Letter to the Editors of the Review of Law and Economics: “On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan” by J. Mark Ramseyer

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May 1, 2021

Letter to the Editors of the Review of Law and Economics: “On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan” by J. Mark Ramseyer
Letter to the Editors of the Review of Law and Economics: “On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan” by J. Mark Ramseyer

Volume 19 | Issue 9 | Number 7

Article ID 5598


The Japanese version of this letter follows this English translation. 日本語版が英語版の後に掲載されています。


Introductory Note by Akuzawa Mariko

This letter is more than our expression of dissent to the article, “On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan” by J. Mark Ramseyer; it is meant to call for the participation of Japanese scholars in fact-checking. It is a matter of academic integrity for all scholars who are engaged in research on Buraku issues to have their voices included. We need sociologists, historians, and scholars from other disciplines to fully examine this highly problematic article. By writing this, we want to get the ball rolling. 

Therefore, the letter, sent to the editors-in-chief of the Review of Law and Economics, was also published in full on the website of IMADR, an international human rights NGO. For publication in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, we have made minor modifications by adding some endnotes. 

In addition, our letter does not just address those in the academic community. The general public has no access to such an academic paper, let alone the people from Buraku communities. We believe it is the responsibility of academics to provide evidence of the author’s academic fallacies to the broader society, as part of our shared challenges against a dangerous form of historical revisionism. 

A key point is that Ramseyer, writing almost two decades after the termination of the last Dōwa Special Measures Law, asserts that Burakumin identity is “fictive” and seeks to nullify it. When the law was still in effect, empowerment and “coming-out” by Buraku communities and individuals with Buraku origins were preconditions for designation as recipients of Dōwa Special Measures Projects. However, since the termination of the law, many schools stopped teaching anything that might lead to identifying Buraku (communities or personal origin) on the assumption that it was wrong to identify them without legal foundation. 

At the same time, over the course of the implementation of the Dōwa Special Measures Projects, significant demographic changes took place in Buraku communities (many migrated away for educational and career options, as well as for marriage with non-Buraku partners etc.). These are some of the changes that were brought about as a result of narrowing gaps between Buraku and non-Buraku communities, both physically and psychologically.

On the other hand, these changes resulted in a diversification of identity among those with Buraku origins, and in the weakening of Burakumin identity among the younger generation who do not know nor are taught about their family backgrounds in many cases. In addition, with generational change, there are fewer elderly people who have memories of past discrimination or commitment to the liberation movement and in this situation communities become more susceptible to the attempts of historical revisionists who distort and overturn the facts and historical consensus. 

Finally, in our letter, we noted the author’s unethical use of the National Survey of Buraku (1936). The data has been repeatedly abused for background checks to identify Burakumin. The data, deliberately posted on the website by an individual sometime in 2015, was ordered to be removed by a Japanese court injunction in April 2016, and the order was affirmed by the higher courts. However, RLE published Ramseyer’s article that uses this survey data in 2019. Did the editorial board have any experts on the Buraku issue review the article? Was the editorial board aware that the data source that the author used was prohibited by Japanese courts? Did the author make the editorial board aware of this? The editors of RLE carry great responsibility for the publication of the article.1


To the Editors-in-Chief of the Review of Law and Economics

Akuzawa Mariko and Saito Naoko


We are sending this letter to express our grave concern as scholars about the publication of the article by J. Mark Ramseyer, entitled “On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan” in your journal (Volume 16 issue 2, 2019). Both of us are researchers and educators at the Research Center for Human Rights at Osaka City University, known as the first university in Japan that in 1970 deployed full-time faculty for research and education on Buraku discrimination. Since then, research and education on behalf of human rights have been our Center’s mission, not to mention that studies on Buraku discrimination constitute an integral part of our work.

