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Nakagami, JapanBuraku and the Writing of Ethnicity$
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Anne McKnight

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816672851

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816672851.001.0001

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An Archive of Activism

An Archive of Activism

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 1 An Archive of Activism
Source:
Nakagami, Japan
Author(s):

Anne McKnight

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816672851.003.0002

Early twentieth-century buraku activists created their own history in an attempt to place the buraku within the national historiography. Following the Meiji government’s decree that merged craftsmen, merchants, and farmers into the category heimin (commoners), the buraku-min have been subjected to discrimination, albeit under the pretense of new names. This chapter examines the so-called “linguistic sovereignty,” which is the theory underlining the buraku rhetorical activism, and defined as the significance of the theories of language in the campaign of buraku activists against the state and the state-influenced local groups’ treatment of them. The focus on rhetorical activism is a way of contesting the Japanese state’s restriction on the use of language, while presenting a historical account of discrimination and illustrating a framework for an advocacy towards liberation.

Keywords:   buraku activists, Meiji government, heimin, buraku-min, linguistic sovereignty, rhetorical activism

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