Racialization and the Global Development of Governance Techniques: Problematizing the Buraku in Modern Japan


The burakumin are well known to European and American researchers as a minority group in Japan. From 1968 to 2003, the Japanese government pursued assimilation and anti-discrimination measures (dowa taisaku jigyo) in a bid to solve the social problems besetting them. However, buraku discrimination continued, and the Act to Promote the Elimination of Buraku Discrimination (buraku sabetsu kaisho suishin hoan) was passed in December 2016. In so doing, the government recognized that buraku discrimination was ongoing, and vowed to eliminate it.

The buraku issue has long been viewed in Japan as a relic of the premodern feudal status system. However, this interpretative framework clearly fails to explain the reality of the situation. Discrimination demonstrably still exists, even though a hundred and fifty years have passed since the Liberation Edict (mibun kaihorei) and Japan has undergone modernization and economic growth. In this paper, I analyze discourses problematizing the buraku, in the context of the new knowledge, techniques, and institutions of governance which came to prevail worldwide from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, and specifically how these relate to “racialization”.

Michel Foucault argues that governance of people under modern capitalism is characterized by the workings of power on human health, life, and death, with the purpose of maximizing life and making it more efficient. Such biopower treats humans as an agglomerate of biological species (populations) and aims to increase the productivity of society as a whole by intervening in the life process. In the past, absolute monarchs monopolized sovereign power and exercised the right to take away life, while disciplinary power individualized the human through its focus on anatomy and enforced surveillance. By contrast, biopower affirms people’s desires, directs their behavior towards normal conditions, and guides them to a “better life”. According to Foucault, racism functions as the fundamental mechanism to bestow “death” in biopower. Governance of populations seeks to manage contingencies and so eliminate dangers arising from collective life. Degenerate and abnormal people are classified as lower races because they pose a biological threat, and are placed at the bottom of a hierarchy of lives worth living and those that are not1.

Nikolas Rose develops Foucault’s ideas on governance. He discusses how human life is controlled practically in the spheres of the home, school, law, social work, medicine, and incarceration. He argues that specialist knowledge and psychological techniques for measuring human aptitudes and determining what is “normal” and “abnormal”, concerns about human degeneration and interest in eugenics, education and welfare, and rehabilitation practices were all linked2, in what he refers to as the “psychological complex”3. Rose notes that psychology and eugenics were not products of closed academic fields of interest, but emerged in close relationship with institutions and practices seeking to solve questions and problems in people’s lives. That is, these various bodies of knowledge must not be seen as deceitful ideologies. Rather, they functioned as a means for seeking the “truth” in the “complex of governmentality”, consisting in discourses, practices, techniques, laws, institutions, and agents, framing and controlling the existence of modern human subjects such as soldiers, workers, and children4.

Kurokawa Midori analyses the history of the burakumin in modern Japan in relation to racism5. She suggests that intellectual debates by anthropologists led to racism influencing buraku issues. She also argues that the foundation of such debates lay in traditional Japanese thinking on “ie” and “blood”, carried over unresolved from the premodern period. Fujino Yutaka, on the other hand, points out that modern discourse on the buraku was greatly influenced by eugenic philosophy6. The works of Kurokawa and Fujino are interesting in that both refer to the modern origin of the buraku problem, and reject the idea that it is a remnant of premodern society. Elsewhere, I have referred to Foucault’s theory of biopower and discussed how Western scientific knowledge influenced ideas and practices pertaining to buraku issues7. In this article, I continue the discussion by considering how modern Japan and the buraku issue came to be shaped in resonance with racialization in the context of the worldwide development of modern biopolitical governance.

I. Human “normality” and “abnormality”

1. The humans species and “standards” of development

In addition to the “eta” (“the very polluted”), “hinin” (“non-persons”) and other outcasts are known to have existed in early modern Japanese society. However, exclusion and oppression of the latter is generally said to have disappeared in the modern period8. By contrast, strong discrimination against the “eta” persisted, and they were targeted under the designation “tokushu buraku” (“special hamlet”) after the end of the nineteenth century. This designation, which appeared as Japan was transiting from the early modern to the modern period, has been seen as indicating a shift from status discrimination to social discrimination, and key to understanding modern buraku issues.

Kojima Tatsuo, who studied the designation of the buraku for many years, discovered that the term “tokushu buraku” was first used by the education administration promoting elementary school attendance in Nara Prefecture. He traced its first use to a report in 1899 by the Ikoma county mayor responding to consultation by the prefectural governor about the policy of expanding education among children of school-going age.

It is well known that the enrollment rate of elementary school children reached around 10% in the late nineteenth century, a figure which changed little through to the early twentieth century. The spread of primary education among the people was due to school staff all over the country promoting schooling and attendance9. In Nara prefecture, in meetings organized for parents and guardians, education staff repeatedly demanded almost mandatory school attendance10. The burakumin were referred to as follows in the report: “There are many poor children in the tokushu buraku. These children are badly nourished, poorly clothed, and lazy by nature. Even if they were to come to school, their attendance would be inconsistent. However, people spreading poison in the state will appear in future from amongst these poor children”. Let us analyze the historical context in which such a statement was made in relation to the recently emergent view of “the human” in educational circles.

In Mie prefecture at the time: “It seems that most of the children not attending school come from the tokushu buraku”. In educational circles across the country, the buraku were considered central to the problems of children not attending or being absent from school11. In the report by the Ikoma county mayor, in Nara prefecture, where the term “tokushu buraku” was first used, the burakumin were labelled as being “tokushu”(“special”). There was an urgent need for them to be included in the educational system because they posed a risk of nurturing socially maladjusted persons in the future due to poor living conditions and lack of educational opportunities. Since school education provided the institution and apparatus for fostering civilized Japanese people, we can see why the burakumin were problematized as elements obstructing integration into modern governmentality.

The situation can be better understood by locating it in the context of views on biological human development that spread rapidly among educational circles at the time, and the trend of efforts made to improve society through applying these views. Let us take the case of two intellectuals, Takashima Heizaburo and Fujikawa Yu, who established the Japanese Society for Child Studies, and promoted the spread and cultivation of scientific knowledge on childcare and education12.

Takashima was an educator who introduced to Japan the child psychology of W. Preyer and G.S. Hall, which was strongly influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution. He disseminated the theory of home education, applying child psychology to parenting and child education. He is also known for his leadership in child studies and the children’s culture movement of the time, establishing the Japanese Society for Child Studies, publishing the society’s journal, Child Study, and organizing the Children’s Exhibition and the Toy Exhibition. When he first came to be involved in educational circles, children were generally treated as “incomplete adults”, and the purpose of education was to bring their immature thoughts and manners closer to adult norms. Takashima criticized this trend, arguing that “childhood” should be seen as a particular developmental stage in human life, and that its unique worldview should be acknowledged and protected.

Heisaburō Takashima
Takashima, Jidō shinri kōwa 児童心理講話 (Conférences sur la psychologie de l’enfant), 1909

Heisaburō Takashima (1865-1946).

Takashima’s book Children’s Psychology Lecture (1909) was widely read by educators and became a long-selling product in the first half of the 20th century.

As part of these activities, Takashima was involved in various ways with social reform policies promoted by the Home Ministry, such as the local improvement movement, charity work, relief work in reformatories, and social work. He often mentioned the buraku problem in these contexts. In his keynote speech to the National Charity Convention in 1903, a precursor to the government’s social welfare programs, he recounted hearing a detective observe: “Those who commit murder in Japan are often the eta. As you know, killing animals is the traditional occupation of the new commoners (shinheimin). So, they do not think that killing people is so terrible”. The detective also gave an example of a burakumin who had killed eight people in a robbery, saying: “Of course this is a pathological case, but they are new commoners after all. The root of all this is that they are used to killing large animals”. In this way, Takashima took up the example of the burakumin and pointed out the “symptom” of being bound by instincts due to the environment in which they grew up13.

According to Takashima, although all humans have animal instincts, the faculty of reason suppressed them as the body and mind developed. During childhood everyone displays the same “cruelty” as primitives and people of the hunting and gathering era, but this disappears with maturity. Hence appropriate guidance should be given so that this state passed quickly. However, the instinct becomes prominent if mental development is obstructed. For example, if physical punishment is inflicted on a child in the name of discipline, the child’s development stops, and he becomes an adult retaining animal instincts. Takashima argued that violence against children should be strictly prohibited, and efforts should be made to protect them from cruelty14. He pointed out that:

“Once someone has been physically beaten, he loses his sense of dignity and becomes numb to terrible things. He also goes on to commit sins of the body against others. Those who are used to cruelty from childhood often do cruel things when they grow up. That is why those who commit murder in our country are mostly the eta. In the West, too, those who slaughter animals as their occupation like the eta are most likely to unscrupulously kill people”15.