From our perspective as researchers on Buraku discrimination for many years, the article is based on a fallacious interpretation of the history of social movements that arose within Buraku communities. Neglecting the fact that the postwar Dōwa Special Measures projects for the improvement of Buraku communities were based on national laws, he describes them as the outcome of “shakedown” strategies of the specific Buraku organization. The article then misuses statistical data to draw a conclusion that complies with the author’s preconceived ideas on Burakumin and Buraku communities. The problematic use of national census data of 1936 (Zenkoku buraku chōsa [National Survey of Buraku]) should be also noted. 

We lay out some of the critical issues below. As sociologists, we center our concerns within that realm and leave numerous historical concerns to historians. The following is not an exhaustive list, however, rather the concerns we raise here are those we consider the most egregious. We believe they are significant enough for the editorial board to re-examine the article.

While our concerns with Ramseyer’s scholarship outlined here centers on Buraku issues, it is not the first time that Ramseyer has been criticized for highly problematic scholarship. An article on “comfort women” that Ramseyer published in International Review of Law and Economics has been criticized heavily by scholars across the globe from a variety of disciplines. Numerous scholars have raised questions and concerns over Ramseyer’s misrepresentation of facts, problems with methodology, citation issues, and what seems to be a willful ignoring of data that would counter his preconceived notions, and indeed, the journal has appended an “Expression of Concern” to the on-line article.

As scholars, we uphold professional standards and procedures. Ramseyer’s article on the Buraku issue does not meet even a minimum level of academic integrity. It discredits the work of social scientists who try to work in ways that inspire trust and confidence in society.

Our discussion below is divided into five sections. Sections 1-4 are written by Akuzawa Mariko, while Section 5 is written by Saito Naoko. 


1. Negligence of the legal basis of Dōwa Special Measures

First, the author, neglecting the political and legal process of Dōwa Special Measures projects, misleads readers by suggesting that the projects were the outcome of a “shakedown” strategy of a specific Buraku organization. In fact, it was the Dōwa Policy Council, an advisory body of the prime minister that in 1965 recommended the policies and the legislation of the Dōwa Special Measures Law to provide a legal basis for national subsidies for policy implementation. The first law came into force in 1969. In other words, from the start, this was a policy program that had its foundation within the government.


2. Misinterpretation of demographic changes in Buraku communities 

Secondly, considering the author’s apparent fluency in Japanese, the lack of engagement with recent scholarship in Japanese is nothing short of inexcusable. There are myriad examples of research that highlights demographic changes in Buraku communities, as well as examples of community changes through “first-hand accounts”, such as public data from national and local governments. 

Instead, ignoring this body of research, the author links the demographic changes of Buraku communities with “criminal incentives” created by the subsidies for Dōwa Special Measures projects, and draws a far-fetched conclusion: that the national subsidies increased incentives for “burakumin with the lowest opportunity costs” to stay in the communities and “invest in criminal careers”, whereas those “with higher legitimate career options abandoned the community” (in the abstract, 1). The author also states that the end of the subsidies stopped such incentives, and “young buraku teenagers increasingly stayed in school. They finished high school, left the buraku for university, and never returned” (85). 

Contrary to the author’s claim, publicly available data demonstrates the following facts: Fig.1 shows the population structure in Buraku communities by age group in 1971, 1975, and 1993, showing the demographic changes of Buraku Communities under Dōwa Special Measures Laws.2 The percentage of those under fifteen years of age constituted 24.1% of total population in 1971, whereas it went down to 16.2 % in 1993. The percentage of the elderly (above 65) increased from 7.2% in 1971 to 15.5% in 1993. 

Fig.2 shows a comparison of population structure by age group between Buraku communities and the total national population in 1993. In Buraku communities, the percentage of the young generation between 20 and 34 years old was comparatively lower, while the percentage of those above 55 was higher. 


Those figures imply that during the period of the Dōwa Special Measures, the younger generation left Buraku communities after finishing their education, thus leaving the remaining population disproportionately elderly compared with total national population.3 Ramseyer describes those Burakumin who stay in their communities as those who “faced ever-larger incentives to stay in the buraku and invest in criminal careers” (in the abstract, 1) and enhances violent images of Burakumin. This is pure speculation. Is Ramseyer attempting to say that the elderly who stay in Buraku communities are violent and dangerous? 

