When Minorities Intersect

More and more, minorities all over the world are protesting injustice.

Black Lives Matter is a protest movement against racism in a background of power and firearms. #MeToo is a movement of victims forced into silence toward sexual violence. These women intend to condemn victimizers directly, and open cracks in the male-dominated society. Such movements may impact not only Japanese anti-racism movements, but the entire global society.

I tend to agree with everyone who acts in line with their threatened survival instincts. In the long term, obstruction is anyway useless. However, let’s go into greater depth as far as participation is concerned. Is it possible for any (minority) movement to intersect simply by saying "me too"? In a newspaper I recently read that, “a person whose job is not going well, and a person who is cold-shouldered by friends, and a person who did not get any sweets” are categories of broad minorities, and it is important that they have possibility to intersect with each other at the “kosa-suru-ba (交差する場)” where parties meet and discuss things together. A literal translation into English of this phrase will be “the place of intersection.” But I do not know what the best translation of “ba” is. “Camp” (field) in French, “space” or “point.” I will designate it, “intersection.” I do not intend now to discuss what “intersection” is. Simply, the concept of “intersection” makes me remember critical objections such as a critique from black feminism to the established feminist movement. Quite simply, despite fighting with the gender bias, established feminism has been silencing, against race, the feminist movements included within itself. Such critiques from black feminism are universal, and will be integral conditions of intersection. This is the issue.

How does this relate to things in Japan? For example, we are facing the very important issue of former “comfort women.” I will try to adapt this issue to the insistence of the above paper. At an intersection where the subject of former “comfort women” is being discussed, will it not step on their toes to introduce, as a broad category of minority, men who cannot get a girlfriend? What would the two parties talk about?

It is the 100th anniversary of Zenkoku Suiheisha. The centenary is not important, but we must seize the opportunity to criticize Colonialism and Orientalism. Yes, the Zenkoku Suiheisha comes up again. Yes, we must address Asia in our own words. Only in so doing can Burakumin stand in the “intersection” with all parties. Not until the former “comfort women” find justice can any Japanese, including Burakumin, realize their own war responsibility. This recognition is the first step to “intersection” for us in Japan. We will never step back from our ideological horizon (Suihei-sen) that Zenkoku Suiheisha obtained. Throughout this critique, I will endeavor to deconstruct what few ideas the Zenkoku Suiheisha has constructed.

Page Top