2021: An Introduction

Minderheiten in Japan: Ainu, Buraku, Ryukyu people, Koreans
Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 19 | Issue 9 | Number 2 | Article ID 5592 | May 01, 2021
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Professor Mark Ramseyer and the Buraku Question: an IntroductionIan Neary

Ian Neary

Throughout his career J Mark RamseyerThroughout his career J Mark Ramseyer(hereafter JMR) has delighted in generating anacademic reputation as a contrarian whoapplies the “rationality of social science” toexplain aspects of modern Japanese history thathe considers others both in Japan andelsewhere to have failed to comprehend. Hisusual method is to create a simple model thathe thinks illustrates the basic dynamics of thesituation and then apply the logic of rationalchoice/game theory to it. It was probably only amatter of time before he turned his attention tosome of the most controversial topics intwentieth century Japanese social history:Zainichi Koreans, the “comfort women” (ianfu)issue, Okinawans, and Burakumondai.

In recent months there has been a strong andrapid reaction to the papers JMR has publishedon the ianfu/comfort women and zainichiKorean issues including demands that thejournals that published these papers formallyretract them.1 However, the same egregiouserrors of method and substance thatcommentators have noted in those papers alsooccur in his work on Buraku issues.

He has published two peer-reviewed journalarticles on the Buraku question: ....

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