Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Chris Coggins

Second Advisor

Nathan Shockey

Third Advisor

Nancy Yanoshak

Abstract

This thesis strives to provide a historical narrative of the Burakumin group, a Japanese minority group with a population ranging from one to three million, from the early Tokugawa period to the present day situations. The Burakumin group was officially institutionalized as outcaste groups in early Tokugawa period, and it was “emancipated” in Early Meiji period. However, the discrimination against Burakumin persists in many aspects of Japanese society. I not only intend to trace down the historical emergence and developments of this group, but seek to further understand precisely which governmental measurements and related policies have specifically had an impact of the lives of those people. Given the premise that many currently day scholarship on the topic it somewhat problematic and oversimplified, I strive to argue that many aspects of Buraku history still remain undiscussed and overlooked.

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