Buraku Liberation News  March 2000 No.113

For our new readers

What is Buraku ?

Buraku is a Japanese word referring to village or hamlet. However, this word is usually used to refer to communities where discriminated-against Buraku people reside.

Buraku people or Burakumin (min refers to people) are the largest discriminated-against population in Japan. They are not a racial or a national minority, but a caste-like minority among the ethnic Japanese.

They are generally recognized as descendants of outcaste populations from the feudal days. Outcastes were assigned such social functions as slaughtering animals and executing criminals, and the general public perceived these functions as 'polluting acts' under Buddhist and Shintoist beliefs.

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