It's Still Continued
Marriage Discrimination

In November 2002, a discriminatory incident occurred in Yamazaki town, Hyogo prefecture. A 23-year-old man sent the following e-mail message to a 21-year-old woman from Buraku: "My parents will never accept our marriage. Do you understand? Since we live so close to you, even though it is not at all your fault, people will try to look into your background. Do you know what my parents told me about my relationship with you? They say that if I marry you, they will not associate with me any more, and they will not allow me to visit them. My parents find it very hard to put their feelings aside. Do you understand? If your parents told you this, how would you feel?"

The man who wrote the email was explaining the reasons for his prejudice against the woman, trying to justifying his wrongdoing, and urging her to accept the reasons for his discriminatory act. He took his discrimination against her for granted despite the fact that he is still young and part of the generation that received Dowa education at school. What kind of education was he given at school? He also tells her in his message, "Some day you will meet a man who understands you well. Until then, please hold your head high. If you ever need my help, do not hesitate to call me. I will always be ready to help you. Please take care of yourself. I wish you happiness. Goodbye!" He is not aware that he is the one who is discriminating. To make matters worse, he is trying to appear like a good man to her at the same time as justifying his act by blaming the situation on his parents and relatives' opposition to their marriage.

The woman understands that her relationship with him was distorted, and that he discriminated against her, but it was difficult for her to move on. This is a natural feeling for a young woman in her position.

In December of 2002, the woman attended a meeting held by representatives of Y branch of the BLL and the local government of the town where she lives to give an account of the discrimination she faced from her boyfriend. On the following day, she visited the local board of education with representatives from the BLL branch for consultation regarding the situation, but it was without result.

Despite the fact that she did not want to disclose the situation to other people, she bravely talked about it with an officer from the town hall. However, the officer simply said to her, "You do not know about the human rights commissioner system, do you?"

In January the following year, an official letter was sent to the BLL branch from the chairperson of the local board of education. In the letter, he stated, "It is a great pity that we still see the occurrence of Buraku discrimination in our town. We have to admit that our efforts up until now have not been accepted by the people of our town." He was not aware that this demonstrated a failure of school and citizen education of the town to which he is fully responsible as the chairperson of the board of education.

The man who committed a discriminatory act regarding marriage shifted his responsibility to his parents and relatives, while the chair of the board of education shifted his responsibility onto the townspeople who, according to him, were backward. For what purpose have Dowa and citizen education been carried out?