Meeting commemorating 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Zenkoku Suiheisha was held in Kyoto

On 3rd March 2012, a meeting to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Zenkoku Suiheisha (National Levelers’ League) was held at Kyoto Kaikan (Kyoto Hall) in Kyoto City where the organization’s inaugural meeting was held in 1922. About 1,800 people across the nation joined the meeting.

The meeting was opened with the chorus of “Takeda no komoriuta (Lullaby of Takeda)” by women’s department of the Kaishin chapter of Kyoto Prefectural Association of Buraku Liberation League (BLL) and the recitation of the Declaration of the Suiheisha by an actor, Kazuhisa Nakanishi. In the speech on behalf of the organizer, Shigeyuki Kumisaka, chairperson of central executive committee of BLL said, “We have to take into our heart how our predecessors suffered severe persecution and inherit the spirit of the Declaration of the Suihaish”. He stressed that, “We vow to dedicate all our strength to liberation movement of the world by keeping our mind that we are here today because of blood sweat and tears of ancestors.”

The award in honor of the late chairperson Jiichiro Matsumoto who was called the “father of buraku liberation movement” was given to Mr. Masaaki Ueda (honorary professor of Kyoto University) and Mr. Kazuteru Okiura (honorary professor of Momoyama Gakuin University). Mr. Ueda expressed his expectations on buraku liberation movement that, “you can be proud and confident of the culture and entertainment that buraku communities have created and lead the movement for various human rights issues,” referring to the words in the General Principles of Suiheisha, “we shall awaken to the fundamentals of human nature and march toward highest human perfection.” One hundred and thirty four persons of merit and seventy two deceased persons were also given a commendation.

Following messages and appeals by other minorities, Toru Matsuoka, secretary general of the central executive committee of BLL stated that, “We gather here to decide to move forward with the movement by remembering the spirit of ancestors when they started the movement ninety years ago. Let us advance the movement on our own and break away from dependence on government in each community from tomorrow.”

The meeting was closed by adopting an appeal at the end.

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