Good News or Bad?

A few days ago, a friend brought good news. He has three daughters. One of them was going to be married. In the interval, however, the wedding has been cancelled. The sweethearts have parted. I took this as good news.

The boyfriend suspected that the girl might be Burakumin. He told her that his parents would employ a detective agency to perform a background check. What an ass! The background check is supposed to be done in secret. Everyone knows this. The girl was furious. She told him, “I don't tolerate Buraku discrimination. I will never marry you.”

The girl did not have Buraku origins. But she did receive human rights education (dowa education) in high school. The curriculum included lectures about the Buraku issue. Friends are engaged in the Buraku Liberation Movement. This girl's family has democratic ideals. They are sympathetic with the Buraku Liberation Movement. Her ending of her engagement was a vindication of her upbringing, and a proof of her loyalty to her friends.

What is going on in Japan these days? The actions of this boyfriend's family are regrettably common. Cancellation of marriage based on Buraku discrimination is rife. Human rights education is gone from schools. Moral education has succeeded it. The switch was easy because Japanese consider human rights to be synonymous with delicacy (omoiyari). Human rights should be acknowledged even for an enemy whom one cannot show omoiyari. That is only reasonable. Omoiyari is an emotional word. Result: the situation is as bad as ever. 

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