Another public data source, the surveys conducted by Osaka prefecture in 1990 (大阪府同和対策業対象地域住民生活実態調査, Survey of the Living Conditions of Residents of Target Districts of the Dōwa Policy Project, Osaka Prefecture, 1990, hereafter the 1990 Survey) and in 2000 (同和問題の解決に向けた実態調査, Survey of the Conditions which Point Towards the Resolution of the Dōwa Problem, 2000, the 2000 Survey) give “first-hand accounts” of the background to the demographic changes of the forty-eight Dōwa districts (an administrative term that refers to Buraku communities) in Osaka, mostly urban communities, just before the end of Dōwa Special Measures projects.

Prior to the expiration of the Dōwa Special Measures Law in 2002, changes of policies and laws took place during the transitional period from the late 1990’s. One such example was the amendment of the Public Housing Law in 1996 which had a large impact on population movement particularly from urban Buraku communities. 

The total population living in Buraku communities in Osaka prefecture had fallen from 111,435 in 1993 to 95,468 in 2000 (a decrease of 15,967). In the 2000 Survey, questionnaires were randomly distributed among 10,000 residents over 15 years of age in Buraku communities, and it found that 9.4% of the total respondents (n=7676) were “born outside of the Buraku communities where they then resided”, and had “moved into these areas within the last ten years”. If we apply that percentage to the whole population including those under fifteen, the total estimated number of those who were born outside and came into these communities within the last ten years was 8,974 (Okuda 2002).4

Building on this, Okuda estimated the number of people moving out from Buraku communities of the same period. If we ignore the natural increase and decline in population, the minimum estimated number of those who moved out was 24,941 (15,976[decrease]+8,974[those came in and replaced those who moved out]), comprising 26.1 % of the total population in 2000. 

The large movement out of urban Buraku communities took place to a great extent due to the amendment of the Public Housing Law in 1996 with the end of housing rent subsidies under Dōwa Special Measures. The rent in public housing thereafter was determined by household income and the rent simply became too high for households with higher incomes to continue living in public housing. As a result, many had to leave.5 The vacancies were filled with new residents with economic difficulties (Okuda ibid.; Uchida et.al 2005).6 Applications for occupancy in public housing after 1996 were open to the general public and so a large percentage of relatively new residents who moved into Buraku communities were presumably from non-Buraku, households.

It is wrong to attribute the mobility of Buraku residents to their “criminal incentives”, since ample public data accounts for demographic changes in Buraku communities that the author completely neglected.

Some local governments have continued to gather data on the conditions of Buraku communities after the expiration of the Dōwa Special Measures law. One example is Tatsuno-city in Hyōgo prefecture, which conducted a survey in Buraku communities in 2020 whose results were released to the news media. Other prefectures, such as Osaka, Wakayama and Fukuoka have used data from the national population census (Kokusei-chōsa 国勢調査) to assess the condition of the areas formerly connected with the Dōwa Special Measures projects. There is then some data in the public domain that the author could have used. 


3. Misuse of statistics 

To draw a conclusion that fits the author’s preconceived bias, Ramseyer creates a highly problematic index, “Burakumin PC” (explained as the number of burakumin, divided by total population), and uses it as a crucial variable. However, is it reasonable to compare the fraction of Burakumin in 1993 and other indices that represent social phenomena at prefectural level nearly 20 years later, as the author tries to do (27)? The author finds positive correlations between the fraction of Burakumin and some variables including Crimes per capita (2010) and Methamphetamines crimes per capita (2011), Welfare dependency (2010) etc., concluding that several indices reveal dysfunctional behavior of Burakumin (27). Considering the percentage of Burakumin in the prefectural population in 1993 was between 0% and 4.289% (Table 3, 23) the article has to face the criticism that it is creating an abusive image of Buraku using data with “the risk of ecological fallacy” (22) , which is seriously high.7 The author again uses the index (Burakumin PC) later in the article (such as at 52). After finding that Burakumin PC of 1907 correlates with his “Total crimes PC” (total crimes divided by total population) and “Murders PC” (total murders divided by total population), the author stated “the higher the fraction of burakumin in a prefecture, the higher the rates both of total crimes generally and of murders specifically” (52). Again, as the author confesses, the risk of “ecological fallacy” (51) is too high, especially the numbers of Buraku and non-Buraku crimes and murders are not distinguished when calculating “Total crimes PC” and “Murders PC”. 

