2nd Quarterly, 2007 No.144

Book Review

Minasareru Sabetsu

(Discrimination out of Avoidance of Buraku
- Why People Tend to Avoid Buraku)

By Hitoshi Okuda

Professor Okuda has produced a study on land discrimination. He argues that land discrimination differs from marriage discrimination both in form and in the attitude of the perpetrators. In recent years, people rarely display openly discriminatory attitudes or behavior with regard to marriage involving Buraku persons. However, people are openly prejudiced with regard to areas where Buraku districts are located. People sometimes contact city halls to ask if there is a Buraku district located near a property they want to purchase. Such people include ordinary citizens and real estate agents. This behavior continues mainly due to the fact that people are not aware that such inquiries constitute discriminatory behavior. What is the origin of this allegedly "innocent" avoidance? As hinted in the title of the book, the author explores and discusses the new mechanism that supports contemporary Buraku discrimination from a fresh viewpoint.

Why is the discrimination termed as being "against Buraku," rather than "against people of Buraku descent"? People living in Buraku communities are likely to be discriminated against because they are viewed as Buraku people, even if they do not have Buraku origins. In order to avoid being viewed as Buraku persons, non-Buraku people, even those who harbor no resentment or hatred against Buraku, therefore stand on the side that supports and reproduces Buraku discrimination.

Who are "people of Buraku origin"? The author unveils the true nature of avoidance that lies at the very root of minasareru sabetsu by revealing problems relating to the family registration system that has long perpetuated land discrimination. In discussing the issue, the author refers to the outcomes of a study by Osaka Prefecture and other studies in which he has been involved.

People's attitudes towards smoking and the environment are changing. How can we also generate social trends to foster the development of a society with full respect for human rights? A number of possible solutions are discussed in this book.

(Published by Buraku Kaiho Shuppansha,in November 2007, available in Japanese only, 102 pages)

Hitoshi Okuda: Professor of Kinki University Human Rights Research Institute. Professor Okuda is a member of Board of Directors of Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute. He has written many books including "Study of Land Discrimination Problem," "Land Discrimination - Consideration of Buraku Problem," "Marriage Discrimination - Reality and Problems Perceived from Data," and others.

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