Takashima, the pioneer of contemporary perspectives on children, became aware of the concept of “childhood” through a view of human development based on the theory of evolution. Takashima stated the process of a child growing into a civilized and socialized adult as follows: “A child passes through the animal class, the homo erectus class, and repeats the long process as a human, before reaching the stage of civilization in which each of us lives”16. In other words, the path of a child’s development was the same as the process by which humankind emerged, evolving from the stage of the animal to that of homo erectus, then to that of civilized man. This view originated from the theory of recapitulation formulated by the German biologist, Haeckel. The theory of recapitulation is a theory of embryology which postulates that in developing from a zygote to a complete organism (ontogeny), each species repeats changes in the evolution from lower-grade ancestors to the present-day advanced organism (phylogeny)17. Preyer and Hall thought that they could examine human developmental psychology and processes by applying this theory to the development of children. That is, the human species began as a primitive unicellular organism, became a higher form of life with complex structures over a long period of time, acquired the ability for high levels of abstract thought by developing the central nervous system, such as the brain and spinal cord in particular, and evolved from ape man to homo erectus, and then, further, to present-day civilized man. The development of a child to an adult was said to be a linear process retracing the traits and nature of the body that appeared during phylogenetic evolution.

Diagramme de Heckel

Using the famous Heckel diagram (from left to right, the developmental process of fish, salamanders, turtles, chickens, pigs, cows, rabbits, and humans), Takashima explains: "All species have evolved from a common ancestor, so there is little difference in the shape of any species in the early stages of ontogeny."

Such a view of development based on evolutionism was the foundation of developmental psychology and pedagogy at the time18. It was argued in the journal Child Study that comparative research into children, animals, and primitive people could complement and assist research in other fields, such as anthropology and biology19. The journal eagerly published research comparing the bodies of children and simians, children’s play and the everyday life of primitive people, drawings by children and those drawn by Paleolithic and Neolithic men, and exploring their respective psychologies through the similarities found20. According to this view of development, the state of mind of a human child was the same as that of primitive people and animals. The child grew to become an adult as a civilized human in the final stage of evolution. This was the fundamental principle of the human as a biological being. Hence, “the basics of child rearing” must encourage healthy development in accordance with “the workings of nature”21. Takashima thus argued that the theory of developmental evolution was “the principal foundation of academic research based on evolution today”22.

Takashima, L’Étude de l’enfant

Takashima explains: "Human babies and monkeys sit very similarly, and their abilities are at the same level of development."

However, the biological interpretation of human development led to perceiving people who deviated from “normal” development as pathological23. Takashima gave a lecture at the training program for reformatory relief work organized by the government in 1909. There he spoke about socially maladjusted people (“inferior” humans) as follows: “the workings of a child’s mind at a certain stage displays a nature similar to that of an animal even though it is human. But, as it gains experience and becomes educated, animal-like elements gradually decrease and human elements increase. Hence, an inferior person has few human qualities and a more animal nature”24. For example, people became criminals because they were born with genetically innate dispositions, or grew up in deprived families, and “became adults without concepts and with impulses creating their personalities as their mental development was severely obstructed”. In other words, the common factor among social deviants was the obstructed development of the central nervous system, such as the cerebral cortex, or breakdown in the high-level function that humans acquired in the last stage of evolution. Takashima said that criminals lacked reason inherent in civilized man, and were ruled by animal and savage instincts which, from the viewpoint of phylogenic evolution, preceded the human25.

2. Theory of human degeneration

The theory of degeneration provided a medical explanation for the mechanism of breakdown in human development. Fujikawa Yu, who with Takashima established the Japanese Society for Child Studies, propagated the concept of degeneration in Japanese society through a wide range of activities including writing and education.

Yū Fujikawa (1865-1940)

Yū Fujikawa (1865-1940)

Fujikawa studied medicine at the University of Jena, the stronghold of Darwinism in Germany, where Haeckel had taught. He brought this trend of Western thought back to Japan at a time when evolutionism influenced many aspects of society26. Fujikawa discussed the importance of human developmental stage as follows: “A child’s body is in the process of development. If this development is not normal, or stops somewhere along the line, or is obstructed, it will have irreparable consequences later. So, the care of children requires much more attention than the care of adults”27.

“Degeneration” was a psychiatric concept developed by Morel and Magnan. It influenced philosophy and literature worldwide from the end of the nineteenth through to the first half of the twentieth century28. According to this theory, degeneration occurred when humans were placed in circumstances not conducive to survival, such as unhygienic occupations, malnutrition, disease, or alcoholism, and pathological symptoms appeared as a result. Such degeneration was said to affect offspring through genetic transfer, as organically degenerate symptoms appeared, causing mental and physical disorder, triggering disease in response to external stimuli, or giving rise to crime. Symptoms of degeneration were amplified as they were genetically passed on to the next generation, and the offspring disappeared after several generations.

Fujikawa returned from Germany in 1904. He warned of the dangers of human “degeneration” through medicine and social reform, arousing public awareness. By the early twentieth century, the concept of “degeneration” spread through Japanese society via the mass media, together with synonyms such as “decadence” and “dissipation”. Let us take a look at Fujikawa’s explanation of this concept.

“Dissipation is a state where the body’s structure and constitution deviates from the normal pattern and deteriorates. It is the same as what is termed degeneration, decadence, or entartung in the West. A body’s structure and constitution deviates from the normal pattern because of obstructions in the body and mind. A dissipated state that has been made manifest is genetically passed on to the offspring, and the offspring bears the symptoms of dissipation at birth. Therefore, in academic terms, dissipation is a genetically manifested anatomical and physiological trait, classified as a regressive transmutation of humankind”29.

According to Fujikawa, a disposition to commit anti-social acts was produced when something different from the norm occurred in the nervous system controlling the developmental process of the human mind, and when this was combined with environmental factors, such as malnutrition, poverty, lack of education, bad company, alcoholism, syphilis, tuberculosis, marriage between close relatives, or racial degeneration. When such degeneration occurred, the person’s resistance to external stimuli weakened; they thus acquired a tendency to react directly, making them susceptible to committing crime30. Social deviants came to be seen as biologically “inferior”, as Fujikawa noted: “amongst the so-called madmen, juvenile delinquents, sloths, and vagabonds, there are many who have degenerate minds”31.

Based on this theory, Fujikawa claimed that children in their developmental stage need to be cared for to prevent “degeneration”. He said that if the parents suffered from tuberculosis, syphilis, neurosis, or psychosis, the children developed genetic disorder, and there was increased risk of “their body and mind differing from the norm”. He argued that “it is necessary to take care of the parents’ body before children were born” to remove the effects of hereditary disorder32.

There were no adequate explanations for the mechanism of genetic inheritance at the time. It was taken up sensationally, but there was very limited biological knowledge about it by today’s standards. Under such circumstances, the theory of “degeneration”, which claimed that the strain of poor living conditions on the body led to genetic disorder being passed on from parent to child, contributed to the emergence of a scientific jus sanguinis33.

Explanations about the “abnormal” disseminated by Takashima and Fujikawa can be summarized as follows. When a human in a developmental stage is placed in poor living conditions, or the full development of his nervous system is obstructed by a genetic disorder of his ancestors, he ceases to develop, and deviates from the “normal” human form. Such a person becomes maladjusted to civilized society, as he behaves in accordance with his lower nature, being, like primitive man, fixed on satisfying his savage and animal-like nature, with his reason and emotion impaired. “Degeneration” thus provided a viewpoint from which to apprehend as “abnormal” those who deviated from the biological norm and posed a threat to the next generation through genetic disorder34. It was claimed that people living in deprived conditions due to poverty and those who were infirm were of “abnormal” race deviating from the “normal”.

Takashima also argued that there was a major mistake in previous methods of rehabilitating people who had become socially maladjusted due to such causes. He said that previous charitable work which focused on “almsgiving” to the poor would in fact result in fostering “lazy people” and would not be a fundamental remedy. Correct charitable work was to “guide people, who had fallen into unnatural conditions, to a natural state”, and should be based on appropriate methods of education and treatment35. True remedy based on scientific knowledge must promote “natural” human development, guarantee normal and healthy growth, and be based on techniques that brought the person who had deviated from the “norm” back to the biological “standard”.

From such a perspective, Fujikawa promoted the idea of “social medicine” which anticipated the government’s attitude to social reform policy. “Social medicine” was a philosophy that Fujikawa had learned together with the theory of “degeneration” during his studies in Germany, and had sought to propagate. Social medicine stood “at the crossroads between medicine and society”, and aimed to “bring social policy and medicine together” to “realize the ideal of social reform”. Fujikawa noted the effects of workers’ insurance for the purposes of social medicine in Germany and other places. He said: “The body and mind of lower-class people are becoming increasingly more degenerate, and society is facing many problems as a result. Thus, it is most urgent in terms of social policy to make laws to save those in lower-class occupations and with incurable diseases”36. Here, social policy was seen as a means of preventing human degeneration based on medical knowledge.

Fujikawa was later invited by Toyo University to lecture on social welfare studies37. He said: “Doctors must always be close to the society of the poor to strive to remove their suffering. In particular, their main purpose should be to eradicate or alleviate illnesses and impediments arising from the workers’ occupations, mode of living, and housing”. In this way, he aimed to improve people’s occupations, homes, and lifestyles to protect them from degeneration induced by illness and handicap, or to help them recover to a normal state. The view that the essence of social welfare lay in the prevention of human degeneration caused by living conditions and hereditary factors became mainstream in social welfare in Japan, a point I return to later.