Clearly the author recognized this was an ecological fallacy yet continued to make these unsubstantiated claims.


4. False explanation about the career paths of Buraku youth 

The author explains that the Dōwa Special Measures (the national subsidy) “encouraged young burakumin men to drop out of school, stay in the buraku, and join the criminal syndicates” (77), misleading readers to think that national subsidies promoted diversion of the future paths of Buraku youth into criminal careers. 

Again, it is shocking that the author neglected the previous studies of education for Buraku youth. Under the Dōwa Special Measures Laws, enhancement of education was one of the goals of the Dōwa projects.8 Educational projects, such as improving educational facilities, assigning additional teachers to provide complementary teaching and providing financial aid to Buraku students were implemented in order to ensure the academic progress of Buraku students as well as to narrow the achievement gap between Buraku and non-Buraku students.

As a result of these efforts, together with the impact of rapid economic growth from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, high school enrollment rates of students from Buraku communities rose rapidly. Fig.3, based on data from the Ministry of Education and from a local board of education, shows the narrowing gap in high school enrollment rates between national rates and the rates in Buraku communities (Ikeda1987).9 The disparity was reduced, nonetheless leaving a small gap between Buraku and non-Buraku children. The author should engage with such public data before drawing far-fetched conclusions.


5. Use of the data in an ethically questionable way

The author uses ethically problematic data in this article, namely Zenkoku Buraku Chōsa (The national survey of Buraku communities, 1936). Ramseyer claims to have found the data on the internet posted by an “activist” individual. The author states in the text: “The data briefly surfaced in late 2015 (and were used in Ramseyer and Rasmusen, 2018)” (13).

The national survey of Buraku communities (1936) was originally conducted to obtain basic data for community improvement; however, the names and locations of Buraku communities appeared in the report and this data was later abused for conducting background checks. The Tokugawa outcasts formed their own communities according to their assigned official duties and occupations and many of these communities overlap with modern Buraku communities. Therefore, there is a possibility that the information on the location of the Buraku community can be used as a clue to identify the Buraku people. For this reason, people who try to exclude Buraku people from relationships with them such as marriage have sought this data.

This list of Buraku communities can also be used to track Buraku people who have moved out of the Buraku communities by comparing the names of communities in the list to the koseki (the Japanese family registration system). Ramseyer mentions: “Whether in the U.S. or Japan, virtually no professional lives within ten blocks of his natal home. If a burakumin moves more than those ten blocks, however, he ceases to be a burakumin” (21). However, this statement is contrary to the facts. By examining records of the koseki system, it is possible to identify Burakumin who live outside the Buraku communities. 

The Buraku list posted by the “activist” on the internet is a copy of the research report prepared by the government-affiliated organization in 1936. In the 1970’s, detective agencies used this government report as a source to produce a directory of Buraku communities which the agencies sold underground at a high price to companies and individuals who wished to avoid Buraku people such as in time of marriage or of employment. It became a social problem at that time and the Ministry of Justice collected them and urged companies not to acquire said lists. The Zenkoku Buraku Chōsa which Ramseyer used as crucial data for the article was the original source for detective agencies to produce the directory of Buraku communities for background checks. 

The census data posted by the “activist” was removed by a temporary court injunction in April of 2016, and a civil lawsuit was filed against the “activist”. The case is now pending. As Ramseyer states “the data briefly surfaced in late 2015” (13), but it is no longer available. 

