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The Buraku List Scandal 


In 1975, publicised lists that detailed names of buraku areas, their location, number of households and occupations of the residents were found. In the case of Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Hyogo prefecture, more information including how to access the areas, names of households or appearance of the areas were written. 

Eight lists were discovered (but there might have been more).

Compiled by private investigators or detective agencies, major companies, and business up to 220 in number bought these lists to identify their recruiting employees to avoid burakumin. There might be cases in which those lists were used to decline the partner of someone’s child to find out find if they were burakumin or not (and most likely ended up in termination of the marriage/relationship).


In 1989, the Ministry of Justice declared that all lists are prohibited.

Although the lists were announced to be illegal there are continuous cases of investigation on burakumin and areas and shows how this information is still “valued” in the modern times

The Tottori Loop Trials

In February 2016, Tottori Loop (A person that created a "dōwa chiku wiki" in 2012) wanted to publish the National Buraku Survey (Zenkoku Buraku Chōsa) and sell it on amazon.

However, "the act of selling documents that expose the locations of buraku areas is a discriminatory crime" and the actions of Tottori Loop was condemned. Although the lists were retracted on amazon, Tottori Loop still uploaded the lists on their website.​​

The National Buraku Survey:​​

The document was published in 1936 by the Central Association for Harmony Projects (Chūō Yūwa Jigyō Kyōkai) and included information on 5367 locations throughout the country

The Tottori Loop Trials fights Tottori Loop and others involved that tried to publish the National Buraku Survey to stop the publication and the remove anything  related on that on the internet. The trials began in March 2016, a month after that incident and has been going on until now. The process goes through the levels of courts.


On the 27th September 2021 the Tokyo District Court (東京地裁) ruled that the publication of the National Buraku Survey and the posting of it online was illegal and that Tottori Loop has to pay 4.5 million Yen in damages.

This means that future distribution in any form of the list is prohibited.

The latest update on the Tottori Loop Trials was on the 28th June of 2023. In there, the Tokyo District Court accepted the prohibition in six prefecture out of the 16 that were excluded from the court decision (previously).

All information can be found on the website or Facebook page of ABDARC (Anti-Buraku Discrimination Action Ressource Center), a group dedicated to the inform about the Trials and fights for the success of the court decision.

The Yōka High School Incident

The ka High School in Hyogo Prefecture (Western Japan) was home to a buraku issue study group led under the educational guidelines of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). They saw the buraku issue as one part of a larger working-class struggle, an approach that the Buraku Liberation League (BLL) and the burakumin students at the ka High School opposed. This side argued for the establishment of a new study group in which the focus lies more on the buraku issue itself and raise awareness.

However, the new study group was denied by the school and the students started a hunger strike. On the 22nd of November 1974 the teachers walked off from their duties complaining about the situation. This resulted to clashes between the teachers and the BLL members who ordered them to return to their jobs. Both sides resisted and fights started. For 13 hours, a denunciation struggle occurred in which 60 people were injured. 48 of those were hospitalized.

We recently made a 2 part series about the Yōka High School Incident on instagram.

Part 1 is a brief description about the incident (which you can already see here) but Part 2 is about the experiences and memories from an alumni.

You can check it here

This is a video created by an alumni of the Yōka High School and depicts the experiences about what happened at that day.

(Japanese only)


The Burakui List Scandal

The Tottori Loop Trials

The Yoka High School Incident

  • Pharr, Susan J. 1990. ‘Burakumin Protest: The Incident at Yoka High School’. Pp. 75–89 in Losing Face. University of California Press.

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