Japanese journalism from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century also saw the burakumin, criminals, juvenile delinquents, the poor, the handicapped, and the mentally ill as “abnormal” people who deviated from the normal developmental process. As an example, in his book The Lower Classes of Japan (1899), Yokoyama Genosuke wrote that the poor are “a type of monkey that is close to humans”. A “rag-picker” was said to be “half man, half monkey”, in between a “pickpocket” and a “beggar”. An intelligent rag-picker became a “pickpocket” and a stupid one a “beggar”38. Harada Tofu’s Beggar (1902) also said that the state of a “beggar” was “truly living life like an animal” because “the brain power was so incompletely developed”. He also said that “many of them were innately born as beggars”, suggesting that their developmental disorder was hereditary39. Ishikawa Tengai’s Study of Tokyo (1909) suggested that the squandering habit of the poor was due to “disorder of the mind because of their circumstances and customs, and falling into a tendency of fiercely devouring temporary sensual pleasures”. He explained their mode of action as “a kind of illness where the functioning of the brain has lost its balance”40. The writings of Yokoyama, Harada, and Ishikawa show how poverty was understood not simply as an economic problem, but as a problem caused by the nature of degenerate people.


We may see the influence of the theory of degeneration most clearly in reports on crimes. This may be illustrated by news reports about a young steeplejack who committed two incidents of robbery and murder, killing eight people from 1909 to 1912 in Shibanihonmatsu, Tokyo. When the twenty-three-year-old suspect, who lived very close to the two houses of the victims, was arrested in 1913, Asahi Shinbun (Asahi Newspaper) published a serial on the suspect’s upbringing and background in order to investigate the “nature” of the criminal41. According to these reports, the suspect had inherited the genes of a father suffering from stomach illness, and of a mother suffering from headaches caused by brain disorder and “dullness” of the nerves. It was observed that his phrenology was typical of that of criminals as characterized by Lombroso. The newspaper also stressed that the suspect had been “an introverted cry-baby” as a boy, but degenerated to become a man with an abnormal mind. This was due to the poor living conditions during his childhood that prevented him from going to school properly, the “roughness” he acquired by doing his adopted steeplejack family’s job of fire-fighting, his lack of learning, undeveloped sense of money, and his frequenting of brothels in bad company.

Such news reports alerting to the dangers of “degeneration” gave society the impression that the state of a family’s health and the environment in which children grew up were significant factors affecting a person’s future. The reports informed readers of the importance of family norms, such as hygiene, nutrition, health, and love. At the same time, they profoundly fortified the sense of aversion against the lower classes, the sick, and criminals.

3. Governance of the population and perceptions of the burakumin

In this way, the idea that crime, illness of the body and mind, and handicap were important issues related to human degeneration caused by arrested development came to be widely accepted in society as new scientific knowledge. Notions based on principles of population and eugenics played significant roles in making society as a whole view these as serious problems that could not be ignored.

Tomeoka Kosuke was involved in the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents, as I will discuss later. At the same time, based on his participation in social reform, such as reformatory relief work and the local improvement movement commissioned by the Home Ministry, he argued for the need to reform the burakumin. His experience as a prison chaplain in Sorachi Prison in Hokkaido alerted him to the need for reform, and he argued that many of the criminals in the statistics were burakumin. Let us take a look at Tomeoka’s analyses of crimes by burakumin.

Kōsuke Tomeoka (1864-1934)

Kōsuke Tomeoka (1864-1934)

According to research at the prefectural level, statistics for Mie prefecture in 1905 (Meiji 38) show an average of 0.647 prisoners per 1000 population, yet the figure for burakumin prisoners was 2.897, approximately 3.5 times more than the prefectural average42. In Shiga prefecture, there was a prefectural average of 1.3 criminals per 1000 population from 1897 (Meiji 30) to 1906, but a far higher average of 10.4 criminals in Minamino buraku, almost eight times more than the prefectural average43. According to the Home Ministry’s nationwide survey, the average number of criminals in Japan per 1000 population was 1.3, but was over 8 among the burakumin, and over 10 in disorderly buraku areas, so it was estimated to be 8 to 10 times more44. Such demographic findings on the burakumin show why Tomeoka took great interest in the problem, since he was involved in preventing crime through the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.

High crime rates were not the only problem. The burakumin population growth rate was much higher than average, and this was seen as a factor in the deterioration of public order in Japanese society as a whole. At the time of the Liberation Edict of 1871 (Meiji 4), around 380,000 burakumin were incorporated into the general family registers. In 1911 (Meiji 44), this population had increased to approximately 800,000. Tomeoka remarked: “The power of their fertility is indeed astonishing”. He said that he “conceived of the idea of reforming the burakumin because it was important to reduce the crimes committed by them in order to decrease the number of crimes committed in our country”45.

Eugenic philosophy became the basis for stressing that social problems caused by human degeneration were issues to be dealt with at the policy level. Un’no Yukinori, who wrote the first authentic book on eugenics in Japan in 1910, Reform of the Japanese Race (Nihonjinshu kaizoron), argued that the sole means of saving the Japanese race was to prevent the birth of people with bad genes.

Un’no Yukinori (1879-1954)

Un’no Yukinori (1879-1954)

Un’no was captivated by eugenics, which was flourishing in Europe and America at the time, and criticized charity work. He argued that according to research by the biologist Weismann, who claimed that acquired character was not genetically inherited, people with “malignant genes” were destined to be “abnormal” or “deviant”. Therefore, unless such people were forcibly sterilized, the nation and society would inevitably decline. Un’no stated: “Protecting the handicapped, the sick, and criminals will result in preventing the process of natural selection. The handicapped, the sick, and criminals will have spouses, rapidly increase their offspring, drive out good social elements, and together they will make the world full of the handicapped, the sick, and criminals. The result of blind charity will oppress the middle class, the backbone of society and the state, and thus […] take away the food and reduce the quality of clothing and housing for able and capable people”46.

Un’no repeatedly stressed the evil that poverty alleviation programs wrought on civilized society, arguing for the need to “dispose of malicious people”. Among animals in the natural world, those species that could not adapt to the environment would be selectively removed, while species that could adapt would be able to maintain their offspring. But in the human world, because of charity work, the process of selection could not take place, and people who were not adapted to civilized society also had offspring. The middle class, the source of revenue for charity work, were therefore weakened, while unfavorable people among the population increased and favorable people decreased. Un’no claimed that this would lead to the decline of state and society.

Such a theory of genetic determination was incompatible with the theory of degeneration, and later led to debate over how to explain the presence of “abnormal people”. There were also disputes over the aims of charity work and social welfare programs, and how to decide on their recipients47. The eugenics-based theory of racial improvement had a significant impact on social welfare in Japan. The increase in the proportion of the “retarded” and the “abnormal” among the population was established as an undeniable fact, just as eugenicists had claimed. Also, after this period, seeking solutions to social problems was oriented not to increasing the happiness of individuals with difficulties, but to preventing the degeneration of the state, society, and race, and thereby minimizing the cost of governance.

Nakagawa Nozomu, a bureaucrat at the Home Ministry who was deeply involved in social reform policies, such as reformatory relief work and the local improvement movement, analyzed the problem of genetically induced degeneration from a demographic perspective. In “Social welfare and racial improvement” (1912), he referred to European and American research, pointing out that “upper class”, “middle class”, and “lower class” had proportionately different impacts on population growth. The birth rate of the poor was higher than that of the middle and upper classes. The poor also had diseases, and “many of them were unhealthy and unwholesome”. Hence, “a high birth rate of the unwholesome part of a nation meant that the national species will gradually deteriorate and decline. Thus, this is a matter which cannot not be easily avoided”. He argued that “Creating healthy nationals is very important for the lasting prosperity of the state. Many offspring of the mentally ill are mentally ill themselves. Thus, it is extremely important for the future of the state to take action against such people from bearing offspring”. Nakagawa referred to the beneficiaries of reformatory relief work as “parasites” on the state, and argued that social welfare should not become “an expensive good deed” engendering racial degeneration. He urged Japan to discuss the eugenic measures carried out in Europe and America48.

It should be noted that the notion of racial degeneration as the origin of social problems was accepted and widely shared by the intellectuals of Taisho democracy. Ukita Kazutami, a constitutionalist, asserted that “the basis of all social reform is racial reform”. He referred to the eugenic movement in America, and proposed there should be fixed qualifications for marriage. That is: “There should be laws that absolutely prohibit the marriage of all those who poison society, for example, tramps, cretins, epileptics, and others who have no prospect of improvement, and the feeble-minded”49.

Kawakami Hajime, who conducted academic research on problems relating to poverty in his book The Story of Poverty (1917), introduced Goddard’s study of the Kallikak family, writing that:

“The power of congenital genes is so frightfully deeply rooted that its effects, which can hardly be undone by education, pass from generation to generation. Therefore, when young people get married in future, it is most important that they choose the bloodline of their partner well, and take care not to pollute the bloodline of their ancestors. Any marriage that once mistakenly passes down a subnormal bloodline, or leaves the offspring an aftermath of bad effects, such as inferior constitution and reprobate character, should be absolutely rejected […]. Mixing blood with the conquered inferior races should be avoided as much as possible. For example, if one marries an inferior race, such as the Koreans, no matter how one may try to give the child a good education it will end up being a waste of time. Not only that, it will be like inviting self-destruction as a superior race”50.