There are multiple problems when using these lists published on the Internet for academic treatises. The first is the problem of research ethics. This list can be used to identify Buraku people by comparing it to the koseki’s data and addresses. At Japanese research institutes, studies using this list are not likely to pass an ethical review.10

Second there is the question of the reproducibility of the data. As mentioned above, this Buraku list is currently restricted by the courts for viewing, and the data may not be reproduced by any third party. 

Last but not least, the author cites a number of references to journalists and researchers to reinforce his theory in a way that is convenient for him while deliberately ignoring the substantial academic research published in different journals and monographs. He states that “Work on the modern buraku by serious Japanese scholars barely exists” (5). Instead, he seems to have ignored this body of work, leading to his many misinterpretations.11





Letter of Concern to the editors of the Review of Law and Economics

Akuzawa Mariko

Saito Naoko




阿久澤 麻理子



なお、このletter of concern は、Review of Law and Economicsの編集長宛に送付した後に、国際人権NGOであるIMADRのウェブにおいても全文を公開した。本稿は、The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 掲載にあたって、レターの最後の部分に加筆修正を行った(末尾の注に明記している)。











Review of Law and Economics 編集長殿


私たちは、2019年の貴学会誌において、J. Mark Ramseyer氏による論文「でっちあげられたアイデンティティ・ポリティクス:日本の部落アウトカースト」(原題:“On the invention of Identity Politics: The Buraku Outcastes in Japan”が公表されたことに重大な懸念を表明するためこのレターを送っている。私たちは大阪市立大学人権問題研究センターで教育・研究に携わる者であり、大阪市立大学は、日本で初めて、部落差別問題の研究・教育に取り組むための専任教員を1970年に採用した大学として知られている。以来、人権のための研究と教育はこのセンターの使命であり、部落差別についての研究・教育は我々の仕事のなくてはならない部分である。



ところで、ここでは、Ramseyer氏の部落問題についての研究への懸念を示したが、非常に問題のある研究によって、氏が批判を受けるのは初めてのことではない。The International Review of Law and Economicsに公表された氏の論文は、世界中の多様な学問領域の研究者から厳しい批判を受けている。Ramseyer氏による事実の誤った解釈、方法論における問題、引用に関わる問題、そして氏の先入観とは相いれないデータを意図的に無視しているような点にについて、数多くの研究者が疑問と懸念を表明し、当該の学会誌は、オンライン論文に「懸念の表明」を追記した。



阿久澤 麻理子

大阪市立大学 人権問題研究センター/都市経営研究科 教授


齋藤 直子

大阪市立大学 人権問題研究センター 特任准教授 





1. 同和対策に法的根拠があることを無視している



2. 部落コミュニティにおける人口の変動についての誤った解釈



しかし、著者が何と言おうと公的データが事実を示している。図1は13、同和対策事業のための特別法の下にあった、1971年、 1975年、1993年の部落の人口構成を年齢階層別に示している。15歳未満の人口は、1971年には全体の24.1% であったが、1993年には16.2 %に落ちた。一方、65歳以上の高齢者の人口に占める割合は、1971年の7.2% から、1993年には15.5% に上昇している。






これらの図は、同和対策が実施されていた期間に、若手世代が教育を終えた後に部落を後にし、その結果、地域に残った人口に占める高齢者の割合が高くなっていったことを示唆している14。ラムゼイヤー氏は、コミュニティに留まる部落民とは、「部落に留まって犯罪的キャリアに身を投じるという、かつてないほどの大きなインセンティブに直面した」人びとであったと書き(p.1 アブストラクト)、部落民の暴力的なイメージを強化している。あまりにも滑稽である。ラムゼイヤー氏は、部落コミュニティに住み続けている高齢者を暴力的で危険な人びとだと言わんとしているのだろうか?

