (butcher) and not from the two Chinese ideographs meaning “very dirty,” from which in later times it was claimed to have been derived…" from: Kyoto in the momoyama period by Wendell cole Claw789 23:01, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
- According to the Kōjien dictionary, the Chinese character spelling for eta is ateji, appearing in the Muromachi era Kagakushū (下学集) dictionary.--Ryoske 11:52, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Long time ago (late nineties) I vaguely recall usage in Japan of a pun using the Katakana word "buraku" (or maybe burakku) = "black" (as in "of dark skin colour") in this context. If documented usage exists, it would be of illustrative value here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nankai (talk • contribs) 10:07, 8 May 2007 (UTC).
The similarity between Buraku and Burakku (Japanese way of pronouncing the english word "black") is just a coincidence. The two words are unrelated. --188.8.131.52 06:40, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
- Burakumin (部落民 "hamlet people") is actually an abbreviation [...]
I read a news article in the Sydney Morning Herald 'Google Earth sparks racial row in Japan' that contained an interview with an anonymous human resources representative in Tokyo who confirmed active discriminatory hiring practices against the burakumin. I thought it would be good for someone who knows this wikipedia article well to put a reference to this in. Nwatts88 (talk) 14:16, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Translation of Burakumin
JoeChan456 (talk) 19:51, 15 October 2010 (UTC) 部落 literally means Tribe in Kanji. The Kanji for "Small Settlement" is 小殖民地. 部落民 is a term identifying a group/type/race of people. It does not quantify the group, large or small. The translation "Small" is an word that the author put on arbitrarily, and it distorts the original meaning for the name of the group of people. Without the "Little" then the "Settlement" only means 殖民地 (place where people settle) which has nothing to do with 部落民. So "Small Settlement People" not only is not a literal translation of 部落民, it is linguistically incorrect, unless VsevolodKrolikov has other reasons to insist on the misleading English translation. The Burakumin is the aboriginal of Japan, they are similar to the aboriginal people in Taiwan. They were in Japan before the Japanese, so they are not immigrants in terms of Japanese. If 部落 is not literally translated, then "Small Settlement" may be acceptable. Was my revision removed based on the information supplied by the government of Japan?
- I don't know where you're getting your information from. 部落 means hamlet. Let me quote from Introduction to Japanese Society (Yoshimoto 2002 CUP) chapter 7 section 3: "buraku means a settlement, hamlet or village community." The kanji one by one mean "part" "fall" "people". Also, the Burakumin are not a separate racial minority. Yoshimoto: "[they] share the racial and ethnic origin of the majority of Japanese. There are no biological differences between Burakumin and majority Japanese, nor is there any way of distinguishing them at sight." VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 22:47, 16 October 2010 (UTC).
Oxford Advanced Learner's English-Chinese Dictionary published in 1997 translates 部落 to Tribe. The Kanji 部落 means the same thing in Japanese and Chinese. 部落 is a single term and cannot be broken apart. When you broke down 部落 by saying "部 is part and 落 is fall", it is no longer 部落 since the two must go together to create a term. Even in your quote from Yoshimoto, it did not quantify Buraku as large or small. Your added "small" is not a literal translation of 部落. If you have seen the ancient Burakumin costumes in a museum, it is very close to the aboriginal versions in Taiwan. Japanese have long wanted to hide the past mistreatment of their aboriginal populations since it calls into question who are the actual orignal Japanese and who actually owns the Japanese islands. Since your sources are from Japan, it shows their inherent bias on the topic. In the end, 部落 is tribe as stated by a recognized major international dictionary and thus the term should be changed to the one I have suggested.
- I think you've got confused between burakumin and another group. There are no ancient Burakumin costumes. The Burakumin are a social group that developed no one quite knows when or why, but were apparently present at the beginning of the Edo period. They are not ethnically different from Yamato Japanese (i.e. they are Yamato). As you mention Taiwan, it's pretty certain that you're actually thinking of Ryukyuans (Okinawans and associated islanders), who have shared a certain amount with Taiwan culturally. (Although Ryukuan and Japanese are the same language family). Here there is no argument that they are a separate ethnic group, although in my experience, younger Japanese at least sometimes don't realise how much Ryukyuan language is different to Japanese. The other "indigenous" group are the Ainu now mostly in Hokkaido but previously (i.e. Jomon period) across Honshuu as well, but I'm not aware of them having a connection to Taiwan. Most speculation is that they came from the far East of mainland Eurasia in pre-history.