The idea that social reform cannot be discussed without including the viewpoint of racial reform almost acquired the status of dogma in the 1910s. Of course, compulsory sterilization became legal much later, in 1940, with the establishment of the National Eugenic Law. But even before then, people with “inferior” genes were not left to their own devices, and the government began serious efforts to make such people “harmless” and transform them into “useful” people.

II. Inclusion and exclusion by social welfare: Humanitarian practices and racial reform

1. Perceptions of the “abnormal” and the establishment of social welfare

Policies dealing with people considered to be “deviant” or “abnormal”, such as criminals, juvenile delinquents, vagabonds, the physically and mentally handicapped, and leprosy patients started to be fully implemented in Japan in the 1910s. The area around Sugamo in Tokyo was used for studies and trials, before the resulting scientific and specialized knowledge about improvement, education, and treatment was disseminated across the country.

The following institutions were established around Sugamo: Tokyo Metropolitan Psychiatric Hospital in 1886 (Meiji 19, in Sugamo Kagomachi, Koishikawa ward, renamed Tokyo Metropolitan Sugamo Hospital in 1889); Metropolitan Police Department Prison Sugamo branch in 1895 (Meiji 28, in Sugamomura, renamed Sugamo Prison branch in 1897, and Sugamo Prison in 1903); Tokyo City Home for abandoned children, the destitute, and the homeless in 1896 (in Otsuka Asatsujimachi, Koishikawa ward and in Sugamo Azamiyajishita, Toshima ward, opening a branch in Sugamomura in 1908, housing orphans, street children, and juvenile delinquents); Takinogawa Gakuen in 1896, the first educational home for mentally handicapped children (in Takinogawamura, changed its name from Kojoen Seisanichi Kojiin established in 1891, moved to Sugamomura in 1906); and a detention center for juvenile delinquents (home school) in 1899 (in Sugamomura, headmaster Tomeoka Kosuke). Institutions related to the formative period of social welfare in Japan were thus concentrated in this area51. The Department of Psychiatry of Tokyo Imperial University was located in Sugamo Hospital, and provided systematic medical knowledge relating to the various “abnormalities” dealt with in these institutions.

Some of the famous people who worked in these institutions were psychiatrists, such as Kure Shuzo, Katayama Kunika, Miyake Koichi, and Sugie Tadasu, who taught at the Department of Psychiatry of Tokyo Imperial University and treated patients in Sugamo Hospital, Terada Seiichi, who conducted research on criminology in Sugamo Prison, Adachu Kenchu, who managed Tokyo City Home, Ishii Ryoichi of Takinogawa Gakuen, and Tomeoka Kosuke of the home school. Fujikawa Yu and Takashima Heizaburo, whom I have already mentioned, worked with this network of people to promote childcare in school and at home from the perspective of child psychology. Those associated with these institutions frequently held meetings and conducted study groups. They introduced European and American scientific research on crime, delinquency, vagabondage, handicap, mental illness, and prostitution, together with specialized knowledge on treatments, education, and relief work. For example, the aforementioned academics and specialists in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, education, and relief work gave presentations to the Japanese Association of Criminology, established in 1913, and headed by Sugie Tadasu and Terada Seiichi who worked at Sugamo Hospital52.

Locaux d'activités sociales autour de Sugamo (vers 1910)

Social business facility around Sugamo (around 1910).

These experts, too, argued that the cause of social problems was “abnormality” in humans, and its origin was to be found in degeneration due to genetic disorder and environmental factors. Such explanations were passed on to administrators and social workers around the country via training programs for reformatory relief work promoting charity work and social welfare, and, through them, to people involved in educational, religious, police, and local government organizations in each region.

The degree of “abnormality” caused by arrested human development was explained by psychiatric concepts such as “anoia” (hakuchi), “imbecility” (chigu), and “moronity” (rodon)53. Anoia referred to severe innate handicap where the person had an intellectual level of around a two-year-old and could not speak properly. Imbecility was a less serious handicap than anoia, and referred to a type of person whose mental development stopped between that of around a two to a seven-year-old, and did not develop any further. Moronity referred to a type of person who could not be differentiated from a normally developed person at first sight. But he had behavioral problems and was unable to adapt to society, as his development stopped at the age of twelve due to organic abnormalities in the brain. Such explanations of human “abnormality” and “deviance” were introduced together with research on anti-social families, such as that by Dugdale on the Jukes family and by Goddard on the Kallikak family, influenced by eugenic thinking which was popularly debated in America. They drew attention to and warned against malignant genetic inheritance.

Such scientific knowledge provided the foundation for social welfare practitioners and practices during the formative period. Ishii Ryoichi, who founded Takinogawa Gakuen, claimed that many criminals, vagabonds, juvenile delinquents, and prostitutes were “morons”, and that this stratum posed the most danger for society54. Adachi Kenchu, the director of Tokyo City Home, reported that, due to genetic heredity, most of the vagabonds housed in his institution lacked civilized ethics, such as hard work and hygiene55. The enormity of the effects of hereditary genes was considered essential knowledge for everyone involved in social welfare. Ishii Juji, who opened the first orphanage in Japan, at Okayama, argued that education played only a reduced role, of twenty percent in a child’s life. He said: “There is an accumulation of hereditary genes, and we will fail unless we take this into account when considering a child’s future”56.

Specialists of prisons, psychiatric hospitals, education centers for juvenile delinquents and the mentally handicapped, and homes for vagabonds and orphans around Sugamo received these scientific explanations, and developed specialized knowledge on rehabilitation, treatment, improvement, and support techniques. The mass media took up these practices, and actively promoted the mass dissemination of values and norms for avoiding “abnormality” and “deviance” in the home, thanks to hygiene, education, and health.

The government also set up social welfare institutions based on this framework, and promoted the education of organizations and agents such as social workers. This resulted in setting up the training program for reformatory relief work, and the Central Institute of Social Welfare was established in 1908 (Meiji 41). The purpose of this training program was to spread scientific knowledge as the foundation for charity and relief work. It problematized the fact that previous charity and relief work only served to rescue individuals, and had been uncontrolled and inconsistent, giving alms to beggars and so on. Instead, such work should target improvement and education based on scientific knowledge. The training program was a large-scale event, running for 36 days from September to October, covering 25 courses in 106 hours, with 14 extra lectures over 24 hours. It was attended by 353 participants in all, with an average of 292 participants per day: 63 prefectural chief officers, 16 municipal officers, 33 school staff, 16 prison chaplains, 10 Shinto priests, 69 Buddhist monks, 2 Christian pastors, 128 relief project managers, and 16 volunteers took part. It was an enthusiastic program: field inspections were conducted every Sunday, and, in addition to the main and extra lectures, there were as many study groups and discussions of practical experience as time would allow57.

I refer to the social structure of discourse, practices, institutions, techniques, and agents that intervene and work upon people’s life and way of living as “the complex of governmentality”, in line with Nikolas Rose. The aim of the complex of governmentality is to work upon the population through the knowledge and practices of the many people involved, to reform race, and to make society safer and more productive. The burakumin were seen as a dangerous population group, posing a high potential threat to society through racial degeneration.

2. “Racializing” the buraku

The first training program for reformatory relief work was held in September 1908 on the premises of the home school. It was attended by 28 members of organizations involved in buraku issues, hailing from all the prefectures around the country, and by Aida Yoshio, a chief officer at the Home Ministry. It included a study group on tokushu buraku, chaired by Tomeoka. There were presentations about the experience and research of Okamoto Wataru, a village mayor who was involved in buraku improvement in his own village in Kii county, Wakayama prefecture, Ogawa Kyokuo, a chief police officer in Gifu prefecture, Nakabo Minjiro, a headmaster of a primary school in Kyoto, and Kubo Torazo, a relief worker in Nara prefecture58. Tomeoka went on to become a central figure in buraku improvement policies as the chairman of this study group.

Tomeoka Kosuke had learnt about European and American prison studies and criminology when a chaplain in Sorachi prison in Hokkaido. He later went to study in America and Europe, and opened a home school (katei gakko), a detention center for juvenile delinquents. He also played a leading role in the theory and practice of social reform, such as reformatory relief work and the local improvement movement from the 1900s to the 1920s commissioned by the Home Department59.

Tomeoka’s theory of reformatory relief work can be summarized as follows. Criminals were born because their body and mind were insufficiently developed due to innate genetic defects and the environment in which they grew up. Many of the causes were found in the home. In such cases, taking a child away from his home and placing him in an ideal environment would enable him to develop a healthy body and mind, and be reformed to adapt to civilized society. A human body would become healthy and the mind wholesome if placed in a “natural” homely environment that was hygienic, loving, and with proper nourishment. Tomeoka thought that the ideas and techniques for rehabilitating and reforming criminals and juvenile delinquents which he had developed in prison reform and reformatory relief work would be effective for improving the buraku, and so decided to apply them.

In his lectures in rural areas of Japan, Tomeoka pointed out that “there were many delinquent children, mentally handicapped children, idiots, physically handicapped, and beggars” in the buraku. He said: “We need to be careful about this and improve the situation. In particular, I want to bring to your attention that there are many prostitutes and barmaids in the tokushu buraku”60. Tomeoka also argued that the same problem could be found in the racial problem of Jews and blacks in Europe and America. He explained that there were blacks in the southern part of America. They had low character and no education, and hence there was a lot of crime and delinquency among them. Jews in Europe and America were driven out of their homeland and persecuted. So there were some who were good at business, but on the whole they were inferior people. For example, they dealt in stolen goods. Second-hand clothes and small goods businesses in New York were their trades. They were also involved in heinous crimes. The blacks in America, the Jews, and the tokushu buraku in Japan were said to form a “trio” in the world61.