また、大阪府が1990年に実施した「大阪府同和対策事業対象地域住民生活実態調査」(以下1990 年調査と記す)と、 2000年に実施した「同和問題の解決に向けた実態調査部落問題調査」(以下2000年調査) も、大阪府内における48の同和地区(行政機関による部落の呼称)地区の人口統計の変化の背景を示す、公的な「一次資料」である。大阪の部落は、大半を都市部落が占めているが、同和対策事業が終了する前の状況がわかる。 




このような多数の転出は、1996年の公営住宅法改正によって、同和対策の一環として行われていた家賃補助が廃止されたことが、かなりの程度要因である。その後の家賃は世帯の収入の基準によってきまるようになったので、所得の高い世帯にとっては、居住し続けるには家賃が高くなり、転出を余儀なくされた16。空室は経済的に、より困難な状況にある人びとによって埋められることになった (奥田 前書; 内田他 2005).17 また、入居者募集が一般公募となったことからも、比較的新しい住民の多くが、一般世帯であると考えられる。




3. 統計の誤用

著者は自分の先入観に合った結論を引き出すため、非常に問題のある指標である「部落民PC」(部落民の数を全人口で割ったものと説明されている)を作り、これを重要な変数として使っている。しかしながら、1993年の部落民の割合と、その他の社会現象を示す指標(それも20年近く後のデータ)との相関を都道府県のレベルで見るというのは(p. 27)、合理的なことであろうか? 部落民PCと、その他の変数、例えば、一人当たりの犯罪件数(2010)、一人当たりの覚せい剤関連犯罪件数(2011)、生活保護率(2010)等々が相関することから、部落民の割合は、機能不全の行動と関係がある、と著者は述べている(P.27)。だが、1993年の部落民の、都道府県人口に占める割合は、ゼロから0.289 %であるから(p.23 表3)、この論文は、著者も自ら認めているように「生態学的誤謬を犯すリスク」(p.22)のきわめて高いデータを使って、部落に対する非常にひどいイメージを作り出しているとの批判に直面しなければならない。



4. 部落の若者の進路に関する誤った説明





こうした取組みの結果、また1950年代から70年代の日本における高度経済成長もあいまって、部落の若者の高校進学率は急速に上昇した。文部省の統計と、地方教育委員会(注:大阪府)のデータをもとにした図3からは、全国と部落の高校進学率の格差が縮まっていったことがわかる(池田 1987)19。但し、格差は縮まったが、部落内外にわずかな差が残された。著者は、極端な結論を出す前に、公的データを参照すべきである。


4. 倫理的に疑わしい方法でのデータの使用

本論文において、著者は倫理的に問題のあるデータ、すなわち「中央融和事業協会 全国部落調査」(1936)を使用している。Ramseyer氏は、ある「活動家」によって投稿されたインターネット上のデータを見つけたと述べている。著者は、本文において以下のように述べている。「データは2015年末に、一時的に明るみに出た(そして、2018年のRamseyer and Rasmusen論文にて使用した)」(13ページ)。















Yokohama District Court stated on July 17th, 2017, “Under current conditions, disclosure of such information will inform the wider public of the location of districts formerly designated as Dōwa areas and will facilitate background checks to determine whether a particular individual has a Buraku origin or not”.


Both fig.1 and fig.2 are in Noguchi, et. al. (1997) Konnichi no Buraku Sabetsu『今日の部落差別』 p. 33. Buraku Kaihō Shuppansha. Both figures are based on the national census of Buraku communities, and on the national population census, both conducted by Management and Coordination Agency(総務庁)of the Japanese Government.


According to the National Census of Buraku communities in 1993, the last government survey to assess the conditions of the communities, the percentages of high school graduates went up among the younger generation: 7.5% (age 70-74), 14.0% (60-64), 23.0% (50-54), 52.4% (40-44), 80.2% (30-34), and 81.1% (20-24). Those below 34 years of age, born after 1959 and above 10 years old when the national Special Measures Project started in 1969, could benefit from the national Special Measures assistance when they were in elementary education. In addition, national scholarships for high school students in Buraku communities started in 1966 (before the Special Measures Law) and some local governments even had their own scholarships prior to the government project. Those scholarships supported the education of those who were in their 40s at the time of the survey. 

