Mistaken Assertions

Minderheiten in Japan: Ainu, Buraku, Ryukyu people, Koreans
Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 19 | Issue 9 | Number 3 | Article ID 5593 | May 01, 2021
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

Mistaken Assertions: a response to Mark Ramseyer

Teraki Nobuaki and Fujii Toshikazu, translated by Ian Neary

Reviewing the arguments about the early modern and pre-modern history of Buraku communities we would draw attention to the following mistaken assertions:

All quotes are from “On the Invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan”, The Harvard John M. Olin Discussion Paper Series: No. 964

Mistaken assertions on the origins of Hisabetsu Buraku

In fact, the burakumin are not descended from leather-workers. They are descended
from poor farmers. (1)

Most do not trace their lineage to tanners, executioners, or leather workers. A few do, but not most. Most burakumin instead trace their ancestry to poor farmers. (24)

It is clear from these quotes that JMR subscribes to the ‘poor peasant’ origin thesis denying that from before 12th century (the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, aka chūsei) there was a close connection with ‘leather workers’ as the ancestors of Burakumin. However current research uses documentary and archeological evidence to demonstrate that those known as kawaramono, eta and kiyome etc. were closely related by social lineage to leather workers and slaughtermen.

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