According to Tomeoka, the burakumin had been excluded from mainstream society for a long time, and were forced to intermarry because their choice of spouse was limited. There was thus a physiological tendency for twins and even triplets to be born. Tomeoka’s views on genetic heredity seemed to have been strengthened by his learning about heredity during his studies in America. He observed: “I think that leprosy spreads mostly in eta villages. In fact, since they marry close kin, their blood does not change sufficiently and hence the virus is inherited. As a result, they become even more isolated from people of other villages, and are not allowed to associate, let alone marry”62. In addition, many of them were said to have a cruel and uncaring nature since they made their living by brutal occupations such as animal slaughter.


In 1912 (Meiji 45), a Conference on the Improvement of Impoverished Buraku was held, organized by Tomeoka and others. This was the first nationwide conference on social welfare in which the government placed the main focus on the buraku issue. It was attended by about 130 people involved in buraku improvement nationwide: teachers, village and county heads, members of parliament, community leaders, policemen, religious leaders, administrators, and Home Ministry bureaucrats. The topics discussed were wide ranging, including education, manners and customs, occupation, housing, hygiene, taxation, finance, savings, socializing, reform organization, religion, and migrant labor. Many reform agendas were put forward by participants, and possible solutions were discussed. For example, in the field of education, children were sickly because their bodies did not grow properly. A tendency for early marriage led to the birth of many children, causing financial hardship for households. It was difficult for children to acquire language and manners because education at home was insufficient. Homes were small and customs were bad. They were unhygienic and infested with illness such as trachoma because there were no toilets or baths63.

Rinpo jigyo was one of the social welfare programs for solving these problems. This was the Japanese name for a settlement program in the West. Its initial purpose was to improve the lives of the poor, but it gradually became a major program for improving the buraku. Namae Takayuki, the Home Ministry officer who promoted the program, noted that the program was based on activities in settlement houses and halls built in deprived areas. It was “a new program in which a group of educated volunteers of good character dedicated themselves to an impoverished area, becoming the residents” companions and leaders to improve and uplift the residents by making them aware through various ways”64. In other words, the program sought to be closely involved in the lives of the poor, to impart rational knowledge, and to improve their quality of life.

Namae discussed the necessity of the settlement program as follows. The human species, like any other organism, could avoid the effects of heredity and environment. These effects were seen particularly strongly in people of the unproductive class who faced all sorts of challenges in their everyday lives:

For example, those whose genetic heredity has manifested in bad ways are mostly of low abilities and character […]. Those who become alcoholics as a result of their parents drinking too much, or many children of those who suffered for a long time from sexually transmitted diseases, are of low character or abilities […]. There are many people whose lives are at rock bottom or are in a state of extreme poverty because they are of low character or ability and cannot make a decent living65.

He added that people unable to escape such lowly living due to their poor and limited environment needed to be given useful knowledge and advice. He pointed out:

They cannot have any secrets about themselves or their family life. If they take off their clothes, their neighbors get to know immediately. So they definitely live in very harmful circumstances in terms of customs and hygiene […]. As a result, they lose their sense of morality, become lacking in intelligence, turn to self-destruction, do whatever they like, and eventually completely destroy their own personality. They fall so deeply into a state of decadence that they do not think it particularly dishonorable to be rescued by society66.

He explained, therefore, such people could not get out of their tragic circumstances unaided.

The buraku reform programs initiated by Tomeoka Kosuke and others aimed to reform and improve people at the bottom of society who were unable to escape a way of living characterized by poverty, crime, and disease, and to lead them towards healthy and wholesome social life. It is significant that the programs were based on “equality among people” and “neighborly love”. However, we should note that in the context of the “complex of governmentality”, such humanitarian thinking was accompanied by a racialist perception marking these groups of people as having an “abnormal” nature.

When rice riots erupted in 1918 (Taisho 7), the mass media reported that the unrest originated in the buraku and in the dangerous anti-social nature of the burakumin67. Kaneko Junji, a researcher in psychiatry, argued that the riots were an effusion of the degenerate psyche of the lower classes: “research on the psychological states of people who can only afford to eat gruel made of foreign rice once or twice a day, and are hard-pushed to make ends meet” suggested that “such people who are close to starvation may be in a pathological state to believe things easily and respond to external stimuli to cause major incidents that may be deemed socially pathological”. He pointed out that a culprit arrested in Namerikawashi, Toyama prefecture, was “a deviant in psychiatric terms” with “a personality between that of the mentally ill and the mentally healthy”.

Kaneko also referred to the “groups of women of tokushu buraku” in Toyama prefecture who “went to the new rich, implored for help, and came to the municipal office to petition”. In his view, this was because “people of the tokushu buraku often married with blood relatives, and hence from a psychiatric viewpoint, there were more so-called deviants who tended to be more easily tricked into believing things due to genetic factors”. He added: “The fact that the burakumin posed danger in the rice riots last year, not only in Toyama but also in other prefectures, proves my theory about the need for research on deviancy to explain “women’s riots” in Toyama”68.


Such discourse describing the burakumin as an “abnormal” group with an anti-social nature racialized the burakumin. At the same time, it racialized those Japanese who were not burakumin as “normal” and “healthy”. Kaneko advocated “the immediate rescue of deviants”. But further work is needed to investigate how racialized perceptions of inclusion/exclusion in social welfare programs targeting the burakumin played a role in advancing the modernization of Japanese society.


The “complex of governmentality” – consisting in the institutional foundations for social reform, specialized knowledge in psychiatry and psychology, social welfare facilities such as settlement homes, the discourse and practice of social workers, institutions, space, and agents – functioned to include/exclude the burakumin as a group of people with an abnormal and anti-social nature. It also formed a perception that “racialized” them. The buraku issue has hitherto often been explained as a remnant of backwardness and feudalism in modern Japan. However, it is more appropriate to consider it in the context of the global development of modern governmentality analyzed by Foucault and Rose.

Finally, let us return to Foucault’s analysis of racism as the fundamental mechanism of modern biopower. Foucault stressed the difference between premodern nationalism, and racism after the modern period. In the governance of populations, the reduction of inferior individuals increases society’s productivity and engenders conditions for improving the life of whole population. Hence the lives of inferior individuals are of major concern to mainstream society in terms of their content, risks, and costs. They are thus targeted by intervention, surveillance, evaluation, and violence. Today’s hate crimes and discrimination against immigrants are proof that our lives continue to be governed in these ways, and that racism persists, albeit in a different form.

Modern rationalism strongly promotes improvements to productivity and efficiency. At the same time, it continues to develop the gaze and technology to objectify “abnormal” races obstructing its course. How is it possible to conceptualize and dismantle racism in the age of neoliberalism in which hyper-governmentality is becoming a reality? To address these questions, we need to analyze the genealogy of subjectivity in modern society.

Unfold notes and references
Retour vers la note de texte 10374


Michel Foucault, Il faut défendre la société: cours au Collège de France. 1975-1976; translated by Ishida Hidetaka 石田英敬 and Ono Masatsugu 小野正嗣, Tokyo, Chikumashobō 筑摩書房, 2007, p. 239-262.

Retour vers la note de texte 10375


Rose’s concept of ‘psychological complex’ derives from Jacques Donzelot’s term ‘tutelary complex’ in reference to the rational management of social problems, such as delinquency, violence, and poverty, through social work, an approach that emerged in the nineteenth century. See Jacques Donzelot, La police des familles; postface de Gilles Deleuze; translated by Unami Akira 宇波彰, Tokyo, Shin’yōsha 新曜社, 1991, p. 111-198.

Retour vers la note de texte 10376


Nikolas Rose, The Psychological Complex: Psychology, Politics and Society in England, 1869-1939, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. 

Retour vers la note de texte 10377


Nikolas Rose, Governing the soul: the shaping of the private self; translated by Horiuchi Shinnosuke 堀内進之介and Kumashiro Takehiko 神代健彦, Tokyo, Ibunsha 以文社, 2016.

Retour vers la note de texte 10378


Kurokawa Midori黒川みどり, Tsukurareta jinshu 創られた「人種」[Race created], Tokyo, Yūshisha有志舎, 2016.

Retour vers la note de texte 10379


Fujino Yutaka藤野豊, Hisabetsuburaku被差別部落 [Discriminated communities], in Asao Nohiro朝尾直弘, Ishii Susumu石井進, Hayakawa Sōhachi早川庄八, Amino Yoshihiko網野善彦, Kano Masanao鹿野政直, Yasumaru Yoshio安丸良夫eds., Iwanami kōza Nihon tsūshi 18 岩波講座日本通史18 [Iwanami history of Japan 18], Tokyo, Iwanami shoten岩波書店, 1994, p. 133-167.