At the time of the 1993 National Census, 13.2% of households had one or more family member(s) under 30 years old who moved out and lived outside of their Buraku community. The most popular reason for the move of the younger generation was marriage (47.6%), followed by “employment” (31.9%) and education (11.4%, including 7.8% for enrollment in higher education).


Okuda, H. (2002) Jinken No Takarajima 『人権の宝島』p.23. Buraku Kaihō Shuppansha


According to Okuda(ibid), in the case of Osaka prefecture in 2000 the middle income households in Buraku communities (annual income between 4,000,000 and 6,000,000 JPY) had to pay rent for public housing equivalent to the market rate, as a result of the amendment of Public Housing Law. Okuda concluded that this amendment would accelerate the outmigration of those financially stable households. 


Uchida, Y., and Otani E. (2001) Tenkanki niaru Dōwa Chiku no Machizukuri ga Kongo no Nihon no Machizukuri ni Shisa Surukoto「転換期にある同和地区のまちづくりが今後の日本のまちづくりに示唆すること」in the Journal of City Planning Institute of Japan. Vol.30.『第36回日本都市計画学会学術論文集』pp.109-114


An ecological fallacy is a formal fallacy in the interpretation of statistical data that occurs when inferences about the nature of individuals are deduced from inferences about the group to which those individuals belong.


The goals of the Dōwa Special Measures Projects were listed in the article 5 of Dōwa Special Measures Law of 1969: improvements in living conditions, promotion of social welfare, promotion of industry, stabilization of employment, enhancement of education, and strengthening of activities for human rights protection.


Ikeda, H. (1987) Nihon Shakai no Mainoriti to Kyōiku no Fubyōdō 「日本社会のマイノリティと教育の不平等」in the Journal of Educational Sociology. Vol.42.『教育社会学研究』第42集 pp. 51-69


Universities and research institutes in Japan have established codes of ethics regarding “research on human subjects,” and have set up ethics committees. As already mentioned, the list of the locations of Buraku areas is currently not available for inspection due to a provisional disposition by the court. The use of such a list for research purposes would not be permitted by the ethics committees of Japanese universities and research institutes, as it would be judged to have significant ethical and social implications, and to be highly detrimental to the Buraku people.


The following, a supplementary explanation to the above final paragraph, was added when the letter was posted on the IMADR website. The final paragraph of this letter was modified in line with the following supplementary explanation: “While Ramseyer ignores academic articles on contemporary Buraku issues claiming that there are no ‘serious researchers,’ he constructs his article by conveniently “citing” only those books read by general readers for the purpose of reinforcing his ideas. The final paragraph explains how Ramseyer tactically ignores those academic articles and is not meant to assess the value of the introductory books and reportage cited.




以下図1,2とも、野口道彦他(1997)『今日の部落差別』 p.33 解放出版社。いずれの図も総務庁による同和地区実態調査と国勢調査のデータを基に作成されている。


1993年の同和地区実態把握等調査によると、若い年代層ほど中等教育以上の最終学歴を持つ割合は多い(70-74歳で7.5%、60-64歳で14.0%、50-54歳23.0%、40-44歳52.4% 、30-34歳80.2%、20-24歳81.1%)。調査当時の34歳は1959年生まれで、同和対策事業特別措置法施行年(1969)には10歳となるから、初等教育の間に特別施策が始まっている。なお奨学金は1966年に始まり、自治体によってはそれより早くに制度を設けたところもあり、40歳代の教育を支えたといえよう。ところで、1993年の調査当時、13.2%の世帯が「世帯に30歳未満の転出者がいる」とk耐えており、その理由は結婚(47.6%)が最も多く、就労(31.9%)、就学(11.3%)が続く。就学の11.3%には、短大・大学(7.8%)が含まれる。


奥田均 (2002)『人権の宝島』p.23 解放出版社




内田雄三・大谷英二 (2001)「転換期にある同和地区のまちづくりが今後の日本のまちづくりに示唆すること」『第36回日本都市計画学会学術論文集』pp.109-114