- As for using your Chinese dictionary to determine the meaning of Japanese words - I think it's pretty obvious what's happening there. Your move is based on the fallacy that Chinese and Japanese meanings for kanji and in particular kanji combinations are just the same. They're not. Japanese is a completely different language group, and contacts with China were not stable (missionaries and traders from different parts of China would bring different dialects and variants, making reading Japanese the mess it is today) and for reasons on both sides of the Japan Sea they were rather stop-start; it would be very odd if the use (and form) remained the same (and developed historically in synchronicity) for over one and a half millenia since the introduction of Chinese writing. My Japanese dictionary gives this as the meaning of 部落：比較的少数の民家が集まっている地区。A place that doesn't have many houses/families gathered there.
- If you want to talk about mistreatment of certain groups in Japan, it's certainly true that Japan, much like any country, has made attempts to hide historical oppression of ethnic minorities. China, Europe, White North America, Hispanic elites in South America, India, Africa etc. It's just important to get your facts right. You presume Yoshimoto is writing in a pro-Japanese mindframe. You should read the book. It's excellent and objective. And doesn't hide information about the mistreatment of ethnic minorities.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 04:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I am fully aware that not all Kanji have the same meaning in Chinese and Japanese. However, it would not be correct to say that all Kanji have different meanings in Chinese and Japanese. A large portion of Kanji still retain the Chinese meaning, that is the very reason Kanji is used as part of the Japanese language – Japanese does not have enough characters to express the more complex ideas, therefore Kanji (literally meaning Han words) are ‘borrowed’ to express those ideas. To return to the main point in this discussion regarding the LITERAL English translation of 部落. Your Japanese dictionary says 部落: 比較的少数の民家が集まっている地区. The English literal translation of this phrase is ‘a place with a relatively small number of homes gathered ‘. Therefore ‘small settlement’ is not a literal translation as you have indicated in your article. I would like to point out another source for your reference. Google translates Japanese 部落 into English as ‘Tribe’. Please see following link. Therefore I reiterate the literal translation of 部落民 is “tribal people.” http://translate.google.com/#ja%7Cen%7C%E9%83%A8%E8%90%BD —Preceding unsigned comment added by JoeChan456 (talk • contribs) 03:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
- You can reiterate all you like - you're wrong. I have no idea why google translates buraku into "tribe"; it translates 部落民 into "Burakumin", not "tribal people". Google is not an authority (it takes user suggestions, and this one looks like a dodgy one, confusing 部族 (buzoku, meaning tribe) and 部落, nor is a Chinese dictionary. For Japanese kanji, rather than Chinese, you could do worse than look at The Kanji Dictionary by Spahn and Hadamitsky, which lists 部落 as "community, settlement, village". For online dictionaries, this one is popular. You could also try any other of this list of "top ten" online Japanese dictionaries, and see how many do not say something similar to village, small settlement, hamlet and so on. Or you could take a trip to a bookstore and see what the Oxford Japanese dictionary says. I don't have a copy of that to hand.
- As for your rather odd remarks that "Japanese does not have enough characters to express the more complex ideas, therefore Kanji (literally meaning Han words) are ‘borrowed’ to express those ideas" - this is more muddled than is worth going into, except to say that all Japanese orthography is based originally on Chinese writing. Learning latin can be really helpful in understanding French. I'd still choose a French dictionary over a latin primer to establish the meanings of words, though. It's a cracking conspiracy theory you have - that lexicographers of the world have conspired in league with nationalist Japanese to hide the "fact" that the Burakumin are an ancient tribe related to the indigenous Taiwanese. I'm not sure where this leaves the Ryukyuans, who are actually the people you were originally talking about. Or possibly the Ainu. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 04:30, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
The proper noun Burakumin or Burakumen
The term Burakumin should always be capitalized in English. Because for all other differences contributors may disagree on, the Burakumin are an ethnic group in every sense of the word. Thank you kindly, KSRolph (talk) 22:49, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Can we use this historical photo. As it was taken in 1987 it must be out of copyright?
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Burakumin&action=edit§ion=new# The book "The Blade of the Courtesans" Keiichiro Ryu 1923-89 (translated by James M Vardeman, Vertical 2008) has an interesting historical, but possibly fictional account of the Buraku. The book is historical fiction and seems well researched - he is highly regarded. The premise is the struggle of the "free unrelated people" to survive with their traditions intact in the face of Tokugawa administrators' creation of the discriminatory definition "Buraku". The historic creation of the term is explicitly explained on page 199 - 201. ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 07:08, 8 June 2014 (UTC)