Retour vers la note de texte 10380


Sekiguchi Hiroshi関口寛, "Kagawa Toyohiko no shakaijigyō to kagakuteki jinshushugi 賀川豊彦の社会事業と科学的人種主義 [Social welfare of Kagawa Toyohiko and scientific racism]," in Sakano Tōru坂野徹 and Takezawa Yasuko 竹沢泰子 eds., Jinshushinwa wo kaitai suru 2 Kagaku to shaikai no chi 人種神話を解体する 2 科学と社会の知 [Dismantling the Race Myth Vol. 2 Knowledge: Between Science and Society], Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press 東京大学出版会, 2016, p. 105-137.

Retour vers la note de texte 10381


Yokoi Toshirō横井敏郎, "Meiji kōki no toshi to buraku明治後期の都市と部落 [Cities and buraku in the late Meiji period]," Buraku mondai kenkyū 部落問題研究 [Research on buraku issues], vol. 105, 1990, p. 89-110.

Retour vers la note de texte 10382


Tanaka Katsufumi田中勝文, "Jidō hogo to kyōiku sono shakaishiteki kōsatsu 児童保護と教育、その社会史的考察 [Social history of childcare and education]," Nagoya daigaku kyōikugakubu kiyō 名古屋大学教育学部紀要 [Bulletin of the faculty of education, Nagoya University] 12, 1965, p. 125-146.

Retour vers la note de texte 10383


There is a consensus among researchers regarding the establishment of the concept of ‘tokushu buraku’ based on Kojima Tatsuo’s foundational research. See Kojima Tatsuo 小島達雄, "Hisabetsu buraku no rekisiteki koshō no mondai 被差別部落の歴史的呼称の問題 [History of the problem of naming the buraku]," Hyōgo buraku kaihō ひょうご部落解放 [Hyōgo buraku liberation], vol. 39, 1990, p. 66-123; Kojima Tatsuo 小島達雄, "Hisabetsu buraku no rekishiteki koshō wo megutte 被差別部落の歴史的呼称をめぐって [History of naming the buraku]," in Ryōke Minoru 領家譲 (ed.), Nihon kindaika to buraku mondai 日本近代化と部落問題 [Modernization of Japan and buraku issues], Tokyo, Akashi shoten明石書店, 1996, p. 157-220; Kojima Tatsuo 小島達雄, "Tokushu buraku kan seiritsu zenshi 特殊部落観成立前史 [History of the establishment of the concept of ‘tokushu buraku’]," Hyōgo buraku kaihō ひょうご部落解放 [Hyōgo buraku liberation], vol. 98, Mar 2001, p. 78-127; Kojima Tatsuo 小島達雄, "Hisabetsu buraku no meishō mondai ni kakawatte 被差別部落の名称問題に関わって [Involvement in the problem of naming the buraku]," Kwansei gakuin daigaku jinken kenkyū 関西学院大学人権研究 [Kwansei Gakuin University Institute for human rights research and education], vol. 6, March 2002, p. 53-70.  

Retour vers la note de texte 10384


Unsigned, "Tokushu buraku no fushūgaku jidō 特殊部落ノ不就学児童 [Out-of-school children in tokushu buraku]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child study], vol. 13, no. 2, 1909, p. 71.

Retour vers la note de texte 10385


Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 (Child Study) was published as a journal of Nihon kyōiku kenkyūkai 日本教育研究会 (the Japanese Society of Education), the forerunner of Nihon jidō gakkai 日本児童学会 (the Japanese Society for Child Studies). In an article entitled "Jidō kenkyū no hitsuyō 児童研究の必要 (The necessity of child study)," one may read: ‘What kind of preparation and methods are required for childcare? What should the psychological foundation for a child’s education be? What are the directions and standards of management of children in schools? What kind of education at home is the most appropriate for a child’s development?’ (vol. 1, no. 1, 1898, p. 1-4). The journal offered guidance based on psychology, pedagogy, and medicine, influencing people in educational circles in Japan and those interested in education in the prewar period.

Retour vers la note de texte 10386


Urabe Toyojiro ト部豊次郎, Zenkoku jizen taikai shi 全国慈善大会史 [History of national charity convention], Jizen dōmei dantai jimusho 慈善同盟団体事務所 [Office of charity association groups], 1904, p. 49, published in Shakai fukushi chōsa kenkyūkai 社会福祉調査研究会編 [Social welfare research ed.], Senzenki shakai jigyō shiryō shūsei, vol. 1 戦前期社会事業史料集成 第一巻 [Compilation of historical materials on social welfare in the prewar period], Nihon tosho center 日本図書センター [Japan library center], 1985.

Retour vers la note de texte 10387


See Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, Jidō shinri kōwa 児童心理講話 [Lectures on child psychology], Tokyo, Kōbundo 広文堂, 1909. This book was published with the aim of propagating scientifically based child pedagogy based in schools and at home. It was one of Takashima’s major works, and was said to have been so influential that ‘educationalists from all over the country rushed to read it’. Maruyama Tsurukichi 丸山鶴吉, Takashima sensei kyōiku hōkoku rokujyū nen 高島先生教育報国六十年 [Sixty years of Professor Maruyama’s service to the nation], Takashima sensei kyōiku hōkoku rokuju nen kinenkai 高島先生教育報国六十年記念会 [Memorial foundation for sixty years of Professor Maruyama’s service to the nation], 1940, p. 94-95.

Retour vers la note de texte 10388


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, Jidō shinri kōwa 児童心理講話 [Lectures on child psychology], Tokyo, Kōbundō 広文堂, 1909, p. 382.

Retour vers la note de texte 10389


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, "Jidō gaku kōgi dai roku shō kotai hassei to keitō hassei 児童学講義 第六章 個体発生と系統発生 [Lectures on child psychology Chapter 6 Ontogeny and phylogeny]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child research], vol. 15, no. 7, 1902, p. 243-244.

Retour vers la note de texte 10390


At the time, this theory was introduced to Japan as ‘recapitulation theory’ 約説原理, and influenced a wide range of fields, including biology, psychology, pedagogy, literature, and philosophy. For Haeckel’s theory of embryology, see Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and phylogeny, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1977, and Sato Keiko 佐藤恵子, Haeckel to shinka no yume: Ichigen ron, ecology, keitōjyu ヘッケルと進化の夢: 一元論、エコロジー、系統樹 [Haeckel and the dream of evolution: Monism, ecology, phylogenetic tree], Tokyo, Kōsakusha 工作舎, 2015.

Retour vers la note de texte 10391


Murata Kōji 村田孝次, Hattatsu shinrigaku nyūmon 発達心理学入門 [Introduction to developmental psychology], Tokyo, Baifūkan 培風館, 1987; Murata Kōji 村田孝次, Hattatsu shinrigaku shi 発達心理学史 [History of developmental psychology], Tokyo, Baifūkan 培風館, 1992.

Retour vers la note de texte 10392


See Unsigned無署名, "Jidō kenkyū no hitsuyō 児童研究の必要 [The necessity of child study]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究, vol 1, no. 1, 1898, p. 1-4.

Retour vers la note de texte 10393


Nomura Yasuyo 野村泰代, "Nihon ni okeru Jidō kenkyū no rekishiteki tenkai 日本における児童研究の歴史的展開 [Historical development of child study in Japan]," Fukuoka kyōiku daigaku kiyō 福岡教育大学紀要 [Bulletin of Fukuoka University of Teacher Education], vol. 52, no. 5, 2003, p. 101-116.

Retour vers la note de texte 10394


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, Katei kyōiku kōwa 家庭教育講話 [Lectures on education at home], Shizuokashi kyōiku kai 静岡市教育会 [City of Shizuoka Education Society], 1903, p. 59-60.

Retour vers la note de texte 10395


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, Jidō shinri kōwa 児童心理講話 [Lectures on child psychology], Tokyo, Kōbundō 広文堂, 1909, p. 3.

Retour vers la note de texte 10396


Matsumoto Kōjirō 松本孝次郎, who established the Japanese Society for Child Studies with Takashima, introduced the criminology of Lombroso and others that was popular in the West in the late nineteenth century. Matsumoto argued that criminals displayed bodily and mentally degenerate symptoms: insufficient development of the nervous system caused illnesses that led to crime, and innate criminal tendencies were inherited. Based on such knowledge, he pointed out, ‘child education is related to pathology. Those who study the poor and causes of crime should investigate methods for dealing with them, and those who investigate these methods must study children carefully’. He stressed that study of children could be applied to research on social pathology, and contribute especially to the rehabilitation of ‘vagabonds, those who do not pay taxes, and other criminals’. See Matsumoto Kōjirō 松本孝次郎, "Shakai kaizsen to Jidō kenkyū 社会改善と児童研究 [Social reform and child study]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child Study], vol. 2, no. 5, 1910, p. 4-8.

Retour vers la note de texte 10397


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child StudyKanka kyūsai jigyō kōen shū 感化救済事業講演集 [Collection of lectures on reformatory relief work], Naimushō chihōkyoku 内務省地方局 [Department of Local Affairs, Home Ministry], p. 482, published in Shakai fukushi chōsa kenkyūkai 社会福祉調査研究会編 [Social welfare research ed.], Senzenki shakai jigyō shiryō shūsei, vol. 20, 戦前期社会事業史料集成 第二〇巻 [Compilation of historical materials on social welfare in the prewar period], 1985.

