Japan's attempt to project to the world an image of solid middle-class national identity is challenged by the Burakumin, an outcaste group of indigenous Japanese citizens who have been subjugated for centuries to political, economic, and religious discrimination. In the 1960s the efforts of this group and its supporters led to a 40-year national program of economic aid and educational programs designed to move these people out of poverty and increase life options. These programs, recently terminated, have left the Burakumin and other marginalized groups uncertain of their future. Based on ten years of ethnographic inquiry, Gordon's book explores the views of educators and activists caught in this period of transition after having their lives and careers shaped by the political demands of a liberation movement dedicated to achieving educational equity for the Burakumin and their disadvantaged neighbors. Gordon provides the context of the efforts to achieve the human rights of the Burakumin and the complexity of their identity in a Japanese society struggling with economic and demographic globalization.

chapter 1|4 pages

The Burakumin

chapter 2|10 pages

Taboo Research

chapter 3|19 pages

History and Politics of Liberation

chapter 4|23 pages

Access and Trust

chapter 5|12 pages

Schools as Historical Sites of Struggle

chapter 6|10 pages

Educators for Liberation

chapter 8|23 pages

A New Lens on Marginalization

chapter 9|13 pages

Diversity in the Buraku

chapter 10|10 pages

Korean Japanese and the Buraku

chapter 11|12 pages

The Effects of Changing Policies

chapter 12|5 pages