BLHRRI's English publications

Suiheisha Declaration

 Tokushu Burakumin throughout the country: Unite!


Long-suffering brothers! Over the past half century, the movements on our behalf by so many people and in such varied ways have yielded no appreciable results. This failure is the punishment we have incurred for permitting ourselves as well as others to debase our own human dignity. Previous movements, though seemingly motivated by compassion, actually corrupted many of our brothers. Thus, it is imperative that we now organize a new collective movement to emancipate ourselves by promoting respect for human dignity.


Brothers! Our ancestors pursued and practiced freedom and equality. They were the victims of base, contemptible class policies and they were the manly martyrs of industry. As a reward for skinning animals, they were stripped of their own living flesh; in return for tearing out the hearts of animals, their own warm human hearts were ripped apart. They were even spat upon with ridicule. Yet, all through these cursed nightmares, their human pride ran deep in their blood. Now, the time has come when we human beings, pulsing with this blood, are soon to regain our divine dignity. The time has come for the victims to throw off their stigma. The time has come for the blessing of the martyrs' crown of thorns.

The time has come when we can be proud of being Eta.*


We must never again shame our ancestors and profane humanity through servile words and cowardly deeds. We, who know just how cold human society can be, who know what it is to be pitied, do fervently seek and adore the warmth and light of human life from deep within our hearts.  

Thus is the Suiheisha** born.

Let there be warmth in human society, let there be light in all human beings.

March 3, 1922    The Suiheisha


* This highly discriminatory term, meaning full of filth, came to be commonly used in the caste-like class system of Japan’s Edo period (AD1603-1867), and was continued to be used into modern times with regard to Buraku. The founders of the National Levelers’ Association protested strongly against its use in society; however, to fellow Buraku people, they emphasized that being Eta was something to be proud of.

** The word ‘suihei,’ meaning horizontal or level, is employed as a call to realize a society that is uniformly even and without discrimination. As an association for such aims, the name Suiheisha (‘sha’ means association) was used. At the time, the term was synonymous with autonomous Buraku liberation organizations. “National,” prefectural or district proper names, were placed at the front of the term as appropriate.

| Home |