Retour vers la note de texte 10398


Takashima Heizaburō 高島平三郎, "Jidō to hanzai ni tsuite 児童ト犯罪ニ就テ [On children and crime]," Keisatsu kyōkai zasshi 警察協会雑誌 [Journal of Japan Police Support Association], 1918, vols. 212 ( p. 1-10), 213 (p. 1-13).

Retour vers la note de texte 10399


See Paul Weindling, "Ernst Haeckel, Darwinismus and the Secularization of Nature in History,"  in Humanity and Evolution, Cambridge University Press; translated by Sakano Tōru坂野徹,Gendaishisō 現代思想, vol.21, no.2, 1993, p. 155-167. Fujikawa was strongly influenced by Haeckel’s monism and is well known for developing a theory of Buddhism based on his original interpretation of Shinran. See Fujikwa Yū sensei henshū iin 富士川游先生 編集委員 [senior staff writer of ‘Professor Fujikawa Yū’], Fujikawa Yū sensei 富士川游先生 [Professor Fujikawa Yū], Fujikawa Yū sensei kankō kai 富士川游先生 刊行会 [publication society of ‘Professor Fujikawa Yū’], 1954; Fujikawa Hideo 富士川英郎, Fujikawa Yū 富士川游, Ozawa shoten 小澤書店, 1990.

Retour vers la note de texte 10400


Fujikawa Yū 富士川游, "Jidō no yōgo 児童の養護 [Care of children]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child Study], vol. 19, no. 6, 1916, p. 11-12.

Retour vers la note de texte 10401


Miyazaki Kasumi宮崎かすみ, "Henshituron to Yōroppa no uchi naru tasha 変質論とヨーロッパの内なる他者 [Degeneration: The invention of ‘the other’ within Europe]," Yokohama kokuritsu daigaku kyōiku nin’gen kagakubu kiyō II, Jinbun kagaku 横浜国立大学教育人間科学部紀要. II, 人文科学 [Journal of the College of Education and Human Sciences, Yokohama National University Ⅱ 人文科学 The humanities], vol. 6, 2004, p. 113-133.

Retour vers la note de texte 10402


Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Nihonjin no taihai teki chōko 日本人の頽廃的徴候 [Symptoms of dissipation of the Japanese]," Dai san teikoku 第三帝国 [The Third empire], vol. 15, 1914, p. 11. For other articles on degeneration, see Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Gakusei no shintai no hen’aku 学生ノ身体ノ変悪 [Degeneration of bodies of students]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child Study], vol. 12, no. 3, 1908, p. 81-88; Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Hensei ni tsuite 変性に就いて [On degeneration]," Kangoku kyōkai zasshi 監獄協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], vol. 21, no. 6, 1908, p. 4-15 and no. 7, p. 14-24; Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Shussan no genkyaku, kokumin no taihai 出産の減却、国民の頽廃 [Birth reduction, national dissipation]," Daisan teikoku 第三帝国 [The Third empire], vol. 8, 1914, p. 9; Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Henshitsu to teinō 変性と低能 [Degeneration and retard]," Jizen慈善 [Charity], vol. 8, no. 2, 1916, p. 19-26.

Retour vers la note de texte 10403


Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Hensei ni tsuite 変性に就いて [On degeneration]," Kangoku kyōkai zasshi 監獄協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], vol. 21, no. 6, 1908, p. 4-15 and no. 7, p. 14-24.

Retour vers la note de texte 10404


‘Degeneration’ was ‘an anatomical and physiological feature that appeared genetically’ in which ‘the structure of the body differs from the normal state due to physical or mental illness. Degeneration is passed on genetically, and the offspring are born with it’. See Fujikawa, "Gakusei no shintai no hen’aku 学生ノ身体ノ変悪 [Degeneration of bodies of students]," Jidō kenkyū 児童研究 [Child Study], vol. 12, no. 3, 1908, p. 81-88.

Retour vers la note de texte 10405


Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Henshitsu to teinō 変性と低能 [Degeneration and retard]," Jizen慈善 [Charity], vol. 8, no. 2, 1916, p. 19-26.

Retour vers la note de texte 10406


Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Iden ni tsuite 遺伝に就て [On heredity]," Kangoku kyōkai zasshi 監獄協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], vol. 25, no. 9, 1912, p. 13-24 and no.10, p. 10-16.

Retour vers la note de texte 10407


Abnormality and handicap of children’s bodies and minds are explained from medical perspectives as occurring due to genetic heredity and the mechanism of degeneration in Fujikwa Yū 富士川游, Kure Shūzo呉秀三, Miyake Kōichi 三宅鉱一, Kyōiku byōrigaku 教育病理学 [Educational pathology], Tokyo, Dōbunkan 同文館, 1910, which summarizes the contents of the first seminar of the Japanese Society for Child Studies (1908). See Kitazawa Seiji 北沢清司, "Kaisetsu 解説 [Commentary]," in Jidō mondaishi kenkyūkai kanshū 児童問題史研究会監修 [Society for Research in the History of Child Problems (ed.)], Nihon jidō mondai bunken senshū 21 日本児童問題文献選集21 [Selected works on child problems in Japan 21], Nihon tosho center日本図書センター [Japan Library center], 1984, p. 1-12.

Retour vers la note de texte 10408


See Urabe Toyojiro ト部豊次郎, Zenkoku jizen taikai shi 全国慈善大会史 [History of national charity convention], Jizen dōmei dantai jimusho 慈善同盟団体事務所 [Office of charity association groups], 1904, p. 31-55, published in Shakai fukushi chōsa kenkyūkai 社会福祉調査研究会編 [Social welfare research ed.], Senzenki shakai jigyō shiryō shūsei, vol. 1 戦前期社会事業史料集成 第一巻 [Compilation of historical materials on social welfare in the prewar period], Nihon tosho center 日本図書センター [Japan library center], 1985.

Retour vers la note de texte 10409


Fujikawa proposed the following as the research aims of social medicine: ‘(1) Social prevention policy (prevention of so-called national illnesses, such as tuberculosis, syphilis, alcohol poisoning, carcinoma), (2) position and responsibility of doctors in helping the poor, (3) position and responsibility of doctors in sickness insurance, (4) social nursing, (5) position and responsibility of doctors as experts, (6) position and responsibility of prison doctors, (7) medical supervision of prostitutes, (8) position and responsibility of municipal doctors, town doctors, village doctors, (9) position and responsibility of school doctors, (10) position and responsibility of port doctors (ship doctors), (11) position and responsibility of doctors as supervisors in various occupations’. See Fujikawa Yū富士川游, "Shakai igaku 社会医学 [Social medicine]," Chūgai iji shinpō 中外医事新報 [Chūgai medical bulletin], vols. 619-620, 1906.

Retour vers la note de texte 10410


See Amano Maki天野マキ, "Fujikawa Yū no shakai jigyō 富士川游の社会事業 [Social work of Fujikawa Yū]," Toyo daigaku shakaigakubu kiyō 東洋大学社会学部紀要 [Bulletin of the Department of Sociology Toyo University], vol. 30, no. 1, 1993, p. 47-76.

Retour vers la note de texte 10411


Yokoyama Gen’nosuke 横山源之助, Nihon no kasō shakai日本の下層社会 [The lower classes of Japan], Tokyo, Iwanami bunko, p. 45, 1985 (1899).

Retour vers la note de texte 10412


Harada Tōfū 原田東風, Kojiki 乞食 [Beggar], 1902, p. 40, p. 23, p. 26.

Retour vers la note de texte 10413


Ishikawa Tengai 石川天涯, Tokyo gaku東京学 [Study of Tokyo], Meiji bunka shiryō sōsho dai 11 kan 明治文化資料叢書 第一一巻 [Series on cultural materials of the Meiji period], 1960 (1909), p. 510.

Retour vers la note de texte 10414


Unsigned無署名, "Kamataro no kenkyū 1-5 鎌太郎の研究(一)~(五)[Study of Kamataro]," Asahi shinbun 朝日新聞 [Asahi newspaper], 1913, August 22-26.

Retour vers la note de texte 10415


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, "Shinheimin no kaizen 新平民の改善 [Improvement of the new commoners]," Jindō人道 [Humanism], vol. 28, 1907, p. 2-10.

Retour vers la note de texte 10416


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, "Shinheimin no kenkyū 新平民の研究 [Study of the new commoners]," Keisatsu kyōkai zasshi 警察協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], 1908, vols. 92 (p. 49-56), 93 (p. 71-74), 94 (p. 44-49), 96 (p. 39-43).

Retour vers la note de texte 10417


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, "Dainikai Waga kuni no tokushu kyūsai jigyō 第二回 我国の特種救済事業 [Number 2 Buraku reform in our country]," in Doshisha daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo hen同志社大学人文科学研究所編 [Doshisha University Institute for Study of Humanities and Social Sciences ed.], Tomeoka Kōsuke chosaku shu dai ni kan 留岡幸助著作集 第二巻 [Collected works of Tomeoka Kōsuke volume 2], Kyoto, Dōhōsha 同朋舎, 1979 (1909), p. 588-613.

