Archive for the ‘Burakumin’ Category

How Discrimination Helps the Yakuza

February 14, 2007

A good article that concisely lays out the differences between Japan’s right-wingers, criminal gangs, and their influence on the government.

 The piece touches on the old, romantic, utterly vile notion that the Yakuza is a necessary evil, because it provides structure and direction for society’s outcasts (i.e. Burakumin and Koreans). There’s some truth to the idea–because enough Japanese people still support a social system that creates outcasts based on “race”. Or on bizarre, outdated values from the feudal era.  

The fact that the Yakuza is comprised largely of historic untouchables like Burakumin and Koreans does not reflect well on the Yakuza; it reflects poorly on Japan’s history of rabid discrimination. Consider: if Burakumin and Koreans were treated as full and equal members of Japanese society, where would the Yakuza make up its calamitous drop in membership?