Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface: Hailing from Texas

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pp. xi-xviii

Texas is an occasional but per sis tent part of the story this book tells. Much of the rawhide produced in West Texas in the last half of the twentieth century was sent to Japan to be processed into leather there. Chapter 2, “Ushimatsu Left for Texas,” touches on the ways in which Texas has lived in a Buraku imaginary as a place that values...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xix-xxii

Support for this project has come from many directions and in many forms, and, mentioned here or not, thanks are due to all of them.
My greatest debt is to those alongside whom I have worked and studied over the past decade: the people who work in leather factories in Japan, who face Buraku discrimination on a regular basis...

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Introduction: The Labor of Multiculturalism

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pp. 1-28

In 2001 Mika and her husband, Isamu, moved from a small town north of Tokyo into an inexpensive neighborhood in the eastern part of the metropolis. They both quickly started applying for jobs but had little luck. They noted that when they wrote down their new home address, their interviewer’s demeanor tended to change, grow colder...

Part One: Recognizing Buraku Difference

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ONE. Of Skins and Workers: Producing the Buraku

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pp. 31-59

In July 2005, Doudou Diène, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on contemporary racism, officially visited Japan to examine the socioeconomic and cultural status of minority groups in Japan. Among the groups he visited on his nine-day trip were the Buraku people. Diène met with leaders of Buraku political organizations...

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TWO. "Ushimatsu Left for Texas": Passing the Buraku

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pp. 60-90

Hoping to prompt a conversation about Buraku affirmative action, I leaned over to my closest dinner companion, Oguma-san, and told him, “I am 1/32nd Native American. Comanche.”
We had just finished the group English lesson I taught every other Monday and had moved on to Watami, the chain restaurant that we frequented after class. Several months prior...

Part Two: Choice and Obligation in Contemporary Buraku Politics

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THREE. Locating the Buraku: A Political Ecology of Pollution

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pp. 93-120

The first two chapters of this book have examined the tension between producing and not producing signs of Buraku identity. As we have seen, this tension both relies on and effects certain political subjects, ethical obligations, and relationships among people, things, the places they live, the families they inhabit, and the occupations they take up. Just as important...

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FOUR. A Sleeping Public: Buraku Politics and the Cultivation of Human Rights

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pp. 121-150

On a Saturday morning in December 2005, Tomonaga Kenzō leaned into the microphone before him and lightly cleared his throat. The large, windowless auditorium in Osaka grew quiet as attention focused on the director of one of the foremost political organizations of the Buraku people. The director of the Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute...

Part Three: International Standards and the Possibilities of Solidarity

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FIVE. Demanding a Standard: Buraku Politics on a Global Stage

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pp. 153-184

On a spring day in 2006, Professor Yozo Yokota called to order a meeting of some forty representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from across the world. Representing over eleven different countries, from South and East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, these representatives had gathered in Geneva to spend two days discussing the new United Nations...

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SIX. Wounded Futures: Prospects of Transnational Solidarity

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pp. 185-214

These stories are not mine. They are stories, drafted in English, of a small group of Japanese sanitation workers and Buraku activists who, in 2006, participated in a solidarity trip to Tamil Nadu, India, to meet with “outcaste” Dalit people there, to tour their neighborhoods, homes, and workplaces, to learn about their circumstances, and to share experiences...

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Conclusion: The Disciplines of Multiculturalism

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pp. 215-236

Across this book I have endeavored to show the labor that goes into producing a multicultural Japan. Th is labor is multiply productive: it calls on certain people and practices to serve as evidence in this argument, and it makes demands on the people, organizations, and nations who undertake it. It also opens up avenues of action that exceed...

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Epilogue: Texas to Japan, and Back

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pp. 237-240

In June 2005 Uchizawa Junko, the freelance illustrator and writer I mentioned in chapter 6, came to Lubbock, Texas, to tour ranching and slaughtering facilities. At the time I was a graduate student living in Chicago, finishing my oral exams and preparing for fieldwork. I had only corresponded with Junko via e-mail. We had been introduced electronically...

Notes

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pp. 241-256

References

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pp. 257-272

Index

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pp. 273-277