池田寛 (1987)「日本社会のマイノリティと教育の不平等」『教育社会学研究』(日本教育社会学会誌)第42集 pp..51-69





【注記】最終パラグラフについて補足説明する。Ramseyer氏は、「真面目な研究者」が存在しないとして 現代の部落問題に関する学術論文を無視する一方、自身の考えを補強するための素材として、 一般読者を想定した書籍だけを非常に都合のよいかたちで「引用」して論文を構成している。このパラグラフは、Ramseyer氏が学術論文を巧妙に無視していることについて指摘しているのであり、引用された入門書やルポルタージュの価値について評価をするものではない。

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Volume 19 | Issue 9 | Number 7

Article ID 5598

About the author:

This article is part of Japan’s Burakumin (Outcastes) Reconsidered: A Special Issue Assessing and Refuting Ramseyer’s Interpretation. Please see the Table of Contents.

Please also see our previous special issues on The Ramseyer controversy on the ‘Comfort Women’ edited by Alexis Dudden, Supplement to Special Issue: Academic Integrity at Stake: The Ramseyer Article – Four Letters 


​See also, a special issue on The ‘Comfort Women’ as Public History edited by Edward Vickers and Mark R. Frost.



Akuzawa Mariko (阿久澤麻理子) is a professor at the Research Center for Human Rights and Graduate School of Urban Management, Osaka City University, and an executive board member of Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS Osaka). She is currently leading a research project on “Changing Buraku discrimination in Contemporary Japan”. Her recent works include; Morals and Market: Changing Attitudes toward Minorities, in Human Rights Education in Asia-Pacific, (2016). Vol.7, 233-246. Osaka; Passing a Baton of Dowa Education to the Next Generation: GTA analysis of the voices of young teachers with Buraku origin [「法期限後」につなぐ同和教育―若手世代の部落出身教師への聞き取りから], in The Bulletin of Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute. Vol.25, 39-76. Kyoto (2020).

Saito Naoko (齋藤直子) is a Specially Appointed Associate Professor at the Research Center for Human Rights, Osaka City University. She has research interests in Buraku issues and the sociology of the family. She is currently working on the topic of marriage between Buraku and non-Burakumin.Her recent works include Sociology of Marriage Discrimination [結婚差別の社会学] Tokyo: Keisō-shobō (2017).

The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus is a peer-reviewed publication, providing critical analysis of the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific and the world.

    About the author:

    This article is part of Japan’s Burakumin (Outcastes) Reconsidered: A Special Issue Assessing and Refuting Ramseyer’s Interpretation. Please see the Table of Contents.

    Please also see our previous special issues on The Ramseyer controversy on the ‘Comfort Women’ edited by Alexis Dudden, Supplement to Special Issue: Academic Integrity at Stake: The Ramseyer Article – Four Letters 


    ​See also, a special issue on The ‘Comfort Women’ as Public History edited by Edward Vickers and Mark R. Frost.



    Akuzawa Mariko (阿久澤麻理子) is a professor at the Research Center for Human Rights and Graduate School of Urban Management, Osaka City University, and an executive board member of Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (HURIGHTS Osaka). She is currently leading a research project on “Changing Buraku discrimination in Contemporary Japan”. Her recent works include; Morals and Market: Changing Attitudes toward Minorities, in Human Rights Education in Asia-Pacific, (2016). Vol.7, 233-246. Osaka; Passing a Baton of Dowa Education to the Next Generation: GTA analysis of the voices of young teachers with Buraku origin [「法期限後」につなぐ同和教育―若手世代の部落出身教師への聞き取りから], in The Bulletin of Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute. Vol.25, 39-76. Kyoto (2020).

    Saito Naoko (齋藤直子) is a Specially Appointed Associate Professor at the Research Center for Human Rights, Osaka City University. She has research interests in Buraku issues and the sociology of the family. She is currently working on the topic of marriage between Buraku and non-Burakumin.Her recent works include Sociology of Marriage Discrimination [結婚差別の社会学] Tokyo: Keisō-shobō (2017).


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