Retour vers la note de texte 10418


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, "Dainikai Waga kuni no tokushu kyūsai jigyō 第二回 我国の特種救済事業 [Number 2 Buraku reform in our country]," in Doshisha daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo hen同志社大学人文科学研究所編 [Doshisha University Institute for the Study of Humanities and Social Sciences ed.], Tomeoka Kōsuke chosaku shu dai ni kan 留岡幸助著作集 第二巻 [Collected works of Tomeoka Kōsuke volume 2], Kyoto, Dōhōsha 同朋舎, 1979 (1909), p. 588-613.

Retour vers la note de texte 10419


Un’no Yukinori 海野幸徳, Nihon jinshu kaizō ron日本人種改造論 [Reform of the Japanese race], Kyoto, Fuzanbō 冨山房, 1910, p. 145-146.

Retour vers la note de texte 10420


Due to lack of space, I cannot go into the details of the argument here. There were only a few like Un’no who argued for genetic determination, and their ideas never became mainstream. However, their theory improved the debate on genetic heredity and environment by providing more coherent explanations. For example, it came to be accepted that those who had ‘abnormal’, ‘degenerate’, and ‘malignant genes’ would manifest these symptoms when placed in poor environments.

Retour vers la note de texte 10421


Nakagawa Nozomu 中川望, "Kanka kyūsai to jinshu kairyō 感化救済と人種改良 [Reformatory relief work and racial reform]," Jindō人道 [Humanism], vol. 82, 1912, p. 3-5.

Retour vers la note de texte 10422


Ukita Kazutami 浮田和民, "Jinshu kairyō to kekkon mondai 人種改良と結婚問題 [Racial reform and the problem of marriage]," Jindō人道 [Humanism], vol. 99, 1913, p. 5-7.

Retour vers la note de texte 10423


Kawakami Hajime河上肇, "Iden to kyōiku 遺伝と教育 [Heredity and education]," Dai san teikoku 第三帝国 [The Third empire], September 1917, p. 26-27.

Retour vers la note de texte 10424


Toshimakushi hensan iinkai 豊島区史編纂委員会 [Editorial committee of the history of Toshima ward], Toshimakushi Tsūshihen 2 豊島区史 通史編 二 [History of Toshima ward Overview 2], 1983, p. 317-346.

Retour vers la note de texte 10425


Kageyama Jinsuke 影山任佐, "Nihon hanzai gakkai oyobi hanzaigaku no rekishiteki kenkyū I Nihon hanzai gakkai tanjyō to nihon seishin igaku no senkusha (Tadasu Sugie) 日本犯罪学会および犯罪学の歴史的研究Ⅰ 日本犯罪学会誕生と日本精神医学の先駆者(杉江董)[Historical Study on the Japanese Association of Criminology (JAC) and Criminology in Japan(1) the Founding of the JAC and Tadasu SUGIE, the Pioneer of Criminal Psychiatry in Japan]," Hanzaigaku zasshi 犯罪学雑誌 [Journal of Japanese Association of Criminology], vol. 79, no. 4, 2013, p. 101-132.

Retour vers la note de texte 10426


These categories were widely used in the eugenic movement in America. Miyake Kōichi was the first to introduce these concepts to Japan and disseminate them among social welfare practitioners in the fields of education, treatment, and care. See Miyake Kōichi 三宅鉱一, "Seishin hattatsu teishi 精神発育停止 [Cession of mental development]," in Seishinbyo gaku shindan oyobi chiryō gaku Dai 15 sho 精神病学診断及治療学 第十五章 [Diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness Chapter 15], 1908, p. 462-473; Miyake Kōichi 三宅鉱一, "Seishin hakujiyaku no jidō teigi oyobi bunrui 精神薄弱の児童 定義及び分類 [Feeble-minded children: Definition and categorization]," in Fujikawa Yū富士川游, Kure Shūzo呉秀三, Miyake Kōichi三宅鉱一, Kyōiku byōrigaku 教育病理学 [Educational pathology], Tokyo, Dōbunkan 同文館, 1910, p. 151-156; Miyake Kōichi三宅鉱一, "Seishinbyōteki chūkansha精神病的中間者 [Intermediate mental illness]," Kangoku kyōkai zasshi 監獄協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], vol. 22, no. 6., 1909, p.1-20 and no. 7, p. 1-18; Miyake Kōichi三宅鉱一, Hakuchi oyobi teinōji白痴及低能児 [Anoia and feeble-minded children], Tohōdō shoten吐鳳堂書店, 1914.

Retour vers la note de texte 10427


Ishii Ryōichi石井亮一, "Hakuchisha ni tsuite白痴者に就て [On anoia]," Keisatsu kyōkai zasshi 警察協会雑誌 [Journal of Prison Support Association], vol. 229, 1919, p. 11-22, and no. 330, p. 5-16.

Retour vers la note de texte 10428


Adachi Kenchu 安達憲忠, "Shūyōsū to teinōsha to no ritsu ni tsuite 収容数と低脳者との率に就て [On the ratio of number of prisoners and retards]," Jizen 慈善 [Charity], vol. 7, no. 4, 1916, p. 26-34.

Retour vers la note de texte 10429


Ishii Jūji 石井十次, "Okayama kojiin keiei dan 岡山孤児院経営談 [Story of the management of Okayama orphanage]," Jizen 慈善 [Charity], vol. 3, no. 1, 1911, p. 21-30.

Retour vers la note de texte 10430


Unsigned, "Tokushu Buraku Kenkyūkai 特殊部落研究会 [Study group on Tokushu Buraku]," Jindō人道 [Humanism], vol. 42, 1908, p. 13.

Retour vers la note de texte 10431


Unsigned, "Tokushu Buraku Kenkyūkai 特殊部落研究会 [Study group on Tokushu Buraku]," Jindō人道 [Humanism], vol. 42, 1908, p. 13.

Retour vers la note de texte 10432


For Tomeoka Kōsuke's social work and reformatory relief work, see Murota Yasuo室田保夫, Tomeoka Kōsuke no kenkyū 留岡幸助の研究 [Study of Tomeoka Kōsuke], Tokyo, Fujishuppan 不二出版, 1998; Nii Hitomi二井仁美, Tomeoka Kōsuke and katei gakko 留岡幸助と家庭学校 [Tomeoka Kōsuke and home school], Tokyo, Fujishuppan 不二出版, 2010.

Retour vers la note de texte 10433


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, Buraku kaizen jigyō 部落改善事業 [Buraku improvement program], Gifu ken naimu bu chihō ka 岐阜県内務部地方課 [Section of local affairs, Home department, Gifu prefecture], 1921.

Retour vers la note de texte 10434


Tomeoka Kōsuke 留岡幸助, "Dainikai Waga kuni no tokushu kyūsai jigyō 第二回 我国の特種救済事業 [Number 2 Buraku reform in our country]," in Doshisha daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo hen同志社大学人文科学研究所編 [Doshisha University Institute for the Study of Humanities and Social Sciences ed.], Tomeoka Kōsuke chosaku shū dai ni kan 留岡幸助著作集 第二巻 [Collected works of Tomeoka Kōsuke volume 2], Kyoto, Dōhōsha 同朋舎, 1979 (1909), p. 588-613.

Retour vers la note de texte 10435


Tomeoka Kōsuke nikki techo 留岡幸助日記・手帳 [Diaries and notebooks of Tomeoka Kōsuke], Doshisha daigaku jinbun kagaku kenkyūjo shozō fukusha ban genpon bango 59 同志社大学人文科学研究所所蔵複写版、原本番号59 [Collection of Doshisha University Institute for the Study of Humanities and Social Sciences, copy number 59].

Retour vers la note de texte 10436


Saimin buraku kaizen kyōgikai sokki roku 細民部落改善協議会速記録 [Shorthand records of the Conference on the Improvement of Impoverished Buraku], 1912.

Retour vers la note de texte 10437


Namae Takayuki 生江孝之, "Rinpo jigyō隣保事業 [Settlement program]," Shakai jigyō社会事業 [Social work], vol. 7, no. 2, May 1923, p. 141-151.

Retour vers la note de texte 10438


Namae Takayuki 生江孝之, "Rinpo jigyō隣保事業 [Settlement program]," Shakai jigyō社会事業 [Social work], vol. 7, no. 2, May 1923, p.143

Retour vers la note de texte 10439


Namae Takayuki 生江孝之, "Rinpo jigyō隣保事業 [Settlement program]," Shakai jigyō社会事業 [Social work], vol. 7, no. 2, May 1923, p. 144.

Retour vers la note de texte 10440


Fujino Yutaka 藤野豊, "Kome sōdō ni okeru hisabetsu buraku shudō ron no seiritsu米騒動における被差別部落主導論の成立 [Establishment of the theory of buraku leadership in the rice riots]," in Fujino Yutaka 藤野豊, Kurokawa Midori 黒川みどり, Tokunaga Takashi 徳永高志, Kome sōdō to hisabetsu buraku米騒動と被差別部落 [Rice riots and the burakumin], Tokyo, Yūzankaku雄山閣, 1988, p. 41-70.

Retour vers la note de texte 10441


Kaneko Junji 金子準二, "Toyama ken no on”na ikki ni taisuru seishin byōrigakuteki kōsatsu 富山県の女一揆に対する精神病学的考察 [Psychiatric analysis of women's riots in Toyama prefecture]," Shakai to kyūsai 社会と救済 [Society and relief], vol. 2, no. 12, 1919, p. 892-897.

Back to the workshop