Buraku, the biggest taboo
Ever since I have written a number of taboos that exist in Japan, an essential social structure has been emphasized in this blog: "Taboos are created and maintained by concession hunters."
The taboo I'll discuss today is "Buraku" segregation, which was created hundreds years ago (1600s) when Japan was barely depicted by Marco Polo's story. At that time, citizens were classified into four, but there's another class below the lowest class. Their life was determined as they were born.
That system was abolished by law when Meiji restoration occurred around 1880 as they acquired Western civilization. Of course those who were discriminated had a hard time to cope with the society firstly because others drag the old system. The system of national census register enabled employers to investigate the origin of employees, and they would cut them off due to humble origins. An organization, "Buraku liberation party", was established in 1922, declaring human rights, which we can recall as the first and broadest scale movement (This is not a political party, so they have no seats in diet.). Many gathered under the flag shown above and demanded their life as a human being.
It sounds like a beautiful story isn't it? Before we know, however, this party substantially turned into a greedy concession hunters. The following is the core part of this article. They threatened and manipulated mass media not to criticize the party because it's "problematic" enough to induce more fierce discrimination if criticizing suffered people. They support specific politicians in diet, and the politicians pump cash into public works whose orders are by all means received by Buraku people. At first, those politicians used to do it as a moral policy to protect Buraku's livelihood otherwise it was hard for them to get a job. Now that they got power, they were free as beasts. No matter how they parked their cars on the street, the police cannot touch them because the raid is regarded by Buraku liberation party as discrimination. They are said to compose 50% of total Yakuza members in Japan (it's 60% according to Sugawara, a former member of National Public Safety Commission). Buraku people are needed by a surprising entity. It's banks. Banks use Buraku people for money collection. Hearing a collection from Buraku people, threatening effect is outstanding. With tight relationship with zainichi, they have controlled the underground up until now. We now see a very odd phenomenon where it is indeed Buraku people who want the discrimination to last since they've got money sources to live in a mansion.
This scheme suddenly collapsed in 2003 due to a political downfall of Nonaka Hiromu, the big boss of LDP (Liberal Democratic Party). I thought he was a very good politician as mass media favorably reported him as a fighter for justice and a good advisor of talentless prime ministers. Before Koizumi got power, Nonaka nominally was the leader of the ruling party as of 2000. What Koizumi did first in office was to squeeze Public Prosecutor's Office. After dreadful political conflict inside LDP party between two politicians, Koizumi finally made him resign the seat. People gossiped that Koizumi rocked Nonaka with his fatal scandal.
No political battles, no reformation.
News on arrests of corrupted yet well-known backroom fixers followed one after another. Before Koizumi, Japanese watchers from Western societies shrewdly observed the rigid society ruled by Yakuza and other giants, saying "It's the limit of Japan. There's no self-cleansing capability left there."
Let me make divulgences to you as to incidents related to Buraku. Well, it's not divulgences any more since everyone knows them. But keep in mind that I, too, never imagined until a few years ago that such a people ruled this society this much.
One of the most famous ones is an arrest of "Meat king", the president of a meat company. With a tight relationship with Nonaka, he made a million. People in Osaka city said no one doesn't know his name, Asada Mitsuru.
The picture below takes a raid scene into another king, and look at that gate!
The battle against Buraku people has been still continuing nationwide. Liberal Democratic Party was successful to wipe out the Buraku liberation party, but some of their parasites still reside in Democratic Party, the biggest opposing party. In fact, the Buraku liberation party donated to the two biggest political parties. No wonder there was no one who could accuse them. Since this Buraku liberation party strongly protest Abe's regime, I guess Abe is going to suceed Koizumi's policy. Although this may be a start of another collusion from Abe's side, we can't neglect current corruption.
Rousseau in 18th centry knew direct intervention is essential for democracy. Japanese people finally discovered it 200 years later.